I’m starting a new book and as I always do in the pre-writing stages, I create character profiles to figure out what makes my people tick, I sketch out a plot diagram and play with sticky notes on a plotting chart, and because I need music to write by, I create a playlist. So it was fresh in my mind today as I sat down to write my blog. Then Jillian wrote about music yesterday with characterization. So I thought I’d carry the theme today into mood. So to get us… you know, in the mood, I wanted to share my favorite mood song :-)

I love that song!

And I love writing to music. I know a lot of people can’t, or don’t. The music, especially if it has words, is a distraction. But I began my writing career with a computer in the family room, next to the TV with a very loud and rambunctious three-year-old. Headphones were my defense :-) The louder the music, the better. And because I’m not overly auditory, singing never distracts me, it just becomes a part of the beat driving my fingers on the keyboard.

And I love the feeling music brings to different events. Songs create emotion, after all, and I’m always a sucker for emotion. Especially romance, right? There are a slew of ‘romance compilations’ out there, in almost every musical genre. Do you have favorite romance tunes?

Another thing I realized as I was creating this new playlist is that the most important events in my life tend to have a song associated with them.

Did you have, or do you know what song you’d use, for your wedding first dance? Mine was Keeper of the Stars (Tracy Byrd). A special song for your children? My oldest daughter’s song is Sweet Child of Mine (Guns N Roses), my youngest’s is Truly, Madly, Deeply (Savage Garden). The song I chose for my daughter’s graduation song was I Hope You Dance (Lee Ann Womack). My dad and I even have a special song – Puff the Magic Dragon.

What about you? What are your special songs?

24 Responses to “Mood Music”
  1. Daniela C. says:

    There are many, many songs in my life!
    I always associate a song with something in my past. Madonna always reminds me of a halloween party in my high school years. “Desire” by U2 brings me to the exact moment in a bar when I first heard it. “The Leader of the Band” is the song I chose to dance with my father at my wedding. I am forever singing songs to the kids. “Hands Up” was a song we sang as we dressed the kids when they were babies. I personalized the night-night song for my kids and sang to them every night. They are now is 6th grade and 3rd grade and they sometimes even ask for the song now. A few years ago, we sang the night-night song to their baby cousin, video taped it and emailed her in California. She loved it and played it every night!

    Recently, I found the Bruno Mars song, “Just the Way You Are”. It definitely reminds me of all the romance novels I read. That is how I picture the hero to feel about the heroine.

    Music is very powerful! The first few bars of a song will draw your memory out to an exact moment in time. It will be vivid! You will remember the feeling you had, the emotions running thru you at the time.

    Music is life.

    • Tawny Weber Tawny Weber says:

      YES, Daniela :-) I agree, music has so much power. I’d hate to be without it. It sounds like you surround your life with music :-)

      • Daniela C. says:

        I never realized how much I surround myself with music until I stop in the house and say its too quiet! Even my kids enjoy music. They go to sleep with the radio on sleep mode and listen to Delilah! I get a kick out of this. (It’s great now that they are old enough and outgrew Barney and Sesame Street) But even then I got them to enjoy stuff like Peter, Paul and Mommy, etc.

        • Tawny Weber Tawny Weber says:

          I think the gift of music ranks right there next to the gift of reading as one of the greatest things we can give our children :-)

          I love Peter, Paul and Mary, but hadn’t heard of Peter, Paul and Mommy :-D I need to check this out!

  2. Tammy Yenalavitch says:

    Music is very important to me. I love my i Tunes playlists, so I can always listen to the music I am in the mood for. I associate many songs with people, places and events. My first wedding dance was to It Had to Be You by Harry Connick Jr. My dance with my Dad was to Unforgetable by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole. My feel good song is Dancing in the Moonlight by King Harvest, It never fails to improve my mood.

    • Tawny Weber Tawny Weber says:

      Oh, Tammy, such lovely songs :-) Now It Had to Be You is playing in my head :-D

      I’m a major fan of my iTunes playlists as well. I create a new one for each book I write, and all it takes, months later, is to que up the list and as soon as I listen, I’m back in the story. I’ve found I use a few songs for almost all books, because they just feel like writing songs to me. But others are specific to the book and really help create the mood or theme.

      playlists rock *g*

      • Daniela C. says:

        Just curious, what are your songs you use for all your books? I’d like to listen to them as I read your books. It might enhance my read.

