Monthly Archives: February 2016

Books Need Soundtracks Too


Music just goes perfectly with writing, though sometimes searching for the right songs to match the feelings or the tone of a section of the novel can be time consuming.  Or perhaps it can be a time wasting or stalling tactic occasionally as well.

I’ll even confess that sometimes when I’m typing on the laptop, I’m singing along with the clicking of the keys.  Well…not if I’m writing at a cafe or coffee shop, that would just be weird.  But if I’m at home, then who’s to judge, right?  After all, Graham’s a pretty understanding cat.  At least I think he is if I’m understanding his looks correctly.

For example, tonight he was laying on my lap facing away from me as I wrote, enjoying some cuddling time and somehow managing to stay asleep, even during those times when I tried to shift to keep my tookis from falling asleep.  Then, when certain songs from my iTunes came on, of course I had to sing along as they fit the mood of the sections I was working on.

These Days by Rascal Flatts went over fine with my tiny audience.  He actually seemed to flip his tail to the beat, smacking it against me on beats 2 and 4 of each measure.  What can I say, my little guy is gifted.  His eyes stayed closed, his head stayed down, and he might as well have been asleep.  Except for his tail that seemed to be enjoying the entertainment that was going on around him.  But then…

He must not have cared for Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt (don’t judge, it came on, it continued to fit the mood and yes, I just happen to know the words).  His head perked up fairly quickly into my rendition of that one and he gave me a look I can only say displayed frustration and disappointment.  It’s amazing the thoughts that animals can portray without words, isn’t it? And, in case he thought that his point hadn’t been made strongly enough, he then hopped off my lap and trotted out of the room.

I may have taken it slightly personally (how else can you take your non-paying audience walking out in the middle of song number two?) but I’m sure he just had someplace to be.  The sun was no longer shining through the office window and the tile at the back door was probably warm and calling.  That’s what I’ll tell myself anyway.  And I just kept singing away, and didn’t take out my moment of humiliation on any of the characters in the novel.  They all survived to the end of the chapter and will live to see another day.  So it’s been a good day for everyone…

Excuses and Justifications…


Sometimes things get in the way of writing.  Sometimes they’re just the usual, banal things in life.  Sometimes they’re just the boring things we all need to do through the course of a normal day.  But sometimes they’re major surprises that catch us off guard.

One major surprise like that taught me an interesting lesson the other day.  And that’s this – when you visit the local emergency room and have an issue involving chest pains, they bump you to the top of the list.  I gues that only makes sense and is a good idea for everyone involved, regardless of whatever any other patient waiting there thinks about the policy.  What, do I have to die here? I heard one friendly and concerned guy ask as he looked up from his cell phone to watch me being led into the back after I’d only been waiting for a minute or two.  Sorry dude, it’s not my call.

It ended up being a partially collapsed lung as a result of a severe allergic reaction to something rather than anything more serious, but I can’t say that I minded being able to skip ahead past the people with nothing more than colds or flu-like symptoms.  I’m usually a patient guy, but I didn’t mind a little more preferential treatment in that circumstance.  And, I did get a view of the ER process that I can use in a future story/novel.  After all, there may be a future character who’s a nurse, or a klutz or a hypochondriac, right?

So that’s my latest excuse for not maintaining a regular writing schedule.  It happens, and I think it qualifies as a legitimate excuse.  This time at least.

But anyway…  I saw this completely “authentic” Bigfoot call in the local dollar store the other day (how I ended up there in the dollar store being another story altogether) and I just had to take a picture.  I would have even bought it (after all, it was only a dollar) except that you have to put your lips on the back of it and blow to make the legitimate-sounding Bigfoot call.  And the packaging looked like it was barely holding on and might have been pulled apart and repackaged numerous times over recent decades.  So I didn’t really trust trying it it out without a thorough dousing in a vat of formaldehyde.  And they weren’t selling that in the dollar store.

But I’m curious what it sounds like.  In retrospect, I should have asked someone in the store to try it out for me.  Sure, it would have come across as a little weird, but where would I have ever seen those people again?  In the local Wal-Mart, or the local grocery store that practically has a gravel floor?  So what would there be to be embarrassed by?  Ahh…regrets…  I should have asked the first person to walk down that aisle to give it a try for me.  They either would have said ‘yes’ or I would have gotten some entertaining looks to enjoy.

Now I think I just need to go back and see if they have any left in stock.  But I’m sure they sell out fast.  After all, all germ concerns aside, how often do you have a chance to find such a valuable piece of Bigfoot hunting equipment for only a dollar…?