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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Long time no talk!

Thirty days has September, April, June and November; all the rest have thirty-one ……. Except for February, which has three hundred and twelve!

Okay, so I made up that last part. *G* I don’t know if it was the extra cold temperatures, or the head and chest colds my kids have brought home one on top of the other (including a bout with strep) but February was a looooong month.

Wish I could say it was a productive one!

So what have I been doing with myself? Ingesting copious amounts of Vitamin C, for one. Not that it helps. *G* Sooner or later I forget to take the supplements or run out of OJ and the next thing I know… I've got what they’ve got. Sometimes I think it would just be easier to not take the Vitamin C, get the cold and have it over with. *G*

But I digress. Today's’ post is really about music. The way it affects the muse (I’m sure there’s some correlation there between those two words, but am much too lazy to go look it up.) Anyway, I know of many writers who have specific music on as they write—music that helps them relate to the scene they’re writing. I’m not one of those writers. I’m one of those poor unfortunate souls whose brain would go haywire if I did this—the words in the songs would mingle with the words in my head and create … mass confusion. (My husband would tell you that I cannot chew gum and drive at the same time either. Sigh. Sadly, he's right. LOL) Just don't tell him I said so!)

I listen to a lot of classical music when I’m writing. Not because I’m a snob, but because there are no words, LOL. However, when I’m not writing, I listen to music that reminds me of my characters or their dilemma, and that helps me brainstorm ideas for scenes. Also, since I tend to be a “talking heads” gal in that first draft—with lots of dialogue and no real physical actions between my characters, the music helps me tap into emotions. But I learned recently that music has been playing a role in shaping my writing for a long, long time.

Let me explain. Four houses down from the house I grew up in, lived two little girls the same age as my sister and I. The older sister was a year older than my sister, the younger one a year younger than me. (They also had a brother, LOL, but we didn’t play with him much.) Anyway, our parents came to be good friends and many weekends were spent at one or anothers’ houses as our parents played cards and had a few beers and hung out. We had a lot of games we liked to play, and I won’t bore you with what they all were, LOL. But one of our favorites, particularly when it was too cold or too wet to play outside, was to dress up and put on a variety show, like Carol Burnett or Bing Crosby or Tony Orlando did waaaay back then. Their mom didn’t mind if we wore her high heels and pretty dresses. We’d put on our favorite records and each give a performance for our imaginary audience. Along with singing and performing was dancing.

There were two records in particular that I liked to play over and over. One was by The Four Seasons, the other by the New Christy Minstrels.

I’ll get to those Jersey Boys in a minute, but last summer, I happened to find a New Christy Minstrels CD and lo and behold, the list of songs was very familiar. I popped it in as soon as I got into my car. What was a amazing to me was how the “cowboy” songs like “ride, ride, ride” and “rovin’ rambler” put the same images of men riding the hot, dusty trail in my mind that it had back then. In those moments of re-living my childhood I realize just how profoundly that music had affected me all those years ago. Could this be where my love of cowboys and the old west came from?

Onto the Four Seasons. One of the ties that bind my best bud and long-time CP Kat and I together is a love for the music of The Four Seasons (and yes, Sherry was my favorite song to dress up --red dress, of course--and dance to back in the variety show days, even if I had no idea what a twist party was. )

So when we heard Jersey Boys was coming to town this winter, we knew we had to go. Together. My husband would not enjoy it, and neither would Kat’s. But such a luxury isn't in this SAH mom's budget. I was deeply touched when Kat received tickets to the show for Christmas and asked me to be her date. *G*

Well, we had a blast. I was so excited I almost didn’t mind the large head directly in my line of vision, who seemed to tip her head to the left just as I tipped mine to the right—and then back again. But my toes are still tapping and my kids are already complaining about me playing my Four Seasons CD’s over and over. LOL.

And as for how their music has affected my writing, I listened to them a lot while writing The Model Man. (Not actively writing, of course, but while doing other things and thinking about writing.) Somehow, it helped me dig for those emotions my editor wanted to see. *G* Guess it worked.

Does music play a role in your writing? If so, in what way?

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite moments from the show.


Paty Jager said...

That was fun! Yes, music plays a part in my writing process. Both in the inspiration and while I'm writing.

This summer while listening to my MP3 player int he tractor I heard a song(that I'd listened to before) and the lyrics made a story come to mind. It will be my next contemporary story. And as I write I listen to instrumental music at Pandora Radio. Bluegrass, country instrumental while I'm writing and new age when I'm working on other stuff.

Great blog!

Helen Hardt said...

Jersey Boys came to Denver and my dh and I saw it. It was wonderful! I'm glad you got to go.

Oddly, I don't listen to music a lot while I write. I like quiet. But that doesn't mean music doesn't inspire me. My local CPs and I have decided to write novellas based on the song Reunited by Peaches and Herb. Remember that one? I'm excited to see what we each come up with.

Old Lady Saloon Keeper said...

Wait a minute there, pal of mine. You had the "big head" in front of you during the second act. I had her in the first act.
It was wonderful, wasn't it?
I've gone to your blog twice since last night just to connect with the YouTube videos on the JB's. A bunch of different tours, casts etc. Amazing each has a different interpretation.
You can keep your red dress; I get Who Loves You.

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