Tag Archives: Music

Grammar Girl


I may have posted about this before, but I am once again irked at today’s popular music and its blatant disregard for language. Take Rhianna’s stupid new song I keep hearing on the radio, for instance. The chorus lyrics are as follows:

“Tomorrow way too far away,
And we can’t get back yesterday,
But we young right now.”

Where, may I ask, are the verbs in the first and third lines? Nowhere.

Grr.

Advertisements

The Arts: Bringing Home the Bacon Since the Begining of Time


First, I miss my blog snow.

Second, I was recently reading a post by Chelsea Ady which inspired me to write a post of my own. In it she talked about the similarities of creating musical and literary works which got my wheels turning.

Music and writing are both categorized as “the arts.” When I was in grammar school the arts meant music/art class and Broadway. Now that I’m older the arts means something everyone loves in some form and yet is considered a useless college major/career path because your parents worry there is nothing in them and you’ll never get a job when you graduate in May so you stress eat and lay in bed all day contemplating your doomed future … oh, ahem, I mean the arts are great!

But seriously the arts are great. There are more opportunities in the arts than you would think. Let’s take them one by one in reverse order of my talents in them.

  1. Drawing/painting/sculpting/etc. Where can you get paid? Museums, schools (at any level) galleries, interior design, graphic design, architecture, exhibitions of your own work if you’re really awesome and/or know someone famous and/or wealthy to be your patron. Besides the very last point, there are countless sub-opportunities in any of the categories. Do you know how many different positions there are in one small museum alone? Quite a few, it takes many people to keep it accurate, fun and functional. You might not be doing the drawing/painting/sculpting/etc. full-time, but you are in your field.
  2. Dance. The careers lie in: performance, dance halls, schools, dance schools, dance companies. Again all areas: teaching, performing, managing, maintenance.
  3. Music. Make money by: performance, personal promotion, record labels, concert halls, orchestras, schools, film. Sing. Teach. Play an instrument. Manage. Conduct. Compose. Write biographies of famous composers. Revive old classics. Need I go on?
  4. And the piece de resistance WRITING. Roll in cash by way of: Writing articles, stories (amen), poems, editorials, scripts (Holly Tyler 😉 you go girl), screen plays (live it, love it), blogs (WOOHOO!) novels (HELLA YEA!), biographies, nonfiction, children’s books. Editing in a newspaper, magazine, publishing house, blog, website. Agenting – anyone want to be mine? Freelance in any of the above categories. Teaching. Publishing. Literary analysis. eBooks. Libraries – page, manage, librarian, work in reference. Bookstores – managing, owning, retail, partnering with cafes and artists from above to design cute journals and covers for your eReaders.

Fellow writers this is great news! Not only did I manage to think of the most opportunities in the writing section, I also came up with the largest word count of the four! We are set 🙂

And let’s backtrack now: what do we use in our modern world to piece together bits of the past? What is it that survives from vanished, sophisticated cultures of old and primitive peoples alike? Their art. Their portraits, cave paintings, treatises, laws, decrees, writings. How would we know the Mayans had such a precisely accurate calendar? (Side note – if the world does end next year I’ll be very disappointed if I’m not published by then) They wrote it down. How would we know the Egyptians performed successful brain surgery? They wrote it down. How would we be able to still study and perform Shakespeare today? Well, for heaven’s sake he wrote everything down!

So there, parents, I will NOT be living in a box on a random NYC street corner for pursuing the art of writing!


Writing Soundtrack


I can’t write with music on.

I don’t know why, and don’t judge me. I just can’t. It ruins my concentration and I get sucked into the musicality of what is playing and I can never finish a piece and that’s why I’m not published and …

I may be over-exaggerating.

I hear from many writers how they sit down in their favorite spot in their favorite chair with their favorite snack and play their favorite music and then and only then can they begin penning their masterpiece. Some of them even make soundtracks for each individual story they are working on and play them at the appropriate places to inspire the appropriate writing.

Not so with this chick. I can’t even write a blog post with music on.

I know I’m weird. I already talked about that a few posts ago, and just for the record, if you are one of the people who can write with music and does make soundtracks for each of your pieces, I am not judging you. I envy you.

Because I wish I could draw inspiration from the music while it’s playing. It would certainly make the writing process less boring. I wish I could have swing music blasting from my speakers when Laura and Thomas go out on the town. I wish I could play tense songs when Holly is being chased by the kidnapper. I wish I could have soft love songs playing in the background while I write Derek and Candace’s wedding – doh! I just gave some of it away!

Well you probably already figured that anyway. But you don’t know the ending! Muahaha!

I have a different way of looking at the writing soundtrack. My characters directly interact with whatever song I happen to be listening to at the time they are floating around in my head. Even if the song is completely out of their time period (like “Bad Romance” and the 1940s) they still sing along and yell at/serenade each other with the lyrics.

