Sounds Of The Times

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What writers do odd-habits-wise. All have their foibles. For example, I’ve read one who noted that while writing she keeps pictures of her characters pinned to the wall in front of her.

I usually listen to music. Writing the Atlantic Lives novels, I [re]played lots of 1980s-90s music. Hearing the likes of Roxette once more helped me move my mind back to that era.

Screen capture of my IPad music.
Screen capture of my IPad music.

I’m leaving Dad’s today and returning for a few days to my “hermit-life” in the Catskills. Before I came down here (to Pennsylvania) I’d been rewatching John Adams, the 2008 HBO miniseries about one of America’s founding fathers. The other day I was particularly caught by the music used in the balloon ascent over Paris scene, and found myself thinking, “That’s gorgeous.”

Afterwards I bought and downloaded the soundtrack. I felt it would serve as some excellent background music while I’m writing Conventions. After all, 1980s-90s pop is not, uh, really the sound that goes with 200 years earlier. ๐Ÿ˜‰

An aside if biography interests you: John Adamsย contains by far the most historically accurate portrayal of Thomas Jefferson I’ve ever seen. English actor (oh, the delicious historical irony) Stephen Dillaneย already broadly resembles him as he was preserved in portraiture. Aided by that natural gift, he moves on brilliantly to capture Jefferson’s basic mannerisms (down to regularly standing with his arms crossed, his gait, and even his habit of indifferently slouching while sitting), softness of speech and quiet demeanor (Jefferson disliked public speaking) that numerous contemporaries wrote about in describing him:

Above all, its score evokes so much. It’s haunting and melodious. I thought little could sound more appropriate coming through my headset as I struggle to write fiction encompassing characters inhabiting a decade within Adams’s and Jefferson’s long lifetimes.

Have a good day, wherever you are in the world. ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. Very interesting. Music is extremely inspirational to me while writing as well. I found that my recent novel, “Action Men with Silly Putty,” had a soundtrack, a list of songs that were actually mentioned in the story at various times and I kept a Youtube playlist of the soundtrack which I would listen to for inspiration. I’ve similarly found this to be true when working on other manuscripts or writing. I like historical movies and books, so now I want to check out “John Adams” and its soundtrack. I will have to look for your books too.

    Liked by 1 person

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