The Playlist

I’ve loved to write ever since I learned the alphabet, and I’ve learned that inspiration can come from a whole lot of different sources. A lot of it comes to me when I’m traveling, as I did this week!

In a couple months, I will finish my Masters degree in Virginia, and the fact that I’m not (yet) going on to do a Ph.D means I’m probably on my last spring break ever… so, like any stressed out grad student who can’t bear to hole himself up in his dorm room a week before the big comp exams, I went home.

People who know me well are aware that I love the act of traveling almost as much as I love getting to the destination. Sure, it can have its stress factors: screaming little babies taking the seat behind you (happy “NOT a father”s day), jet lag, lack of leg room, cancellations, boredom… but travel doesn’t have to suck. There’s also something really exciting about the things you can do and the people you can encounter from Point A to Point B.

Most importantly, the act of traveling begs you to make a playlist, and a lot of times, that’s where I find my muse hanging out. I’ll hear a song and think, “This fits perfectly within my story”, or sometimes the opposite will happen. I’ll hear a song and think, “There’s a deeper story behind this”.

So for my first post, I thought I’d share part of the playlist I made not only to pass the time from Point A to Point B, but to inspire the muse and hope that it will keep the story going:

1) Icarus – Bastille. I could put together a whole montage of images in my writing that seem to fit the lyrics and the upbeat, urgent pace of this song. It also reminds me a lot of the Percy Jackson series, and I have to be honest: I often aspire to emulate the author Rick Riordan when I write fantasy…

2) Riku – Project Destati. When I build a writing playlist, I need at least one instrumental piece. Something wordless, but by no means shallow or devoid of emotion. The first time I heard this one, I cranked it all the way up in my ear buds and I shut my eyes, and I envisioned this one intense scene in the middle of my work in progress. Now I can’t unhear the music when I go back and polish this scene. Maybe somebody else will hear it, too…

3) Stay Awhile – She and Him. I’ll be honest: sometimes I just need to picture a face and zoom on his/her voice for a while to dig up some of that emotion, and it turns out that one of my characters looks exactly like Zooey Deschanel…

4) More than Words – Extreme. I’m sure we all have different philosophies about this, but the way I see it, writing is much more than words. You’re trying to paint a picture in the reader’s head. You’re trying to photograph a world, you’re trying to get inside the heads of your characters, and most importantly, you’re trying to capture a feeling. It’s just like this song means to express: it takes more than words to express a feeling.

5) Bliss – Muse. Because how do you think this website was named? šŸ˜‰

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