WRITERLY WEDNESDAY: The Music in Me Vol. 2

In case you missed my first instalment discussing music and my WIPs, you can catch up here. Musical choices in storytelling fascinate me. After watching the LoTR franchise, I can’t fully appreciate life in The Shire without hearing the jaunty melody that enhances the light and playful experience of running through the grass. The juxtaposition of rock and roll and other more modern songs in A Knight’s Tale doesn’t seem like it would work, but it does. And our favorite erstwhile bounty hunter The Mandalorian, a.k.a. Din Djarin, travels about in a galaxy, far far away, to what? Space Opera music? Space Western music? You can hear some of the score in the Season 2 Final Trailer here. (Fair warning, there are spoilers if you haven’t watched the show yet. And if not, what are you waiting for?) Whatever we want to call it, the music brings that part of the universe to life in a way uniquely its own.

It’s as though the music becomes as integral to the worlds we create and the characters within them. One could argue that the music we ascribe to the stories we tell are characters in their own right.

Yes, these examples are for a different medium. However, I’m a visual writer and have been told as much by others who’ve read my work. I want my words to leap off the page and into life, whether on the page or on screen. I aspire to write screenplays as well as adapt the WIPs I’ve already begun in book form. Either way, music has always been an essential part of my writing process.

If it’s not music I already love that I incorporate into my WIPs, I somehow hear a score as the scenes unfold in my mind. There’s no other way to describe it than that. I’m not adept at music production but I am intrigued by the process. As part of the various creative outlets that I’m pursuing for my own edification, as well as for their therapeutic benefits, I want to delve more into illustration and music creation. The art supplies have been purchased and I do have music apps and tech that will (ideally… hopefully… lol) help me bring out the musical notes that have been dancing around in my cranium as I write. Adding other tangible aspects to my stories to supplement and enhance the words is an exciting prospect for me. Considering the technology available to us and how innovative people have been during the pandemic, I would be keen to try an immersive, interactive and potentially collaborative means of storytelling. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for years and there’s no time like the present, right?

Have you ever seen behind the scenes footage of a show or film you like? They’re blocking the scene, filming it from different angles, but it’s completely silent other than the actors speaking or certain sound effects activating. The score is added in post-production. The viewing experience is completely different when you have music accompanying the various emotions of a scene. How about moments where no words are necessary but you see a character realize something crucial to the plot?There are musical cues and dramatic pauses that allow the audience to come to that realization along with them. You’re really brought deeper into the story and find yourself in suspended disbelief. You’re no longer a spectator but an active participant in the story and the stakes are just as high.

I have a very similar experience when reading or writing stories. The scene unfolds, the music swells, and I’m right there with the characters amidst the adventure and turmoil. I’ve had to close a book because it left me overcome with emotions. The respite is almost immediate as I’d be drawn back into the story, no matter how late into the night I’d go. As an insomniac, it’s so late it becomes early–as in, early morning.

Do you have musical inclinations when you’re drafting your stories? Do you like listening to music to help you get in the writing mindset or do you also enjoy particular music to help inspire the scenes themselves? Either way, music is a powerful component of my story creation.

A compelling score adds texture and nuance to the scenes as they unfold in my mind and translate to words on the page. What are you writing? And what music, if any, moves you? Music that moves you to write, music that moves your story forward. I’d love to hear what inspires other writers and add to my playlist.

Stay creative, stay weird, be kind to yourself and others.

Until next time,

T out.

WRITERLY WEDNESDAY: The Music in Me Vol. 1


Hello and a Happy Hump Day to you!

This month, I decided to bring back Writerly Wednesday, the series where I share things I’m up to regarding my WIPs and any new projects on the horizon. Fan fiction I’ll still keep for Fangirl Fridays. Haven’t decided yet if I’ll do these along with or alternate them with my Friday posts. Ideally, I’d like to get more words out to help me stay on course in my writing journey. Thank you, as always, for joining me here.

