Wednesday, October 26, 2016


I've mentioned this before, but I have a thing for music. And writing. And both paired together. Humanity has been intertwining the two for years in visual arts and songs with lyrics, in which a story is told and without the music, it wouldn't tug on our heart strings like it does when those particular melodies and cadences do come into play.

One thing I find myself doing often is searching for pieces of scores from movies. I love soundtrack music, even the music used in movie trailers (I'll get to that at the end of this post). I write to it, I listen to it for fun, I immerse myself in it to arouse a certain mood before I write, and sometimes I just soak it in and enjoy the perfection.

So I want to share some of my favorites with you today. Bits and pieces of movie scores that have moved me over the years. Maybe they'll help you write, or maybe you can just enjoy them for what they are.

1) I've loved this movie since childhood, and rediscovering the score recently made it all the better.

"The Burned Out Village"

2) THIS movie in and of itself is one of my all-time favorites, and the soundtrack is so hauntingly beautiful that sometimes I almost can't take it. (For any violinists out there, the solo violinist you'll hear is the ever-superb Hilary Hahn).

"I'm Back, Lucius"

"What Are You Asking Me"

3) I haven't actually watched The Last Samurai, but I stumbled upon this recently and kinda fell in love with it.

4) Needing inspiration for a creepy steampunk novel? Here you go. (Also, another one of my favorite movies.)

"Tick Tock"

That ending though.

5) I have yet to see The New World all the way through, but I love this piece from it. Absolutely, heartrendingly beautiful.

"All is Lost"

6) This isn't really a soundtrack, although it was created by a group that wrote cinematic-style music (and I think this piece was used for something TV-related that I haven't seen). I heard it a long time ago and recently unearthed it while I was making some plans for a fantasy novel. 


And now...back to that thing about movie trailer music. 

I love movie trailers, so much that I'll probably devote a post to the subject at some point. But for now, I just want to show you the music from three movie trailers that top my list of favorites (as far as the music goes). You'll probably get an idea for what a dramatic imagination I have, but, meh. Us writers are a dramatic lot to begin with. 

1. The music from the Catching Fire trailer:


2. From In the Heart of the Sea

3. And lastly, Everest

Out of all of these, when I listen to the In The Heart of the Sea trailer music, it gets to me, and I have this gut feeling that I must write the story project that I associate with it. So I guess that's the bottom line of all of this is - if you supplement your writing with music like me, pick music that tells you that you have to write your story.

/ / /

Do you have a favorite type of music to set the mood for writing? If not, is there something else that feeds your writing?


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Concerning Autumn

Autumn, to me, feels like an exhale.

It’s the earth taking a moment to breathe after the heart-pounding rapture of a full summer, after the gold and green days of glorious, blazing sun. It’s the world sighing its way into the fresh snap of cool mornings and the artist’s pallet of swirled ocher, burnt sienna, and crimson, the season’s color wheel, all while the first frost begins to settle its crystal fingers on the front door stoop, winter trailing close behind.

Autumn brings new texture to our lives. It sharpens the world in bright hues, in beds of leaves that crunch and crackle, in round acorns that press into the moist soil beneath our boots; it livens the air with the scents of spice and of newness and of sweetness, or the nutty aroma of roasted pumpkins seeds. It begins with a gentle awakening in the night, when grey clouds brush their way across the sky and we wake to them softly blanketing the earth, prompted forward by a cool breeze the sends the leaves shuddering down from the treetops.

It is a sigh, a moment of rest, of both rebirth and a silent slipping away of the viability of summer. It’s a time to store, to gather, to speak face-to-face, to wrap hands around warm mugs and listen to the cadence of a loved one’s voice while they tell you of their hopes for a white Christmas. It’s a time to be childlike, to throw on sweaters and run laughing through fields of goldenrod and Joe-Pye weed, to purposely shuffle your feet just to hear the rush of the fallen leaves coating the ground in color.

Autumn is fire and cold and warm bread and cocoa.

It is shivering hugs, a dash of cinnamon, and turning the heater on for the first time.

It is drizzly rains and holiday shopping and coffee mugs sending wisps of steam curling into a clear shaft of morning sun.

/ / /

Do you have a favorite season? If so, which one?