Posts Tagged ‘Playlist’




The Boys in the Basement Found Their Groove

Filed under: Chasing Adaptation, Drafting, Pondering, Stuff I Love, Touching the Surface, Writing, Writing for Children, Writing Style, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

When I wrote my first book, TOUCHING THE SURFACE, I was obsessed with my musical playlist. I hardly ever wrote without it playing in the background. When I was brainstorming parts of the novel, I listened to certain songs over and over again. To this day, any of the songs on that list evoke very strong writing/book memories for me.

And then I stopped. Cold turkey.

I haven’t listened to a thing while writing since. And I’ve tried. I’ve made playlists for books I’ve worked on, but they never took on the life of that TTS playlist.

But… There’s always a BUT, isn’t there? Recently I found myself turning off my audiobooks while I’ve been running and listening to my workout music while giving the boys in the basement (my inner creative genius workhorses) time to day dream.


It’s been very helpful. I’ve had things I’ve been stuck on (for a thousand years) come bubbling to the surface. In excitement, I’ve done silly little dances of gratitude mid-run. Luckily I run on back mountain roads where there’s a limited amount of people witnessing my foolishness. Eek!

I’m not sure if these music fueled runs, or something else entirely, piqued my curiosity, but recently something possessed me to pull out the old, hardly been listened to playlist for my work in progress, CHASING ADAPTATION. Part of me wonders if it may have been morbid curiosity that caused me to dust it off. This novel has been written and rewritten so many times and with so many changes, I couldn’t even imagine the playlist being connected to my current scribbles.

But, as I listened, I found myself more than a little surprised at how perfect the songs were for the book I’m writing NOW. It seems a part of me has always known what I’ve been trying to say. The emotions, the questions, the feels and the wonder haven’t changed at all. Perhaps, the truly hard part is finding the RIGHT words to connect the dots between what’s always inside me and what gets printed on the page.

In honor of the boys in the basement, finally finding their groove, I thought I’d share one of the songs from the CHASING ADAPTATION playlist…


FIX YOU by Coldplay

When you try your best but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Do you have a playlist for your writing or any of your creative ventures. How does it work for you? What ignites your bones?

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The Music of Your Words

Filed under: Chasing Adaptation, Drafting, NaNoWriMo, Pondering, Writing, Writing Style, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

I’ve always drafted my books with a musical playlist inspiring me. Sometimes I would play the same song over and over and over again as I wrote a scene. But all throughout NaNoWriMo I haven’t felt compelled to write with music. Nor have I even found anything that stood out and spoke to me. That is until now.

The first song on the CHASING ADAPTATION playlist.

Write on NaNoWriMoers. Find the music of your words.



Do you write to music? Is silence your thing? Does it change from project to project? Has there been a specific song that has had an impact on your writing?

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The TOUCHING THE SURFACE Playlist is Live on iTunes

Filed under: Check-it-out, Touching the Surface, Writing Style, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Like many writers, I create musical playlists to aid the writing process. Lots of creative people use music to enhance their art, but I find that each person tends to use it a little bit differently. Today I thought I’d share my TOUCHING THE SURFACE playlist and a little bit about how I use it.

A musical playlist is one of the very first things I begin with when I’m writing. I need at least a couple starter songs that some how capture the essence of what I’m trying to untangle in my mind. Even though I have a playlist right out of the gate, it’s a constantly changing tool. Songs get added and axed throughout the whole novel writing process–from drafting to revision. What keeps a song on the final list? To this day, when I listen to the playlist, the songs immediately drop me into my book or connect me with my characters.

I use a lot of music when I’m drafting. I almost can’t write without it. If I find a song that supports a scene,you can bet that I will play it over and over again as I’m writing. My family hates my playlists. Do we have to listen to that again???  LOL! Sometimes when drafting, a certain song will capture my attention or spark something within me. When that happens, I’ve been known to actually use the song to push the plot or characters forward. There are many tidbits in TOUCHING THE SURFACE that would not be there if it weren’t for a song. (You’ll have a chance to find out what some of them are at the end of this post.) Sometime I also find songs, by doing an iTunes search for a relevant word or theme that is picking at my brain. I check out the songs that come up in the search and sometimes they’re keepers.

I do not use music when I revise–unless I’m adding in completely new material. For some reason the same music, that I couldn’t live without during drafting, is insanely distracting when I get down to working out the details. But because revising can bring about a new character or scene, I sometimes do add more music to write that new material. This can explain why some of my songs might feel more out-dated than others. The original drafting period can be literally years before the revision. Which also means, that by the time this playlist gets to readers, they may scratch their head, wondering how some of these oldies made the cut. The truth is, some of them were new and popular when I was drafting, but there is also the “Kim Factor.” I’m not a real stickler for what other people think of my music. Additionally, I often cross-pollinate between genres. I’m a music mutt–listening to what resonates with me. Yeah, ask my college roommates how many times I made them listen to the Broadway soundtrack of INTO THE WOODS. Their ears may still be bleeding, but I loved those songs–needed those songs at that point in my life!!!!

Any way, if you’d like to sample some of the songs that have inspired me to write my first novel, you can go to my TOUCHING THE SURFACE playlist on iTunes and check them out.  Feel free to ask me about any of the playlist songs in the comments section–I’ll try to give you a spoiler-free tidbit about how the song relates to the book. I’d also love to hear how you use music in your writing or other creative endeavors. Do you think any of the songs I used are a perfect fit for TTS? Any shockers you didn’t expect? Ear bleeding? What songs would you add to the TTS playlist? Inquiring minds want to know. Okay–I want to know–but inquiring minds might be interested in hearing too.

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Waiting on Wednesday

Filed under: Chasing Adaptation, Pondering, Writing, Writing Style, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

I’m waiting to open the Word document for CHASING ADAPTATION but I can never do that until I have sprouts in my thought garden. Right now I have seeds–but I need sprouts to write. What do I feed my seeds so that they grow? I zillion creative things, but one very important one is a playlist. Think I’ve picked the first song for book three…

What part of your inspirational process are you waiting on?

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From the TOUCHING THE SURFACE playlist–Jack Johnson’s NEVER KNOW…

Filed under: Touching the Surface, YA Books

The other day I pulled out my TOUCHING THE SURFACE playlist.  I love going back and listening to the music that inspired me while I was creating this story.  Here’s Jack Johnson singing NEVER KNOW…

What music is making an impact on your writing?

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