A week ago, I had the honor of being interviewed by Melissa Craig and Charity Parkerson on their podcast. When I was asked if I had any writer’s “quirks”, I had to laugh, because, boy do I ever. The first is, I can’t seem to write poetry on a computer: I have to write it in a notebook, and then transfer it to a word doc. Which can be a bad thing at times, because I’ve actually lost some very amazing work this way. The second is that I have different play lists on my music player that changes from project to project: When I was compiling “4 a.m.”, I had the same three songs on repeat; when I wrote “James”, it was the same three songs set on repeat.
If literature and writing, and anything in between those two things are my great creative loves, music is a very near second: I played piano (quite well according to all the ribbons and awards I’ve won) for years, and had considered making music a career in some capacity for a brief time until an illness caused me to stop playing the piano. I’ve taken up various instruments over the years as well as having spent years in the church choir, belting out whatever hymn was on the schedule. Music grabs a hold of me, makes my heart race, brings me to tears, and inspires the hell out of me. When Jeff Stalnaker, a friend, writer, and musician we interviewed on the TweepNation podcast took one of my poems and set it to music and then performed it on the podcast? Jeff now holds the title of the first guest to make me cry and ask for a few moments to get myself together, I was that moved by what he had done.
So now that I’m working on a new poetry and fiction short story collection, I have a new playlist set on repeat while I write. One of my two works in progress, “In the Gloaming”, is probably one of the heaviest pieces of work that I have ever written. One piece in particular, I sent to my amazing editor with a note that said, “I cannot believe I wrote something that dark!” And by heavy, I don’t just mean depressing and heart wrenching: There will be a few poems in the book that I’ve written after being inspired by the love a few very dear friends have brought to my life. At this crossroads point in my life, having the realization that these few amazing people love me so completely and unconditionally is astounding, and I am doing my best to not close off from it, which is my natural tendency when faced with strong emotions.
So here it is: The soundtrack for In the Gloaming… I won’t explain the reasoning behind each song, except to say that its relevant to what I’m writing and moves me in one way or another.
“Drive by”, Train
“Her eyes”, Pat Monahan
“Brighter than sunshine”, Aqualung
“Show me what I’m looking for”, Carolina Liar
“Half”, Tom G Mac
“Wasted days”, Highwater Rising
“A bad dream”, Keane
“Sunday morning”, Maroon 5
“Here we go”, Matt Kearney
“I saw”, “Run” and “Come on get higher”, Matt Nathanson
“Ever the same”, Rob Thomas
“Stop”, Matchbox Twenty
“Your winter”, Sister Hazel
“Missing person”, Michael W. Smith
“Healing” and “She is his only need”, Wynonna
“All in”, “Sick Cycle Carousel”, “Spin”, and “Halfway gone”, Lifehouse
Much love to you,
Yay, Amber, let the music play 🙂
Glad asking you a question on the show inspired you to tell others about it… Awwww…. Mwah
That’s not all it inspired Melissa… lol But I’ll tell you more about that next time I’m on your show or you’re on ours!
OOHHH baby… mmm I can’t wait. Woo Hoo… Anytime you want me, just let me know. I will be there.
Fab! I have 2 playlists that I switch between when I write Amber, and various cds. At the moment, the new Linkin Park shudders behind my words. Great playlist!
Thank you so much for your comment Abi! I haven’t heard the latest Linkin Park, but some of their music has weighed in heavily on certain pieces I was writing in the early 2000’s
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