What I've Written About

Friday, April 30, 2010

Life Lyrics

I am a person who walks around with my own personal soundtrack running around in my head. I think I remember each moment of life with a song attached to it.
One of my earliest memories is riding on the back of my dad's motorbike to watch him practice for a community theater production of Camelot. I distinctly recall sitting on the folding chairs in the PHS auditorium. My legs barely reached the end of the chair, but when I listened to Lancelot and Gueniviere sing "If ever I should leave you, it wouldn't be in autumn." it captivated me. My dream was to play Annie on Broadway, and I would practice in front of the mirror, belting out "Tomorrow...Tomorrow" like a true star.
Another musical moment that stands out happened on the 24th of July, a holiday in Utah. I have a huge family with cousins who truly feel like brothers and sisters to me. On this day, we had a family picnic in the canyon. My oldest cousin Linda, the coolest person in the world to us, brought some Alabama music and we staged an old fashioned hoe-down in a clearing in the middle of the forest. To this day, I can't hear the lyrics "If you're gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band" and not want to find a meadow and start clogging. (Something I really shouldn't do anymore.)
Fast forward to High School and my first boyfriend. The movie Beauty and the Beast had just come out and the song was all over the radio (The Celine Dion version, not the Angela Lansbury one--Thank Goodness). It became "Our song", which is really weird when you think about it. Anyway, we had planned to go to Prom together. I was President of the dance team and actually had the opportunity to help teach and then lead the Promenade. I was pumped and had my extremely lacey pink dress all ready to go. The theme of Prom was even "Beauty and the Beast" (once again, strangeness). It was going to be perfect. Then, the people we were doubling with got in a car accident. My boyfriend wanted to stay at the hospital and make sure they were okay. Now, not to admit how completely self-centered I am, but I thought that was lame. When I asked if we could just run and do the Promenade, my boyfriend called me selfish and refused to leave. I had to call my dad to pick me up from the hospital. I held it together until I had pulled all the miles and miles of satin around me in the front seat and closed the door. The song Beauty and the Beast STILL makes me want to cry.
I tell you all of this because writing is practically impossible for me without some form of music attached to it. When I'm writing a sad moment, it always helps to bust out a ballad. Powerful girl moments beg for a touch of P!nk. And an action sequence just isn't the same unless Linkin Park or Foo Fighters put in their own two cents.
So, to follow the masses, I have created a playlist for my book, The Deception Virus. Either the lyrics spoke to me, or the feeling-tone of the song just encompassed what I pictured, but I love every single butt-kicking one. Of the whole list, I have to give a shout out to two artists whose albums were common listening throughout this entire process. First of all, P!nk, whose whole attitude entirely encompasses the way my protagonist looks at the world--especially the song 'Stupid Girls'. The 'Backspacer' album by Pearl Jam is amazing. I'm going to come out of the closet and admit I am a fan. But only because of this latest album. The lyrics to 'Just Breathe' are the way my main character's dad feels about his family, and frankly, every time I hear it, I want to cry.
These are the things that inspire.


Jojomama said...

I love this! It made me think of the soundtrack to my life...so many memories wrapped in music.
"Girl you are to me...all that a woman should be and I dedicate my life to you always..." (first kiss)
Just to name one...this gives me a great idea for a blog entry...hmm...and I can link it to yours. I just might. (;
And I definitely use playlists to set tones and moods for scenes and characters in my writing too. Very helpful. One muse lending a hand to another. (=

NaTahsha Ford said...

The whole prom fiasco makes me want to cry! My heart just ached for the high schooler in what I'm sure was a beautiful dress, not going to her prom. My date to Harvest got really sick and baled on me last minute. I took my cooler than life, uncle, who everyone believed was a college student. We had a blast! Just shows you what a girl will do to not miss out on a high school dance. :)

Laura Marcella said...

Great post! It's so true that certain songs hold vivid memories for us. Sometimes I make playlists to help me write certain scenes and characters, but usually I just listen to whatever I'm in the mood for that day while writing.

Amy said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. It is so true that music adds so much to everything. Whenever I'm happy or sad or whatever I HAVE to listen to music and it just aggrandizes the feelings. I love your new blog, Margie. I can't wait until your book is published.

James Lewis said...

Great playlist! we should listen to these as we read each others stuff.