Monday, February 2, 2009

Music Monday: Novel Play List

For other tales of musical adventure, please visit Soccer Mom in Denial.

If you look to my side bar, you'll see a word count meter, with the title Blessed above it. Marianne Arkins, being the wonderful, writer-cheerleader that she is (she's also a darned fine romance writer with a great sense of humor), decided that those of us who punked out on Nano this year deserved another chance and put a "Jano" group together for January. Our goal: 50,000 words. Well, as you can see, I didn't quite make it, but I'm very happy with the progress I did make. I'm especially pleased with this progress because on December 28th, all I had was a germ of an idea. Yup, I had nada. Zilch.

But then my other favorite writer cheerleader, Charity, came to the rescue (who is also, along with her writing partner, Darcy, a darned fine YA writer). She puts together play lists when she's getting ready to write a new piece. I always thought this was a little weird, and I actually teased her about it.

Somewhere around December 30th, however, I was working out, and "Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes" came on my shuffle list, and I got an idea for the novel. And by the end of the work out, I started to think of songs that made sense. And by December 31st, I had a basic plot based on my play list.


I will always use these play lists in the future. This rocked.

So if you want a preview of my novel, I give you the play list for Blessed below. The songs that have been struck out are ones that don't fit the current plot. I think there are others I'm going to add in, too.

Oh, and I added in a 1977 version of Elvis Costello doing his thing with "Angels" because he just so rocks.

Happy Music Monday!


(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes – Elvis Costello
I Got Money Now – P!nk
Clubland – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
‘Cuz I Can – P!nk
Paralyzer – Finger Eleven
I Need a Man – Eurythmics
How Bizarre – OMC
Bring Me to Life - Evanescence
Lullaby – Shawn Mullins
I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
Take Me Out Tonight – Rent
New York – U2
New Lace Sleeves – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
Could’ve Had Everything – P!nk
Single – Natasha Bedenfield
Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
There Must Be An Angel – Eurythmics
Grace – U2


Ambassador said...

Jen - ah, the power of playlists! I keep the oddest collection of stuff in my iTunes and often plug in the Shuffle and tell it to randomly load a gig of songs.

Always works...

Anyway, had the great fortune to see/hear Elvis Costello perform with Allen Toussaint here in NOLA at last year's Jazz Fest. Wow. Just wow. And he's always one of the performers who gets how cool and great and honorable it is to be invited to jam at that event.

I've started making CDs for SMID to throw some random tunes her way. I may have to steal your post idea and toss those up on the screen this week. See ya! K

Korie said...

Hooray! Glad to hear you were inspired and yeah, I agree, a good group of songs can really bring a story to life in your head.

soccer mom in denial said...

I just LOVE the idea of JaNolalalala. And congrats on the book. When it is "ready" I would love to see it.

And thanks for sharing the playlist on Music Monday. So nice to have you playing along.

Mae Travels said...

The interesting thing is that the playlist doesn't give a clue about what the novel is about, what type of novel, etc. It's all about inspiration, I guess. Good luck!

Mae Travels said...

The interesting thing is that the playlist doesn't give a clue about what the novel is about, what type of novel, etc. It's all about inspiration, I guess. Good luck!

Jen said...

Hey Ambassador! I love random stuff. I'd love to see what you're throwing to SMID!

Lilac, it was the coolest thing. Truly.

Hi SMID - others are more than welcome to join us - go check it out. And it's good to finally have time to play!

That's interesting, Mae. I was wondering about finding out what folks thought the novel was about. There are a couple themes in the list, though, I think.

Marianne Arkins said...

Aww... thx for the nice words. And, it's amazing what triggers your imagination, isn't it?

Looking forward to this month!!

Charity Tahmaseb said...

Playlists = made of awesome. And so is your word count from last month.

Goofball said...

a playlist? that's a special idea.
Hmm I guess I really must start listening to lyrics which I usually don't do...I still have no clue what your book is about :p

Jen said...

Marianne, it really is. It also became the discussion in terms of my writing class today.

Thanks, Charity! Both for the kind words, but especially for the awesome playlist idea. I'm not sure why I kept separating play and list... this is what I get for writing entries too early in the morning.

Goofball, that's because I haven't shared it. ;-)

Anonymous said...

What a great playlist. It really makes me want to read your novel!

Jen said...

