Saturday, May 10, 2014

Muses, music, and magic

                                                       Kristin Hoffman from

Whenever writers get together, the conversation inevitably rolls around to the subject of craft.  How do you write, when, how much each day, do you outline?  The answers are as varied as the writers   These exchanges are one my favorite parts about being a novelist--they're very cathartic.  I know for a fact that  I'm not the only one with some crazy ritual. (perhaps one day this will be the topic of another blog)

For me, the process has changed somewhat over the years, but still, one of the hardest aspects to control is how to get from left-brained analytical pilot, over the threshold, to the right-brained creative novelist.  It's always a challenge, but I've refined the process and the single most import element is music.  Music is my muse.

After a recent exchange of thoughts with one of my muses, I began to ponder this mechanism, and how important it is to me, and then I thought about the requirements to be my muse.  It's completely subjective, and all mine, but this is what I discovered.

*  The song must have remarkable lyrics.  It's hard for crummy lyrics to inspire an author.

*  The song must contain some haunting refrain, or the artist herself must possess a voice with this    
    quality.  Yes, a muse must be female...I don't make the rules.  Look it up.

*  The song must feel as if it's being sung fearlessly.  This solitary element somehow seems to
     push me into a mindset to write fearlessly.

*   The song must perform the magic while I write, which means it must be subtle, not
     demanding, yet still powerful enough to feed the creativity and stay in the background.  How
     musicians create this is beyond me.  It's magic.

*   I owe all of my muses a deep debt of gratitude.  You're one of the reasons the words appear, the
     private soundtrack to my novels.  I could never in a million years do what you do, but I'm glad
     you have the skills you have.

These days, I listen to music on my computer, and it shows me who I listen to the most.  Calculating the age of the computer, the following five artists have been listened to the most while I muddled through writing my last three novels.  Most go back further than that.  Thanks ladies.  (Loreena McKennitt)

I would recommend that everyone check out this music--today.

No comments:

Post a Comment