By Maureen L. Bonatch
When I’m in the car I usually listen to my favorite, hand-selected songs I’ve accumulated on my phone or iPod, but occasionally I get a free trial of satellite radio. Even though I might only have the extra stations for a short time, I immediately lock in a few favorite stations to listen to when I’m in the car.
One of the stations is usually for songs that I recognize but don’t know the name performed by artists I never really knew, singing songs about experiences I’d never lived through from a time before I was born—the 1960’s.
Music is in my Blood
I love music. I’ve never played an instrument, but I was raised with the radio on and my mother singing along. Or tossing an album, or a 45 record, on the player to dance in the living room with my Mom and sisters was something that could happen on any day.
When I hear those old songs fromthe 1960’s, and into the 1970’s, I’m transported back to that time in my life when things were simpler for me.
Memories of lazy summer days and long afternoons reading on the sofa were plentiful.
I can almost hear the scratch of the needle as we changed the album, and I can fondly recall bragging to my friends that we had all the Elvis Presley records. Today when I listen to these old songs on the radio, and sing along to some, I temporarily forget my troubles as the years slip away with the magical time machine music provides.
Let Me Hear the Magic
Imagine watching a movie without the soundtrack. Think of how many movies have a distinctive theme song. One that when you hear it, you return to those characters to visit their world. Surely, I’m not the only one who imagines the wind blowing through my hair and the sound of the waves when I hear My Heart Will Go On? The Titanic theme song is only one of many songs whose sound transports me away from my every day.
Many songs on my iPod evoke a memory. Perhaps they were playing during a significant event, or their verse takes me there. Some of these memories are ones I’d rather forget, because they evoke painful emotions, although these emotions prove helpful to pour into a character and enrich the story while absolving me of the discomfort.
The Playlist Chooses
Many authors create a playlist when they’re writing a story to help them feel the character and their world better. Writing is the only time that I don’t have music on and I prefer silence, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a playlist. I don’t intentionally choose songs for the story, but rather the song chooses.
I’ll hear a particular song and realize it fits the story perfectly, or that I’m longing to run back to write more as it inspires me and delivers character secrets that they’d kept hidden until now. Because to me, music is magical.
What kind of impression does music make on you?
Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her website, Facebook& Twitter