My Novel-in-Progress Needed a Soundtrack.  Yours May Too.

music-books

To be honest, it initially struck me as absurd, the thought of creating a soundtrack for a novel, let alone my own novel-in-progress.

After all, a book is, well, a book.  It is static and non-visual beyond the fact of seeing a print or e-book’s typewritten words.

To me, it made little sense trying to apply techniques used in visual arts (most notably motion pictures) to a format that most definitely isn’t a picture (this despite the fact that very good books can indeed succeed in creating vivid pictures in the reader’s mind).

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The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Daydreaming

No, this isn’t a post about negative self-talk.

That would be the subject of an entirely different, and if I chose to get all self-psychoanalytical about it, lengthy post.

Rather, it’s about what goes on in my mind whenever it’s not otherwise occupied, and, to me, is the furthest thing from negative.

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How Reading Affects My Writing – Past, Present, and Future

Book magic

When it comes to books and words and the creation and consumption of both, although I write nearly every day, I’ve always considered myself a reader first while only second am I a writer.

Of course, there is factual truth to this statement: I literally learned and continued to read stories before I started writing them (although the timing for both is close; I clearly recall writing my first “novel” in grade two).

Even now as an adult, my almost-daily reading occurs earlier in the day (dinner time) than does my almost-daily writing (after dinner, the last thing before  I go to sleep).

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Finally, I’m a Finisher (or, Holy Heck, I Wrote a Trilogy)

Book's last pages

Although Sag loves the thrill of a new project or friendship, you don’t always finish what you start. Work on keeping your promises and commitments.

(Source: http://astrostyle.com/sagittarius, among many others.)

~

I’m not a follower of astrology or other form of pop culture personality typing, but sometimes, it seems, these systems follow me.

I was born under the astrological sign of Sagittarius.  People of this sign are said to highly gregarious, to have an incurable wanderlust, and also to be notoriously distractible – to the point that they rarely complete what they start.

Even though I’ve never felt I embodied any of these hallmark Sagittarian traits, the presence of the last one in the above list has always caused me some distress.

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Vacation is the Enemy of Creative Progress*

Watching TV on the couch

My time off included a whole lot of this

The week before last, I was on vacation.

“Holiday” as my friends across the pond and Down Under would say.

Or as I like to call it, “staycation”, for it was a vacation where, rather than travelling someplace, I remained in my home town.

(For the record, I make a further distinction between a “vacation”, which to me involves travel, and a “holiday”, which is travel to someplace particularly noteworthy or exotic.  But that’s just me.)

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Cities (and Stories) Are All the Same … Except When They’re Not

Flinders Street Station transit hub, Melbourne, Australia

Flinders Street Station – a major transit hub, Melbourne, Australia

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, I’d travelled more than half a day into the future; perhaps journeying more than half a day closer to my final day.

~

“I don’t feel like I’ve just come halfway around the world.”

These were among the first words I spoke on Australian soil to my Aussie-born friend and former Vancouver roommate who was the impetus behind my recent trip Down Under.  This after she’d retrieved me from a very crowded Melbourne airport and pointed out all her favourite cafés, restaurants, shopping areas and, walking paths during the drive to her apartment.

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My Very Very Short Story Inspired By Australia

The Daintree Rainforest, a tropical rainforest and UNESCO World Heritage Site along the coast of Queensland, Australia.

The Daintree Rainforest, a tropical rainforest and UNESCO World Heritage Site along the coast of Queensland, Australia.

I didn’t expect to do any writing while here in Australia.

That is, not after I overcame my last-minute fervor to do lots of writing while in Australia – to write during as much of the flight as I remained awake for; to even finish my novel while abroad, if possible, and return home like a conquering hero.

In preparation for this, I scanned and PDF’ed an entire chapter of a reference book (since my WIP is historical fiction and thus research-dependant).

I also downloaded Evernote on both my iPad and phone so that I’d have two methods of inputting my deathless prose that would automatically sync as well as keep a backup in the cloud.

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