Music Monday #2

For reasons that probably only make sense in my head*, this one is listed on my iPod under "Foxfire."  For me, it's got that humid, swampy, night-filled-with-fireflies-and-other-glowy-things feel to it.

*Long story short, I considered using it as a book title, just because it's an awesome word.

  • You Are the Everything - R. E. M.
  • Look Out, Look Out - Perfume Genius
  • Venus in Furs - The Velvet Underground
  • Putting the Dog to Sleep - The Antlers
  • The High Road - Broken Bells
  • St. Peter's Cathedral - Death Cab for Cutie
  • Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks - The National
  • Hey You - Pink Floyd
  • Ask for Answers - Placebo
  • This Place is a Prison - The Postal Service
  • No Surprises - Radiohead
  • Let's Get Lost - Beck/Bat for Lashes

Something new - Music Mondays

I don't blog enough, this much I know.  In my defense, I'm usually buried in writing fiction, but I should still use this little web-corner more than I do.  (I have also just put up some links of other places to find me, just over there --->.)  But I'm going to start a regular Music Monday post, in addition to whatever random posts pop up in my addled brain.

The "official" playlist for First Novel (otherwise known as Weird Novel) will remain in my pocket for now, as will the playlists I've got for some of the major characters, but my iPod is laden with others that help me get into - and stay in - specific moods for writing.  Most of these *should* be on YouTube, blip, or otherwise available for free web listening.  If you love something, go forth to your retailer of choice.

Just because I'm listening to it as I type this, the first Music Monday is my "Mellow" list.  (Actually one of many that could be described that way.)  Used for getting into that slightly-emo-but-peaceful headspace.  I wouldn't write comedy to it, but you might. :)


  • Cold, Kind and Lemon Eyes - Margot & the Nuclear So and So's
  • Falling - Wiretree
  • Before the Great War - Vandaveer
  • Dandelion Days - Adam McHeffey
  • Poison Oak - Bright Eyes
  • Cinder & Smoke - Iron and Wine
  • Temazcal - Monsters of Folk
  • Somebody Loved - The Weepies
  • Heart of Love - Army of Me
  • Let's Dance - M. Ward (Yes, this is a David Bowie cover.  I was skeptical too.)
  • The State I Am In - Belle & Sebastian
  • Holocene - Bon Iver
  • A Bird is a Song - Chris Walla
  • Johnnie - Swear and Shake
  • Love Love Love - The Mountain Goats
  • Poke - Frightened Rabbit
  • After the Storm - Mumford & Sons
Any and all music recs left in the comments will be appreciated.  I feel about new music the way Cookie Monster feels about cookies.

...and now I want a cookie.

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!


I'm a recent convert to LibraryThing, but if you haven't checked it out yet you should do so today.  They've translated the whole thing into pirate-speak and I can't stop giggling.  (You can turn it off if it gets annoying.)

Update on the #YesGayYA mess (and yes, I'm calling it a mess)

I wish I could say I'm surprised.

It may be misguided to say that I had difficulty accepting the whole "truth" of the article referenced in my last post because what was detailed there was so counter to my own experience, and indeed I may be guilty of making my own generalizations because of said experience, but nevertheless, I did have a hard time buying that the story as it was laid out was true.  As willing as I was to give the authors of that article the benefit of the doubt, accept that something posted on the Publishers Weekly blog had been fact-checked, and not jump to conclusions simply based on my one case, with my one book, I had a nagging feeling at the back of my brain that there was more to the story.

And that turns out to be the case.

On the wonderful Colleen Lindsay's blog today, the truth comes out, a truth which makes it clear that, whether the authors of the original article simply took from that agent interaction what they wanted to hear, or whether different motives were at play, the agent in question - and the whole episode - were wildly misrepresented.  I won't attempt to repeat everything Colleen and her guest blogger, Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, say, I'll just urge you to go and read the post here.

