Archive for June 20th, 2011
About writing, is the act of writing. The physical act of scratching at paper with a pointy object, or pecking out things on a keyboard, can be a daunting task, something a lot harder than I envisioned it when I was twelve-ish and started thinking about a writing future. At the time (and even through my Undergraduate experience) I thought it would be something I would do “one day” in the future, but couldn’t really articulate how. There was always some mystery to the experience, and even now there is still some.
Ideas come, like someone drunk at a New Year’s Eve party, and kiss you passionately for the brief few seconds you’re together before they disappear from the party (or worse, you run home remembering that the car you arrived in will turn back to a lemon). Ideas can come from channel or internet surfing, or from snippets of conversations and relived experiences.
Ideas are also like matches – hot and bright in a flash, but quickly burning themselves out. But finding the right idea – the right match – will last long enough to be used with some kindling, then some tinder, and later some logs to build a solid fire.
That’s what I have come to see as the hardest thing, right now, is finding the right match for me, and seeing the fire it might become.
Now that we are a few months on with the MVM feature, here’s a little bit of an explanation for those that may be new to the audience. I’m a firm believer that songs and music are a staple of life. There’s either a turn of phrase that might stick with you, or becomes such a force on the radio that there are memories that latch on and ride shotgun whenever you hear the melody – even if it’s decades later. (“Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing popped into my head for that one, and it conjures a plethora of disconnected images of my middle school years – from band to track, lunch baskets and planting the seeds for stories, a pseudo-girlfriend [it was 6th grade, in the late 80’s, the most we did was hold hands and pass notes], and a lot of other early teenage-y things…) If we were to create a playlist of the songs that mean something to us (as individuals) then we’re creating our own life soundtracks, which in a way is part of what MVM is all about… a video representation about some of the items on my (life) soundtrack,
And the fact that “Time of My Life” song popped up is rather fitting, since it’s on another kind of soundtrack. A movie one (‘natch). Which is the other side of my “Soundtrack” conversation tonight. I admit that I am a soundtrack nut. There was a time (when I was getting regular CDs) that I could easily say a solid quarter (or more) of the collection was soundtracks (true story: the whole reason I got into CDs in the first place was so I could get the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves soundtrack. Instrumental soundtracks just play/flow so much better when you can run it all the way through without having to eject, flip and restart the tape. Same reason I got into DVDs was for Braveheart, since it was released as a two-tape [VHS] set, but that another post…).
The problem with a lot of my music library are the words – not a bad thing for the sake of the songs themselves, but when it comes time to put something on, some mood music, say, or some background noise when trying to write some things are better left off the playlist. Over the last couple of years (mainly the last 6 months, but it’s been a progression), I’ve been taking advantage of the iTunes “Wish List” feature and added a lot of movie and video game scores so I can still have them accessible at some distant time in the future without having to buy them now. And there may be some more videos in the future that come from soundtracks, if not from a movie, it will definitely be from me.
Book Stack 6-20-2011, a photo by Theril on Flickr.
The picture above is the current crop of the “Books for the Nightstand,” or “Things I want to read next” (Dead Tree Edition). If you zoom in you’ll see a few of the books mentioned here, and quite a few others that weren’t. An eclectic mix from pulpy titles that are easily older that I am (by at least half), omnibus & compilation editions (the Lovecraft volume & Cleric Quintet especially), to books on technique and contemporary fiction titles. Add a few scripts for good measure, and it’ll be a fun time…
And since I’m sure I won’t be finishing the entire stack before the end of 2011, guess what I’ll be pulling from in 2012? Yeap… and that stack doesn’t even include electronic titles that I will be working on.
A few years ago, MC and I went to see U2 in concert (on their 360 tour)… the opening act for the show we went to was this little group called Muse. We hadn’t heard of them (at the time), and when they started I was impressed. By the end of their set we were both in agreement that we should check out their catalog. Their first song was this one. Think of it: concert venue, concrete stadium, and the bass could have been cranked up to 11 (feeling the bass through our feet, as well as the rest of our body, didn’t hurt my interest in them, by the way). And to this day, we still think of Dr. Who whenever the opening few bars play.