Music Monday – Cell Block Tango – Chicago

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicFor the first time in a long time, I’ve been excited to sit down, open up a manuscript, and write. Besides loving my plot and crazy characters, I have music to thank for my surge in motivation. I’ve come across so many great songs lately! So many, in fact, I had a tough time deciding which one to choose for this week’s Music Monday.

After a lot of debating, I finally decided to go with “Cell Block Tango” from the musical Chicago.

cover-2Last week, I probably listened/watched this song on YouTube at least a dozen times. I couldn’t get enough of it! It has so many of the darker emotions and elements I need to feel while writing my story: Fury. Vengeance. Denial. Murder.

*cue evil laughter* 😉

What makes this song extra powerful is the performance of it. As I watch the dancers in the video below, I can see my characters and I can feel their wrath. Their twisted righteousness, their satisfaction, their spite…

So, I said to him,
I said, “you pop that
gum one more time…”
and he did.
So I took the shotgun off the wall
and I fired two warning shots…
…into his head.

So, if you’re looking for a song that brings out the dark side of your plot and characters, check out “Cell Block Tango” from the musical Chicago.

In case there are technical glitches with the video above, here’s another one that should work: “Cell Block Tango”.

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

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1, 2, 3, 4

Music Monday – Epiphany – Sweeney Todd

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-music

This past weekend, a fellow writer reminded me how great the musical Sweeney Todd is…Well, disturbing and horrifying, but great, especially when you’re creating a story with disturbing and horrifying elements to it.

Anyway, as I listened to the Sweeney Todd soundtrack on my way to work this morning, I got stuck on one song in particular: “Epiphany”. Again and again I played it, obsessing over its gritty emotions: Rage, malice, revenge, sorrow…

514FLIPCJfLIn addition to its emotions, I find “Epiphany” inspiring because it takes me into the mind of a demented character–a twisted man so full of hate and vengeance, he becomes a ruthless murderer. Which is great!

And necessary.

As much as my imagination thinks it can create insane characters, I need songs like this to develop them properly. I can’t get to those dark places I need to go on my own.

Now, you might be wondering why I need to be listening to a song like this right now. Well, over the weekend, I made a difficult, but surprisingly, exciting decision. I’m not going to start the fourth draft of my YA novel right now. Instead, I’m going to focus on a new project–one that relates to a short story I wrote for an NYC Midnight Challenge. I plan to write a longer blog post to explain my decision, but for now, just know this course of action feels right and I’m really happy to take a step in a new direction. It’s been a long time coming.

Anyway, to get me started on this new novel, I’m creating a fresh “book playlist”. And–surprise, surprise–“Epiphany” will be on it.

So, if you’re looking for a gritty song that brings to life darker emotions, check out “Epiphany” from the musical, Sweeney Todd!

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

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Music Monday – Nobody’s Side – Chess

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicI have to admit something: I didn’t do any writing last week–ahhh! Trust me, I wanted to, but I was too sick to do anything but lay on the couch and watch TV…Thankfully, I’m feeling much better and am able to function once again!

With that said, for today’s Music Monday, I decided to keep things general and choose a song that offers me inspiration no matter what story I’m working on. I have quite a few “go-to” songs I rely on when searching for inspiration, and “Nobody’s Side” from the musical Chess is one of them.

82619_Chess The Musical Logo 1There are many versions of “Nobody’s Side” out there (including those by Idina Menzel, Kerry Ellis, and Julia Murney), but my favorite is the original. Judy Kuhn sings it with the perfect amount of emotion and attitude that its embittered message demands.

8df9535810c5d3b5cbced7eeab23a067This is a great song to listen to when you’re working on character conflicts, or a plot twist (i.e. a terrible betrayal), or a particularly emotional scene full of anger and resentment. Why? Because it’s brimming with conflict and betrayal and anger/resentment. Just read some of the lyrics and you’ll see what I mean:

Never take a stranger’s advice
Never let a friend fool you twice
Nobody’s on nobody’s side
Never be the first to believe
Never be the last to deceive
Nobody’s on nobody’s side

And never leave a moment too soon
Never waste a hot afternoon
Nobody’s on nobody’s side
Never stay a minute too long
Don’t forget the best will go wrong
Nobody’s on nobody’s side.

the-production-company-chess-michael-falzon-and-castSo, if you’re looking for “one of those songs” that offers motivation for a variety of stories, then check out “Nobody’s Side” from the musical Chess!

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

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Music Monday – Partido Feminista – Evita

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicOver the weekend, as I continued racing to the finish of the third draft of my manuscript, I found myself obsessed with a song from the musical, Evita: “Partido Feminista”.

large_gDLi6T4HZG0VF8bbRi8VPlxsfhOOkay, I’ll admit, most of “Partido Feminista” isn’t really a song. It’s more of an impassioned speech. But that’s why I love it. I’m working on a few chapters right now that need to infuse a strong, persuasive, inspirational voice. A rally cry, if you will. And this number from the Evita movie soundtrack is perfect!

