Friday, November 27, 2009

music that fires the imagination

Not every writer wants music to write by. It has to be the right kind of music. I have a friend who needs absolute silence and no distractions. Earplugs, in fact. Me, I'm a bit of a mix. I cannot write to Spongebob Squarepants no matter how hard I try. Ditto Scooby Doo and all those boomerang cartoons! But lately I've found the perfect music for writing or editing - Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Brooding, intense, romantic, moody. Perfect for those Colonial battlefield scenes and the untamed Kentucke frontier. The violin and cello therein are divine:)

I've never considered Russel Crowe a catch but in uniform he's quite respectable and his acting here is quite fine. Plus he plays the violin. Could I ask for more? I'm also a huge fan of the Horatio Hornblower series. I'd thought of writing a series on the British Navy (well, the Americans) but Kaye Dacus beat me to it!

On the publishing front, the Baker Books catalog for next summer is out and Morrow Little is in it:) I found my copy in the mailbox today and it was an extra blessing. I'm always humbled that I have such a fine publisher and I hope my books do well for them. They really have a heart for new authors. And their covers are the best out there:)

Some upcoming books I can't wait to read: Masquerade by Nancy Moser and She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell. Any in particular on your wish list? How about music?


  1. You've inspired me to get "Master and Commander" from Netflix, after I get the newest "Jane Eyre".

    I don't know if I write well to music or not. I haven't tried it in a long time. Like you, I have constant little-boy-background-noise going on!

    I don't swoon over Russell Crowe, either, but I think he is a very good "hero" type. I loved him in "Gladiator" and "Cinderella Man" and he was really good in "3:10 to Yuma", even though he played a bad guy.

  2. Mary, Hope you post on Jane Eyre after you watch as that sounds terrific:) The only missing element from Master and Commander was a woman and a little romance! All those men aboard ship and not one woman! You are so right - RC makes a very dynamic hero, even a bad guy.

    I think we'd better enjoy our little-boy-background noise, as you so cleverly put it, all we can. Can you imagine a house without them?!

  3. My little boys are all grown now, and I loved the joyful noise! And now I am writing because it's the time in my life when I really can, although I wrote some when they were young. Enjoy it!

    I can't write with music. I need visuals to inspire me more than anything. But I do think I'm going to watch MC, too. We have the movie and I haven't watched it in a while.

    Courting Morrow Little is on my wish list!! It must be exciting to see it in a catalog and advertisements before it is out.

    I'd like to read She Walks in Beauty also. I'm looking forward to Ransom's Crossing by Kaye.

  4. Oh Laura, you're a fan of Horatio Hornblower too? Why am I not surprised! :)

  5. I was rather partial to Paul Bettany in M&C, myself. :)

    I can't write to music (I'm the earplug wearer... unless you know two of us!), but I can plot stories to music, and daydream scenes to music, if it's the right kind of music. Usually something Celtic, or that has a sweeping historical epic sort of feel to it. Couple that with a long drive in the mountains, or across a state, and there you have a perfect setup for good story plotting.

    Have you seen RC and PB in A Beautiful Mind?

    And the new Jane Eyre (the one with Toby Stephens) is wonderful.

  6. Ruth, I'd love to see you do a commentary on Horatio if you haven't already! Your blog is so delightful:)

  7. Carla, Yes, I need to enjoy those boy sounds while they last:) There are so many writers who publish after their families are raised. I always feel a twinge of sympathy for those who publish with a young family as they have an extra burden of trying to find balance. My boys are independent enough now that it's much easier than it used to be. But I'm looking forward to the day when there's no homeschooling, violin lessons, and all the rest! Oh - and a quiet house!

    Visuals are great, too, for inspiration. I think that's why I love the research angle so much prior to writing, especially when you come across pictures or are able to visit the area you're writing about.

    I'll have to hurry and read Kaye's Ransome's Honor so I can pick up Ransome's Crossing. Thanks for the reminder. And I'm thrilled you're ready to read Morrow's story. She looks pretty happy in that catalog:)

  8. Lori, You're my earplug wearer:) But you're not alone, I'm sure! You and I are the same as far as music that has an epic feel and scenery that obliges also.

    A Beautiful Mind was so moving (and disturbing) to me, maybe because of my social work hx among the mentally ill. They are both such fine actors! And I think PB really does play the cello! Now I have to check out the new Jane Eyre as you're not the first to give it a glowing endorsement:)

  9. I do have to agree, your book covers are really well done. Since my books are set in 19th century "hillbilly country" maybe I should get some good bluegrass!

  10. Hi Laura. Hope this finds that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My duaghter likes Russel Crowe.....I am not sure if it is because of his looks or his acting....I like easy listening music or instrumental when I am designing. I laughed that you can't write with SpongeBob goodness! Have a great week. blessings,Kathleen

  11. Oh, there's a world of bluegrass to choose from, Britt:) I tend to like the older stuff out of Ky and Tn! Glad to know what time period you're writing in. Did you know 19th-century books are more popular than any other? So the pubs say! Will have to hop on over to your blog and see how you made out for that camping trip. And thanks for the cover comment, BTW:)

  12. Kathleen, I love to think of you creating such beautiful things by music:) Music is so inspiring (unless it's Spongebob)! Hope this is an especially creative week for you.