Magical Mixtapes

Music is important to me.

If you’re one of those who’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know I tend to put quite some effort into picking out music to accompany my writing. I make playlists for my stories, and I pick out signature songs for my main characters. When wrote Emma’s Story every chapter came with a link to a mix-set I’d picked out.

I do my own mix-sets too. It’s a different kind of creative outlet. This my latest one:

This is the second installment in the Magical Mixtape series. The idea behind it is to pick out music that’s dreamy, melodic, and a little bit mysterious. I want to create a mood that’s inspiring and that sets my mind wandering.

Have a listen, and I think you might see what I mean.

It’s electronic music with slow, but stead and insistent, beat. There are melodies and voices that weave back and forth and hint at something or the other. A lot of it is dance music, but I try to pick tracks that don’t feel like it’s just dance music. I want music that I can also enjoy while lying on my bed with the lights out, or while going for a walk.

Don’t get me wrong – I love dance music, but this set isn’t for dancing. You can dance to it, but it’s not why I made it.

 

I did this one as inspiration for my NaNoWriMo project. Kala is the name of the main character. The story takes place in winter, and it doesn’t really have anything at all to do with summer, or Kala’s dreams of summer. In fact, if I had really wanted to make a set to go with the character and the story, it probably wouldn’t have sounded like this at all.

Still, it works in how it puts me in the mood for writing, and for making things up, and I’m sure I’ll soon enough connect it with the story as well – whether I like it or not.

Finally, here’s the first installment in the series:

 

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Magical Mixtapes

Stealing Ideas

I’ll do it. I’m not even ashamed of it.

In fact, I’m happy I thought about it. It’ll be a great opportunity to pay homage to one of my favorite authors and one of my favorite books. I’m talking about Tove Jansson and her book Moominland Midwinter.

That story too is about someone who finds themselves alone during winter. I’m not sure there are many other similarities, but that doesn’t mean I can use ideas from it. Someone who’s read Moominland Midwinter should be able to tell where the inspiration comes from, but they’ll still be able to tell that it’s a very different story – at least I sincerely hope so.

Anyway, here are some of the ideas I’m thinking about using:

  • The frozen horse. The villagers build a big horse out of snow. They pour water on it and the snow horse comes alive and gallops away across the ice. This is a ritual to symbolize the coming of spring. The frozen horse will carry the chill of winter on its back.
  • The fire of the lonely ones. Early on in the winter, somewhere in the forest or up in the mountains, there is a big bonfire. It’s a gathering of those who thrive during the dark time of the year. Primarily it’s the winter fylkin, but a few humans also take part. There are also elves, dwarves, and other beings strange and unknown.
  • The ice queen. The great cold comes in from the sea. Everyone huddles up in their homes around the fireplace to try and keep warm. No one looks out the windows. This is when the winter gets really cold.
  • mmidwinterPictures on the walls. Kala reorganizes her house. She finds an old photo album and puts up picture of her mother over her father’s bed. She puts up pictures of her family and her fiancee in places where she can see them when she walks by. Later she tears them down – probably.
  • Meeting at the snow lamp. Kala meets Fannar (the village shaman) in the forest. He’s made a snow lamp and sits for himself looking at it. The two of them have a serious conversation about the nature of life the universe and everything.
  • The Groke (Mårran). I don’t know for sure but I might include some kind of version of this creature. I’m not completely sold on the idea though. We’ll see what happens.

These are the ideas I could think of at the moment. I could potentially come up with others, but I’m not sure I want to. The point isn’t to try and steal as many ideas as possible and bake them into the story. What I want to do is take the ones that speak to me and use them as best I can.

…and yes, I’ll make sure to make a special notice about how I’ve borrowed these ideas, and from where. More people ought to read that book.

Stealing Ideas