Tag Archives: music

My Summer Writing Soundtrack

Spring Forward, Fall Apart: A Spoken Word Album

This is my first collection of musical spoken word recordings. Each recording puts a satirical slant on self improvement, self medicating heartbreak with humor, and dropping the mic on depression. The recordings are scored with synth melodies, backing beats, and radio drama sound FX.

Shadow People: An Album for You to Write To

SHADOW PEOPLE is my second full length album. This LP is a soundtrack for daydreams and nightmares, filled with somber synth soundscapes, industrial rhythms, and eerie atmospheres. It’s the perfect score for writers, filled with meditations for ideation. Stream it here or buy it on Bandcamp.

The Soundtrack for My Work in Progress

A writer isn’t sure if the ghost occupying her basement is real or a figment of the tumor in her brain. A sex addict seeks anonymous fun only to find himself the unwitting pawn of a mysterious librarian. A house husband has an idea for a haunted trail that may involve murdering his wife. An accused killer falls in love with her lawyer. A defense attorney is in the process of being disbarred for sleeping with his client. A grief stricken widower is put on trial by his own demons.

These are the tortured souls living in my work in progress: We the Damned. This is the playlist I listened to help get inside their heads. Songs of loss, yearning, and cocksure defiance. Check it out.

spotify:user:1210424180:playlist:0bxBb1AL8uKsUzQet7KRL8

Writing While Angry: On Being a Frustrated Novelist in Public

You know those people that always assure you they’re a good person while their actions say otherwise? I’m not one of them. If you wander into my writing environment when I’m having an off day you will meet a terrible person.

Most of the time my inner curmudgeon sits behind his view screens, a grouch on a couch making observations that never turn into vocalizations, but every so often my inner sourpuss comes to the surface. I don’t need a full moon to trigger the change just one too many annoyances in my writing space. Continue reading Writing While Angry: On Being a Frustrated Novelist in Public

Best Soundtracks for Writing 2014

A skull wearing Skullcandy headphones
A skull wearing Skullcandy headphones

Writers need to keep our attention focused on the page in front of us, this is tough when we live in buildings where sound proof vaults are against the fire code.

It’s hard for us to describe tranquil meadows, when our upstairs neighbors are jousting on rolling chairs. It’s hard to write about winds whistling through ancient ruins, when frat boys are catcalling from the balcony across the street. It’s hard to stay on task, when the pothole of death sends another hubcap into an orchestra of car alarms.

That’s why I’m always on the hunt for music to cancel out the noise pollution and keep me in the right frame of mind. I’ve blogged about how my soundtrack for writing is always expanding. These are my favorite albums for writing from 2014 (with a few entries from 2013 mixed in). Continue reading Best Soundtracks for Writing 2014

Soul Donor

Busted
Busted

Something haunts the attic of my imagination, locked in an old trunk, it watches my movements through the keyhole. While I stack character traits, it lies in wait. While I lay scenes on the card table, it bides its time. While I wave my marker, connecting plot points across the wall, it stares at my rolling chair with bright green eyes, a prince watching a throne, waiting for his time to come.

Entering the attic of my imagination, I find streaks through the floor boards. The trunk sits beneath the window, the keyhole positioned to see out into the real world. Trying to drag it back to its place, I give up part way. Distracted, I read the notecards scattered across the table, I toss half of them to the floor. There’s just no room for them anymore. I need this section of my imagination to process something I’ve been thinking.

Jotting a word down, I set it on the open space. The card says: INDECISION. The floorboards creak. Thunder claps off in the distance. I set the word OBLIVIOUS in an empty spot. There’s a thump. The lights flicker. I set the word UNREQUITED down. There’s a crash behind me, a click, followed by the groaning of a rusty hinge. Turning around, I find the trunk has moved. Its lid has opened on its own.

Peaking inside, a swarm of locusts engulf my eyes.

The trunk was filled with all of my romantic compulsions. Every time I develop feelings for someone, the infernal crate starts filling. The self doubt, the jealousy, the fear of rejection, all these things start rumbling. I can stack books atop it, hammer nails in, put it in a dark corner of the room, but sooner or later the trunk bursts open.

Once that happens, darkness takes over my imagination. My characters break down, my plot points get painted over, and my scenes get scattered. The story I’m developing disappears as the specter of a doomed romance leaves its mark on everything.

2. Trunk

I wrote the following in my early twenties, back when my best ideas were abandon in favor of an overwhelming urge to vent. Its wordy, silly, embarrassing, and completely honest. Recently, I dug it up and gave it the musical treatment. I hope you like it.

(If SoundCloud is down, download the track)
(Download the instrumental version here)

Soul Donor

The third law of thermodynamics
The one we all love to hate
I poured my heart into something
That didn’t reciprocate
I syphoned out all my good parts
To feed your perceptually aching machine
I slowed myself to crawl
Just to keep it going

Like a vampire blood donor
Like an eleventh hour Valentine
I put so much of myself in you
But you’d never be mine
You’re feeding off my entropy
I’m running out parts to give
I’ve been dying long enough to know
That dying is no way to live

It’s safe to assume
It’s safe to foresee
Even if it makes
An ass of “u” and “me”
It takes an addict
To spot another addict

Ah fuck it, I admit it
I really am psychic

The only law that Murphy had
The one that we all try to break
I left so much room for error
Our foundations were bound to shake
I always came when you were jonesing
For the high only I’d provide
Who knew you could quit cold turkey
And let this whole thing slide

Who knew you’d leave me in this bath tub
In this motel up the street
Dry ice freezing my skin off
You only take the parts you need
When I signed on to be your lover
Did I sign on as a soul donor too?
How could I hate myself enough
To give my love to the likes of you?

It’s safe to assume
It’s safe to foresee
Even if it makes
An ass of “u” and “me”
It takes an addict
To spot another addict

Ah fuck it, I admit it
I really am psychic

3. Ghost Hand

Clarity is Cool (Audio Blog)


(If SoundCloud is down, download the track)
(Download the instrumental version here)

This rant is for anyone who took an English literature class course and still didn’t loose their passion for writing, for anyone who can read something without having to search for a hidden meaning, for anyone who thinks that symbolism should come secondary to a good story. Continue reading Clarity is Cool (Audio Blog)

Choke and Mirrors (Audio Short)


(Download the instrumental version here)

A short story about a haunted medicine cabinet, with a fresh twist on an old jump scare.

Soundtrack for Writing

Statue with Headphones

This entry was inspired by my friend Rachel’s writing playlist on her website celenagaia.wordpress.com. Check it out here. Follow her on Twitter @Raishimi

Music can be a writer’s best friend. A stopgap for the noise pollution around us. A check against the gridlock orchestra laying on their horns, against the food court percussion section scraping the food out of their instruments, against the mouth breathing choir in line at the DMV. Music provides a way to tune out all that chatter and turn up your internal monologue. It adds tone to discord, order to abstraction.

When I write spooky stories, I prefer songs that draw out the tension, rather than rush to the crescendo. I need my conductor to move with a slow and steady hand. To lure my mind into the cellar, to tug me down a long narrow corridor of nightmares.

I prefer atmospheric soundscapes to orchestral scores. I prefer rain and thunder to a bombastic brass sections. I prefer synthesizers to string sections, programmed beats to kettle drums. I prefer beats because they repeat. They keep my mindset consistent. They give my words a rhythm. Continue reading Soundtrack for Writing