Thanks so much, Jerseygirl - I'm glad someone has gotten the feel of it at least. ;-)

Anonymous said...

What an interesting idea! I like to write to music as well but never thought to put together a playlist for my writing time.

I will come to your reading/book signing and sit in front. I will clap the loudest and longest.

anno said...

What a genius idea! And I love your list, too... and look at that word count: You did great!

Momisodes said...

Few things inspire me more to write and create than a great playlist. I love some of the tunes you have on yours!

Meg said...

I think that is an awesome way to get inspiration. I am so stealing it!!!

Jen said...

Dingo, I don't actually use it for my writing time, because I usually need silence. I DO use it for workouts, cooking, cleaning, etc., etc. All my "incubation" times of day. And thank you - I'm counting on your being there! ;-)

Anno, thanks so much! The genius idea is Charity's. ;-) I'm glad you like the playlist!

Momisodes - thanks so much. I'm glad to hear of more folks that use this, as well.

Go for it, Meg! This is such a cool thing. Truly. I'm so grateful to Charity!

Virtualsprite said...

I do this, too... I always have a playlist going for whatever task is at hand.

Congrats on your progress!

Jen said...

Thanks so much, Sprite! I wish I'd done this long, long ago. ;-)

painted maypole said...

what a fun idea. in HS my BFF and I used to make up stories with as many song titles as we could squeeze in.

btw, awesome and C and midsummer! what part?

Núria said...

Thanks for the music selection girl! And congratulations on the book :D... 50.000 words wouldn't make it better... I'm sure ;D

Unknown said...

I used to write with music on all of the time when I was younger, and then couldn't do so for years. The other day, however, I was feeling stuck, unable to get anything down on paper. I put on some McCoy Tyner and let 'er rip.

Jen said...

PM, I used to do that, too - I wrote a whole play to the Beatles White Album. I'd forgotten about that until you brought it up, and yes, it was in high school days. C won't have a role this time - he's determined to stay firmly back stage for this run, lol. He just played Ottavio in Scapino, though. It was fun.

Nuria, it's a playlist that has really been jazzing me. I love it!

Greg, me, too! I haven't tried writing with music on recently, though. Maybe I should, given your inspiration here.

Heather said...

There's a Welsh band I just found out about called Super Furry Animals, and a lot of their stuff reminds me of Elvis Costello, if that's of any interest to you.

Jen said...

I've heard of them, Heather - I'll definitely have to check them out. The name, the nationality and a tie to Elvis Costello are all huge pluses for me!

Anonymous said...

Do you listen to the playlist while you're writing? I could probably plot to a playlist, and get the "feel" of the book to a playlist, but I'm old and cranky these days and need SILENCE to work.

Awesome list, BTW.

Jen said...

No, Amy, I'm right with you - I use it for plotting/inspiration purposes. I listened when I was starting the book and when I was working out, cooking, cleaning, etc., but like you, I need silence to write.

Sister Sassy said...

I'm totally with the playlist. I have a mellow forlorn list of soft vocals and tunes, then I'll move to industrial depending on the mood and action I'm writing. Totally helps.

Music is a great inspiration, great playlist. LOVE U2-can't wait to see what you come up with

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I'm a big fan of the playlist as well.

I working on two specs at at time and their lists couldn't be more different.

Good luck with the novel!

Jen said...

See, Sassy, I can't write WITH the lists, but I still use them. U2 is one of my favorite all time groups.

NYC - it's funny - I just did that for editing for my mystery. And again, the lists couldn't be more different.

glamah16 said...

Its rough trying to write 50,000 in a month. I made a half hearted attempt in November. But the motivation is always great.

Jen said...

I actually prefer to write the first draft fairly quickly, but I think I do better with 1000 - 1500 words a day, rather than 2000. I also do better writing 5 - 6 days/week rather than 7.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing this vid. I'd not seen it before. and since i'm going to a red shoe even in just a couple of weeks, this song is sooo fitting! :) I have my work out playlist that needs to be be seriously overhauled and then the cocktail party one which is one of my faves!

Unknown said...

That's so interesting that you don't listen to the music while writing, but rather that it inspires you while you're doing other things. Really intertwines the writing process with the rest of your day, doesn't it?

Mariposa said...

Love your list!

Maggie said...

I think it sounds liek a great idea. I'm really seasonal with music. I add in a few new things each year but there are certain things that have to be played at certain times of the year.