Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A Quick (musical) Check-In

I'm not dead...just very busy. In that weird, undefinable way. Like if somone asks me how I been, like this,

Cheery Someone: Hey! How've you been?

Me: Busy! [Because I have been.]

Cheery Someone: Whatcha been up to?

Me: [Struggling for words, trying desprately to rememeber what on earth I have been doing and coming lamely up with,] Stuff.

Cheery Someone: [now with undertones of suspicion] So anything particular you've been busy with?

Me: [panicking now, as, though I know I have been busy, I can't think of what I've been busy doing! Throws socially accepted filler in, instead of actual explanation] You know...running around...chores at home...grocery shopping...you know.

Cheery Someone: [Gives up, hearing vague incomprehensible filler and pretends to understand.] Yeah. Sounds like my life recently, too.

Yeah. So this post is going to be socially accepted filler instead of actual soul baring, gut wrenching, raw blog like it should be, but I have a NaNo Novel which is open at the same time as I'm typing this.

I've found that most of my best scenes come from images I hear while listening to a perculiarly evocative song.

"Love Song For my Mom" by Moby, is one of those songs. I wrote a (probably) crucial scene while under the influence of that song. It's purely instrumental, with a sweeping synth background. So calm and beautiful.

"Breathe" by Telepopmusik. It's that Mitusbishi car ad song! It's also like bottled inspiration for my brain. I always have a good idea when listening to it. Also electronic, it's a sort of laid back dance track, with a sound like it's underwater.

"The Highwayman" by Loreena McKennitt. Actually this hasn't inspired my book, I've just been listening to it. It's that poem "The Highwayman" set to music. It's really long, about 10 minutes and a bit repetitive, but the melody is so beautiful that it can last for 10 minutes without being exhausted. Not electronica, this is like a New Age/folk/instrumental piece.

"The Girl From Ipanema" by Stan Getz, with Joao and Astrud Gilberto singing. I've heard about this song forever, but never actually heard this bossa nova gem until recently, and now I can't get it out of my head. I love Astrud Gilberto's vocals, so childlike but sensitive to rhythm. And the irresistable swing of the piece makes me bop around in my seat until my brother stares at me funny. Da da da-dee-dah...

Right now, I'm listening to the Andrews Sisters...love them. They're currently crooning about some outdated form of dance. And they're doing it so well, I would dance the Pennsylvania Polka too, if I knew what it was...

Anyway, must bop off now! Humm-di-dum-dadi-dolaaa...

Monday, November 07, 2005

No, it really stands for National No Sleep Month

Now that I think about it, I may have picked the worst time to start a blog...just before November, which is NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. And yes, that means what it looks like it means, I am writing a novel in a month. Make that trying to.

It started when I got the book No Plot? No Problem! from the library, which is written by the hilarious Chris Baty, founder of this crazy enterprise. Trust me, if you started reading this book doubtful, you will leave it filled with a firm feeling in your gut that you can and will do this. And your life will be better for it. Hey, I hear those remarks about the freshness of the cottage cheese I had for lunch!

Now, believing is easy, the hard part is to go and make believers of all your (very) skeptical friends and family. And then not telling random aquaintances who will be deliriously happy for you and will say when they introduce you to everyone from now on until forever, in tones of frenzied joy, that "She is writing a novel in a month!!! This month!!" and then turn to you, with fixed grins on their faces, as if expecting some kind of literary halo to appear over my head, or me to burst out in raptures, like "I know!!! Can you believe it?!? This month!!"

But what really happens, is I smile, somewhat queasily, at the person I'm being introduced to, and am usually speechless, beside the weak "Yeah. I am. It's pretty crazy." They of course, don't know what to say, and it is very awkward, as I don't either, and we stand around quietly until they ask the expected questions like what my novel is about, etc. I reply in vague terms, stalling for time as I don't really know that either.

All in all, not an experience worth repeating. It sounds like I know from personal experience, right? I noticed that too. Well, once I had decided to undertake this...undertaking, I envisioned not telling anyone besides the closest family memebers, as Chris Baty recommends, to not go blabbing it all over the place.

You know who the first person was that heard about it besides my immediate family memebers was?

My youth pastor.

Yeah, I know. Completely unintentional. Now, it's not like I minded telling my youth pastor, because he's a great guy who was genuinely happy for me...it's just I didn't plan on making it all public, until maybe it had some weight to it...but oh,well. It might motivate me to actually go out there and put some weight on it. But it started like this,

It was the night of Nov. 1st, and he was calling about details for going on the youth retreat, normal stuff. Somehow I thought he was calling about some scheduling thing, so I ended up giving him my schedule. And the last thing that came out of my mouth was,

"And this month is NaNoWriMo, too."

There was a pause, as I hunted down and tortured the gleefully laughing little braincell that activated my tongue before I could stop it.

My brain had a panic attack and so my tongue went completely verbal diarrhea, with no one holding the reins.


I think I also made some asinine remark about the Great Gatsby being only 50,000 words too. *groan*

His reaction was a stunned pause at first then an incredulous laugh, saying "That's great!...A novel in a month." followed by another laugh of disbelief.

So I'm putting muzzle on my shopping list, as well as shackles to make sure I stay here, actually writing my novel, instead of talking, thinking, planning, and writing about it, instead of writing it.

Like I'm doing now. When I should be sleeping. Or working on my other writing project that's due tomorrow. So I will bid, adieu, and happy trails to anyone else reading this who happens to be on this same amazing, trippy, wonderful and horrible experience called NaNoWriMo.