Music & Writing vs. Editing

I don’t usually listen to music when I write – my mind tends to gravitate towards the song and vocals, with varying results. My favorite sound to create by is a rumbling thunderstorm, complete with heavy downpour and occasional cracks of lightning setting the window ablaze with blinding light.

That’s usually when I’m joined by one or more cats on my desk or in my lap, bringing to my attention that there is, in fact, stuff going on outside that requires my immediate attention.

In lieu of loud precipitation, I have my handy portable thunderstorm app on my Droid. This works well, creating a soothing pattern of white noise that allows my imagination to wander at will.

The editing process is different – I like to listen to music during that phase, and the tunes I select help me get into the mood to add color and dimension to my characters. For The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups, I found myself listening to a lot of Gaelic Storm and Loreena McKennitt. The characters – many of whom are Irish – came to life humming along to traditional songs such as Tell Me Ma and newer favorites like Punjab Paddy.

Loreena McKennitt comes in for the softer, more romantic scenes, most especially the past life dream sequences. Something about the haunting vocals and harp makes my subconscious open up and flow with description. Even in my own dreams, more often than not I hear music.

Last night, I dreamt of lying in an orchard clothed only in cherry blossoms, the memory of my lover’s kiss still warm on my lips. The music came in the form of birdsong, the soothing sound of a nearby stream, the quiet rush of the breeze rustling the leaves.  Nature’s music. The music of creation. And so it is.



~ by Shannon MacLeod on July 4, 2011.

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