The Musical Muse


This week has been a little rough.  The kidlet has had a wicked ear infection with high fever and no one has gotten much sleep.  So, I hope you won't mind this tweaked repost from August of last year...
This weekend I had the pleasure of attending Dia de los Toadies, an annual concert event for the popular Dallas band, The Toadies. If you like hard rock and have never checked them out, please do. I go to a lot of concerts and the one this weekend was one of the best I've been to. Nothing like listening to great music in the middle of the Texas wilderness (it was held on the grounds of a ranch) with a couple thousand of your closest strangers. :)
On the way home, I started thinking about how music is tied to so much of my life. Each of us has a soundtrack that matches up with certain parts of our history. The Toadies' music always reminds me of when my husband and I first got together because he was the one who introduced me to their music. No matter what, when I hear one of their songs, I feel that emotion of giddy, new love. 
The same goes for so many other times in my life. The Cranberries and Alanis Morrissette make me think of high school. New Kids remind me of my preteen years. Led Zeppelin reminds me of my stepdad, who introduced me to 70s rock. The 80s song "Rock Steady", I don't even remember who it's by, reminds me of my mom because she used to use this song when she taught aerobics (and I had to sit and watch the class--while eating cheetos and drinking a soft drink, mind you).
So music definitely is linked closely to my emotions and memories. Perhaps this is why I find it so useful when I'm writing. I rarely write in silence. I almost always have something playing while I'm working on a scene. For my YA, I listened to a lot of current music: Fall Out Boy, All-American Rejects, Secondhand Serenade, Green Day, Pink, etc. I didn't even do this on purpose, it's just what I was drawn to while trying to write in a teen voice.
And Wanderlust is about a rockstar, so I definitely was influenced on that one. I pulled out the 80s hair bands (Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Cinderella) along with some newer stuff, like Buckcherry, 30 seconds to Mars, and Hinder. It's no coincidence that my male protagonist has an uncanny resemblance to Buckcherry's lead singer Josh Todd and 30 Seconds to Mars's Jared Leto. In fact, it was a Buckcherry concert that first sparked my idea for the story. You have to admit, he is pretty um, inspiring (if you're into that whole bad boy thing). ;)
So I never underestimate the power of music.  If I get stuck or am having trouble sinking into a scene, a lot of times a little change in the playlist can help.
So how about you? Do you listen to music while writing? Have any songs influenced your stories? What singers/bands/songs do you listen to while writing?  What's your story's soundtrack?
**Today's Theme Song**
"Tyler" - The Toadies
(player in sidebar--go ahead, take a listen)