“I was blessed with a birth and a death, and I guess I just want some say in between.”

by Shannon

tolkien fanart

Turin Turambar, by liga-marta. God damn, do I love Silmarillion art.

The otherwise irrelevant title to this post is one of many brilliant lyrics by Ani Difranco, in particular from a song called Talk To Me Now. I have recently rediscovered how much I love her. She’s the kind of lyricist who gets so deeply into your fears and thoughts and history that you’d swear she had lived in your skin before you did. I suppose it’s kind of relevant, though. I used this song, and really most of the first album, as a writing soundtrack one day, and the more I think about it, the more the abrasiveness and self preservation of this song in particular seems to suit Molly.

I’m big on writing soundtracks. Due to this, my play counts are irredeemably screwed. I’ve probably listened to the album “My Head Is An Animal,” by Of Monsters and Men more times than anyone had thought possible. Also on the “The Great Molly Worthington…” playlist?

  • “Lust for Life” by Iggy Pop (“The Passenger” in particular)
  • “The Complete Recordings” by The Dubliners
  • “The King Is Dead” by The Decemberists
  • “The Crane Wife” by The Decemberists
  • “Barton Hollow” by The Civil Wars
  • “The Very Best Of” by The Pogues
  • “Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas” by Townes Van Zandt
  • “Cosmo’s Factory” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • “Found Songs” by Olafur Arnalds

This list will probably continue to expand. I tend to add new things whenever a particular scene has a distinct mood, or when another thing just stops working for me. “The Passenger” works really well in bar scenes, for example, whereas I used The Pogues for The Adventure’s debut, and The Dubliners and CCR for a normal work day. The Civil Wars and Townes Van Zandt are perfect for more somber moods, and The Decemberists and Of Monsters and Men really drive home that maritime feel. I realize this hardly counts as a “playlist,” as these are albums and not songs, but hey. It works for me. With all the chaos that can be living at home, consistently using the same music for a specific scene really helps me recreate the atmosphere of it, when the actual atmosphere around me has wildly changed.

What do you listen to when you write?

I guess I should also specify that not only have I not quit yet, but (knock on wood) I am still on target! There had been more days than there should have been where I just couldn’t write for one reason or another, but having the expectation of roughly 2K words a day really helps, because you have to make up for it the next day by doing twice as much, or get ahead in advance. The deadline finally seems to be helping me, partially because I have never gotten this close to winning before that it would really be a bummer to cop out now. And I haven’t begun to hate the story yet, which usually happened with my failed nanowrimos eventually. I don’t know. Maybe my “become a better writer by starting over” project is changing the way I view things, but this time around the enforced regularity and deadline has really helped me out. I am 33k in and haven’t finished the intro section (I did a basic five part outline and have yet to begin the rising action), but I love my characters and I’m really excited to do battle with a kraken.

Anyway. I know that I have more or less failed in my “post here weekly” promise, but for once it was actually a conscious decision. Usually it’s weekends that make it difficult to write, and if I’m playing catch-up, I put nanowrimo ahead of wordpress. I hope you understand!

I have promised to show the horrific 50k draft to Melissa Dominic in all its unedited shame glory, so if she doesn’t completely hate it, when I finish the story properly, I have been toying with the idea of turning it into a serial online novel and later putting it up as an e-book.

On the real life front, not a lot has been happening. I’m still temping (and, well, not temping), but I may have procured a temp-to-hire position as of tomorrow, which would be grand. Especially if the “hire” part comes true, let me tell you. I also finally managed to pick out my recipes for Thanksgiving, which is a more involved task when you don’t eat meat and therefore have a lot more freedom in choosing. Other than that, I have mostly been ignoring everything else due in favor of writing. Now, as the end of November has come into sight, I am starting to fear it. I can’t ignore my life forever. Will I still be able to write every day and be productive without an imposed deadline? I should be able to, but possibly not in the same volume. We will see.

Anyhoot, good luck to my fellow nano-ers! Happy Thanksgiving to any Americans reading this! See you in December!