Welcome to this chilly February blog post. This month’s winners of a full set of Februrary 2014 Blaze books are:

  • Karen M.
  • Linda Henderson
  • Sue Stewart

 (I missed posting last month, but Laurie G, bn100, and Kaelee, you have January 2014 books on their way to you. Congrats!)

Thanks to everyone who entered the draw! Look for Kathleen’s post in early March for your next chance to win!

Today I’m doing a lot of small, administrative tasks. Sending email, checking order statuses, that sort of thing. As I write this, it’s a quiet, grey Wednesday, so I want a bit of music to keep me energetic and focused. Often this means a rock mix (I don’t know much about what the kids these days listen to. I’ve always been a bit out of touch about current pop music). Queen, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, T. Rex, Michael Jackson, The Kinks, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Pixies, Weezer, Nirvana, and the Foo Fighters often make it into rotation.

Today, I’m in a musical theatre mood, though, so I started out with the soundtrack from the show-within-a-show Bombshell from the TV show Smash. From there, I’ll transition to Thoroughly Modern Millie, or maybe Hairspray or The Producers.

What the inside of my head looks like. (Image borrowed from http://studentrush.org/)

What the inside of my head looks like. (Image borrowed from http://studentrush.org/)

When I’m reading or editing, though, it’s all classical all the way for me, with no distracting lyrics. Baroque music helps me focus on the words in front of me while blocking out any distractions happening around me. I love some Scarlatti, Bach, or Handel when I’m editing. When I’m reading, the sweeping melodies of Rachmaninoff and Chopin is the ticket. And I’ll take my favourite composer Dvorak any time, for any reason. I also love movie soundtracks, especially ones by John Williams, for reading. Music from the Harry Potter movies, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars put me right into story mode. (I’ve been known to leave this ten-hour loop of the Jurassic Park theme song playing all day. I’ve yet to get tired of it. I don’t know what it is about it, but it’s so great to read to!)

How about you? What music do you like to read or write to? Do you prefer silence or ambient noise?

7 Responses to “February Winners + Music to Read and Write By”
  1. Jo Leigh says:

    Wow, we have very similar tastes in music. I listen to a lot of classical, although not a lot of Barouque. I’m partial to Prokofiev, Mozart, Debussy, Copland, Gershwin. I adore musicals. I’m one of those Sondheim fanatics, but I do know all the words from Thoroughly Modern Milly!

    I’m also crazy about soundtracks. John William’s Raiders soundtrack ramped me up for every job interview I had for years. I listen to Zimmer’s score for Sherlock Holmes when I need a pick-me-up, Barry’s Out of Africa when I need soothing, and Bernstein’s score for To Kill A Mockingbird when I miss Atticus. 🙂

    Now I’m going to listen to Quiet City by Copland as I continue to write my outline.

    • Dana Hopkins Dana Hopkins says:

      Oh, I love Sondheim, too! I was lucky enough to see a one-on-one event with him a couple of years ago, just him and an old theatre critic friend in conversation, talking about absolutely everything. It was a stunning evening. So much insight into his own work, and theatre and life in general! Amazing guy. Think I might have to listen to Sunday in the Park with George today….

      And Raiders is definitely the perfect pump-you-up music!

  2. Patsy L Roberts says:

    Congrats to the winners.
    I like to read AND write to the sound track to Don Juan De Marco and George Strait.

  3. Mary Preston says:

    I like silence most times. The only exception is when I am working on my crafts. Then I put in a favourite DVD to watch/listen too.

    • Dana Hopkins Dana Hopkins says:

      I have a writer friend who plays movies she knows really well on her ipad while she writes, depending on the kind of scene she wants to write. That would be very distracting for me, but she swears by it to put her in a narrative mood!

  4. Katie says:

    I love musicals! When I’m home, I do turn on the tv just for background noise.

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