My Creative Writing Playlist – Updated

Hi everyone,

I have been listening to some different music recently while I’ve been writing, and I thought I would share it with you all. I’ve been a little more distracted than usual lately, so I haven’t really been able to listen to anything with English lyrics. I have finally found some music that really helps me to block out the rest of the world, and even some of my doubtful thoughts. Let’s get into it!

  1. Haerra by Ásgeir Trausti
  2. Living Room Songs by Ólafur Arnalds
  3. Archduke Trio by Beethoven
  4. For Now I Am Winter by Ólafur Arnalds
  5. Fourth of July by Sufjan Stevens

Do you have any particular songs that help to keep you focused on your writing? Let me know in the comments.

All the best,

Tamara

 

Connections, Coincidences (and naivety)

(photo credit: Thomas Hodges)

 

WARNING – I’m in a strange mood.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote down a few things in a little notebook, and I’ve slept with it under my pillow ever since, hand resting on its smooth cover as I drift off. In the notebook, I wrote about going to Iceland, preferably in March, and then maybe Paris on the way home. That was about a week before I even came across the Gullkistan Residency that I wrote about in my last post. If you’ve read that post, you’ll know that I am, in fact, going to Iceland in March to work on my novel.

A few days ago I found a musician that I really liked, called Keaton Henson. His music is so beautiful, and as I listen to it I let all my anxieties about what the hell I’m doing with my life come to the forefront where I can deal with them properly.

Today I was researching places to submit a personal essay that I wrote, and came across an article on Rookie Magazine about “Tumbleweeding”. Tumbleweeds are the writers that volunteer and live in Shakespeare and Company in Paris for free, for a short period of time. All you have to do is ask. This search brought me to a blog post in which tumbleweeds were being interviewed. One of the questions was “what is your favourite song?” The girl responded with “You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are”, by Keaton Henson. Not only the artist that I had just recently found, but the very first song of his that I heard and fell in love with.

I’ve been looking into flights to Iceland for next year, and it seems that I’ll have to make a stop in Paris. I know it’s incredibly naive of me to think anything of these coincidences, but they still make me wonder. I think that once I stop wondering, I won’t be myself anymore.

Anyway, thanks for listening to me ramble on. I hope you have a great day.

– Tamara

 

Update – Issue #2 of Spinebind – Ideas

Hi everybody,

I hope you’re all doing well. I am up in Cairns visiting family, and am finally getting some much-needed down time. For any of my new readers out there, I’m the editor of a literary magazine called Spinebind. Up until a few days ago, my time was all being put towards the magazine and getting the second issue ready. I am so happy with how it turned out. The response to the second issue has been great so far, and it’s so nice to see that people are enjoying the work inside.  You can read all about the magazine here!

My own writing has been slowing down a bit lately. I know all of you writers out there understand the feeling of finally having time to work and then not getting anything out on the page. It’s as if all my ideas come along when I’m meant to be focusing on other things, and disappear with the rest of my worries as soon as I have time to dedicate to my creative projects. It’s during times like these that I stress myself out about my future. It’s silly, really, because I know from experience that the flow of ideas always starts back up again. But until that happens, I just keep reading over what I already have and edit, delete, edit, delete.

I do think I need to remember to allow myself a little bit of down time that doesn’t involve writing. That’s why I’m trying not to feel guilty about this past week. But I also think I need to get better at just writing through the uninspired times, otherwise I’ll never finish anything. I’ve been listening to music by Kodaline and The Apache Relay on repeat – their music always seems to inspire my writing – so we’ll see how it goes from here.

I hope you are having a great day,

Tamara

My Creative Writing Playlist

Good morning everyone, I hope you’re all doing well. I’ve been doing a lot of writing on a new project this morning, and I realised how much listening to music helps me to get in the right frame of mind. It’s not just any music though – I can only write to very specific songs. I love reading about other writers’ processes, so I thought I’d share a list of my favourite songs to write to. Of course, it varies depending on the scene I’m writing, and the project I’m working on, but currently, this is what I listen to to get into the zone:

  • Good as Gold by the Apache Relay
  • Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen
  • Mission Bells by the Apache Relay (this one is perfect for sad/emotional scenes)
  • Golden Slumbers by the Beatles
  • Never Coming Down by Willamette Stone (for fast-paced, happy scenes)
  • Brand New Day by Kodaline
  • The Happiest Day of Your Life by the Apache Relay (makes me sad which makes me write sad scenes better)
  • The Only Thing by Sufjan Stevens (perfect for those character reflection moments)
  • Love Like This by Kodaline (Acoustic version)
  • Something by the Beatles

That’s it for now, but I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list as I get further into my work-in-progress. What music, if any, do you listen to while you write? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Yours truly,

Tamara

 

Book Review: “A Visit From the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan

a-visit-from-the-goon-squad

Think old school rock n’ roll. Think corrupt music industries, secrets, bands, friendships, family relationships, and the strange interconnectedness that music brings us. “A Visit From the Goon Squad” is best served in an off-beat laneway cafè with a side of soft electric guitar.

I haven’t read many books that have affected me quite like “A Visit From the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan did. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest that you go out and pick up a copy right now. If I had to say what the book is about, I’d say it’s a satire on the music industry, but there is so much more to it than that. It reads almost like a collection of short stories; I’d heard about this before I started reading it, and it kind of put me off. I love reading individual short stories, but the thought of reading a whole collection back to back kind of exhausts me. Despite this, I thought I’d give it a go, and I’m so glad I did.

Each of the segments pretty much stands alone. So much so that the opening story, “Found Objects”, was published in The New Yorker as a short story back in 2008. When you read the book all the way through however, it really does feel like a novel. The stories interweave in just the right way – not too much, not too little. The crossovers are hidden in the minor characters, as the individual stories slowly reveal each character’s backstory until you realise how they’re all connected.

The book starts out following Sasha, a kleptomaniac who works for Bennie, a music producer. The subsequent story is then told from the point of view of Bennie, and so begins an intricate web of character relationships that spans years into the past and future, all the way until the epic, spec-fic ending. I’ve never come across a novel that brings together different genres into a literary work so flawlessly.

“A Visit From the Goon Squad” has a kind of melancholic, almost doomsday mood to it, but this is balanced out by the sharp humour and truly believable and lovable characters. The characterisation is so subtle but so precise, and when I finished reading the last page I felt like I’d lost touch with my childhood friends.

If you like stories about artists, families, music, and human nature, you should definitely add “A Visit From the Good Squad” to your to-read list.

Yours Sincerely,

Tamara Drazic