“The trick with science fiction is not to prove that something--a machine, a technology, a history, a new way of being--would be possible. It's to temporarily convince us that it already exists.”
Teresa and Patrick Nielsen Hayden

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Day 14: A Musical Interlude
Wed 2007-11-14 17:29:28 (in context)
  • 23,381 words (if poetry, lines) long

I updated my NaNoWriMo profile recently. The bit where it says, "Favorite writing music," it always used to say "Blue Man Group: Audio" there, because I usually prefer writing to instrumentals. I've even got my computer set to start playing the album at 6:00 AM in the hopes that I will, upon hearing "TV Song," wake up and write. Generally this doesn't work. Generally I just hit the MUTE button on the outside of the computer and go back to sleep.

A couple of years ago I update that field to say, in addition, "FlashBackRadio.com." All '80s, nothing but the '80s, live DJ love for the '80s with listener requests and dedications. I recommend it. When I'm anywhere with internet and I'm not having a craving for anything in particular, that's what I put on. And then I request Rush's "YYZ," and I type "Greetings and departures" where the request form prompts for a new message subject line.

That has changed this year. This year sometime I was listening to a-ha's East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and thinking for the hundredth time that I really ought to get ahold of the actual "one-hit-wonder" album that everyone thinks of when they think of a-ha. The one with "Take On Me" on it. That would be Hunting High And Low. For some reason I finally acted on that thought this November.

And the two albums have been on infinite repeat pretty much since.

That will probably change soon, because I'm starting to get that weird dissatisfied feeling, a sort of almost physical ennui, where I'm still singing along and getting the songs stuck in my head, but it's not as fun anymore. It's not like I get sick of 'em. It's more like getting a surfeit of 'em. Like the way you start munching in response to a sweets or snacks craving and then after a while you realize you're still eating the yummy stuff mechanically but not really enjoying the experience. My sing-along voice is getting a little tired. It's getting bored of the melodies and even the usual harmonies. Some really improbable counterpoints are starting to come out.

There's an unusual amount of storm imagery on these two albums. It's rather striking when strung together into one big playlist. HH&L ends in a song called "Here I Stand And Face The Rain." After that, the first song on ES/WM is "Crying in the Rain." It has some nice rumbly weather sound-effects over the entrance of the main melodic line. The same sound effects accompany the penultimate song on the album, "Rolling Thunder," bringing the album full-circle so effectively that the last song feels like an epilogue.

And, y'know, all that storm imagery is sorta appropriate, isn't it, given the title and topic of the novel I'm working on.

No, I didn't just make that connection. But I was still embarrassingly late making it. Maybe I figured this out by Day 7, I dunno. In any case, I'm probably going to stick with this playlist throughout November, even if I do sometimes feel like the taste has cloyed.

There may be more connections to make, or inspiration to take, from some of these songs' cryptic lyrics.