Now there are certainly more than ten songs that I have gained my fabulous writing inspiration from, but the blogging meme is Top Ten Tuesday and my OCD won’t allow me ( in this case ) to alter the ’10’. So let’s just go with it ( and forgive the quality of the photos in this post because laptop screens are awful things to try and take photos of ).
Once again I shall be putting my list in the order of 10-1 because I’m going to lead up to a song that just so happens to be my favorite song of all time. But I would like to note that the first 9 songs listed don’t go in any sort of order; I have no favorite or least favorite with them. I like them all equally. Also, they have no lyrics.
10. “Slight Trail” by Chihei Hatakeyama
Album: Ghostly Garden
This song inspired a story that I have currently have titled The Courier’s Carnival. It’s basically a short story about a person, a.k.a. the courier, who enters a mysterious and potentially magical carnival for the first time.
I plan on writing more short stories to continue the story.
9. “Ghostly Garden” by Chihei Hatakeyama
Album: Ghostly Garden
I wrote a poem ( currently untitled ) while listening to this song about a little girl who lives on a remote property. On this property there sits an abandoned manner house. Without any other children to play with, she often goes to sit in the manner house and listen to ghosts of the people who once lived there.
8. “The Room in the Past” by Chihei Hatakeyama
Now I’m not going to say too much about this one except that it gave me inspiration for part of a inter-dimensional magic house that is a main feature in a novel I hope to write one day. I could go on for hours about that house; but I won’t, I am sorry. It’s very confusing to try and explain how it works. I’m still working on that part.
No, I do not know how pronounce Chihei Hatakeyama. I’m sure you were wondering. Now you know.
7. “Here Come the Wolves” by A Dancing Beggar
Album: Follow the Dark as if it Were Light
I wrote a short story ( also currently untitled ) about a little girl who takes a trip to the country side and wanders out into the woods. In the dark woods she finds the wolves: and unlike the vicious monsters she was warned about, the little girl finds the wolves to be her best friends.
6. “Fern and Robin” by loscil
Album: Endless Falls
The poem I wrote about this song is appropriately called The Fern and the Robin ( it is also in the photo at the top of the post XD ). It’s about, you guessed it!, a fern and a robin. Ok, all sarcasm aside, it’s about death, and how even though it’s a sad thing, it’s not a bad thing. I think sometimes there’s this misconception that all death is an evil thing. When death occurs naturally ( I want real emphasis on that part ), it’s just another part of living.
5. “Strange Arrivals” by Eluvium
Album: Nightmare Ending
This has to be one of my favorite short stories that I have ever written. Which is saying a lot, considering I wrote it about 2-3 years ago, and you know how your old wring tends to be ( ick ). I love the way I worded this story ( I’m so humble ), and the idea is simple yet fascinating ( just look at how humble I’m being ). The strange arrivals of platform 13 continue to be one of my favorite ideas yet. ( Also, look at that album cover. I love it. )
4. “I Will Not Forget That I have Forgetten” by Eluvium
Album: When I Live By the Garden and the Sea
This actually made me think up a novel idea about two lost twins living on their own. One is a shadow, the other blind. Hovering over it all the boy can’t shake the feeling that he’s forgotten something, something very important. It’s eating at him, and this hunger may eat at his twin sister, too.
Have I even finished outlining this novel? Absolutely not.
3. “Radio Ballet” by Eluvium
Ok, I want to stop and talk about these stories for a moment. Because these stories, are currently my life. Mr. Bunny & Em is a collective group of 28 children’s short stories that I started writing about 2 years ago. Now, what’s so special about them?
Well, I plan on self-publishing them in four installments, with the first 7 stories to be put out ( hopefully ) durning next summer. They will be written, edited, and ( possibly ) illustrated by me. I’m striking out completely on my own here; and I will do everything in my power to turn this into my career.
I’m currently in the self-editing phase ( with help from friends and family ), and as you can see from the photo above, it’s a bit ‘confused’, you might say. My colored dot coding system and folder labeled “???” are a bit, um… you know, I don’t even know what they are, but somehow it’s all working. Bit by bit I am working my way through the 2nd ( or possibly 1st & a half* ) phase of editing, and thus closer toward my goal.
Now, I really love these stories. Personally, I think anyone, no matter their age, could love them too. Like C. S. Lewis said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
Oh, and yes, to get back to the song, I do listen to it quite often while writing Mr. Bunny & Em.
*Is this a thing? **
** It is now.
2. “Indoor Swimming at the Space Station” by Eluvium
This song inspired a very particular Mr. Bunny & Em story, called “Emma’s Dream”. What is it about? I will leave you to listen and wonder.
Now you have probably noticed by now that I have a character named after myself in my stories, but hold on! This isn’t as conceited as it may seem.
The original idea for Mr. Bunny & Em came from my own childhood. The very first stuffed toy I ever got as a child was a gray bunny that I appropriately named Mr. Bunny. I took Mr. Bunny everywhere with me. I still have him sitting in my room today. So when I sat down 2 years ago to write a sweet, feel good story for myself, it was only natural that I turned to the way I used to play as a child.
Since then Mr. Bunny & Em has grown, and continues to grow. I’ve kept the original names of myself and my bunny in the stories because of where the stories come from, not because I have a heightened sense of my own importance. These stories are very close to my heart. The Mr. Bunny in the stories is pretty much the bunny I grew up playing with. But while my character Emma and I share a name, she is not meant to be me. She has my name only as a reminder to myself of the adventures I actually went on with Mr. Bunny when I was a little girl.
1. “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay
Album: Death and All His Friends
We’re finally here! I almost didn’t think we were going to make it. This post is monstrously long. But hopefully worth it. I hope you’re still here reading this and that you didn’t freakout from the length and jump ship about half way through. Sorry. I do appreciate your resilience, though.
So why is “Viva la Vida” my all time favorite song? Who knows!!! ( Actually if I sat here long enough I could come up with a long list of reasons but I’m sure you’re screaming, “NO!! Don’t make this any longer!!”, so I won’t do that. ) I get story inklings every time I listen to it. And they’re always something different than the last.
Alright, that’s it. I’m done. Putting the keyboard away now.
Do you often get story ideas from listening to songs? What writing/publishing goals do you have? If you’ve gotten this far, thank you for reading this long post! Link me to your TTT posts in the comments; I would love to read them!