I stand by my opinion that this kind of thing does happen, simply because we live in a world where, well, this kind of thing does happen, sad and unfortunate as that is.  Much of the impetus behind my first post on the subject, however, was my belief that it is dangerous, unhealthy, and sensationalist to bandy about labels like "homophobia" without incontestable grounds for it.  To do so is not just - to put it mildly - unfair to the person about whom it's being said, it also diminishes the power of such labels, and therefore they mean less in situations when it's justifiably called for.

Again, we need more of all kinds of realism in our YA, even in the fantastical, the paranormal, the speculative.  It saddens me that a false route was taken in an attempt to make that point.  That, too, diminishes something powerful.

The fine line between issues and stereotypes

 Warning: rambling post ahead.

Anyone who pays attention to the rumblings of the YA-verse on twitter (as in YA writers, agents who represent them, editors and publishing houses who pub them etc) will have seen today the kerfuffle over this article on the Publishers Weekly blog.  Briefly, it is the story of a writing team who say that a specific (but unnamed) agent would only agree to represent them if they "straightened out" a gay character in their book.

I have Views on this.  Herewith:

For starters, the title of the article is misleading.  It isn't agents (plural) to which the article is referring, it is one agent.  And yes, I believe making that distinction is important.  To generalize in that way is simply another form of exactly the same problem that's being railed against.  You can't generalize a whole profession, a whole industry, by one member of it, in the same way that you can't - and shouldn't - generalize people regarding their sexuality.  To claim that "agents" - without giving specifics - do this kind of thing is sensationalist and misleading. 

I queried a novel with an openly bisexual main character, two other openly gay characters, and an atmosphere indicating that none of this was frowned upon.  I didn't do it because of any Issue, the main character is bi because he told me he was and I couldn't think of a good reason to take it out.  The others are gay because that's how the plot worked.  No part of the book is about sexuality, it's just about people.  Did I get rejections?  Yes.  Did any of those rejections cite the sexuality of the characters as a reason?  Not a single one.  I received two offers of representation, and had phone calls with each of those agents.  In one, it was mentioned only in an "I love that you did that" passing kind of way.  In the other, there was no need to mention it at all.  Off the top of my head I can name half a dozen YA books that contain LGBQT characters that I've read this summer alone.  Agents will take on these books.  Editors will love them.  Houses will publish them.  To claim otherwise is a tactic that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Why?  Oh, I don't even know where to start on the reasons, but it's mostly these: because it will scare people off writing books with a full representation of the spectrum of humanity, and authors will self-censor before those nameless, faceless agents get a chance.  Because authors will get more militant about "standing up for the cause" and the books will wind up being "issue books" about nothing other than sexuality, and that's a huge, undesirable problem.  Being defined by one's sexuality is exactly what most LGBQT people I know don't want.  They're people, not walking lists of who they sleep with.  In fact, I don't know any straight person who'd want to be defined by that list - rarely would it paint an entirely flattering picture of the person in question.

It's easy to get upset when reading an article such as the one linked above, and it's easy to take up arms for the cause, especially when everyone else is.  (Look up the #YesGayYA hashtag on twitter to see a good example.)  And I have nothing but respect and admiration for anyone who does look at something like this happening and thinks, this is wrong.  This shouldn't happen.  I agree.  It is and it shouldn't and I have absolutely no doubts whatsoever that it does happen, daily and behind closed doors and in closed minds.  The thing is, though, that you don't get to pick which generalizations and stereotypes are okay to perpetuate and which ones are Issues.  You can't, on one hand, say, "Agents do this and it is WRONG, everyone fight back!" but, at the same time, complain that YA novels (or any other subset of fiction) contain stereotypical, white-bread characters and that needs to be changed.

In short, you can't rail against the generalization of sexuality but lump an entire profession into the category of all having one single, unified opinion on said sexuality.

