Music Mondays: Part X

Spring is a month of transition. If you blink, you might miss it. It only takes a few seconds for a bud to blossom, only a moment for an egg to hatch. It’s dead and cold and then it’s alive.

In a way, spring doesn’t happen unless you catch it.

With these two playlists, I hope you catch it. That moment of clarity, when what you write becomes more than what you say; it becomes what you mean.

I would argue that life is most
rife when all is still, because
quiet itself can be such a thrill —
take that moment when your
heartbeat skips, or in the
shuddering seconds of
a passing eclipse, like when
a forgotten dream settles
in splendidly and you’re
left suspended
in serenity.

Oh Rose, will you wake from your slumber?
Oh Rose, will you climb from the dirt?
There are shadows approaching;
they darken the sun —
Oh Rose, find your root, take the world.

Here’s to spring! Happy writing. 🙂

Music Mondays: Part IX

Just as important as establishing voice is setting up the atmosphere that you want to immerse your readers in. Tone, or the author’s attitude reflected in the writing, and mood, or the feelings the reader experiences, are often tell-tale signs of strong writing when pulled off successfully. So how do you, the writer, translate something as abstract as “atmosphere” into a piece of writing for your reader?

The answer: immerse yourself first.

Of course, the art of immersing can be accomplished in many ways, but today I have two music playlists that are chock full of dreamy drones, ambient tunes, and blissful background melodies to lose yourself in.

For razor winds, frost-bitten noses, warm bowls of stew, and bristling pines. This mix is an atmospheric gold mine of faraway instrumentals that will transport you to the peak of a sleepy mountain.

For dried flower petals, strong coffee, airy breezes, and old books. This classical guitar mix is perfect for sitting in a sunny patch and putting pen to page to conjure up sweet, summery stories.

As always, if anyone is interested in these playlists and wants to know the full track list, leave a comment and I’ll let you know.

Happy writing! 🙂


Music Mondays: Part VIII

Happy Leap Day!

I am quite busy this week, so I only have two writing playlist suggestions.

This particular mix was inspired by a W.B. Yeats poem, “He Wishes For The Cloths of Heaven.”

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Drawing from great classic composers like Edward Elgar and Sergei Prokofiev and modern musicians like James Galway and John Williams, this is the perfect mix for dreaming up extraordinary worlds.

For every good dream there is a nightmare, and this next mix plays to your inner demons. Dark, brooding, and at times jarring, writing tales of infernal odds and corrupted characters will only feel natural when listening to this playlist.

Happy writing! 🙂


Music Mondays: Writing Playlists Part VII

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

E. L. Doctorow

I’m sorry to say that I haven’t read much of Doctorow’s work, though for some reason, this quote has always stuck with me. Writing, in a lot of ways, is like feeling around blindly in the dark, where you can’t see any further than your fingertips. You’ll get to your destination eventually, but it’s ok to not know everything that’s going on around you all the time. It’s ok to just let your writing take you for a midnight drive.

In the spirit of traversing the foreboding and empty highways of writing, here are four knock-out instrumental playlists. Who knows? Maybe one of them will serve as your next road trip mix!

First up is an old on-the-go favorite of wanderers, vagabonds, and weary drifters from all walks of life. This Celtic-inspired fantasy mix will take you from snow-capped mountains of Middle Earth to merry taverns of back alleyways.

Ah, so you’re not the ‘walking’ type. Prefer stretching your sea legs to staying land bound? If so, then lend an ear to this playlist: it’s got still skies, restless shanties, boiling hurricanes, and enough sea salt to season your spirit for a lifetime.

Perhaps physical transportation just doesn’t entice your immortal tastebuds. I mean, who has time for ships and horses and, heaven forbid, legs? Whether you’re feeling like you can control the fates of the night sky or are just craving a bit of all-powerful omniscience, then this instrumental mix is perfect for you.

Now, for a change in pace! Gosh darn it, you are on a freakin’ roll with your writing. You are winding down those narrow, single lane streets in the dead of night, unafraid and confident behind the wheel. Here’s the perfect soundtrack to that rush — a compilation of high-energy, head-banging pieces with an instrumental twist!

Happy writing! 🙂

Music Mondays: Writing Playlists Part VI

If you’re like me, stewing in silence is the key to getting nothing done. Whenever I’m writing, I need to have background music playing, some sort of soundtrack to make sense of my discordant thoughts. Some people just aren’t like that. I have friends who need to be immersed in quiet to study. I know other people who need to have noise, like coffee shop chatter or steady rainfall, to be productive.