Do you listen to music as you write? What type of music interests you? I’d love to hear what other writers enjoy and utilize in their creative process. Some people have said that music inspires a productive writing session. I’ve tried that in the past. My tastes are eclectic. I enjoy the classics, be it from 30 to 300 years ago. I have more movie and television scores and soundtracks in my collection than I have or heard of the current Top 40. Regardless of the genre, while I do love music that has lyrics, I often get distracted by the words while I write because I start singing along and losing focus on the task at hand.

[Image Credits: Woman listening to music while writing, Woman singing. I provide clickable links on the images I use, These are listed because I haven’t been able to figure out how to link individual images in gallery displays yet. 😊]

Because of this, I’ve taken it a step further and have created soundtracks specific to my projects. I’ve actually mapped out scenes where I can imagine the score or song playing in the background in time to the intensity or emotional flow of the moment. In these cases, if the song has lyrics, they do matter in how the scene unfolds. Other times, I’d find a piece of music that speaks to me, relate it to the WIP I have before me and create a scene from there.

Does it always work? No. But it makes for an interesting writing exercise where I discover a perspective I hadn’t noticed before, nuances in character dynamics that had not yet been explored if not for letting the music move me through the plot. It can take me out of my comfort zone, at times, but it’s intriguing, as well. I’ve often kept the newer take on the same scene as I’ve found it works better in the story.

It’s important to keep in mind that as with anything, perception and interpretation can differ with each person. I can interpret the words to a song and find a sad connection to a memory that resonates each time I hear it. Another person might hear those same words and music and feel nostalgia. As readers and writers, we each bring something different to the table. Therefore, music is a transformative experience tailored to the individual listening to it. Same goes for the reader’s experience. Harnessing those emotions in each scene we write can have greater impact on the reader as they immerse themselves in our stories.

Stay creative, stay weird, be kind to yourself and others.

Until next time,

T out.

5 Tunes That Helped Up the Word Count


Third week done.

Surpassed 50K on Wednesday and I’m still going. I want to make sure the subplots weave seamlessly with the main story arc.

NaNoWriMo & SavvyAuthorsEntangled Smackdown stats:

Week One: 17,850 words

Week Two: 16,383 words

Week Three: 18,820 words

I did start to slow down a bit later in the week but the sprints that began it paid off.

Running Total: 53,053 words

I recall writing about my experiences in Toronto last month–has it only been a month?–and something in particular struck a chord with me precisely because it struck a chord with me.


The stars must have aligned beyond the clouds on that mid morning Friday. We were on the highway and I could see the CN Tower pierce through the horizon. The landmark came into view along with the rest of the Toronto skyline and I was overcome with emotion. Nostalgia, happiness, and excitement swirled in my head.

Continue reading

Week in Review – 2013/10/07 – 2013/10/20, Pt. 3



And just like that, we were on our way back to the West Coast.

But not so fast. Toronto, it seemed, wanted to make this trip extra memorable.

I woke up past 3am on the morning of our check-out and departure. Don’t know why. It wasn’t a bad dream or anything–that was yet to come.

I sat up and stretched. For the first time, the TV hadn’t been left on. Per our usual hotel viewing, we’d watch an HGTV marathon. Nothing like seeing Bryan Baeumler or Mike Holmes improving the lives of homeowners to send us peacefully off to SnoozeVille. They’re like our oversized cherubs. Hammers instead of harps. Tool belts instead of wings. Home Improvement lullabies are the best.

Anyhoo, no TV this time around and the remote was waaaaay over on the other bed. I flopped back down and kicked off the covers for the nth time thanks to the A/C and its moodiness. Just as my eyelids began to droop, they curled back in surprise, as did my toes, to the sound of the fire alarm blaring throughout the room.


I got back up, went to check the window and to feel the door. Nada.

The Sisterhood came to and looked far less pleased than I already wasn’t to hear such noise. It was as though someone finally ran over the Road Runner again and again and again.

A man’s voice crackled over the PA system and informed us an alarm had been set off in our building. We kept hearing 3D, but it might have been thirty. Either way, being on the ninth floor already had me grabbing clothes to wear. Might be good to mention it was pouring outside because, really, how else should this story go?

