Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday Update - Summer and Music


Summer is a horrible time for me. I can't take heat, and light disrupts my sleep. 

All the same, summer evokes story.  A long, slow, quiet, dream-like time, in an abandoned Dali-esque landscape of an empty college town, or the farm. Reading until 5am, when it would finally be cool enough to sleep. Ominous skies, sudden storms of any temperature or variety. The chalky smell when rain hits dry, baked earth or sidewalk.

My Anonymous Mercenary Writing Experiment is going okay -- not as well as I hoped, but that's partly because I've got a few more projects in mind, and my mind jumps from one to the other.  (And I've wasted time discovering some of those projects are non-starters.)

All the same, Summer is seeping into Project 1, and imbuing it with sensory detail.  I find that I can get back into that story instantly by Evoking Summer in my mind.  (Project 1 was actually on the non-starter list, until summer came along and showed me what I needed to do.)

The Serial is doing well.  I loved my illustration for Episode 7.  I was working at the last minute again, and stole from work I'd done earlier of mysterious pulp figures.  The background figure, with the cigarette, was inspired originally by a logo for The Falcon, I think.  I'll talk more about that in some upcoming Story Notes. (Possibly not this week - I have some other things I want to say Wednesday about David Falrand's recent post about wrting great scenes.  It is how I normally write, but the serial has forced me to go in the other direction, and there are benefits to that too.)


In the meantime... I've discovered that if I put Bob Seger's "Breakdown" on continuous loop, I draw better and faster.  Weird but true.  I think that it evokes images of conflict and power, the arrogant criminal, the dogged detective.  It may have been meant for Beverly Hills Cop, but it works thematically for Columbo or Miss Marple as well as The Saint.

(Or it might just be the beat -- "That Old Time Rock and Roll" also seems to work.)

I may try it with some of Paul Simon's songs from his Rhythm of the Saints album. He has evocative lyrics and performances.

While I don't like to write to music with words, I often write with a single jazz or instrumental song on continuous loop.  The Third Man Theme, Take Five, or maybe Sing Sing Sing. The sound stimulates my brain, and keeps outside distractions at bay, and the continuous loop makes the song blend into my head and it stops being distracting itself.

Something highly active, though (such as Bob Seger) can over-stimulate after a while, so I need to switch to a different song. Or sometimes I'll change when I need a different mood.

Another thing that is surprising: when I have the fuzz-headed effect of a silent migraine, "wall-of-sound" music tends to help.  (I don't often get the painful migraines, so I don't know if it would be so helpful to those folks.)

In the meantime, in the serial this week, Plink reviews her situation and decides to follow the money....

See you in the funny papers.

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