Even if you don’t need music to get into the writing zone, I still encourage you to try out a few of these playlists. Who knows, maybe you’ll find the perfect tune for your long in-the-works story.

This mix is best served in the small, still hours of the night. With 24 tracks of pure instrumental guitar, it’s the perfect way to lull yourself into a writing trance.

Want a little adventure? Intrigue? Dark and dangerous mystery? Here’s an instrumental mix that plays to your inner secret agent. Optimal for writing gritty noir and detective dramas.

The piano pieces in this mix will transport you to the same creative realm from which all dreams are designed. A lovely accompaniment for delving into fantasies, both modern and medieval.

Who doesn’t love the glitzy machinations of a masquerade? From formal affairs to ballroom waltzes, this playlist will take your writing to the elegant and underhanded corners of courtly life.

If you’re interested in knowing the full track listing of a playlist, leave a comment and I’ll let you know.
Happy writing! 🙂

Writing Playlists Part V

What with the arrival of spring and crackdown for school finals, I figured that now was as good a time as any to whip up some playlists for writing, studying, badminton playing, underwater basket weaving — you know: intellectual, brain-busting pursuits.

First up we have a real doozy. She’s about five hours and thirty minutes long and perfect for pulling all-nighters. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to burn the midnight oil with this playlist.

Now a mix for the real wanderer at heart. Don’t you just hate it when you’re trekking barefoot over a mountain in Middle Earth and have nothing to listen to you? Hey, I hear you. It’s a struggle. Here’s a playlist just for that purpose.

So you are — or maybe were — that kid. The kid who sat in the back of class daydreaming and thinking up fantastical stories. The kid who had no time for long division when there were castles to explore and dragons to befriend. If your brain had a soundtrack, maybe it would’ve sounded a little something like this:

The battle is over. All hope has fled. You’re the only survivor, and as you stand over the war-torn field you reach for your earbuds to listen to this playlist:

Huzzah! The blight has ended! The essays have been annihilated and the rough drafts destroyed! (Or maybe not, maybe you just need a break from all the blood and sweat…) Crack open a flagon of mead (or juice, juice is fine) and listen to this perfect playlist for the hungry warrior.

Happy writing! 🙂

Writing Playlists Part IV

Greetings, fellow scribes!

This compilation of writing mixes is especially dedicated to all those who are snowed in and have an unexpected and appreciated amount of free time to write (such as myself!). Here are five instrumental writing playlists designed to inspire your creativity!

I compiled the following three playlists with specific archetypes in mind. In the future I will make more character-based playlists.

Happy writing! 🙂

Writing Playlists Part III

Salutations, fellow scribes!

I have been a bit inactive as of late (I know, I’m horrible), so to make up for it I’ve come up with Part III of my favorite writing playlists!

felicia day yay

Here are 4 playlists to stir your inner inklings and get the creative juices flowing!

“Fiction is the truth inside the lie.”
― Stephen King.

“Long was the way that fate them bore,
O’er stony mountains cold and grey,
Through halls of iron and darkling door,
And woods of nightshade morrowless.
The Sundering Seas between them lay,
And yet at last they met once more,
And long ago they passed away
In the forest singing sorrowless.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Untied by time’s touch,
sun and stone and sky and sea
become kin to me.

Here the mountains sing
softly, like a brother’s hymn-
humming, I listen.

I watch life unfold
from my seat up in the stars,
distant, but not far.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Happy Writing! 🙂

Writing Playlists Part II

Greetings, fellow scribes!

I’ve been rather sucked dry of time lately, so I don’t have any poem/short story to post today. Instead, I’ve created some writing playlists that always help me power through a bout of writer’s block. See Part I for some more great tracks to rev the imagination.

“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.”
― James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room.

An hour of delightful, little and well known Studio Ghibli music.

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


Happy writing! 🙂


Writing Playlists

Today I thought I’d go ahead and post something new- a master compilation of writing mixes!

I have an account over at 8tracks where I make a lot of different mixes, and most of them serve as the cinematic background music to my writing process. The following are my five go-to playlists for an all-nighter. Whether it be reading, studying, writing, or working- this music just has a way of keeping me on track and immersed.

Hopefully, you’ll find them as helpful as I do.

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
― Anaïs Nin

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
– Ernest Hemingway

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ernest Hemingway

For those rainy days when all you want to do is write.
Try this mix with

For those sleepless nights when all you want to do is write.

Happy writing! 🙂