1996_evita01There’s also a dash of suspense and an edge of malice in “Partido Feminista”. Madonna’s voice, the crowd’s ongoing chant, and the background orchestration mesh together in a powerful and frightening way…I’m not sure if those emotions were intended for this song, but I hear them every time I listen to it. Which is perfect motivation for the current scenes I’m working on in my book!

Evita-bannerSo, if you’re in need of a strong, persuasive, and even threatening number to inspire your writing, listen to “Partido Feminista”!

And if you’d like to listen to another “rallying cry” type song, check out “On The Balcony Of The Casa Rosada (Part 2)”, also from the Evita soundtrack!

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

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Music Monday – Defying Gravity – Kerry Ellis

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-music

Well, everyone, I finally finished my second draft!

*cue confetti* 

As I wrote the final climatic scenes of my book over the weekend, I found myself listening to Kerry Ellis’s rock version of the hit song, “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked.

329915There have been many variations of this song recorded over the years, but this is one of my favorites. Kerry Ellis adds so much oomph and power to “Defying Gravity” with her explosive vocals and rock n’ roll gusto. It makes me want to stand up and rebel against those trying to drag me down and hold me back. And that was the exact feeling I needed while writing my final chapters.

24826-something-has-changed-within-me-something-is-not-the-sameNot only does this song have the right tone and attitude for those “defying” moments in your story, but it has the lyrics to inspire them as well. Simply put, they’re amazing.

I’m through accepting limits
’cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know!

So if you’re looking for a song that sparks rebellion, gives strength, and infuses attitude, then check out this version of Defying Gravity!

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

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Photo credits: 

http://michaelgalvis.com/

http://www.naitimp3.ru/song/kerry_ellis_defying_gravity/

http://inspirably.com/quotes/by-ashley-willis

Music Monday – Tomorrow Belongs To Me – Cabaret

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicFor quite some time, I’ve debated about sharing this week’s Music Monday choice with you. It revolves around a controversial topic that I’ve been scared to connect myself with in any way.

However, I’ve realized many songs are controversial in their own way, and just because I like one doesn’t mean I agree with its message. In fact, I so strongly oppose this song’s message, it’s exactly why I love it. “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” from the musical Cabaret makes me angry, sick, and horrified…which, let’s face it, is an excellent combination of emotions to feel when creating a villain and/or conflict, right?

10278_show_portrait_largeTo put it simply, this song is evil. It might not sound like it. Actually, when you first hear it, you’ll likely think it’s beautiful and sweet–motivational, even. But once you stop and listen to the lyrics, you’ll quickly realize what’s being sung about and your stomach will drop and your heart will sink.

The babe in his cradle is closing his eyes
The blossom embraces the bee
But soon says the whisper, arise, arise
Tomorrow belongs to me
Tomorrow belongs to me

cabaret_tomorrow_belongs_to_meYes, this song is about the rise of The National Socialist Party before World War II, and yes, it’s downright horrible.

“Tomorrow Belongs To Me” drips with supremacy, arrogance, and bloodlust. What makes it even more disturbing is the actor who performs it in the video below. The fact that he basically has the voice and face of an angel makes it a hundred times creepier and sickening.

So, if you’re looking for a song to inspire the evilness and corruption in your story, listen to this one.

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

Photo credits: 

http://michaelgalvis.com/

http://www.newyorkcitytheatre.com/theaters/studio54/cabaret.php

http://cinema-fanatic.com/2013/02/04/oscar-vault-monday-cabaret-1972-dir-bob-fosse/

Music Monday – Always Starting Over – Idina Menzel

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicThis past week, I became obsessed with the song “Always Starting Over” from the new Broadway musical, If/Then. When I first heard Idina Menzel sing this song at this year’s Tony Awards, I wasn’t thrilled about it. I thought it was good and Idina Menzel did an amazing job singing it, but it didn’t grab my attention.

Well, I decided to give “Always Starting Over” another shot last week, and…whoa. I don’t know what I was doing/thinking when I first heard it during the Tony’s, but it blew my socks off this second time.

if-then-idina-menzel-broadway“Always Starting Over” is such a dramatic, emotional, human driven song. Every time I listen to it, I’m filled with frustration, anger, desperation, and heartache. And those are some emotions I definitely need to tap into while I’m developing my characters and the conflicts they’re facing.

idina_menzel_if_then_a_pSo, if you’re looking for a song that delivers real human emotion to your story, check out “Always Starting Over”. And, I urge you to listen to it more than once. I promise, it’ll get more and more powerful with each playing.

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

Photo credits: 

http://michaelgalvis.com/

http://www.nycinsiderguide.com/list-of-nyc-broadway-shows#axzz39Qn3Mya2

http://www.15minutenews.com/2014/03/31/