Besides drinking an astonishing amount of coffee to fuel the muse, I also find inspiration in music. Trust me on this. When it came to writing a character who was a young man in the 30’s and 40’s I couldn’t go past listening to Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller to put myself (Oh God here comes the pun) In the Mood. It’s like a thunderbolt from Zeus. I find a song and it’s like the spark that happens once sperm meets egg. Suddenly, there’s GP, mouthy, grumpy, and fully fleshed out.
Five years ago, the first piece of total crap I ever wrote came to life in part due to my over-active imagination and a Canadian web-radio station that acted like a can of lighter fluid. CRIK FM (The Lynx) offers an 80s station that I discovered by accident. Once I started listening, I’d hear a song that summed up the character I was creating so completely. Yeah, it’s wanky to talk about the creative process, and uberwanky for me to admit the imaginary people I write ‘come to life’ for me until I live in an imaginary world that Shrinky would diagnose as some sort of disorder in the DSM-IV Revised (and yes, it bugs the crap out of me that I KNOW that stands for the the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV). The point is, and I thought this long before Ally MacBeal, everyone has a soundtrack and a theme song.
Books do too.
Well, all my books do, and not in some shortened 30 second sound bite way like all movies since The Big Chill have. Sometime I think books should be sold with soundtracks. I’d pitch the idea to my publisher (the one I don’t quite have yet), but I’m sure I’d get the “copyright” spiel and an explanation for why you only get 30 second snippets of songs in movies.
So I’ll include a song list when I sign that contract and my my first $86, which for all you Olbiters out there, know that will just cover the cost of shipping myself a few lbs of Snyders of Hanover Sourdough Hard pretzels.
Meanwhile, Not that anyone is asking for this, but if you want to get a feel for what it was like to have a goovy, far out, fantastic day, don’t bother with That 70s Show. All you really need to put yourself in Greg or Marcia’s shoes is a little from Rhino Records Have A Nice Day compilations. Yes indeedy-doo, from the extra cheesy Playground in My Mind, to the ultra-mega cheesy Run Joey Run. If you’ve never heard these songs, you have no idea what you’re missing. They sum up the sunny side of the 70s (hooray for alliteration). Of course Greg liked to pretend he listened to Led Zepplin and The Sweet like the cool kids, but who was he kidding? We all know he was Johnny Bravo only because the suit fit him.