Thursday, January 26, 2012

Musical Influences

So this is technically not a writing post...but I have been thinking recently about Music and how it influences us and by default our writing.

Houston by the Gatlin Brothers - "Houston, Houston means that I'm one day closer to you."  My dad was in the Air Force and travelled a lot.  My mom always started her letters to my dad with "Houston."   It was a reference to the song and how they were always "one day closer."  When I was a kid, I thought it was incredibly romantic. Older, I still think it's romantic but I think it also spoke a lot about my parents relationship and their willingess to wait for each other. 

Presto by Rush - "If I could wave a my magic wand..." These were the first words I ever heard from Rush.  I was a sophomore in High School.  The bassist in our marching band introduced the band to me, and I was hooked from the first moment.  The drummer, Neil Peart, has a way with words that I wish I had so I'm influenced in that as well.   Rush has been one of the bands whose music and lyrics have inspired me, kept me going through difficult times.  Other songs by Rush...

Coldfire - "I'll be around if you don't push me down."  My license plate!
Totem - "I believe that what I'm feeling changes how the world appears."  Reminds me that we all see the world through our own perceptions.
Time Stand Still - "I'm not looking back but I want to look around me now." Being in the present moment.  Enjoying the time and friends we have now.
Ghost of a Chance - But I believe there's a ghost of a chance we can find someone to love and make it last." - There is so a romance novel in this song!!
....and the list goes on.

Story of my life by Bonjovi -"This is the story of my life and I write it everyday."  This is kind of my writing theme song.  I tend to use it  as inspiration when I'm struggling to write. 

Bonjovi is also my "Screw you" go to band. Whenever I reach my limit of negativity or people who don't like how I do things...Bonjovi is the band whose music I go to.
Have nice day. - "Standing on the ledge, show the wind how to fly."
Bounce - "Call it karma, call it luck, me I just don't give a ...bounce, bounce nothings going to keep me down."

Sing for the Day by Styx - "Hannah you're my inspiration, my fountain of youth."  Obvious's where my daughter got her name.  To me it's also a song about enjoying youth and again...being in the present moment. 

Other Styx songs...
These are the times - "These are the times we find out who we really are."  The theme song for one of the best D&D games/characaters/groups ever.  I've been playing D&D for a while and no group has ever epitomized that song better than Del, Ian, Raven and Rozhena.  And though we try, capturing that feeling has never quite happened again for me either.  At some point, I want to write a short story using those characters that captures the feeling of that song. 
Boat on the River - "And all roads lead to Tranquility Base." - My one attempt at SF is based on this line.  Tranquility Base being a moonbase set in the middle of the Tranquility Bay on the moon.

The men in my little girls life by Tex Ritter - If my dad danced, this would have been our father/daughter song...It's a storytelling song about a little girl and her boyfriends from the boy next door to her prom date, from the man she marries, to the grandson.  It's incredibly touching and I thought somewhat prophetic given the final boy in the song is "Jim" and I married James.  :)

In high school, I don't know that there were "iconic songs" but there are songs that I hear now and they remind me of high school?

Billy Joel's We didn't start the Fire came out in 1989, sophomore year in HS.  And while I realize it's more geared toward my parents generation, I think it became kind of the "song" for our generation because "we didn't start the fires" and so many of us wanted to do things to end them.
(Speaking of Billy Joel, I can no longer hear In a NY minute without thinking of 9/11.)
Wilson Phillips - Hold on in 1990 - So loved this band. The songs were simple and catchy and just seemed right for a 16 year old girl.
U2's Mysterious Ways came out in 91. So wanted this to be my theme song.  Never really was but I still love it.
For some reason, Jake Owen's Barefoot Blue Jean Night reminds me of High School..."Never gonna grow up/Never gonna slow down/We were shining like lighters in the dark in the middle of a rock show." Everytime I hear that I flash back to hanging outside my window talking with friends in the middle of the night. 

Bowling for Soup's 1985 is another fun one.  And the irony (?) there is that I was 10 in 1985 but I can completely relate to most of the lyrics. I was a U2 and Madonna fan.  I am not a Nirvana or Limp Bizkit fan.  And of course '85 is still my defining year of "me."  Came out of shell - got introduced to Shakespeare and theatre, starting reading the Dragonlance Chronicles, got introduced to music that wasn't country (Prince, Michael Jackson), Dad was in Korea, Mom slipped disks in her back, moved into our first real house (ie, not base housing), walked to school, learned to cook, clean, take care of my little brother.  That year kind of became my defining year so I think that's another reason I relate to the song.  Even if my kid is not in HS!

James and I have three songs...
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something, All for you by Sister Hazel, and I'll Stand by You by the Pretenders.    The Pretenders song was our weddding song.  The other two kind of just became us while we were dating.  Breakfast came out in 96 and All for you came out in 97.   One of my favorite new memories is going to Disney when the Geeklet was 2 and Sister Hazel was playing Epcot.  We heard that song and ran forward and she started dancing to it.  Loved that moment.

In 2006, George Straight's I Saw God Today came out.  For whatever reason, the first time I heard the song...was the day in 2007 when I found out that we were having a little girl.  So that is and will always be the Geeklet's song for me.

When writing, I've found that TSO's Christmas music and their two non-xmas albums provide the high energy and drive of music that I really need to write to.  I also enjoy Celtic music from bagpipes to Celtic Women for music to soothe my soul or settle me down when work is getting crazy.

So...what music influences you?  How?

Plays that song that's so elusive/
And the magic music makes your morning mood.

Rush, The Spirit of Radio

Monday, January 16, 2012

Short Story Away!

So thanks to the wonderful first reader that is my husband, I sent off my submission to the second Fortannis anthology last night.   It's the story of knight coming to terms with a world that isn't shades of gray.  I hated to miss Illogicon but I really needed to finish the story...and I did!

I don't know if it will be accepted into the Anthology but I'm still pretty proud of the story itself.  Writing in a world w/o religion is a bit of a challenge but I think I'm getting the hang of it.

I also got the contract for Anne Bonny's Child over the holidays so that is signed and ready to go.  Publication date is more likely April than March now, but still Spells and Swashbucklers should be out soon!

Time to dive back into my novel.  I need to finish adding the red herrings and the second POV. Then its off to the husband for first reading.  By the time I'm done with his suggestions and changes, it should be close to needing a copyeditor/editor.   I'm trying to have it finished by Stellarcon so I can start submitting it to agents/publishing houses in April.

Ambitious goal, I know with work starting to ramp up.  I've got a massive training session to plan and then the internship program to start and run.

We don't have to talk/We don't even have to touch
I can feel your prescence/In the silence that we share

~Rush, Speed of Love

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!

Happy New Year!

PS - I'll try to get up a real post later today!