31 May 2009

Water from the Well


It seems I do better with a sporadic insertion of mindless blathering, rather than try to keep up with day-to-day dum-dums here in this blog. Twitter is a blog-killer also, and I'll not be the first to tell you that.

I'm listening to The Chieftains, "Water from the Well," and if you've never heard these kind old gents, you're missing out. I think tonight I'm into talking about music, how it affects my writing, my moods, and consequently, my day.

This weekend, we're working frantically on the house in order to get it into shape. It was a small thing really, just a small leak in the a/c unit that has been silently creeping beneath the carpet and mainly in my closet, but eventually we were introduced to an odd odor and damp spots in the carpet. This has prompted the property owner to get us the replacement carpet that we need, but we have to move things around rather than just move into a new place so he can drop the carpet and do whatever else.

I think it accurately represents my writing life for now. The Muse has crept beneath it all, slowly destroying any other hope at enjoying/surviving without a massive hemorrhaging headache and bleeding eyes. I have to stay diligent and keep him well-oiled and happy, this Muse. He won't allow me to ignore him, else he bleeds into the rest of my life, transforming me into some sort of social degenerate.

Music is that lubricant, if I can be so bold to use such terminology. My husband noticed as we were putting things in their place this weekend, that my music tastes range from the sedative-style Enya, all the way to metal, like Slayer. Music from Istanbul. Live music from Scotland. Irish jigs. Aborigine chants. I explained to him that they were portals into a separate mood, each of them, providing a very different environment in which to submerse myself to write. Just like the fresh crop of 40-50's wartime music that afforded several short stories and allow me to “be” there in that moment.

Yes, be there. It's more than a motivational slogan, it's a way of writing that so few writers get. We either can't or won't go that far as to immerse selves in that sort of relationship, and I say it because it is true. A story is a relationship, that requires sustenance and attention, much like a child or a spouse. It can die on you if not properly guided or fueled, like the engine of an ancient motorcar. It can blow up in your face like unstable nitroglycerin.

The music is my insurance that I can go back to someplace that I left off, most of the time, no matter what. It's a key that unlocks that part of my brain, much like a bank's vault, to release whatever the hell chemicals it is I need to retrace my steps there. I've even gone as far as to label which albums are used on what manuscript. It's that effective.

I've complained about not being able to write, but here I am, “Live from Matt Malloy's Pub” and everything is moving along fine. Maybe here in a few days Xan will tell where the hell he wants to take his story. I'm just a passenger and goddamn if the driver isn't fond of Slayer.

Til next time.

7 comments:

H.C. Zuerner said...

I completely identify with this post, although, your music tastes are much more diverse then mine. I have always used music to write to the point that silence is completely unacceptable.

I think it is very important that we live our characters, our worlds. How do we get to know them otherwise?

Heather said...

This post reminds me of Somewhere In Time, where Christopher Reeve's character actually goes back in time by removing all traces of the present and surrounding himself with things from the past.

I get the music thing, too. It seems there's a particular breed of writer who can't do anything without the right tunes.

LeeO said...

Great post! It is so true.

The Frog Queen said...

Inpsiring post. Love the Chieftans (and this CD) definately create a mood...and while we are talking of "old"...also enjoy The Corries :)

Thanks for shariing.

Cheers!

Erin said...

You won me over at the first mention of The Chieftains. (I used to do Irish dance, and my teacher danced at several Chieftains concerts.)

Here via the Quixotic Jedi, btw.

Shadows said...

The Corries and the Chieftains made for a certain energy I can't get anywhere else much without getting furious alongside it.

Welcome, thanks for coming by. I'm a lazy blogger, be warned. ;)

Ivy and Haley said...

Your post is quite inspiring. Music influences me in so many ways, it's really quite incredible.

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