Working on some revisions of a sci-fi story, I let me playlist go random. The revisions went well, so I’ll publicly thank these songs (because a lot of revising for me is having the right music playing).
Tag Archives: Music
Over the past weekend, I managed to write 10,000 words. It was two stories and I’d had the ideas for a while, just hadn’t put them to page, but still it was a lot and I am grateful. They are both pieces of the sci-fi novel-in-stories that I’ve been working on and both take traditional genre tropes and try to recreate them into something new (one of the goals of the novel is to view a sci-fi concept over time and styles). The stories turned out unexpected and better than I could have hoped (maybe, I still have new draft glass on, though…)
As I was writing, I found myself playing certain songs on loops. So, because I’m always thankful for the way music can help me to generate words, I thought I’d again put a “playlist” of what I was listening to while I wrote these two stories. I’ve linked to available versions of the songs where there is an official version available.
1.) Drawn to the Blood by: Sufjan Stevens
2.) Cough Cough by: Everything Everything
3.) Bite Down by: Bastille (featuring Haim)
4.) Anywhere on this Road by: Lhasa
5.) Used by: Wyvern Lingo
6.) Death by: The Dodos
7.) Blood by: Algiers
8.) Plasma by: Kimmo Pohjonen and Kronos Quartet
9.) I Can See the Future by: Iran
10.) Hellhound on My Trail by: Robert Johnson
Dear Readers, I was digging through old files and came across a film (of sorts) that I made for a class my first year in my MFA program. Because it took ages to put together, I thought why not post it instead of leaving it buried. The images (save for the last photo of the trees, which I shot) are from Google Images. The music is my own (I really hope that my assumption that “You are my sunshine” is public domain is correct). The poem and words on screen are also my own. If you are inclined, you can view the film here
I’m having a writing day. Well, earlier it was grading day, but I try not to grade more than 6 hours straight, since I think my commenting skills begin to go downhill after that point. And I should say it’s a writing day until The Great British Baking Show begins and I have to get all tense with worry about my favorite baker. It will be a writing day/ night again after that, though. (I’ll save Downton Abbey to watch tomorrow when I’m in a less grouchy mood and won’t need to go into as much of an Edith-related rage).
However while working, on what’s fast becoming a very long sci-fi horror story, I began to think about the way I write to music. Often, I do so because it helps me stay focused, but also because it helps me stay within the mindset / tone that I need. For an example, of the sort of insanity this normally creates in me, I recently listened to Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” 32 times in a row, because it had me in such a good writing zone that I needed it for the entirety of the story I was writing.
I’ll plan to do a more in-depth version of this in regards to the novel I’m writing, but for now here are the ten songs I’ve listened to on repeat while working on my current story (Where available, I’ve linked to the song from the artist’s Youtube page).
1.) Spoon’s “I Just Don’t Understand”
2.) Gotye’s “Easy Way Out”
3.) Lhasa’s “Is Anything Wrong”
4.) TV on the Radio’s “Happy Idiot”
5.) Lucinda Williams’ “Changed the Locks”
6.) Hozier’s “Work Song”
7.) Andrew Bird’s “Three White Horses”
8.) JD McPherson’s “North Side Gal”
9.) Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson’s “Buriedfed”
10.) Jim White’s “Corvair”
Digging through some old files, I found a poem that I several years ago. It remains one of the few poems that I had a genuinely fun time writing and though I think it needs heavy revisions, I present it here in it’s original form. Because, honestly, having fun while writing is just as important and writing something “good.”
In my dream Conor Oberst invites me to Cassadega.
But, of course, cities
in dreams are never just one place.
Dream Cassadega is almost my own
city, the one I lost slowly in treads
of shoes and the ice left at
the bottom of Italian sodas and
the faces of people I couldn’t see. Now
State Street suddenly
leads into the ocean and the ocean
is filled with glass sailboats
breaking on the waves.
At my favorite café, the stereo plays
TV on the Radio through tin
can speakers and jelly glasses pressed
to walls. I order a cup
of Iron Silk Puerh which comes
in the Holy Grail I never thought
I would attain. It stains
my hands a glorious white that stuns
the wolf I used to fear who
shows up wearing a suit of night
sky materials and nods to me.
Meric Long is at a corner table
telling stories to everything
that has ever gone extinct.
He motions me
to sit but I don’t believe I’m gone
enough quite yet. So instead a
dead woman reads my future
backwards starting with my past.
