I have to apologize for my complete and total absence from everything but Pinterest. We’re in the process of moving from the mountains down to the big city, and the stress has sky-rocketed. We put our house on the market, and the old, horrible cycle of showings has begun yet again. And I just found out that the feedback from the horde of realtors that descended upon us on Wednesday dealt primarily with clutter and stuff on the walls … i.e. my room. My walls are my life. Take my bed, my desk, anything — but not my few special stuffed animals, my books, or the things on my walls. Sorry. If you want to remain alive, leave me my walls.
(L-yama, in Bolivian Spanish. Not llllama. Not yama. L-y-ama. Cool, huh?)
Anyway. Hello again! Now that you’ve been updated in the minute details of my life, I will progress to the fun part.
So I’ve said before that my novel To Befriend a Vampire has been giving me grief. It didn’t want to cooperate. Nicholas was sitting in a corner, pouting and clinging to his seat, and Piper was watching me in wary confusion.
When I write, music is involved. While I was working on Metamorphosis (which needs to be edited fiercely), I was almost constantly listening to Korean pop, introduced to me by the amazing Mirriam Neal. (Look her up and buy her book. It’s called Monster and you will thank me for introducing you). I would sit in the car and go through my entire collection of U-KISS songs, and something that really kept me going was assigning each song to one of the characters in the novel. When, after an eternity of pumping words out, my brain would start to putter to a halt, I would take a small break and watch a music video. It would rejuvenate my mind and I could continue with the story.
Music somehow untangles all the colored strands of my imagination. It soothes me and encourages me, and all the thoughts cluttering my mind and fighting for room in my imagination pay attention and cooperate. For instance, when I’m struggling with math I’ll listen to the Japanese rock band the Gazette. Their music calms me and keeps me from getting angry. When I’m writing, it’s a little harder to know what to listen to. The music has to coincide with the material I’m working with. And, strange or not, it’s usually confined to one artist/group or particular genre.
(The Gazette. Man, they mean so much to me).
Recently, I’ve found that I can’t write without the assistance of music. It keeps me on the literary straight-and-narrow. My youtube account consists solely of separate playlists for my varied projects. I listen to U-KISS when I edit Metamorphosis. Dream Dancers is American/British pop — and as an opera singer, that’s just strange for me. But I’ve found that it fits. (I think I’ll have to add some Tchaikovsky for Valkyrie, however. That would make me happy.) My Robin Hood/King Arthur retelling is, I think, all Heather Dale. (She’s a Canadian singer who writes and performs songs based on old English legends. Go listen to the Trial of Lancelot. It’s gorgeous). And To Befriend a Vampire … was empty.
I turned on my Disney playlist that I had put together, assigning a song to each of my characters (man, that was fun!). It just didn’t work for my novel. I tried without music. No luck.
For fun, I began again to listen to the Wonderland musical my friend Ashley introduced me to — bam. I had it. It was fresh, (mostly) unassociated with my other projects, fun, and totally insane with a healthy dose of whimsy. It was perfect. So I put that baby on a playlist and began to add a slew of Disney songs — including stuff from Snow White. As a child, I never realized how charming the music was.
Voila! I could write. The words flowed, the characters began talking to me again, plot points began to sprout like daisies, and we have worked together to create something beautiful. Mind you, I’m only on chapter four, but with this music, Nicky, Piper and I can come together and make this into something amazing.
So that was my daily ode to music.