For example. Currently in my car is a mix of Glee: The Music, Volume 3 and Journey to Regionals. The characters about whom I am thinking of late are Laura and Thomas. THeir setting? 1940s. The first song on my mix is a cover of “Hello, Goodbye.” L&T sing this song in the scene I am planning right now. It is certainly NOT a 40s song, but who cares? It’s my story.

So what so I get from Thomas singing this song to Laura completely out of their time frame? Instead of “Hey, Lola,” he says, “Hey Laura” and changes all the other lyrics around to fit her. This is molto importante because she is furious with him right now, and without the personalized apology, she would take much longer to come around to forgiving him. Will it play out exactly this way in the novel? Of course not, L&T are not sixties hippies. Will he serenade her with a personalized song to regain her trust and good-will? You can bet your bottom dollar, he will!

As the CD continues, so does the story. When there is a passionate love ballad, they sing it to each other (aaw/gag). When we get to “A House is Not a Home” Laura makes the fateful decision to find the family who abandoned her. When we get to the Journey medleys, L&T sing “Anyway You Want It/ Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'” in a performance for their music class to stick it to one of his ex-girlfriends who doesn’t understand that he put a ring on Laura so she can’t have him anymore.

So there you have it. Though I don’t use the soundtrack in the conventional way most writers speak of, my music does inspire me; it dictates and aids my plots. Let me tell you, three hours of driving and singing every day all summer has given me plenty of time to plan and work out kinks.

What about you? How do you use music when you write?

Before I forget

Ollin has bestowed upon me The Spotlight Award. Well, shucks, Ollin, I didn’t have a speech prepared, but thanks so much!  I pass it on to

Love you, ladies!

And

Melissa at The Undeveloped Story hosted a Poetry Weekend. I know I’m really cutting it close with the end of the weekend being about three and a half hours away as I post this, but here is what I came up with. It’s really short because I don’t usually write poetry, but I gave it my best shot. Thanks for the fun challenge!

Forget It
I don't want you to ask me anymore.
We talked about it.
It's fine.
You're annoying me.
Drop it.
The more we discuss it,
The more it chafes,
The more it bothers.The more it hurts.The more it reminds me.I don't want to remember.I want to forget.Forget you.
Forget how you treated me.Leave it alone.
Everything is fine.

Copyright Rosemary O’Connor. All rights reserved.


The Song vs. You – The Battle For Your Brain


It’s happened to all of us. That song you have a love/hate relationship with lodges itself in your brain and refuses to go anywhere no matter how much you bombard it with distractions. It stays put, bothering you – and your roommates.

Isn’t it just the worst when the song you despise dominates your brain and refuses to allow you to do anything else with your life other than sing or hum it to yourself? All you want to do is be free, but its ironclad grip on you holds fast. Then you wind up doing stupid things like writing, “I want your love and I want your revenge” in the middle of your newspaper article while you’re not paying attention. Whoops! I mean, I’ve never done anything like that …

When it annoys you it’s one thing. When it annoys everyone around you, it’s quite another. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me to “Just shut up already,” after I return from Glee Club rehearsal and have some obscure song like “Wolcum Yole” on the brain.

When no one else knows the song, it’s one thing, but I prefer it that way. Then people can’t holler “At least get the lyrics right!” while I’m singing the radio’s most popular song of the week – apparently incorrectly – in the shower.

Wikipedia has some helpful tips as to how to vanquish that evil song for your sake and for your friends’.

This first one kills me: Speak the lyrics to “I’m a Little Teapot.” I’d rather sing the song I don’t want in my head.

Number two: Write a list of songs that get stuck in your head. And this helps me how? Besides, when do I have time to do something so trivial?

Number three: Pick the “stickiest” song on that list and sing it whenever you want a different song out. But then won’t that leave me with a second song stuck?

Number four: Do something active or noisy. Now this is not a problem. Active = gym which kills two birds with one stone. It forces me to use my iPod and hence listen to more desirable songs while also making me actually work out.

Number five: concentrate on something else. I could have told you that one on my own.

Number six: Shout in your head. No comment on that.

Number seven: Go someplace no one will hear and shout out loud. Good luck finding that place on campus. If you’re having this much trouble, just sing the song out loud wherever you are and pretend not to notice people staring at you peculiarly.

Number eight: Think of other songs that annoy you and sing them out loud. For commentary, refer to number three.

Number nine: Watch a movie. This I’m cool with if I have enough time to spare. It totally gets the mind concentrating on something other than the undesirable song.

And number ten, which is really the only foolproof system: Listen to the hated song over and over and over. This method has been tried and true. You naturally get tired of the song and your brain shakes it off, leaving you in peace. Your roommate probably won’t mind either.

Copyright Aspiring Novelist. All rights reserved.


%d bloggers like this: