I go back and forth on the soundtracks thing. Sometimes, music soothes the restless left brain and lets the right side write. Other times, it's a distraction, and I crave silence.
I tend to ignore a lot of sounds. I listen to what I think is the important stuff. I hear cats barfing at three in the morning. I hear the washing machine in the basement clunking because it's unbalanced in the spin cycle. I listen to my cat's heart to see if I can hear the murmur I'm told is there. I listen to my husband's grumbling about his day.
And I ignore stuff that's not important to me, like my cell phone. I just don't bother to turn it on, anymore. I know that baffles the heck out of some folks, but...people who really need to get ahold of me in any kind of emergency know how to do it. And that just ain't it. A lot of my distaste for the tool comes from accumulated resentment about being on call 24x7 for a job I had for ten years. Now, I'm off the electronic leash and enjoying every minute of it.
I am also one of those odd ducks who doesn't listen to the radio in the car. It annoys and distracts me. I like listening to the air from an open window. And I miss too much stuff with the radio on. Like a couple of days ago...I heard rustling in the shrubbery, stopped the car, and deer bounded out. Six deer, one after another. Mamas with nearly-grown fawns. I wouldn't have heard them if I had the radio on.
Oh, yeah. I'm supposed to be talking about music and writing...
There are some songs that I think of, that become anthems for stories. "I Burn for You," by Sting, is one of those that was in my head for EMBERS. "We Work the Black Seam," also by Sting, was ringing between my ears for ROGUE ORACLE.
I've been listening to Sting's SOUL CAGES album for the current WIP. The WIP has nothing whatsoever to do with the ocean. But I feel like the mood's the same.
There's a theme, here, isn't it?
Yes, I listen to things other than Sting and the Police. Pink Floyd's MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON. Peter Gabriel's music for THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. My Chemical Romance. Brian Eno. The Killers. A lot of Vitamin String Quartet versions of my favorites. Things wander in and out of my CD player. And I'm uncool enough to occasionally tune in to the ambient music channel on TV and let it sit there for the afternoon.
I'm becoming more interested in ambient music when I write. Nothing too distracting, but it helps me lose track of time. I've puttered with a few tracks with subliminal stuff that's supposed to enhance my creativity. Dunno if it works, but listening to ocean waves is nice.
I think I like having a little bit of sound in the background. I feel that way about summer. I love listening to the crickets and frogs at night, and it always makes me sad when fall comes and they begin to fade, bit by bit, until one day...it's silent at nine p.m.
Right now, I can hear the crickets past midnight. But I know that the days will shorten, and I'm gonna have to rustle through my old boxes of music for a new song to not-really-listen to.