More Music!

For my old job I used to travel to Europe. Sitting in a bar in Amsterdam, I often heard a style of electronica that really spoke to me. It was a popular house music there that everyone seemed to know, but no one would explain to a silly American. It was unlike anything I heard back in the states. Well, years later with the rise to popularity of such performers as Skrillex, I finally know A) what it's called; and B) how to find it.

So what I was hearing way back when was Dubstep. Now that it's popular, people love to make fun of it because that's what people on the internet do. Let this be a lesson for when you put anything you create out there. Some jackass will make fun of you because that's what jackasses do. Regardless, now that I've found the name of the genre, YouTube has granted me plenty of opportunities to listen.

I bring this up because I don't listen to music while I write. BUT some music gets me so pumped up that I want to write. Such a song is Nefarioiusa by Skream. Check it out:

I've listened to that one three times in a row now. Work? Who wants to work. That can wait until tomorrow. Now it is time I create!!!

Music to My Eyes

So one of the exhibits at Old Sturbridge Village is a building full of firearms and textiles. It is interesting to see the evolution of muskets and eventually rifles over the course of two centuries, but what I really found interesting was a few items in the textiles section of the building. There used to be a frugal wife's guide published by a woman that taught women how to do things on the cheap, like dying fabric. Seems bread was wrapped in purple paper and you could leech the color out of it and use it to dye paper. That sort of thing.

One of the last things you see on your way out are a selection of patterns and some yellowed paper. Now, the first time I went there it was the end of the day and we were in a bit of a rush. I thought it was music. Going through it again, I saw that it wasn't music, it was notation on how to make the pattern. Some looked like music. Some looked like an accountant's ledger. None of them looked like instructions on how to make fabric patterns, but people understood them! The gears started turning.

What if a people's sewing patterns were a means of communicating, but not just a single intent like "we are at war" but an entire song and that song had meaning. You could tell the tales of your great deeds or the deeds of your ancestors, singing a song that all your people would understand.

I really thrilled to that idea. It really gets my brain to swimming in a new and exciting culture.


I love revision. My love for revision is inversely equivalent to my love for writing queries. When I get into a groove on revising, the words to "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof change to "Revision," and I hear the chorus shouting it over and over in my head.

I'm 1/3 of the way through TTS, and I am in such a good mood. Why? Well for one, if I'm revising, that means I have a finished manuscript. It always feels good to finish a novel. But more importantly, I'm taking what is most assuredly a crappy draft and making it awesome. I'm still concerned there might be too much world building in the first two chapters, but I just finished chapter 11 and am totally jazzed. I've really tightened a lot of stuff that was loose before and the whole progression of events is solid. I'm enjoying this story as a reader not just a writer, and that's always a good sign. Really, I think it's the best sign. If you would sit down and read your work for the sake of reading it, then you've written something you truly enjoy for its own merits and not just the obligatory sense of accomplishment.

And not to toot my own horn, but that first chapter I wrote where Otwald first goes to the Triad Society? Holy hell, that was some good world building. I'm mean, damn fine. Sometimes I really do feel like I have the skill to not only succeed at all this, but to be awesome at it.

Fingers crossed that holds true for when this goes out to beta readers. LurkerWithout didn't like WANTED, and I value his opinion as a reader. He reads a billion books a month, so if he likes it, that carries weight with me.