I blog about what inspires me both here and over at Book View Cafe. Feel free to comment here or there!.

It isn’t just pictures or poetry or the critters who share my yard that inspire me.

It’s also music.


Like many writers, I can’t listen to music with words while I’m writing. I need pure sound, that inspires me to write faster, or draws me in with its mood. While I sometimes write in silence, just listening to the wind in the trees, or the rain pattering the roof, or the birds in the backyard, sometimes I listen to man-made noise.

So — some links!

I listen to a lot of soundtracks while I’m writing. Different soundtracks for different novels or stories, of course.

One of my favorites is Tron Legacy, by Daft Punk. It’s electronic music, and when I’m writing fight scenes, or any kind of chase, this is one of my go to pieces.

For more moody writing, I frequently turn to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. This has some good fight music, but also more atmospheric pieces. Stirring, is what I call it in my head.

One of my favorite CDs is Orbital: In Sides. I’ve often described this CD as a soundtrack looking for a movie to highlight. It’s another electronic piece. Lots of action and movement.

Then of course there’s the super hero theme. For smooth jazzy lounge music that’s just fun and gets me bouncing along on crazier themes, I have The Incredibles. This is really upbeat music, that I find evocative, setting the mood for James Bond type fights on mysterious islands.

I write a lot of things that take place south of the Mason Dixon line. One of my absolute favorite CDs is by The New Orleans Nightcrawlers: Slither Slice. I had the great fortune of seeing this band play a couple of times while I was in NOLA. They’ve got a great brass section, and a good beat.

As you can tell, I work with a lot of energy. That’s frequently the first thing people notice about me. (Some say hyper — I say high energy and focused.) Caffeine is my drug of choice, particularly for writing, not alcohol. But there are times when I like a quieter, slower piece of music for writing.

One such piece is the soundtrack to the film American Beauty. This is quirky, interesting, but also much quieter than the things I generally listen to when I’m writing.

Another is the entire trilogy from The Lord of the Rings. I am such a LotR geek. I watch the extended DVDs probably once a year. I know the music and the images so well, I can always see the scenes when the music plays. I haven’t learned The Hobbit music as well, but it also has a special place in my heart.

The other source of quiet music I listen to are instrumental. I’ve tried classical music, but it doesn’t work for me. So instead, I listen to George Winston, and Adrian Legg, Patrick Ball, and others.

And then there’s the jazz music, and swing, and country, and zydeco, and…well, you understand that the reason I have a large harddrive on my laptop is so that I can store all my music on it.

So what type of music do you listen to? What do you like to write to? What inspires you to keep your butt in the chair and your fingers pounding on the keyboard?