Friday, November 25, 2011

Music and Writing

I don’t know how common this is with writers, but sometimes when I write I get really obsessed with music. Really obsessed. When I wrote the first draft of the final battle sequence in The Gates of Nottingham, I listened to Lux Aterna, from the soundtrack of Requiem for a Dream on repeat for hours until I was finished. I listened to The Pet Shop Boys for two weeks while I wrote a hundred page section of So Many Secrets. I’m not even going to tell you about how my ears bled from listening to Shout, by Tears for Fear. Most of the time, the music I get obsessed with and that I later associate with certain parts of my books has absolutely nothing to do with the story or the characters. It is a completely random association.
Right now I am binging on three of Adele’s songs (she’s amazing, by the way; believe the hype), along with Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, and the Mamas and the Papas.  I suppose that the base of it is the mood that the music creates. When I wrote the Northman screenplay, I listened to Sweet Dream by Beyonce. Normally, there is no way I will listen to hip hop, but it was the perfect mix of romantic lyrics and a choppy, almost violent beat.
Am I the only one who does this? Do any of you get completely obsessed with strange songs like this? Seriously, I need to know if I’m a freak.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been pretty busy lately and have pumped out about a hundred pages for the new novel. I know that's not a great excuse to ditch the internet entirely for a week (one must Tweet and blog, etc.), but it's the only one I've got. I think this is time of year where we all need to slow down a little, think about our lives, and (obviously) give thanks. I'm sure we can all amass a list of things of things for which we are grateful. Here's mine:

1) My family. It's a cliche, yes, but I don't know what I would do without the support of my family. I know I a will always have people I can turn to when I'm in trouble or when I need advice. I know that they will always love me and all of my eccentricities, when there aren't many people who will.

2) My home. I really love where I live. I like coming home after work. I love the comfort of being around my own things. I'm so lucky to live in beautiful California.

3) Creativity. Every single person is creative. I always joke that I am artistically challenged. It is frustrating that I am surrounded by people who can visualize a painting, sculpture, or bookcase and make it. I have my writing, though. I am at my calmest when I am writing and I see the same with those around me who play music or knit or build. It doesn't matter what our talents are, they are all a gift to us all.

Now, it's your turn. Take a little time and give thanks.