Maggie’s Randoms: Writing is Slowly Ruining My CD Binder

Maggie Stiefvater is joining The Randoms for the next few weeks as a guest blogger. Welcome, lovely lady!

Because Amanda is currently a fragile craft tossed on the stormy sea of revisions, she asked me to guest blog for the next three weeks. I have hundreds of CDs, but I’m slowly ruining all of them for casual listening. Once I use a CD as mood music for a novel, I associate it with that novel forever. Here’s the top five songs that are forever ruined for ordinary jamming.

1) “Hide and Seek,” by Imogen Heap. You listen to this song and think “ooh, pretty.” Or maybe, if you’re vaguely emo, like me, “ooh, sad.” Or, possibly, if you’re feeling 13th century, “Ooh, polyphonic.” But me? No, I listen to this baby and I think of SHIVER and the saddest scene I ever wrote and the next thing my husband knows, I’m pounding the dash and wailing for better times. Shouting “Why, God, WHY?” and then realizing it was my fault it was sad.

2) “Forever Can Be,” by Ashes Divide. There is something really unsettling about this song that makes me want to get out of my chair and take over the Northern Hemisphere or become a race car driver or make cookies, or something. Which is why I used it for James when I was writing BALLAD. Because he usually was taking over the world or battling a king of the dead or some homicidal faerie-type. You know, normal work-day stuff.

3) “Scarborough Fair,” by Simon & Garfunkel. I’ve always loved this song, but then I made the mistake of listening to it on repeat along with “The Sound of Silence” while writing a short story for the Merry Sisters of Fate, “Trading Voices.” Now, when I hear it, I imagine Walmarts in ruin and trees taking over the world. Which makes me happy. No, I’m just kidding. Nah, I’m not.

4) “Golden Brown,” by The Stranglers. I start planning my playlists for my WIPs in the synopsis stage, and this is the first song I put onto my playlist for my newest. Already it’s completely associated with my main character Ethan in that book, because it’s a perfect combination of happy-sad. Cause he’s a happy guy, but sad things happen to him, and the book is happy, but it’s also . . . yeah. I know. You get it.

5) “The Ocean,” by The Bravery. This has been SHIVER’s song since Day One. Since SHIVER was a lupine twinkle in my eye. I deeply suspect that when The Bravery wrote it, they put subliminal werewolf plot threads into the chords of this song, because it is so tightly associated in my head with SHIVER. If I ever get a chance to meet The Bravery, I will shake all their hands and say, “Thanks for the werewolf nookie, guys. Seriously. It made my career.”




Filed under Guest Blogger

8 responses to “Maggie’s Randoms: Writing is Slowly Ruining My CD Binder

  1. Imogen Heap! A friend of mine just sent me “Have You Got It In You?” on a mix CD she made for my debut novel, and I am loving it soooooo much. I will definitely have to check out all the songs you’ve mentioned. Also, this:

    I’m pounding the dash and wailing for better times. Shouting “Why, God, WHY?” and then realizing it was my fault it was sad.

    Made me laugh and laugh and laugh. And also made me want to read Shiver right this very moment, but I’m having a hard enough time getting my local indie to cough up Lament

  2. Maggie,

    I love Scarborough Fair, but the Sarah Brightman version. I remember listening to it on my CD player on the NYC subway while reading the first Harry Potter book. I missed my stop and ended up in the Bronx, but I didn’t care. What a great soundtrack for that book!

    The Random Susan

  3. Perhaps I have a lot to say on this topic. Perhaps none of it makes sense. Sorry.

    But yeah, I’m genuinely addicted to music (*is wearing headphones*), so I have theme songs for everything. (I have a theme song for a mix I made that’s not even on the mix.)

    I’ve noticed that one big thing on my playlists are the song I was listening to (because I’m ALWAYS listening to something) when I got the idea or started planning it out, usually identifiable by whatever lyrics are in the margin of my outline.

    And lastly, similarly, if I ever met a member of Skybombers (I’d ask what they were doing out of Australia), I’d have to thank them for essentially writing the climax of my novel.

    I made the playlist for my NaNo in History yesterday. 😀

    And COMPLETELY off topic, my favorite werewolf song is Yellow Sun by The Raconteurs. It’s cheery and so totally about werewolves! (My starting-werewolf-book song, on the other hand, is Geronimo by Phantom Planet)

  4. R. J. – Check out all of that Imogen album — I think it’s Speak for Yourself — the first five in particular are all good. So is Frou Frou, which is another project of hers. And hey, I’m just as impatient for SHIVER to come out as you. I get all tingly when I think of unleashing it on the world.

    Susan – I couldn’t find the Sarah Brightman version . . . album name? Pretty please?

    Serafina – The Raconteurs are Jack White’s best idea yet. And go playlists. Whooooooooo

  5. Maggie,

    Here’s a free listen:

    And by the way, me likey Frou Frou and Imogene Heap. Have you tried out CocoRosie? Or Mirah? I love CocoRosie’s Rainbowarriors & God Has a Voice, She Speaks Through Me. Mirah’s The Garden is awesome, too, but way too short.

    -S., who’s about to turn on The New Radicals for the 116th time in less than a week (truly–I looked on my iTunes counter) as she heads into the muckity muck of revisions

  6. I loooooove The Raconteurs. In fact, when I wrote the post above, I was wearing my Raconteurs t-shirt.
    Though I have to say my favorite part of The Raconteurs is the dilution of Jack White, which allows them to escape the sheer JackWhiteness of, say, The White Stripes. Which makes no sense but is totally true.
    *has both CD and vinyl copies of Consolers of the Lonely*
    *is kind of obsessed*

  7. Robin

    Susan and the rest of you playlist crazies:

    I, too, love the New Radicals and include them, or have included them on every story playlist I’ve made. Did they only make one album?

  8. Only one CD, sadly enough. The group disbanded right before/after the CD came out. Idiots.


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