I was walking around the RSM Lake this morning, trying to squeeze in some exercise before the rain starts again, and listening to Joni Mitchell on my Discman. I think "Court and Spark" is one of the best albums in my collection, which isn't saying a whole lot, considering how meagre it is. But truly, it's such a work of art. And by the time I had half a lap under my belt, I'd started writing a sequel to "Worlds Collide" in my head. There were so many little things in those songs that made me think of the characters and some of their possible futures. One song, called "Other People's Parties," has a line that cracks me up now every time I hear it: "And Jack behind his joker and stone-cold Grace behind her fan..." There they are, my two main characters, together in a song that I hadn't even heard until the book was written.
There are some people whose music never fails to jumpstart my writing. Joni Mitchell, Plumb, Norah Jones, Billy Joel, Tori Amos. "Worlds Collide" got its start partially from the song "Worlds Collide" on Plumb's album, candycoatedwaterdrops. My second book got its start from Norah's "The Painter Song," on her first album. Joni's song "Troubled Child" has been pinging around my head and I think I know what story it's going to produce somewhere down the line.
It's sad, really, that my music collection is as small as it is, considering how important music is to me. I have a hard time spending money on albums, usually because I think, "What if that song from the radio is the only one I like and I just wasted $15?" and I'm such a freaking miser. I got all excited when I saw that Napster was doing this whole "unlimited songs for $15 a month" deal, until I tried to use it and found out they don't support Apple OS. Blast! Now _that_ I would have done in a heartbeat.
So, a question for those of you who create any kind of art at all: do you have any musical muses? Or, for that matter, any particular medium or experience that turns on your creative faucet?
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