Monday, July 26, 2010

Dark Paths

STATUS: Spooky

What's playing on itunes? SILVER by The Arks

Ever get sucked into a song that you have no business listening to? Something 99 times out of a 100 you would skip right over or downright delete?

That's me right now. I got a buddy of mine who recently bequeathed me about 45 ka-billion MP3's, and in the course of two months, I've listened to maybe 4oo; I'm still in the A's.

Now, I consider myself a pretty savvy music connoisseur, but I have to say, only a fraction of these 9000 tracks sound even vaguely familiar. Am I really that far out of the loop? Tonight, I stumbled on some pretty demented, warped alleged music.

Honestly, this stuff sounds like something Buffalo Bill (that warm and cuddly villain from the THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) would be listening to in his cave just just before he prepares to do some...tailoring. It's chaotic, thrashing, and loud, like...rebel monks on a bad acid trip. I think it borders on evil.

But I haven't turned it off.

In fact, it inspired a little exploration. I tied a silver rope around my waist and rappelled right into the basement of my own mind.

I didn't linger mind you, just hitched a ride on a handglider for a couple of songs; but I think 'surreal' is a good adjective to desribe the evening's foray. I don't even know if i could duplicate it if I wanted to.

The question I'm asking is this: Is that all right? Is it cool to embrace a little darkness on occasion? Get caught up in the music and do a little role-playing within the safety your own mind? I say yes. Just come back, that's all. Learn something about yourself, get inspired or just feel and then apply it to your life. Ahem, constructively please, no need to go all creep-o. As for me...come on now, you know where that's the craft.

Villains have to come from somewhere...right?

Steve out.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fireworks and Climaxes

Status: 3 Bowls of Lucky Charms Happy

What's playing on Pandora? LITTLE SUZY by Tesla

Is it possible for something to be TOO spectacular?

The question popped into my head this past 4th of July (hope yours was fun) as I was witness to the most dazzling, close-up displays of fireworks I have ever seen in my life. I got a buddy who lives right on the water in Milford, CT--how he acquired this gem is still a mystery to me--but it might as well be in Nantucket, same feel. Each of his neighbors are wicked rich, and every year they try to outdo each other with their fireworks displays, much to everybody's delight, and these displays folks, are of the professional grade. No different than what the towns and cities use, in fact, the official town's display was going off simultaneously, adding its own colors to the summer night over the backdrop of the ocean.

Beautiful I tell ya.

If the night had ended right there, I would still be telling you about the most awesome fireworks I'd ever seen, five at the same time for forty-five minutes. But that was not the end of the evening. Nope, not by a medium shot, my buddy's neighbor was waiting for everybody to blow their load so he could unleash his masterpiece. Mwa ha ha ha...

And guess where this masterpiece was? Yupskies, RIGHT next to all of us. It was so close several times I 'hit the deck' and came up brandishing a Nerf battle-ax. Alright, maybe I would have done that anyway, but it was crazy loud, like a Civil War artillery battle going on around us. The sunbursts and starbursts and glittery willowtrees (you know which ones I'm talking about, right?) that lit up the sky were so stupendous that my mind went numb; I mean they were right there.

I looked around at everybody else, and at first all I saw was awe and wonder, but after another forty minutes piled onto the already forty-five minutes of the pregame show, it got to the point where I was like, 'alright already, grand finale so I can think again'.

Which got me thinking...that happens in books and movies all the time. (why's it always gotta come back to the craft, Vera?) An author or director can actually undo the effect they wish to evoke simply by going overboard.

Think about it, investing and expending time, energy, and resources to a cause that sabotages the story effect desired. I know I've been guilty of this, perhaps that's why I'm bringing it up. Of course, if there were ever something to go overboard about, spectacularness is probably a good way to go, (the very fact that I'm blogging about it says a little something) but be that as it may, it is difficult to taste the subtleties of a Sancerre when you've been drinking sour apple martinis all night. Unless of course getting lit is the effect desired, then...pound away.


Steve out.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Source

Status: Jolly Good

What's playing on the IPOD? THE DISTANCE by Cake

I get this one the most: Just where exactly do you get your ideas from, anyway Mr. Panther-Ninja? (alright, only a few people call me Mr. Panther-Ninja) Now, I've talked to many writers, and so far, I've discovered that I am the only one who gets my ideas this way, at least as far as I know, and it's simple. It's the music.

Since I can remember, whenever I hear something bad-ass, or sad, or head-bouncing, I see a scene in my head, something happening and behold! A story is born! Take...hmmm....and oldie but goodie, KICKSTART MY HEART by Motley Crue. Now, every single time I hear that song, to this day, one scene comes to mind, and that is a car chase right down the highway at rush hour, weaving and skidding, I can see it in my mindscape as if I were already there! And I love it, and have I ever incorporated it into a scene of my books? Yessireee, that would be an affirmative Ghostrider. Get a whole bunch of scenes like way points, thread them together, devise a beginning, middle, and end, and voila! Let the clickity clacking begin.

The cool thing is that I listen to alot of music. That means LOTS of ideas (which is quite handy as a writer) Ever ask someone, what sort of music do you like most and they annoyingly say, "well, everything." SUH-MACK! Well, I'm one of them : )

As long as it's good and moves me in, and because of my rather diverse repertoire of music appreciation, I have oodles of notebooks just filled with scenes, characters, bits of dialogue and story ideas just awaiting summoning. Like I said, very handy.

I'm curious though, other writers....where do you get your inspiration? Do tell!