This week on the MFRWblog bloghop challenge is to talk about music to write to, which is an interesting and challenging topic for me. Interesting because for many years I liked to have music laying while I wrote. Then, thanks to a family incident, I found I could no longer write to music–and so I don’t now.
But let’s think about happier times.
In the early days of my career, when I was writing books in the Fred Vickery Mystery series, I played a lot of Elvis. Fred’s favorite hangout was the Bluebird Cafe in his small Colorado town, and Lizzie Hatch, the Bluebird’s owner, was a die-hard Elvis fan. Usually, while writing Fred’s stories, Elvis was my go-to music…right up until Fred found it necessary to come to blows with the antagonist–which, somehow, Fred always did. The minute Fred faced a physical challenge, like a fist-fight with a crazed killer, I switched to instrumental jungle music. The faster beat, heavy on the drums, set the tone for those scenes.
I own a couple of CDs by Brulé, which are some of my favorites. I used to write to them a lot, although I probably should admit that the track Buffalo Moon is more likely to make me get up on my feet, stretch my arms wide, and dance all around the house than to keep my butt in the chair and hands on the keyboard.
Mozart is a favorite, but so is Beethoven and Handel. I love listening to Respighi’s Pines of Rome, Handel’s Water Music, and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I also love a lot of other instrumental music like Natural Encounters: Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Trail. I have a lot of music in my office because, at one point, music was my thing.
And then my youngest daughter began to struggle with depression and ultimately attempted to take her own life, and suddenly, I could no longer listen to music–at all. I was extremely lucky. I was able to get my daughter to the hospital in time. She survived. She healed. She’s doing well now. But I still can’t listen to music–or if I do, I can’t listen for long.
It makes me sad, really, because as I think about all the music I own, and how once it used to transport me into my fictional worlds and carry me through countless scenes, I want it to do that for me again. I keep trying, and maybe one of these days it will work for me again.
What about you? Whether or not you’re a writer, what’s your favorite music? What transports you into a different world or alters your mood?
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