Even if you read the article, don't generalize, and accept that it was one agent who did this...well, so what?  Sure, it's possible that they were being guided by personal beliefs, but equally possible they were being guided by what they thought might sell.  Agents misjudge what might sell all the time, and you only have to read about [insert NYT-bestselling author here] getting 50 rejections before landing an agent to know that.  There are hundreds of agents who don't represent what I write, and hundreds of agents who represent what I don't write.  There are agents who request edits from their authors that turn out not to be the right editorial choices.  I personally know at least three people to whom that's happened.

That doesn't make the gap between author and agent an Issue.  It makes that agent not the right match for that author.  Nothing else.

And to add to what I'm sure is a list as long as my arm of unpopular opinions I hold, I'm not at all sure that the battle-cry of "we need more X" (where X equals any kind of minority or difference from the "norm") isn't part of the problem.  Do we need more gay characters in YA?  Yeah, we probably do.  We also need more kickass girls and fewer assholes and more non-catty relationships between BFFs and a whole host of other things.  We need more realistic people in our books, however those people manifest.  Defining anyone, be it an actual human or an imaginary creation, by one particular aspect of who they are is a slippery slope that, I think, subtly but surely teaches us to view them as one-dimensional.  Not good for a person, not good for a character.  Open-mindedness is about more than accepting one whole facet of a person.  It's about accepting that they have four thousand whole facets and each of them deserve attention.

Go. Buy music. Now. (A huge victim of the London riots.)

Among the many casualties of the riots that took place in London and elsewhere this week, one hit especially close to my heart.  I don't for a second want to trivialize the horrors of injuries and in some cases loss of life that occurred, and my heart goes out to those people and their families.  I spent several nights worrying about the people I know and love who live there, though thankfully they're all fine.

However, there was one tragedy which, while not causing any direct human damage, will seriously affect an entire group of people for whom I have respect, admiration, and even love.  A Sony/PIAS distribution center was burned down during one night of rioting, a distribution center for a very large number of small, independent record labels.  Labels for bands like The National, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Atlas Sound, Bauhaus, The Pixies, Animal Collective, Elliot Smith, Okkervil River, Iron & Wine, The Shins, and hundreds of others you and I may or may not have heard of have, in some cases, lost their entire stock of hard-copy albums.  These are artists I love, artists I support, artists I listened to on endless repeat while they helped me write my book.  Artists who instilled such a love of music in me that I felt compelled to write the book I did.  None of them make enough money and many of their record labels are in real danger of going out of business for good, unable to cover what insurance isn't going to.

I'm doing my best to keep this soapbox as low to the ground as possible, and I actually debated about posting this at all, but I have to.  A huge source of inspiration for me just - literally - went up in flames.  Artists can survive without their record labels, just as self-published authors can be successful without agents or publishing houses, but it's possible I'd never have heard of some of them, or it would've taken me a lot longer to discover music I love.  It's even more likely that the Next Big Thing was in that warehouse, the next musician to grab hold of my ears and my heart, and now that CD or vinyl will never see the light of day because the label that was about to release now can't afford to.

And so I ask this.  If there are record labels populated by musicians you love, particularly any on this list (at the bottom of the article), please support them and in turn those musicians.  Buy digital copies through iTunes or Amazon or however you do such things and help out, even if it's just the cost of one CD, or one song.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go cry for the loss of all that vinyl.  I'm a purist, what can I say.


Old news can still be good news

Yes, this is an old thing I'm linking to (old in the web-sense, which means it's from last year) but it's interesting and music-related and actually something I thought about a lot while writing Weird Novel, though nothing like it was ever included.

Two notes on this:  1, if you aren't familiar with The Apples in Stereo, check them out.  2, if you've never heard of one, a theremin is an instrument you play without touching it - and that's pretty cool in and of itself.

Mind-Controlled Theremin

If that's just a little too weird for you, or maybe you want something more physical and less mental, Imogen Heap recently invented these: Hi-Tech Musical Gloves and I'd give an eyeball for a pair.  Not mine, but, you know, someone's. ;)

White Blank Page is live!

