Lavender 1: Regrouping

Welcome to the Twelve Days of Lavender’s Blue. It’s been hell here this week and today was not a whole lot better, but we’re getting it together which means I have to get really serious about getting this book done. Well, I’ve been serious all along but Trouble Ensued and then More Trouble Ensued and then . . . But now, Trouble is just going to have to play with itself because I have a book due in . . . eleven days. The book itself is in good shape, I just have to get my head back in it. Which means two things: soundtrack and collage.

The soundtrack took a big leap forward when I realized that most of it was going to be country. Liz, the heroine, has her own theme for this book, Terri Clark’s wonderful “Bigger Windows, Bluer Skies” and there’s some more Clark in there, too–“Easy on the Eyes” and “Three Mississippi,” and I’m pretty sure that Liz’s theme for the series is “No Fear,” but the artist I’m using most is Roseanne Cash. No surprise, I’m a longtime Roseanne Cash fan, for many reasons not the least being that she’s such a storyteller in her songwriting. Plus she did “Rules of Travel” which is on my list of Top Five Albums of all Time. For “Beautiful Pain” alone I’d love her. For Lavender, I’ve got “Burn Down This Town,” “Down on Love,” “God Is In the Roses,” and “Will You Remember Me?” There’s more but they’re iffy at the moment; those are ones I’m sure of, the ones I’ve written the scenes to already.

Kelly Clarkson got the love theme, “My Life Would Suck Without You” (trust me, that Liz’s love theme, she’s not a romantic), and for the moment the hero is stuck with Brad Paisley’s “I’m Still a Guy,” because that’s what Liz’s best friend plays for him. I’m a big Paisley fan, but that song isn’t quite right for the hero, so I’m still looking. Of course, he’s going to be the hero for four books, so I have time.

But it’s not all country. “Birdhouse in my Soul” shows up as Liz’s ringtone and then the favorite song of Vi, the little girl in the book. “I’ll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me” is on the jukebox at the local diner and takes Liz back to high school in the nineties, so there’ll be a few more of those. And k.d.lang singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is still in there and may be the love theme for the series. Or maybe I just want it in there because I love listening to it. That’s why “Birdhouse” is in there.

So now I will go fire up the iPod and write. Music solves all problems, cures all ills. Okay, not all of them, but it’s a huge help when you’re writing a book.

And here’s Jeannette Jurado. Welcome to 1992:

33 thoughts on “Lavender 1: Regrouping

  1. I just took class one in Lani’s Discovery course and am busy building a soundtrack. It’s the first time I’ve done this for a book. I’m glad Lani said that having fun and letting ourselves play is important. This gave me freedom to listen to clips of songs by different artists and finding versions that are better fits — like Dolly Parton’s bluegrass version of Time for Me to Fly. The lyrics make this song a soundtrack choice at the moment and Dolly’s version just has so much more energy than REO Speedwagon.

    My brother gave me Roseanne Cash’s The List for Christmas last year. Oh, how I love it.

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      1. Lots, but nowhere near as many CDs as books. And most of them are old (I keep EVERYTHING). Lately, I buy most stuff on iTunes, and I buy a lot there.
        I don’t actually know much about music (but I know what I like [rimshot]), so I tend to stay within my comfort zone. The few times I’ve ventured out, it’s been because there’s been a TV show or movie that used music that I loved by association. I found “Hang Me Up To Dry” by the Cold War Kids through Burn Notice. And Life had great music, although I evidently missed the originals that were even better. I think it’s like everything else when you’re writing a book: some stuff just sticks to it.

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  2. The real question is: Does Liz Do Crochet?
    Somehow she doesn’t seem the type. Far too good for that frustrating stuff that gets the yarn all tangled and the person all annoyed busy.

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    1. Liz lives in her car and a series of motels and hotels so she doesn’t have any hobbies, all she does is write. But if the series goes longer than four books, I had one sketched in at a yarn show, and then she’d start. She has a long arc.

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    1. Marching through in red stilettos, black velvet and carrying a trumpet…
      I love a parade, when I hear a band

      Oops, looks like we lost a few CBs on the way over here. Hopefully they will find their way here eventually.

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  3. I need to start listening to more modern music than Classical.

    If only someone would figure out a way to have music automatically start as you read….and match the written word.

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  4. Louis said:

    If only someone would figure out a way to have music automatically start as you read….and match the written word.

    Oooh, then someone will spread rumors that if you start Dark Side of the Moon on word one of Chapter one . . . wait, that’s The Wizard of Oz I’m thinking of!

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    1. No. There’s music I love that just doesn’t fit. Someday it might. It really has to evoke the character or the scene, not the other way around. It’s like picking colors for a room. Some rooms are better in yellow, some in blue, even if your personal favorite color is orange.

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  5. My two faves from Rules of Travel are “Closer Than I Appear” — cause I think it’s a great description of what it’s like to have a fight in a relationship — and “I’ll Change For You” because it’s so un-1990s-self-help. So naughty!

    You can’t go wrong writing to Rosanne Cash. 😉 Good luck!

