Wednesday, June 29, 2011

And Now for Something Completely Different: Unusual Musical Talent

I went to a local coffee shop to watch my brother-in-law play guitar and bass guitar. Being a resourceful guy, he utilizes his feet for bass playing, while playing guitar with his hands.

What's a toe bass player doing on a blog about writing?

Well, besides being pretty cool, it's supposed to make you think. Do you have enough music in your current W.I.P.? Do your characters have any unusual talents? Where are you going in the world to gather ideas?

At open mic night, not only did I see my brother-in-law, I heard other musical talent, saw people dressed in various hats, and looked at the paintings of a local artist. I took in the general decor of the café (cozy, complete with comfy chairs and well stocked book shelves) and watched people walking by the window (especially the cute couple in the court yard who posed by the Spanish architecture, taking pictures). All of it feeds my writerly brain. What feeds yous?


DRC said...

One of my friends taught herself to play acoustic guitar, and she writes and sings her own songs. Like a friend does, I supported her at an open mic night and the whole acoustic thing inspired my last novel. Music played a big part in that.

DRC said...

With his FEET!!! My god, he's fantastic!!

Matthew MacNish said...

Holy crap! This is amazing. I have no idea how he does this without getting confused, let alone the physical dexterity required. Wow.

lbdiamond said...

Wow. That's cool. Yeah, my characters need more of these quirky, but awesome talents, LOL!

Kara Hartz said...

Your family is just all kinds of talented. Wow.

I like when music is mentioned in books, but it often bugs me when the lyrics of a song are included since I don't have a tune in my head to go with them. Short bits are okay, but when there is a whole page or more of lyrics, it just irritates me.

AnthonyJRapino said...

HA, I've never seen anything like that before. very cool.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

DRC~ That's so cool that music inspired your last novel. :)
Yeah, my bro-in-law's good. He played at our wedding, though not with his feet. LOL

Matthew~ Thanks. I know, it's amazing. I couldn't even manage to learn to play guitar.

Laura~ Yay, I hope you'll let us know what quirky talents you decide to give your charcters.

Kara~ Good point. Sometimes I wonder if it's better to just mention a very well known song the character is singing or hearing, if you need lyrics at all. For instance, if you write "Lilly walked down the path humming "Imagine" to herself," everybody will know the tune and lyrics.

Though, I've read stories where the writer invented lyrics that were poetic and meaningful to the story and it was very successful.

In my W.I.P. I don't have any specific lyrics, but people (and orcs) sing and play music.

Tony~ Yay, I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

Kara Hartz said...

I'm reading 'The Hobbit' to the girls and Tolkien is big on lyrics. I get that he's giving us a lot of history and culture in the lyrics, but I always feel like I'm missing out because I don't know what it's supposed to sound like. I'd like it better if he just said it was a famous old poem or something. Then again, people don't go about their day reciting poetry, but they do sing to themselves while working. Maybe I need to get over it.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Kara~ Yeah, that's particularly difficult when you're reading to the kids and you're supposed to sing something. Sometimes I "wing it" and make up a tune, but sometimes that fails horribly. LOL

In the case of The Hobbit, the melodies of the original cartoon version go through my head and I sing to those ~Far over misty mountains cold~to dungeons deep and caverns old~ I can totally hear it in my head! :)

Marian Allen said...

When our youngest daughter was little, her grandmother and I would make up music to "songs" in her books. Then daughter would teach me her grandmother's songs and her grandmother my songs. I don't know about Mom, but I can still sing the Monkey Day Wedding Song.

I do have some music in some of my books and stories, but I could do more. Many thanks for the prod! :)

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Marian~ I love it, the Monkey Day Wedding Song! That's the cutest! :)

Joylene Butler said...

Amanda, talent runs in the family. Wow, that's amazing. Really! Good for him.

Music is very important to the process of writing for me. I need certain songs for certain scenes. For the fire fight in my VN story, I listened to Dire Straits Brothers in Arms.

For most of my novel Dead Witness, I listened to Jann Arden's first cd. Very inspiring.

And in my current novel Broken But Not Dead, Brendell listens to kd Lang.

The world without music would be a sad, pathetic place.

Great post!

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Thanks Joylene. Yay, you use music to the fullest! :)

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