The message ended with the guy telling us to stay in our rooms to await further instructions. I could already hear half a dozen doors on our floor open and shut as the harried and half-asleep dragged their feet towards the fire exit near our room.

Intermittent screechiness with the same droning of non-information resumed. I sighed and went to the bathroom. I figured if I was going to have to stand outside with the hundreds or thousands of other upset hotel guests and staff, it should be on an empty bladder.

And the song played on. For over thirty minutes.

Finally, the voice came back on the PA to inform us that the situation had been resolved, the system reset, and we didn’t have to do anything further.

That’s it. No explanation or “sorry for the inconvenience” of ripping us from slumber. I understand the fire alarms need to wail like banshees to get people up and outta there but, come on. We had more questions than answers. It was like topping off the perfect dessert of a vacation with sawdust and a ball bearing.

Well, on the TV went and at least we had Baeumler and Holmes to cheer us up. It took us another few hours to get ourselves back to sleep and that was only for a power nap because we had to do some last minute errands before checking out of the hotel.


So as not to repeat the subpar aeronautical experience at the start of our travels, the Sisterhood wisely booked us a couple of upgraded seats. Leg room, free food, and as a bonus, a functioning A/C system onboard the plane. I doubt she had anything to do with it, but she’s been known to work magic here and there.

Aside from some snags towards the end, it was a much anticipated and well-deserved vacation.


As promised, here are five things you can try (as I did) while on vacation that will help in your writing:

1) SETTING. Take advantage of studying your surroundings. You never know if you need to write about a particular store front. Or you might partake in a local custom or event that you can include in an WIP. When you experience something firsthand you add depth to your writing by using all the senses.

2) PEOPLE WATCH. I know this is an old favorite of writers, but especially when you can hide behind the anonymity of a wandering tourist, you can drink it all in at your leisure. Without them even uttering a sound, I can count off at least a dozen people that I could base entire characters on for my stories. There’s so much diversity out there waiting to be explored.

3) MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO. And I say this with caution. To borrow another phrase, “When in Rome…” or in this case, Toronto. Yes, I’d been there before. But it was a long time ago. Still, first time or twentieth, you needn’t always act like a tourist. It’s also nice to blend in with the locals. For one, they won’t treat you like a tourist (i.e. lure you into making touristy mistakes and/or impulse purchases). Also, if you’re one with the people, you’ll see them in their natural element which allows you to have all these authentic character studies at your disposal.

4) PHOTOGRAPHS. Or as the Sisterhood says, “Pics or it didn’t happen.” While this might sound counterintuitive after #3, there are so many shutterbugs around these days. You’d hardly come off as conspicuous or paparazzi-like in today’s technologically saturated world. Cameras, tablets, smartphones. The options of recording sound, picture, and motion are bountiful so you don’t have an excuse if you need to capture a moment that speaks to you. Plus, if you really want to, you can be a tourist of your own imagination where anything is an adventure. 🙂

5) SOUNDTRACKS. I love a good soundtrack while I write. I also like using certain tracks to accompany scenes in my writing, much like a movie. I’m an audio/visual storyteller. This process might not work for everyone, but it really gets the juices flowing. For instance, we were on the highway heading towards the city centre. The Sisterhood’s Bestie had music playing in the car. It was perfect. Just as I saw the CN Tower peek out from behind the tree line, the music swelled. It was like the end of a great movie. Camera pans out to show the stretch of road on which the car is traveling, fade to black, roll credits. Anything and everything can inspire you, if you let it.

The most important thing I learned was to open my mind and heart to maximize the experience. I think Lifehack says it best:


( via lifehack.org )

It’s good to be home, yes. Jet-lagged, exhausted, and emotionally drained–that was just from Les Mis! But also, seeing family and places from days gone by, there are so many stories to be told. I hope everyone gets to have such an intense and wonderful experience such as this on a regular basis. It’s a beautiful way to recharge your creative batteries.