As promised, here's the link to my critique group's blog: White Blank Page

10 points to Gryffindor for anyone who catches the musical reference.  Anyone who doesn't needs to drop whatever they're doing right now and go familiarize themselves with Mumford & Sons.


No rest for the wicked (and I don't want there to be)

It's a busy busy time.  I might, in a moment of madness, even go so far as to refer to myself as a bee. 

But busy is a good thing, especially the things I'm busy with.  I'm now officially free to start making real headway on Second Novel - YAY!  (Not that I wasn't free to before, but other things took precedence.)  I'm SO excited to be really writing again, or at least to be staring the blank page in the eye.  Brainstorming comes first, and that in itself is a ton of fun.  I've got a great piece of mind-mapping software that lets me go off on all kinds of crazy tangents and keep track of ideas both utterly lunatic and potentially viable.  As much as I'm a "pants" writer (as in, by-the-seat-of, I do very very little outlining) I do need to know where I'm going to start, some major events along the way, and where I plan to end up.  Everything else, well, I trust that my mind and the words will take me to the right places most of the time, and that I'll be able to do a U-turn when I wind up on the wrong track.

Caffeine: check.

Second Novel playlist: check.  (This will probably change as I get down to specifics, but for now I have one that suits the overall mood.)

Brainstorming file open: check.

A Google history full of truly bizarre searches: check.  This is one of the funniest things about being a writer.  I think most of us must be on watch lists somewhere.

Ready to go!  I'm so excited.

On a somewhat related note, my online critique group is setting up a blog.  We're all at different stages of the writing game and will all be talking about where we are in the process, how we write, etc.  I'll be blogging about writing Second Novel here, but will also be doing it there and will post a link just as soon as the blog goes live.

Happy writing!


A blog post that blew me away

Or "In which I get on a soapbox and, knowing me, manage to fall off again."

After spotting a link on twitter (thanks, Ang!), I took a break from editing to read a fabulous blog post and am continuing that break to write this.  Please, take a break from whatever you're doing to read here.

In as much as this blog has a topic, that post, and this commentary, may seem like a deviation from it, but I don't think it is.  First of all, the writing is compelling, which is really all that matters to me regardless of subject, and also I think there's relationship between that post and fiction writing.  (Please note, I'm not for a second claiming to be the first to make a connection between those real-world concepts and character creation, it's just something I want to write about here.)

Hanne Blank is absolutely right, in my opinion, and as I am knee-deep in edits and watching my characters on the page again, it got me thinking.

It is, I believe, a universal hope amongst writers that someone, anyone out there will connect with the people we create in our books and identify with them.  We may be telling the stories of completely invented characters, but we want readers to invest in them and think, "Hey, that's me!" to some degree.  Not everyone will, and that's fine, maybe even good, since as Ms. Blank says, women aren't just one thing.  People aren't just one thing.  Still, it means that we want to make our characters as "real" as we possibly can, and with that there is an inherent responsibility to make them diverse.  That is to say, make them an accurate representation of the world not only that we've invented, but the one we're sitting in while we write them down.  For one thing, if we succeed (and learning how to is a process I'm sure I'll be going through for the rest of my life) it makes for a more interesting book, but there's another issue, too.  I'm a YA writer, at least some of you who will read this post are YA or middle-grade writers, and I'd argue that it's especially important for these age groups to read about as many different kinds of people as possible.  Not in a hey-let-me-sit-you-down-and-teach-you-a-lesson kind of way, because every kid and young adult I know can spot that faster than I can spot a twix bar, but in a way that reminds us people aren't just one thing.  It is, after all, depiction in various forms of media that has led to the necessity for posts exactly like the one linked above, and books absolutely have their place there.  I'm sure actual people have said things like this, often, but for the simple fact that I can remember it off the top of my head, I'm going to quote an episode of The West Wing, in which Toby says this:

