Time capsule inspiration

The University of California in Santa Barbara has done something wonderful, and I had completely forgotten about it until about a month ago.

I’ve had this short story sitting on my hard drive now for about three years (and yes, short is a relative term), and I finally had both the time and the inclination to get back to working on it. It went through one round of revisions after I’d initially written it, but it’s been so long since I’ve read through it, let alone actually worked on it, that I decided to go back to my standard revision practice of recopying the entire MS and making changes as I went. When I’m done, I’ll type it up and make a few more changes as I type.

But my revision process is beside the point.

Anyway, one of the focal points of the story is…

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Come on along!

I finished my short story this noon.  Woo!  It feels good to be finished with a project!

Well, okay, maybe not finished in the classical sense of the word, to quote one of my favorite movies. 🙂  The first draft, though, that’s done, and it feels awesome, except for one little thing…

I’ve got a song stuck in my head.

So this ghost story calls for sensory cues, like the smell of roses and snippets of an old song (“Alexander’s Ragtime Band”, for those inquiring minds out there).  I discovered over the weekend that the song I had in mind actually had lyrics, and I was able to find an old recording of it online.  If you’ve seen Titanic, then you’ve heard the song – it’s one of the numbers that the string quartet plays as the ship is sinking.  I have that version on CD, and now I have the Billy Murray recording from 1911 (which you can listen to and download here) as well.  Woo!

But to get the proper mood, I had to weave the song throughout the story.  And to get myself in the proper mood, I listened to the song on repeat all.weekend.long.  Now it’s stuck in my head, Billy Murray singing over the Titanic soundtrack version, which let me tell you, is a little strange.  It’s also kind of fun, though – I haven’t fallen this hard for a song in quite a while.

In my search for info on the song, I learned quite a bit about ragtime, and now I’m on a major ragtime kick.  It’s a shame the genre died out so quickly because the music is really interesting, and I notice something new every time I listen to the songs (“Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer” in particular).

What about you?  What kind of music gets you in a writing mood?  Have you ever fallen in love with a song on your writing playlist and listened to it non-stop?

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