        • Tawny Weber Tawny Weber says:

          Daniela, I put my itunes mixes on each book page to share :-) You can go to http://blog.tawnyweber.com/books/ and click on any book and there should be an excerpt and an iTunes playlist on the page.

          LOL – I’d love to know if it enhances your reading. That’d be cool. While I can write to music, I’ve found that I can’t read to it. Odd, huh?

          • Daniela C. says:

            Hi Tawny,
            I listened to some of your playlist. Wow! Cool! You have an eclectic taste! Led Zep to Brittany!
            Curious, do you make your playlist then write or visa-verse or do it at the same time?

        • Tawny Weber Tawny Weber says:

          :-) I create my playlist during the pre-writing part of my process. While I’m working on character outlines and my plotting board and fiddling with sticky notes and all that. It takes me about a week of pre-work, during which I shuffle through all my music, adding any song that hits me as ‘right’ to the playlist. Some are obvious because of the theme or title, some just have a beat that really seems to fit :-)

  3. Alina Duffer says:

    Hi Tawny! I am a total music person. I have songs for all sorts of occasions.

    My Dad’s song with all 5 of us kids was Unforgettable by Nat King Cole
    My Mom’s song with me is Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler
    My wedding song was God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You by NSYNC
    With all three of my kids I have a song that came out the year they were born.
    My song with my oldest is I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack
    My song with my daughter is In My Daughter’s Eyes by Martina McBride
    My song with my youngest son is My Wish by Rascal Flatts
    And also my best friend and I have two songs together, on is Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter and the other is How Your Love Makes Me Feel by Diamond Rio.

    I really could go on and on, lol! Also I have to say I love the Little Mermaid! Have a wonderful Night!!! (*)

    • Tawny Weber Tawny Weber says:

      Oooh, what a beautiful list of songs, Alina :-)

      And the Little Mermaid does rock, doesn’t it?! I love that movie :-) Heck, I love most of the Disney movies LOL. They make for some awesome music, too.

      Have a great night ;-)

  4. Cim Hardt says:

    I have three songs for the four men in my life. My father’s and my song is Butterfly Kisses. It ment a lot for my dad and I to dance to this song. I even bought him the Golden Book of this song too!! It fits us perfectly. My husband and my song is Blue Eye Blue by Eric Clapton. my husband loves him and everyone uses Wonderful Tonight so we went with the one from Runaaway Bride. I love hearing it and this song always puts me in a great mood. My boys and my song is Dream On. This is a song we can sing and play real loud and just have a great time laughing at how bad we all sound. It is a great song we play in my car over and over again. This is a great treat for all of us!! :)

    • Tawny Weber Tawny Weber says:

      Awww, Cim. Butterfly Kisses for your dad is so lovely -what a great tribute and memory. And I love your other songs, too – they are so evocative and really do inspire emotion, don’t they?

  5. Cathy W says:

    Music is an essential in my life!! And I love the Little Mermaid’s ‘Kiss the Girl’.

    In college, my favorite study music was the soundtrack to Aladdin. The tape finally wore out and now I’m trying to find a CD of it. Hearing any of that music still puts me in a focused mode!

    My hubby and I did our first dance to ‘Gumtree Canoe’ by Jon Hartford. :-)

    • Tawny Weber Tawny Weber says:

      Music can definitely be hypnotic, Cathy, and take us right back to events or experiences. Aladdin had such great music, but I have to admit, the Genie stole that movie in my memory LOL.

      Gumtree Canoe, what a fun song. I looked it up on iTunes-is that a banjo tune?

  6. Laura McCann says:

    I am an absolute fiend for music!! Must have it, all the time! I definitely do a playlist when I am starting a new ms, I like to know what the characters are feeling and thinking. I love all the Disney soundtracks, my current fave is the “Princess and the Frog” soundtrack, with the “Evangeline” song. “Look how she lights up the sky, my belle, Evangeline”.

    My song with my hubby is “I’m a Believer” by Smashmouth from the Shrek soundtrack. We did our first dance to this song, choreographed and everything. It was pretty great! My fave songs are: Blessed to be a Witness by Ben Harper, Freedom 90 by George Michael, Got to Be There by Jackson 5.