There is a connection between progress of a society and progress in the Arts. The age of Pericles was also the age of Phidias. The age of Lorenzo de Medici was also the age of Leonardo Da Vinci. The age of Elizabeth was the age of Shakespeare.
The next line is another character saying "these people aren't Da Vinci or Shakespeare" and I'm not saying we are.  Not at all.  I have theories as to why I think we'll never see giants like that again, though that's another post.  We're writers, trying to get by and maybe see our books on shelves along the way, but I don't think that nullifies the point.  Pretty much everything is "normal" and if it takes depictions in books and TV shows and magazines and everything else to subtly guide us towards having that view of the world, then hey, at least we get there in the end. 

As a personal example, there is something about the protagonist of my current MS that could be considered a little "different" - or not, depending on who you are, but it could be.  I didn't choose to put it in there, or set out with a plan to create him with that particular aspect, but he was one of those characters that popped into my head fully formed, including this one thing, and there is a reason I didn't take it out.  I was recently asked whether I would if that would make the difference between being published or not, and my honest answer is I don't know, but if I ever did it would be a wrench.  It makes him more real to me, and if my book does make it to shelves and someone out there identifies with that aspect of him, then that's a bonus.  It's not why I wrote him that way, and at no step of the journey was it ever intended to be some kind of lesson or an attempt to force my own beliefs on anyone, but if it resonates with someone, just once, I'll be glad I didn't listen to the naysaying voice inside my head at the beginning.  (I just think he's a cool character, it's an interesting story, and I had an amazing time writing it.)

As of this morning, the twitterverse was re-alight with the debate over darkness in YA fiction, thanks to another article in the WSJ by the author of the original, who argued that darkness in YA is unhealthy.  Millions of opinions proliferate, and here's mine: the exploding YA market and its corresponding wealth of all kinds of subjects, tones, and genres brings with it an incredible number of rich, diverse, layered characters just waiting for people to read about them, put the book down, and (hopefully) think.  What could be healthier than that?


I hinted at this a few days ago, but it's time to let you all know officially...


I am now represented by the awesomely talented Meredith Barnes of Lowenstein Associates.  Meredith's particular skills and her enthusiasm not just for my MS, but the other projects I want to work on in the future make her the perfect agent for me, and I couldn't be happier or prouder to be working with her.

The next month will be a whirlwind of edits and learning about everything that's coming up for me.  I want to thank everyone who's been a part of this, holding my hand and cheerleading and being generally awesome.  I wouldn't be here without you.



The hodge-podge post

Life has been crazy recently, and the past week has been a contender for the craziest week ever--in the best way possible.  I'm not quite ready to share my news, but I'm feeling bloggy so I thought I'd put a little something up here.  I was actually planning to do a "week in pictures" thing and scour the net for randomly hilarious gifs, but I'm navigating my trackpad with a finger that took a paintball to the knuckle a few hours ago, so I'm going for minimal effort here.

Instead, I will say my week went roughly like this, and 90% of it is book-related:


And that brings us to today, where as you read above, I injured myself in a way only I could manage.  Outside of a dance floor, graceful, I am not.  Accident prone, I absolutely am.   If I based a character on myself and documented examples of my own actual klutziness, no one would believe it.

Add in the beginnings of the plot for my next book, general awesomeness at seeing some old friends, and a trip to my favorite restaurant anywhere in the world, and it's been a really great week. 

Since I should talk a little about actual writing and stuff here, I'll say that lots of things are brewing in my head--new projects, old projects, and peripheral projects to the manuscript I've just completed.  I'm excited about writing in a whole new way now, and that's saying something considering how I attacked the creation of my MS with all guns firing.  (Literally, when it comes to the end.)  More than ever, I'm looking forward to doing this forever.  There's a quote I've had reason to share this week (which in fact I misattributed, so I will correct that here.)

Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else. ~Gloria Steinem
If you feel like that, keep writing.  It's the reason we can't stop, and I know so many of us feel this way.  Write everything you can think of.  Carry a pen everywhere.  Keep a notebook by your bed and don't make the mistake I do of not being able to read the completely illegible scrawls the next morning.

So, that's kind of what's been going on with me--short on the details, I know, but stay tuned for BIG news on Monday. 

Writing what you know is crap

I find myself with a little writing-related time on my hands while Second Novel brews in my head and Weird Novel is beginning to make its first tentative steps out into the wide, scary world of queries, so I thought I'd blog about part of the writing process today.  The title really says it all, but it's worth saying twice: writing what you know is crap.  The (many) of you (us) out there who write speculative fiction, sci-fi, and fantasy prove that.  We've never been on a spaceship, had magical powers, been a vampire/werewolf/vegetable lamb (my personal favorite mythological creature/supernatural being of your choice.

So, here's the thing.  Don't write what you know, write what you can extrapolate.  For all the wide range of human emotions and experiences, the nuts and bolts of those things don't change that much.  Guilt is guilt, whether it's over breaking that jug your mother was fond of or crashing that spaceship prototype into the Ocean of Storms.  You know what your first kiss felt like, so when you write about it, it doesn't matter whether the other participant in your fictional game of tonsil-hockey is a cute guy in your protag's drama club or a demon from the depths of hell (but he's TRYING to be a better person, Mom, honest!)

Sit down at your keyboard, think back to a time when you felt the *thing* you want your protagonist to feel.  That's where it starts.  Subjects and settings...that's all research, and we've never lived in a better time for having access to information.  You're (probably) writing because you want whoever reads your work to be emotionally affected, invested, to cry when your protag does, laugh when they do, cheer when something great happens.  That's what has to be real, that's what you have to know.  You already do-you've been navigating the world through a haze of emotions Spock would disapprove of since you could walk.  Write from the heart.  You know that. 

In honor of Record Store Day

As with my first post, this one is going to be focused on music.  You're going to find that a lot on this blog, because it's about me and my identity - along with writer and various other things - is music nerd to a degree that embarrasses her friends.  As discussed in the first post, I can't separate the two in my head.  They're kind of the mischievous twins who rule my life.

Today, as some of you may know, is Record Store Day.  This is an international event aimed at celebrating independent record stores and reminding people what awesome resources they are.  Many bands are offering exclusive, special RSD releases, so check out and find your nearest participating store.  Me, I'll be heading down to mine soon in the hopes of snagging the new Panda Bear (otherwise known as Noah Lennox) on vinyl, crossing my fingers that it's as amazingly good as his last, Person Pitch.

On that note, I'm going to share one of the "mood music" playlists I put on when I'm trying to evoke a specific mood or tone from a scene.  I have many of them, and as long as it doesn't make readers throw whatever the web equivalent of rotten tomatoes is at my blog, I'll share them with some degree of regularity. 

And because I'm excited about the new Panda Bear, I'm sharing one he makes a few appearances on - as a solo artist, a guest vocalist, and with his main group, the incredible Animal Collective.

This is a playlist for characters sitting on a beach on a summer night, swinging on the swings in the park at 3 am, floating in dreams, or not hurrying that walk in the rain - at least, that's what it does for me.  Your mileage may vary, but hopefully the trip will go somewhere fun.

  • Atlas Sound - Walkabout (ft. Noah Lennox)
  • Animal Collective - What Would I Want? Sky
  • Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms
  • Delorean - Simple Graces
  • Caribou - Odessa
  • Beach House - Take Care
  • Cut Copy - Hearts on Fire
  • Panda Bear - Take Pills
  • Avey Tare - Lucky 1
  • The Faint - Fish in a Womb
  • Phantogram - Running from the Cops

    On thinking on command

    Me: Okay, brain, it's time to dig in now.  You really are a writer, and you have an exciting new opportunity.  You need an idea for a story.

