Writing And Music And Where They Merge

I connect very strongly to music. I’m not telling most of you anything you didn’t already know. When I feel sad or lost or hurt or alone…music is my company and my anchor. When I’m happy or excited or energized…music helps me express myself. Regardless, the thing that centers me is music.

I’ve had friends ask me why, if I love music so much, did I choose to follow my bliss to writing? It’s a fair question. The thing that I love about my music are the fact that the smallest phrase can evoke a song into my head…and follow it’s path through my mouth. I love the spontaneity I can enjoy with music. If I decided to follow this as my discipline…I’d have to truly work at it. Practice. Repeat songs. For me, that would create a loss of joy….and probably, in the end, I’d come to resent that which I love so much today.

Writing, on the other hand, playing with words…tossing them to and fro to create just the right phrase, the right image…well, heck! I can do that all day. I love that aspect. It doesn’t get old or boring or tired. In fact, you’ll catch that it’s the lyrics of a song that truly draws me in. Yes, I can appreciate music that doesn’t have words…but my passion and imagination soars with lyrics.

I think that’s part of what makes certain movies so memorable to me, too! Their soundtracks…where long after the movie is done, you’ll hear a song on the radio and remember that moment, that scene, that image…and smile. I’m a sucker for movie soundtracks! Why? Because I get a variety of songs from a variety of talented musicians…sometimes artists I’d never otherwise discover!

So, today, I’m going to share with you my Top 5 favorite movie soundtracks…showcasing my favorite songs from each one…

But before that, I just wanted to thank you all for your encouraging words regarding my family…and the songs you shared…Please continue them. My father-in-law’s oncology appointment and scan are today. His doctor is pretty sure the cancer is back. That’s the thing about Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma…it will always come back. But he’s a 2 time survivor already, so I’m refusing to have anything but good thoughts. For me, that equates to music and laughter, so I’m going to share with you a little known Joey Lawrence song from an old movie he did called Prince For A Day. People forget that the guy could sing. For whatever reason, I saw that movie once when I was much younger, but the lyrics always stayed with me. You’ll see why.  The song is called “Don’t Lose Heart”.

And to feed my need for humor right now I figured I’d stick to Blossom alumni and give you guys one of my favorite Big Bang Theory experiments by Mayim Bialik.

Now, on to my top 5 movie Soundtracks in no particular order…

I can’t talk about soundtracks without mentioning The Sound Of Music. Who can resist the beauty of a voice like Julie Andrews? She is one of my all time favorite musicians…and always will be. (Christopher Plummer wasn’t exactly a slouch, either.) I nearly chose “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria”, but I have an even bigger, more romantic favorite… The discovery of a requited love…

The next song is from one of my all time favorite Christian Slater movies…Pump Up The Volume. I was torn between this Concrete Blonde song and Ivan Neville’s “Why Can’t I Fall In Love”.

I also loved 10 Things I Hate About You…so many great songs on this one…but this one gets me moving. Love Letters To Cleo…and miss Heath Ledger & have always been a big Julia Styles fan.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers stole my heart in the Pretty Woman Soundtrack, though the whole thing is chock full with awesome tunes!

I chose this last one to be my final selection because it’s powerful and uplifting…and something that lightens my heart…and hopefully yours. It’s from Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit. Man, can Lauryn Hill sing!

So what about you guys? Do you have favorite soundtracks? Maybe favorite songs from certain movies? What uplifts you when your heart is heavy? Your turn to share…and hopefully I’ve made you laugh…or smile…or brought back some memories. 🙂

Rising Through The Ashes…

To say this week has been a challenge would be a mild understatement..and it’s just Tuesday.  Yesterday I chose to spend time with my husband and didn’t have much to say anyway.

Last week, Julie Glover wrote a blog on movies that defined our generation.  For whatever reason, Julie’s blogs always seem to get my own creative juices flowing.  I take a few days to soak up her posts, then I write.  Considering that Pump Up The Volume was my all time favorite (Yes, even over The Breakfast Club which is my 2nd fave), it really got me reminiscing…and thinking about what it was that made that movie matter so much to me.

You know, these days you hear so much about bullying and all of it’s causes.  This is nothing new.  In fact, it doesn’t just stop because you become an adult!  I don’t like it.  I don’t agree with it.  In my youth I’d gotten more than my fair share of it.  In Pump Up The Volumethe main character, Harry, played by Christian Slater says that getting through it…surviving it…that’s the point!  I think about that line a lot.  And I think he’s right.

There’s a scene where Samantha Mathis’ character (his love interest) tells him that he keeps waiting for a voice to tell him what to do or what to believe…then says…you’re the voice you’ve been waiting for!  In fact, earlier in the movie she sends his character a letter on red paper with a poem on it…She’s trying to figure out who his radio persona really is.  The only thing she knows at this point is that they go to school together and that he speaks to her on a very visceral level.

“You’re the voice
crying out in the wilderness,
you’re the voice that
makes my brain burn and make my guts go gooey.
Yeah you gut me,
my insides spill on
your alter and tell the future,
my steaming gleaming guts spill out your nature.
I know you,
not your name, but your game.
I know the true you,
come to me or I’ll come to you.”

Going through challenges in life, embracing them, allowing them to sink into your soul and strengthen you…it helps to define the person you are.  It feeds your passions.  As writers, musicians and artists…it really helps you constantly recreate yourself.  These are the gritty things that inspire you.  They’re the opposites of the good, clean positive feelings that help you to realize, remember and appreciate when the good ones come along!

There’s another not so well known movie from the recent past that starred Lindsey Haun  from True Blood & Toby Keith, that really drives that point home.  It’s called Broken Bridges. It’s where I discovered Lindsey Haun for the first time.  She has an amazing voice.  I’d love to hear more of it!  And the lyrics are just so powerful, so filled with emoition.  We artsy types really feed on emotion.  I know for me, though I can’t always write my grief while it’s happening, give me a couple days of distance and poetry or stories fly…and with a type of depth to them that speaks to real life experience.  In this movie, and the above song, Lindsey Haun’s character writes this song and sings her heart.

She found a way to turn her pain into something beautiful.  Because, like Christian Slater said…”surviving it’s the point!”  What about you?  Are there movies that have touched you deeply?  Maybe pushed you harder toward your dreams?  Maybe helped you get through tough times?  Or maybe it was music?  What inspires you?  Who inspires you?