    And of course, my musical tastes are super eclectic. I’m all over the place, Inspirational Music to Heavy Metal to Rap. Crazy!!

    • Tawny Weber Tawny Weber says:

      I haven’t seen Princess and the Frog yet, Laura. My daughter has (she has the dvd, too) and loved it, though. It sounds like I need to give it a listen :-)

      I love I’m a Believer -both the Smashmouth version and, of course, the Monkees :-) And like you, my taste bounces all over. Rock, metal, country, hip hop. The occasional bluegrass tune :-) LOooove the variety!

  7. Donna McClure says:

    Music is such an important part of life. It can mark periods of life, memories of good times and can be upliftling if you are having a bad day. A friend of mine told me not to long ago that she felt depressed I told her to put some music on to help her get into better spirits. If I notice it is to quite because I didn’t turn the radio on to my favorite station I turn it on!

    Saturday night I was priveleged to go to a Big Band Concert put on by the local Symphony Pops Orchestra. The music was fantastic. It started with Moonlight Seranade which hit me with nostalgia because this is the music I listened to growing up. It made me think of my Mom & Dad who have both passed away. There was so much good music & memories. (Y)

    For my era it was Elvis, it drove my Dad crazy because I would play the same 45 over & over & over! :-) I also loved Pat Boone, Nat King Cole, Rosemary Clooney, The Everly Brothers, I know there were lots of others. I still love a lot of the old classics and music by Micheal Buble, Natalie Cole, Peter White, Dave Koz, Josh Grobin, Andrea Bocelli, John Denver, Barbara Streisand, the list goes on & on. I love Lee Ann Womack’s I hope You Dance. A former co-worker told me a wonderful story about this music and it never fails to move me because I always think about what she told me. Years ago I found some tapes of 50′s music on eBay, the price was right and I play them in my car when I travel. Yes, my car only has a tape player in it, why I have no idea because the car has lots of extras on it. I did buy it second hand at a good price with the new car guarantee still in effect so I decided I could live with no CD player!

    What a great subject Tawny. As you can see it made me very vocal! :-) Thanks for the opportunity to talk about music.

    • Tawny Weber Tawny Weber says:

      Hi Donna :-) WOW – great how connected you are to the music, it’s obvious how much joy and happiness it brings for you. Music really does shift moods, doesn’t it. We tend to use it a lot around here for cleaning. Nothing makes you want to move more than music :-)

      That is so fun that you can play cassettes in the car. And YAY that you came in and shared all of this, I’m smiling big reading your post :-D

  8. Tawny: I also create a playlist for every manuscript and I listen to it all the time. I even have songs that trigger an entire book. My last ms was inspired by the Whitney Duncan song, “Skinny Dippin’”. I listened to it and a scene spun out in my head and I ended up writing a whole book around that scene.

    Music is a huge part of my life. I have sung semi-professionally (weddings, parties, etc) for 35 years – since I was 6 years old. I’ve sung every song you can think of for a wedding – everything from Shania Twain, to Elton John to Prince – I did draw the line at Lady Gaga for a precessional – just can’t do it.

    I actually sang at my own wedding. A singing partner of mine had a studio and he recorded my voice for the duet “A Whole New World” and he sang with it. My husband wanted me to sing and I didn’t know if I’d get through it. Perfect solution!

    I just wrote a post-break up scene to the tunes of “One Less Bell to Answer.” Thank you Marilyn McCoo!

    • Tawny Weber Tawny Weber says:

      OMG wow. I’m blown away, Robin. You sang at your own wedding? That’s so awesome – and I don’t just say that as someone whose been asked to whisper Happy Birthday because I sound so bad *g* I admire so much people who can sing well.

      Isn’t it fab when a song inspires an entire story like that? Just the title is enough to get you thinking about a scene, but wow, the whole ms? Rock on :-)

    • Daniela C. says:

      WOW! I am totally impressed! It’s a beautiful gift that you shared on your wedding day and more beautiful that your husband was proud of too!

      Just curious, what Lady Gaga song did they ask for the precessional? Poker Face?
      LOL ;-)

      • Believe it or not – “Bad Romance” – not a church wedding, obviously. They were a fun, funky little couple but I convinced them to save it for the reception.

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