Hi everyone! First of all I need to welcome a new member of my family, Kiki the Coffee machine.
Regular blog readers have glimpsed the horror that is me without coffee; to say that it is vital to me would be something of an understatement. However, up until this point I'd been drinking mostly instant with a scattering of Starbucks, and feeling strong pangs of envy whenever I saw vlogs of other authors and their coffee makers.
After a year of procrastinating over buying a filter coffee machine, I finally gave in and bought Kiki just ahead of the tax hike. Here she is, installed in my kitchen in all her cherry red glory. I've not quite dared try to operate her yet. She's just so *shiny*. I'm hoping that she'll help keep me productive in the coming year.
On Wednesday the subject of music came up in the comment thread, and I decided that I'd do a little round-up of music that I've found useful for stimulating the writing part of my brain. I ought to make it clear that this isn't necessarily my favourite music, or even the music that I listen to the most just for fun (though some of it is!). It's music that gets me into the right mood to write, or helps me to write a specific kind of scene, and often I'm not even sure why that is.
One of this year's greatest discoveries for me was Two Steps from Hell and their album 'Legend'. The following track is one of my favourites. I can't really imagine sitting on the bus listening to it, but when I'm feeling flat and tired and not in a creative mood, this song grabs hold of my creative muscle and gives it a good hard smacking. I've been listening to it constantly while writing FF.
Next, the wonderful Florence and the Machine. Yes, I know everyone loves Flo - and I certainly DO listen to her music on the bus, and sing along! - but this track does something special for me and has managed to find its way onto every playlist on my iPod. I often play this while writing fast, chasing scenes.
Moving onto one of my all-time favourite artists Imogen Heap. Some of her stuff I love and adore and other bits I have to be in the right mood to appreciate - but when something works for me it WORKS, and once again this track is brilliant for getting me into a mood of emotional tension so that I can unleash angst and suffering on the page.
Now for something a little more manly - the song Alibi, from 30 Seconds to Mars album War. I love the slow build-up of this piece, it's really sneaky because it slides you into drama without you realising it. It's great for writing scenes which start off quietly but gradually become darker.
Onto a tune which is a little more classical. Many people have asked me what the music was for the Shadows on the Moon trailer, and the answer is a sample from this track, Ending Title, from the soundtrack of the film 'Curse of the Golden Flower'. I love it, and I defy anyone to hear the rising beat of the drums tangle with the rich timbre of the shinobue flute and NOT feel their heart skip a beat.
Next is probably my favourite song ever, from one of my favourite bands. If you have heard the Leona Lewis travesty which was a cover of this song, please try to erase it from your mind. Argh. THIS is the real thing.
This next song comes from another favourite band of mine, Paramore. I loved them waaaay before they got famous for being on the Twilight soundtrack, and this song is brilliant for writing kissing scenes. There, I said it! KISSING!
This song was recommended on Maggie Stiefvater's blog many long moons ago, and I'm really grateful, because it's great for writing anger - when your character is mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore. The steadily rising percussion is irresistible.
Okay, this post is getting horribly long, so I end with a song called Sacrifice from the amazing Lisa Gerrard. This lady was responsible for the soundtracks of such films as Gladiator and Whale Rider, and her music is stunning (she used to be in a band called Dead Can Dance and they were also frighteningly awesome). I used this track a lot when writing Shadows on the Moon, and again for FF.
Music is an incredibly individual thing, but hopefully someone will discover a new favourite here, in which case all the messing about embedding these videos will have been worth it!