While watching the sun rise over Lanikai Beach, Kirsten and I talked about how music and beats and general noise, like the lapping of waves on the beach, spurs us on while writing and the different kind of music or sound we need when we’re thinking, creating.


For thinking, plotting, creating I need a quiet beat, either classical music, native American chants or just nature sounds. I love the sound of water and the sound of wind. A wordless beat that half-hypnotizes me and shuts me off from the real world. Uptempo or downtempo depends on the kind of project I’m working on.

When I’m ready to write the story I connect it to music that will drive me toward a certain mood, a state of mind that allows me to get deeper into my character’s life (or my characters’ lives when I’m writing a dual narrated story). It takes some time figuring out which music will do the trick, but I always find it. Often it’s just one song or one track, which I will put on repeat. Listening to that same song over and over again puts me into a trance. I don’t have to listen to the lyrics anymore. I can just write.

Sometimes it’s an entire album that’s connected to the story, like with this project, where Elvis Costello’s North and ‘Someone took the words away’ in particular, carries me to the right place to write Sunshine’s story.

To me it works like method acting, this music/trance thing. Love it.


So, I have my music, I have this super inspiring friend around me, these gorgeous view, if only I had been able to convince my muse to travel with me my writer’s life would be perfect. Haven’t spotted him here yet, so the thinking is all on me.