She says I’ve only lost just
A Bird flies around the ceiling,
whistling about the way the sky
looked last night. I think I
need a net. The sky last night
bled. The sky last night tasted
sickly sweet. The sky last night felt
like skin burnt with fever. The
sky last night looked like
the face of everyone I’ve loved.
Outside it starts to rain. Susheela
tells me it tastes of salt.
I think the ocean
became the sky. I think I
missed the train I meant to catch
before the world ends and now
I might just drown.
There’s a Corvair parked on
the street outside, the color of bone.
I think if I touched it I could
feel every road it has ever
known. Jim White says don’t,
it’s almost not here
anymore. That’s almost the way
someone I loved once described me.
The street outside disintegrates.
It’s impolite to say, though. And so,
as the dust creeps under the door,
and the wolf begins to howl,
and all the dead shift
ever so slightly beneath our feet,
and the sky hollows out a space
for me, all Conor says is: Don’t worry—
—It’s the first day of my life
until my eyes open
to the empty apartment
and the walls that I always
wanted to paint are still
white, and everything
is a buzz of silence.
So I hit
Repeat until there’s nothing else.
I was intrigued, what can I say….
day 01 – your favorite song
Can I pick? Not so much…. I could go with the songs which make me go all butterfly-heart when I hear them, but then dear reader you might know everything there is to know about me.
day 02 – your least favorite song
I feel like anything I say here would be cliché, overused.
day 03 – a song that makes you happy
“The Way You Do the Things You Do”—The Temptations, “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”—Otis Redding, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”—The Beatles
day 04 – a song that makes you sad
“Song to the Siren”—Susheela Raman cover, “Anywhere on this Road”—Lhasa, “Hurt”—Johnny Cash cover
day 05 – a song that reminds you of someone
“Unsuffer Me”—Lucinda Williams, “Ambulance”—TV on the Radio
day 06 – a song that reminds you of somewhere
(because of hearing them at specific times in specific places) “Stand by Me”—Ben E. King, “Train Under Water”—Bright Eyes
day 07 – a song that reminds you of a certain event
“I Walked”—Sufjan Stevens
day 08 – a song that you know all the words to
“Little Lion Man”—Mumford and Sons, “My Body is a Cage”—thanks to the Arcade Fire cover, “Over the Rainbow,” embarrassingly “A Total Eclipse of the Heart”
day 09 – a song that you can dance to
I don’t dance. Sad but true. It would be much too frightening.
day 10 – a song that makes you fall asleep
Prokiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” and Patsy Cline’s “Walking after Midnight”…Both in soothing, comforting ways though.
day 11 – a song from your favorite band
Favorite bands are many for me….But “Four Winds”—Bright Eyes is one.
day 12 – a song from a band you hate
Hate is a strong word.
day 13 – a song that is a guilty pleasure
I own my taste, so no guilty pleasures found here.
day 14 – a song that no one would expect you to love
Yeesh, I’m not sure what people’s expectations are of me….
day 15 – a song that describes you
“Sexy and I Know It” Obviously.
day 16 – a song that you used to love but now hate
I’m stagnant. What I love I usually continue to love.
day 17 – a song that you hear often on the radio
Don’t really listen to the radio…
day 18 – a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 – a song from your favorite album
Don’t really have a favorite, but off one album, “Postcards from Italy”—Beirut
day 20 – a song that you listen to when you’re angry
If I admit I rarely am angry it’s like admitting to being a robot, yes? But, I think if I was truly angry, I’d do some Robert Johnson to calm me down.
day 21 – a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 – a song that you listen to when you’re sad
Um, frak, this is making me think I am an emotionless robot….
day 23 – a song that you want to play at your wedding
In the bizarro world where I get married, the song is always going to be “Losing my Religion”—REM
day 24 – a song that you want to play at your funeral
Anything with a really good violin solo, preferably by Andrew Bird.
day 25 – a song that makes you laugh
day 26 – a song that you can play on an instrument
I am seriously unskilled.
day 27 – a song that you wish you could play
“All Along the Watchtower”
day 28 – a song that makes you feel guilty
Ooh, I hope I never find one that does that…
day 29 – a song from your childhood
I was kinda crazy into Foo Fighters for awhile there….
day 30 – your favorite song at this time last year
I am supposed to be able to remember that far???