Music and Noveling: the (not so) hidden secrets of writerly rituals

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Many writers, when asked, claim that they listen to music while writing.

“It puts me in the right frame of mind,” one will say. “I use it to keep myself motivated,” another insists.

Some people start off their novels with some easy listening: a few delicious love songs, maybe the latest pop ear-candy tune. Others begin with death metal… they’re writing a horror and really, you can’t drop into that kind of narrative riding the waves of elevator musak, right?

I am not one of those writers.

I can’t listen to music at all while writing. It distracts me. I can’t handle the gobs of words heading for my auditory sensors—not and type coherent sentences. However, that doesn’t mean music has no influence on me at all. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Music is an incredibly useful tool when it comes to writing: it’s inspiration, motivation, relaxation, and illumination all rolled together into one nifty package. During the writing of Disintegrate, just before I put fingers to keyboard, I played a song that best expressed the atmosphere of the chapter I was working on. As a result, I have a fantabulous mix of music for the entire book.

Curious? Here is the list—there’s a song for every chapter:

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Chapter One: Sit Down, Stand Up (Snakes & Ladders) by Radiohead
Chapter Two: The Time Is Now by Moloko
Chapter Three: Caught a Long Wind by Feist
Chapter Four: Little by Little by Radiohead
Chapter Five: Driven to Tears by Sting
Chapter Six: Runaway Train by Brandon Boyd
Chapter Seven: Trap Doors by Broken Bells
Chapter Eight: Don’t Blow It by Cliff Martinez
Chapter Nine: Sad by Maroon 5
Chapter Ten: Love Come by Sarah McLachlan
Chapter Eleven: Breathe Again by Sara Bareilles
Chapter Twelve: I Need to Know by Kris Allen
Chapter Thirteen: Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye
Chapter Fourteen: Trespassing by Adam Lambert
Chapter Fifteen: Closing In by Imogen Heap
Chapter Sixteen: The End of the Game by Sting
Epilogue: Lights by Ellie Goulding

Announcing Christine Klocek-Lim’s blog tour!

All tour dates are in June:

3 – Interview @ Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews

4 – Spotlight & Excerpt & Review @ Out there Reviews and Stuff

4 – Spotlight & Giveaway @ New Age Mama

5 – Interview @ Books in the Hall

6 – Spotlight & Review @ Indie Authors Books and More

7 – Review & Spotlight & Giveaway @ Fictional Candy

8 – Review  & Spotlight & @ Jez Jorge

10 – Spotlight & Extended Excerpt @ Karen Bynum

11 – Interview & Giveaway & Spotlight @ Deal Sharing Aunt

12 – Interview @ Sizzling Hot YA Books

13 – Guest Blog @ You Gotta Read

editors

BestsellerIcon100X100

To read an excerpt, click here.

  • Young Adult, Paranormal, Suspense, Romance
  • Word Count: 51,000
  • Published By: Evernight Teen

Description:

Emily just wanted a normal life: a boyfriend, college, two parents who loved her. Instead, her dad disappeared when she was fourteen and her life at college is anything but ordinary.

When you can manipulate matter like putty and you have no idea why, how do you pretend to be like everyone else? What happens when you meet a guy who has the same powers? Do you trust him to help you find the answers you need?

Emily desperately wants to believe that Jax can help, but the stakes grow higher than she’d ever expected: someone is after them and they’re not afraid to use violence to get what they want.

14+ for brief violence and adult situations

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Where to Buy: 

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Poem Spark Apr 1, 2013: limericks

Happy April!

It is the first day of National Poetry Month 2013. You know what that means… It’s time when all of us crazy poets try to write a poem each day for the entire month. It involves sweat, tears, sometimes blood, despair, and a sort of euphoric glee that only those who make a habit of jumping out of airplanes also possess. In spite of what looks like insanity, we continue, forging into the forest of failed poems, in search of that perfect turn of line that makes us weep in joy.

Or we write limericks.

Well, because they’re absurd. And naughty.

A limerick is a ridiculous poem that is often wretchedly punnish, sometimes lewd, but always a delight to read and an agony to write. It has a strict metrical form:

There WAS an old LAdy named ROSE
who LOVED to stuff MEN in her CLOTHES
but THEN she slipped—WHOA,
and KNOCKED her boobs LOW.
The MEN ran aWAY with her HOSE.

Here is what it looks like metrically. A dash – means an unstressed syllable, and a forward slash / means a stressed syllable:

– / – – / – – /
– / – – / – – /
– / – – /
– / – – /
– / – – / – – /

Your spark for today: write a limerick! Have fun and be creative. Good luck!

Poem Spark Mar 18, 2013: modeled poems

Greetings and salutations!

One of the best ways to learn as a writer is through reading. All of us have probably picked up a book of poems at one time or another and read through them in a frenzy, thinking all along: how did she do that? I want to write like her.

I’ve had this happen to me numerous times. Carolyn Forché, Jack Gilbert, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost—these are all people whose work I learned from, especially when I first began writing. I didn’t know how to rhyme properly, didn’t know how to use meter, or imagery, or narrative. Each of these poets taught me something about all of that, and it wasn’t until I’d been writing and reading for a few years that I truly began to break away from modeling my work on theirs and developed my own voice.

Even so, sometimes I find it invaluable to go back and read a poem or two by someone else, then try to model a poem after a piece of imagery or sound that I particularly liked.

Your spark for today: write a poem in the style of your favorite poem. Have fun and be creative. Good luck!

Poet in Residence at Touch: The Journal of Healing

TouchTheJournalofHealing

 

For the past year, I have had the privilege of writing for Touch: The Journal of Healing as its Poet in Residence. I wrote a series of three essays focusing on the journals concept of Evolution into Insight: Experience. Intent. Craft.

It has been my pleasure to work with the editors, O.P.W. Fredericks and Daniel Milbo. Their friendship and editorial insight elevated my prose in a way I couldn’t have managed on my own.

If you’d like to read the essays, here are links to all three.

Experience – Evolution into Insight

Intent

Craft