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November 18th, 2006

Eight work days and counting until I become a full time writer.

And this is the opening weekend of hunting season, which means it is my traditional time to sit blissfully alone with my writing, my cheap wine, my expensive chocolate and my shrimp, while the menfolk stalk the wiley whitetail.

An apology to all the vegetarians. But we eat deer. In my experience, the men of the house are less likely to ever shoot or hit anything human, after seeing what violence against a smaller (and rather tasty if correctly prepared) animal looks like up close.

And they are not out, stalking with extreme prejudice, as I would likely be. An 8 point buck tried and failed to suicide on the hood of my car the other day. If it’s him or me, I vote for him. There are dangerously too many deer in Wisconsin. And they make excellent sausage.

But anyway…

To get me in the mood for rapid book production, come 21/2/06, I’ve been looking for the correct soundtrack to my book. It would be easier if all it took was a collection of classical music from 1815 (or whatever year I’m supposed to be writing in, but that must be close). But since my characters aren’t actually ‘period’ but only my perception of the period, this music is usually too reserved.

What it actually takes is something that makes me happy. And I can be very hard to please.

I need music that I can listen to, over and over. Something that will not annoy me. Something that I will not hear with my conscious brain in a way that is distracting. I do not want to sing along, so I tend to favor instrumentals and foreign languages that I don’t speak. Since I know enough German to manage a few drinking songs, I’ve got the whole world to choose from. For contemporary, I tend to favor punk and hard rock, but that can change in an instant.

But I need music that puts me in the correct mood, then sinks under the skin and drags me into the subconscious, where the story lies. Something that vaguely symbolizes, in my twisted mind, what the story is about.

So my first stop was Fox Music Company.

http://www.foxmusiccompany.com/

If you are ever in or near Watertown Wisconsin, you should go there. Collectible vinyl. Local folk. Jazz. Special orders. A friendly staff. And they had cats. I believe they are down to cat: singular. Perhaps no cats at all. But it was always fun to bend down under the table to look at punk or used CDs and see someone who needed their ears scratched.

I went in the other night, looking for inspiration. I got the sound track to “The Thomas Crown Affair.” Which led me to Nina Simone. Which had me obsessing on French jazz, about which I know nothing. Which dragged my brain to this movie I saw once, which was German, but had this French song in it, that we couldn’t find.

Which, when I got home, turned out to be Italian, which explained why I couldn’t find it. Tina, when I come back, I will be looking for Paolo Conte. And perhaps Jacques Brel. I have no idea what Jacques sounds like, but I remember hearing him once and I think it will help. And Paolo Conte, definitely. “Vie en” ‘something or other’.

And on the way home from my writer’s meeting, today, I stopped into a Borders to get he soundtrack to the new James Bond movie (which, strangely, does not seem to have the opening title song on it) and found the original Casino Royale soundtrack to go with the contemporary one.

BINGO

Which means I am writing an 1815 Regency romp to Burt Bacharach, Herb Alpert, and Dusty Springfield singing “The Look of Love.”

Sorry, Jenny Crusie. If you ever stick your head in here, I can live without Dusty, because of that horrible, doormat, “You don’t have to say you love me…” song. (Actually, yes you do have to say it. YOU STUPID BASTARD).

They used to play that on the Muzak at the wig teasing job.

But Casino Royale was my favorite movie when I was approximately (according to IMDB) nine. It came out when I was six, and it probably took a couple of years to get to the CBS Friday Night Movie. I watched it recently, and realized that my early views of what constitutes “sexy” were given to me by people who were obviously on LSD. It explains a lot. I can only look at some movie like this, turn to the kids and shrug, “Well, it was the 60’s.”

In another post, I can discuss why I’m likely to abandon my family to sit in the theater and watch the new “Casino Royale” with Daniel Craig, over and over…

But some other time.