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  6. Not to put to fine a point on it.
    Say I’m the only bee in your bonnet.
    Put a little birdhouse in you soul!

    I love love love this song! I’m not a big fan of country music, but with a little They Might Be Giants, me and Liz will get along just fine 🙂

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  7. I really enjoy TMBG too. The iTunes Genius Mixes might be a useful tool to help find the right music within the genre you’ve chosen.

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    1. For the books, they generally aren’t because I’m not looking for that type or sound of music, I’m looking for the music that evokes the scene. I do have the Genius mixes, I just don’t use them much.

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  8. My fave Roseanne Cash’s are “Seven Year Ache”–used to sing it at the top of my lungs when I was 6 years old–and “Blue Moon with Heartache”. Yay I need to steal my mom’s cd or download those.

    I think I need to do a soundtrack for my stalled WiP.Hmmm…at least I could play on iTunes and stall, pretending to work. I LOVE pretend work.

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  9. okay is it wrong that, as a true child of the nineties, i think that singer in the video looks really pretty? spiral perm, flowery dress, and all.

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  10. Huh. I remembered that song being earlier. I don’t know what that says about me, but I don’t think it’s anything good.

    I soundtrack every book I read in my head, so I love this stuff. Keep it coming!

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    1. Me too! I thought it was from when I was in high school, rather than from the year my son was born. Since those are pretty distinct times in my life, I’m a little boggled as to why.

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  11. Love getting these little musical insights into your books! I especially love this, since I operate the same way with writing/music:

    Jenny wrote:
    “I’m looking for the music that evokes the scene”

    I’m curious what sort of copyright issues you have to deal with when using song titles and/or lyrics in your books?

    Looking forward to reading Liz’s stories!

    Tawna

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    1. Most of the time I don’t use the music in the book. If it’s integral to the scene in some way, I do, though, and the rule of thumb my editor gave me was “no more than seven words from any song.” Which I think is good for the writing, because song lyrics without music just interrupt the story.

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  12. Aaannnd that Expose song just slammed me back to the worst broken heart I’ve ever had. Not to mention my never-quite-successful quest for the perfect spiral perm. Very glad to find leads to other good music here, so it balances out 😉 Smooches!

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  13. I’m going to have to update my iTunes really, really soon or there will be too much for me to remember. Thanks for writing it all down so I can have a reference.

    I’ve never been one for country, but saw Roseanne Cash talking about The List on Tavis Smiley and NPR (heard) and got intrugued. Might get that, but I might start with your recommendataions, just in case.

    My friends love me – they made sure to call/text and make sure I was watching KD Lang sing Hallelujah at the Olympics opening ceremonies because it was just right. My fav of hers is Black Coffee.

    I’ve also tried to pay attention when songs catch my attention on the TV or whatever. “Let Me Be Next to You” played on Bones, and “I Want to do Bad Things With You” on True Blood, and they’re on my shortlist to get the next time I update the iTunes. Birdhouse I’ve had since 1990. We gave that TMBG album (Flood) to my cousins. They liked it but thought we were very strange. after killing Jason off and countless screaming Argonauts. I use Birdhouse to knock earworms out of my head and it works most of the time.

    Lastly, I happen to love orange and had the great good luck for it to work as a wall color in both my kitchen and bath. I know full well it’ll probably have to go beige to sell, but while I’m living there, I need the (new) orange sherbet “GOOD MORNING” from my bathroom vanity and the lime green in the shower. (Lime green around the vanity would have made me look very strange in the mirror, so it was disallowed there.)

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    1. I’m doing the downstairs kitchen in orange and loving it. Very retro.
      And by “doing” I mean painting it myself. White and orange with lots of Coke signs and Betty Boop. VERY cheerful.

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  14. The Golden State by John Doe

    Okay, I love love love this anti-romantic love song. It’s real, its fun, it’s got lots of energy, and it’s a free download from Amazon.com if you’re interested listening.
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Golden-State/dp/B000SFS6VW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1275940576&sr=8-1

    I didn’t think of a soundtrack as it related to my story until I heard this song. I discovered this song via a young lady on The Jayhawks message board who was thinking of using it for the first dance at her wedding.

    Of course, any love song that celebrates the notion of being your partner’s “pain in the neck” has got my attention.

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  15. Oh, if you’re doing country – please check out some Lucinda Williams, especially the newest one, Little Honey. To quote the review that pointed me to her:

    The highlights include an inspired Elvis Costello duet (“Jailhouse Tear”) and the Britney Spears/Amy Winehouse shoutout “Little Rock Star.” (“It’s clear you have a death wish,” Williams sings. “You bend over backwards to make a statement / Hang from the rafters and lick the pavement.”) But the album’s strongest song just may be its incredible closer: a halting, growling cover of AC/DC’s “Long Way to the Top.” When Williams sings, “I tell you folks, it’s harder than it looks,” you believe her. And when you dim the lights and turn the stereo way up, you’ll think you’ve stumbled into some rowdy, random honky-tonk, and happened upon the best singer south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

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