Friday, May 4, 2012

Writin' & Cryin'

Yesterday I was reading a favorite blog, Chick Lit Is Not Dead, and the interview was with Deborah Michel.  The ladies at CLIND asked her what’s on rotation in her music collection and she admitted that she never listens to music while she writes.  I did a little hoot of joy because I was starting to think I was the only one.

I posted that link over on my Writesy Facebook page and Chris confirmed what I was thinking about this topic – that its difficult to write when someone else is present let alone listening to music.

Matt and I were talking yesterday a little bit about this too and what I was saying to him was that I kind of just feel things with my entire body.  If I’m sad I’m crying all the way down to my toes.  When I laugh it starts in my stomach and forces itself through my veins and out of every pore on my skin.  Every range of emotion gets a very wide berth in my world.  And that’s the biggest reason I can’t listen to music while I write…I feel it too much.

As I said to Chris, every song is like a new emotional experience for me and if I spent, approximately, every three and a half minutes in a new emotional state while writing a book my character would come out sounding as schizo as I am.

And though many people love me (read: deal with my whacko inner self) I somehow doubt that someone so emotionally out of control would be a good character to sell a book.  So I leave iTunes off while I write.  I mean, I pretty much have a soundtrack running through my head at any given moment anyway.

For instance, right now I’ve got “Wheels” by the Foo Fighters kind of stuck and I haven’t heard this tune since we were on the way to go to the restaurant last night.  But that’s now, I actually woke up with “Magic” by The Cars playing for reasons unknown.  I don’t think I’ve heard that song in like ten years.

But this is just how my brain works – completely randomly.  And don’t you love how I’m telling you all this as if you ever had a doubt?  Like I haven’t been writing this blog for almost five years now?  Um, yeah.

When I first started working on Ripple the Twine I actually tried to make a bunch of playlists that could compliment Sara’s personality but I always seemed to fall flat.  I wanted her to be upbeat and fun but still slightly analytical and a little bit tortured internally.  Which pretty much only describes one band I can think of – Sublime.  Yeah, listening to that album on constant rotation, while I truly love it, got old kind of quickly.

So I’m sitting here this morning working on this blog post and doing a little networking and all of a sudden I open Yahoo to check my mail and the top three trending topics were Adam Yauch, MCA, Beastie Boys.  It’s truly sad that these days when you see stuff like that you just know the celebrity has died.  And sadly those suspicions were confirmed.

So now of course I have the entire License to Ill album running through my head on loop and I’m brought back to a few weeks ago when Matt & I were down at my sister’s place.  For whatever reason we started having this uber nostalgia night and played a slew of songs that were totally relative to Wendy’s and my younger years.

The years where we were into music of all kinds and shared a room.  The years when we’d sit patiently at the tape deck to hit record so we could capture our favorite songs from the radio when we were too broke to go out and buy the record.  We kinda felt bad leaving Matt out but ended up on such a roll playing everything from White Lion (gag, sorry Wendy) to Guns n Roses and Whitesnake.

And of course a few Beastie Boys songs from LtI had to sneak in there just for good measure.

I don’t think I could pick a favorite off that album, it was like one constant song when we played it.  Hell, I was a pop princess so I even kinda dug “Fight for your Right” (but don’t tell anyone, that song was probably the worst on the record).  And yes, when I say record I mean vinyl.  Which I absolutely still have and now I wish I had a record player because I’d spin that thing all day in tribute.

Mike D was always my favorite (seriously, I’ve never been able to resist a guy in a cool hat), Wendy was an AdRock fan, but without the gritty and guttural vocal stylings of MCA that group just never would’ve been the same.

RIP MCA.  Your music about drinking, partying, girls, sex, drugs, & rock ‘n roll helped to shape my teen years and introduced me to the old school rap beats that I still love to this day.


lettersfromlaunna said...

Awesome blog Jenn, I am like you, I feel things to my toes. When I laugh, I cannot hold back and I also feel music fully. Thanks for posting about this, have an awesome weekend :)

Rosebud Collection said...

Our oldest daughter is the music buff..I am elevator music woman..yep, I did see many a good rock'n roll concert when young..with Alan Freed and all..Now there is a name that might be foreign to you..haha..
Always a fun blog..Hey, how do you like living in AZ?..Always think of you and wonder how you like it there..Take care and have a happy week..xoCarolyn

Anonymous said...

First, I should apologize for my tardy response to this. I've been in psycho-writer mode for the past few days, and all my concentration, energy, creativity went into that last excerpt. When I did have some time to read and respond to blogs I told myself I'd hit yours last, so that you don't get my clouded, inattentive '2 a.m.' brain (which, for me is more like a '4:30 a.m.' brain, being an insomniac and all)

Anyway, explanation over. Very sad about MCA's passing--like you said, first Junior Seau and then him? WTF? The Beasties weren't one of my faves but I had a ton of respect for their crossover appeal, and "Sabotage" was a killer track and video. My HS friends were more into Sublime than I was, but I was def. exposed to it. I could tell how that might get old fast! :P Jason Mraz sorta has a similar sound to them, no? But less...I dunno... vulgar?

Two songs that I've been rotating to get the feel of my characters would be "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol (total Charlie song) and "All Around Me" by Flyleaf (100% Amber) ...but in general I've had "The Lighthouse" by Interpol on constant rotation.

I've got sooo much more to say but rather than write an epic reply here, I'll just message you! :)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks Launna! Yeah that passion is a blessing & a curse sometimes huh?

You're right Carolyn, Freed is not a name I know...but I'll be looking him up now :-) AZ is really just an amazing adventure and a beautiful place to call home. I'm truly happy we made the leap and we'll be closing on our house soon too! Lots of exciting stuff going on :-) Thanks for asking my friend!

Chris no worries at all, you've got plenty on your mind right now with a new baby on the way in the next, like, minute or something! Jason has that ska-esque vibe on some of his stuff but he's more reggae/hip hop/folk even than Sublime. Plus he sings about happy stuff, Sublime was upbeat & peppy music with lyrics about the most awful things on the planet. Upbeat misery. I could go on for 100 years about Jason, he's on my top 10 of all time (and not for the crap that hits the over produced and not as good as his old school &/or live stuff). But I won't fill the comment box with my rambling on a rock star haha

Chasing Cars - excellent choice. I don't own any Flyleaf but love that one song that hit the radio ages ago, forget the name but they got overshadowed by Paramore sadly. Even though I think they're just as talented. iTunes store might be in order soon!