    Brain: Pffft! I am ze arteest!  I do not look for ze inspiration, ze inspiration, it finds me!

    Me: Well, yes, that's true most of the time, but being a published author can't only work like that, and we want to be one of those one day.  First, you master finding ideas.  When you start writing the story, you can let the ideas master you and take you in unexpected directions.

    Brain: I would prefer to look at ze pictures of pretty men and ponder ze deliciousness of zis coffee.

    Me: I...uh...yeah, me too.

    But still, life can't work like that.  I'm the first to admit that my first novel (nearly complete as I type this) was the product of nothing more than a flash of random inspiration that sprung out of absolutely nowhere.  The second novel (about 50% written) came while watching The Matrix.  That's the fun part.  The work part comes 2.3 seconds later when, buzzing with excitement, I have to think of how on earth I'm going to spin that one cool seed of idea into a fully-fledged book.  This means thought.  A lot of it.  Pretty words are just pretty words if they're not saying anything.  The story is as important - or moreso - than the language you couch it in, and not every nuance of plot or structure is going to present itself wrapped in a bow while you're vacuuming or baking cookies.

    Now, buzzing with excitement for a different reason - a fun new project a friend's just asked me to be involved in (more details on that to come, I hope) - I need to start one step closer to the beginning.  I have no clue what this story is going to be about.  Prompts in the form of words and pictures have been generously offered by twitter friends, but none have so far really "spoken" to me in the way an idea has to for me to get excited about it.

    Now, it's tempting to procrastinate.  It always is.  The problem there is that I need to have at least part of this thing written by this Friday, which doesn't give a lot of time for mooching around on the internet while I wait for my muse to hit me in the head with a rubber chicken.  I need to think, to make myself be inspired by something.  And I need to believe in myself, believe that the right idea WILL come to me.  If you need me, I'll be spending most of the morning on weheartit and browsing lists of fun words.

    And drinking coffee and looking at pictures of pretty men, because hey, you never know.

    Where do you find your ideas?


    Diving into the deep end

    A few writer friends recently asked me on twitter if I had a blog.  At that point, the answer was, "No," because honestly I'm not sure how interesting I can be in this format.  I'm not sure how interesting I am in any other environment, come to that. ;)  Nevertheless, though I may not be able to add much to the plethora of excellent blogs out there detailing the journey from stolen-moment writer to published author, those friends were right to tell me that I really should have a web-presence in more than 140-character bursts.

    So here I am.  And because I'm all perked-up by having just made this blog, I'm not content to leave the first post as just an introduction.  I'm going to talk about music.

    On a writing blog.  Yes. 

    The question of whether to have music on while writing gets a different answer from almost all of the writers I know.  Some need complete silence, some have quiet background music on some of the time, others can only write to classical or instrumental stuff.  Music-junkie that I am, I fall at the extreme must-have-tunes-ALLTHETIMEZOMG end of the spectrum.  I literally can't write without it.  This reminds me of ninth grade, when I actually proved to a teacher that I perform better on exams when I have something to occupy the rather large percentage of my brain that is susceptible to being distracted by sparkles. 

    Recently, this has become even more of a "thing" for me since one of my current works-in-progress - and the one I am working on most diligently at this moment (when I'm not making blogs, writing introductory posts, baking cookies, or digging in the fridge for that last, lonely diet coke) is actually about music.  This means that those hours of playlist-building, which those uptight people in my life might label procrastination, are actually research.  Ha!  Shows what they know.

    Currently playing: an eclectic mix of guys-with-guitars of the indie-rock persuasion.  The fact that most of them look great in eyeliner has nothing to do with my appreciation of their music.  I swear.  Though my protagonist is a guy-with-guitar of the indie-rock persuasion who happens to look good in eyeliner, so if anyone's research.  Inspiration, even.

    It's likely that no one's reading this yet, but if you're out there...what are you listening to?  Do you have different playlists for different types of scenes?  Different characters?  Or are you the silence-is-golden type?