Tag Archives: Music

Music Helps

This song has been the theme song to tonight’s writing. An aide to a solemn scene that I am trying to map out, the violins are what make it work. This is vastly different from last night’s dubstep induced fight scene. Tomorrow night is up for grabs. I might listen to some P-Funk during my world building.

 

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Dubstep & Writing

Between going in and out of meetings  and being harassed by people in different departments from stupid to insanely hard questions, I have basically given up hope to listen to audiobooks at work. This was once one of my favorite ways to pass time at my job. Listen to the book and just work, enjoy the fruits of my imagination painting a picture. Sounds simple right?

No.

I have started leaving my iPod at home and canceled my audible subscription. If I’m not in a meeting or talking to somebody about something, I eventually run through my work load and start hitting bumps. These bumps are in part what I’m paid for, which demand my entire attention and sometimes can cause me to start bleeding out of the ears because the problem I am faced with is the software equivalent of putting makeup on a bull, mid bull ride. These are daily exercises in building character.

I  just found out I have been inadvertently doing linear algebra in my head. Kind of shocked me because I am very bad at math (not like I don’t get it, more like I have to work five times harder to than normal people to understand what they consider simple concepts).  I never thought I would ever learn/utilize this level of math in my life. But the way that the tech world works, things change and you better adapt. So take that and multiply by two because I have started a new project at work, good-bye ability to enjoy audiobooks at work.

This has left a gap in my awareness. I can’t just sit and not have anything to listen to. I have listened to the music I own and digested it so much that I spend more time skipping songs than I do actually listening to one. I’ll pick one, listen to it, skip for about three or four hundred songs, listen to another, rinse and repeat. So I am over my music collection and this has left a gap in my attention span, I somehow feel mentally naked without something to process in the background. It is a very odd feeling.

I can’t just NOT listen to something, that would mean listening to gossip and the guy behind me and his extremely personal hourly phone calls. I can only hear about Crohn’s Disease in detail for so long. So, with my lull in music, I have decided to fully embrace dubstep.

 

Yeah, I know.

For the past few days I have submerged myself into this very, very odd and sporadic music genre. Imagine catching a fish then getting it drunk and electrocuting it, then imagine putting it in a giant fish tank where a dinosaur with a laser attached to its snout constantly tries to snap at the fish through the glass. Now imagine being that fish.

That is what listening to dubstep feels like.

I’m not even remotely exaggerating.

The moral of all that? Dubstep is very hit or miss for me, but the songs and bands I have discovered are exactly what I need to fill the space in my head while I try to work; just enough to ignore, but awesome enough that I can enjoy it while working.

I fear what would happen if I listened to dubstep while I wrote. If it was remotely coherent it would probably read like a lab rat’s drug induced wet dream, just imagine Muppets with human eyes.

As for writing, I haven’t been doing a ton of it, but I have been consistent. I just finished another story and that makes me very excited and happy. I’m already two stories completed into 2012, which makes me feel very accomplished. Even though I had started both of them in 2011, I’m just going to ride this wave of productivity and say I have kicked ass.

I have several different stories submitted out in the world, some a second phase of feedback and others in that WHY HAVEN’T THEY EMAILED ME BACK YET stage of post-submission anxiety. I swear I won’t allow myself to get it, but it happens…….every time.

Other than that, life is good. Wish school loans would go die in a car fire. I could blog four years on how a 13% interest rate on school loans can really be a turd in your cereal.

I follow politics fairly close and have wondered if I should chime in with a blog or two. Some interesting things are going on within the Republican field. Not to mention all the shenanigans that Stephen Colbert and John Stewart are doing.

Few other posts to make but are super secret still. I will publish them when I can.

Back to the word mines!

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Music For Your Soul

I have a wide range of tastes when it comes to sweet pleasurable sounds for my ear hole. I like heavy metal, blues, OLD school country music, classic rock, Celtic, techno, electro, industrial, etc. Seriously it is almost anything that moves me in some manner.

So I want to share this guy with you. His name is Seasick Steve and me makes me want to pick up a guitar again, or banjo in this case. When I listen to his music I usually have it on repeat. Over a year of non stop replay and I am still not tired of his music.

Give him a chance.

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Let The Music Wash Over You

This post is about music.

Here is a rock song. It starts out odd. One might think What the hell? as they listen to it, but as time goes on you will notice something has changed. You don’t know when it happened, but suddenly you are rocking out and the song is kicking copious amounts of ass. Then the song ends and you are left wanting more.

Then to keep the rover of musical inspiration flowing, here is a song that pulls you somewhere deep inside of yourself. The deep bass groove resonates with things primal and animalistic inside of your skull. I, for one, find myself deep in a story idea as I process the awesomeness of the music video.

And finally, I share with you some old fashion foot-stomping blues that really makes you want to clap along. This man is a legend to me, his beard is mighty, but his music is divine.

And there you go, music I listen to for inspiration and clarity of thought.

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When are your creative juices the juiciest?

When are you at your best while writing? Is it after you do your little procrastination ritual or when you hear a song that really makes the river of creativity flow out of you like  McDonald’s cheeseburger after rush hour on your way home? Sorry, little graphic but I laughed, that is what is important right? Do you need to shower, exercise, clean your desk, click stumble upon for hours, or meditate before you hit that Zen moment of clarity and release the proverbial hounds?

For me to achieve my peak, I just need a few things:

1. More than 3 hours to write. This might seem goofy but no joke, it takes me about two and a half hours to gear my brain up to write. To throw cookies at the thought monster before unleashing it upon the poor helpless keyboard. Once I have achieved that dream like state that all writers are relentlessly and hopelessly addicted too, I don’t want to stop writing until the story is completely told. Those first couple of hours are used to mentally sort through the various random chaos of my mind, finding interesting snippets of thought and real world observation, pasting them together in a semi out-of-lines coloring book collage, transferring the ideas to a computer screen in some sort of coherent form. I usually do this by writing one word and staring at it blankly. To an outsider I look like I am high, but in my mind……….It is a bit off the map, there be monsters. Seriously, things zoom and fly by at ludicrous speed. That is a Spaceballs reference for super fast.

2. NO PANTS. What I mean by this is I have to be comfortable. I have to feel relaxed and disconnected from the world. This is easily achieved by having on gym shorts or being pantless all together, nobody talking to me, and a nice cushioned place to park my ass. Heat and cold are never a factor, I tend to ignore the elements and focus my mind. Something about the easy breezy feeling of bi-pedal freedom really greases my mental wheels.

3. Music. This is a real important step. I HAVE to have music going on. It needs to be loud and usually on repeat, pending on a scene. It sets the mood and feeling or blocks out the static in my mind so I can focus. What I listen to usually varies to such extremes I’ll just say I can listen to Bach (classic)  and then swing into Meshuggah (Heavy Metal) within a matter of a scene. When my creative feelers are out and I’m picking up alien transmissions from that mysterious part of the brain, personal enjoyment in music is tossed out with last week’s bath water. It becomes more about the feel and texture of the mood and setting than my personal affection for a song.

4. Thesaurus. No this isn’t some lost dinosaur that was wiped out with the last ice age. It is a handy little tool that helps prevent me from using the same descriptors or operators in my stories. The thesaurus should be used with caution. Using an unfamiliar word can lead to odd phrasing and off-putting context. Do your research and learn the proper usage. I have fallen to this folly a few times myself, I’ll admit it. Don’t be discouraged though, like most things in life writing is rewarded with practice. The more you do it the better you sharpen your wordsmithing spear. Learn and move on. Don’t be scared to use a thesaurus, it is an amazing tool.

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