Hey there, Mr. Blue

Sun is shinin’ in the sky
There ain’t a cloud in sight
It’s stopped rainin’ everybody’s in the play
And don’t you know
It’s a beautiful new day, hey hey

Photo by Julia Kuzenkov on Pexels.com

I am packing up and taking my little family to Florida for a whole week! We are pretty excited. When I come back, there will be a blog tour AND baby chicks. I couldn’t help myself. I may have added three more birds to my flock. A Rhode Island Red, a Speckled Sussex, and a Partridge Cochin. Now to build a bigger coop…

But all that will wait until after we say hello to Mr. Blue Sky in Florida! See you all on September 9!

P.S. The quote above is from Mr. Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra.

Music To Write By – A Musical Soundtrack

Every story has a soundtrack

I’ve worked to music for as long as I can remember. I got my very own boom box (yep, I said boom box) when I graduated from eighth grade. It had a tape deck, a cd player, and a remote control. It was glorious. I used it whenever I was in my room, and often played music all night to help me sleep.

When I went to college I got my first ipod, and was never without my ear buds while studying. Often studying would turn into writing as some piece struck my fancy and imaginative ideas bubbled through my mind.

Now whenever I am working on a story I develop a soundtrack. A score, if you will, to the piece I am trying to create. Inspiration on repeat.

A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods

While working on my first every published novella (!!!), I listened to a combination of soundtrack music and classical pieces that might have been popular in Jane Austen’s day. I thought it might be fun to share a few.

Yes! from Jane Eyre, music by Dario Marianelli

I was taken by this music the first time I heard it. It elevated the scene in the movie to something that pulled at my very heart. When I found out it was composed by Dario Marianelli, my intense reaction made sense. Many pieces in my music library are by Dario Marianelli.

Piano Concerto No. 23 Adagio by Mozart

I almost feel as if anything I say will seem pretentious. It’s Mozart. It’s brilliant. And I love to imagine Georgiana playing this piece!

There are others of course. The entire soundtrack to the 2005 film adaptation of Pride & Prejudice (Dario Marianelli, again). The music from the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. Patrick Doyle is amazing!

As the slightly scary Berlioz said, “So many musical ideas…!” I look forward to sharing more of mine.

Music To Write By

Sweeping Classical

I always listen to music when I write, unless it is physically impossible. These days I’ve been working my way through a lovely book called Year of Wonder: Classical Music to Enjoy Day by Day by Clemency Burton-Hill. Through it I’ve discovered two new favorites that I find so achingly beautiful I had to share them.

Gustav Mahler

First is the above piece by Mahler. It’s the Adagietto from his Symphony No. 5, and it is just stunningly beautiful. The story goes that Mahler wrote this piece as a love letter of sorts to his wife, Alma. The music alone is enough to move me, but then add that bit about the love letter and I’m imagining all kinds of stories in my head. Oh, and this work was also largely composed while Mahler was visiting his summer cottage. So we have a beautiful piece of music, a love letter, and a summer cottage. The imaginative mind starts to bubble.

Edward Elgar

Another piece I discovered through Burton-Hill’s book, Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85: I. Adagio – Modereto. Don’t ask me what any of that musical notation means, because I do not know. All I know is that this music, composed right after World War I, is achingly beautiful. A bit of interesting history: the piece was not well received when first performed, owing at least in part to a lack of rehearsal time for the soloist. Its popularity stems from this beautiful interpretation of the work by cellist Jacqueline du Pre. You can read more about that here if you are interested.

Credit where it’s due

I have to give a nod to one of my all-time favorite podcasts, That Classical Podcast, for introducing me to both these pieces before I ever came across Burton-Hill’s book. If you’ve not heard of That Classical Podcast, please do go check it out. Two young people talk about their love of classical music while cracking my kind of ridiculous jokes. It doesn’t hurt that they are British, or that they are both artists in their own right. Seriously, check them out.

Not my usual fare

I usually listen to soundtrack music while I write. I actually create whole playlists for each writing project. I’ll be sharing more of my favorite pieces here soon, because I just feel like inspiration should be shared.