TV and New Discoveries

I have a long and abiding love affair with music. In fact, music has been a part of my soul even longer than writing. In fact, it’s probably one of the biggest passions my sister and I share.

Me (in the navy blue) and my sister singing together

Me (in the navy blue) and my sister singing together

My tastes in music tends to be as varied as my personal interests, but recently I began to think about TV. We all know that the correct selection of music can enhance the telling of a story. As I sat there working on edits for Three For All, my mind went back to music and artists I’d discovered through tv shows. For me, there’s something fantastic about the right lyrics.

Don’t judge me, but I used to be a bit of a soap opera addict. It was actually through All My Children that I discovered Gloria Estefan. There was a couple, Cliff and Nina…they were one of those on-again, off-again couples with a terrible sense of timing. During one of those off-again moments, Nina was thinking of Cliff and a song with a memory montage played. I couldn’t find a video of that moment, but I thought I’d share the song that helped me discover my love of Gloria.

Thinking back to those songs had me wondering…if I could pick my Top 5 “Discovery” songs from TV shows…what would they be? Think about yours while I share mine…because I’d really love for you to share yours with me afterward.

Do you guys remember Family Ties? Since Alex P. Keaton was probably one of my first crushes, I do. I still remember when he fell in love for the first time. Why? Because Billy Vera and The Beaters immortalized it for me with this song… See if you remember this scene….

Of course sometimes the feelings were of the “tear your heart out” variety. Although I actually knew Janis Ian’s music…mostly from my mom, I didn’t realize I knew it. It wasn’t until I heard this song sung at the General Hospital Nurses Ball that I started to look her stuff up (only to discover, as I said, that I’d known her all along). The Nurses Ball was an AIDS awareness benefit and a much loved part of the show. They had just done a storyline where Stone, a much loved younger character on the show, died of AIDS. Stone is who you’ll see in the flashbacks toward the end…

So I’d been watching General Hospital since I was 3 years old. I saw Luke and Laura get married while we were stationed in Germany. It also helped me discover the music of Toni Braxton since I’d pretty much given up on mainstream radio by the ’90’s. One of my all time favorite characters was Brenda Barrett. Ever fall in love with a character you knew was toxic to you but couldn’t seem to help yourself? That was Brenda’s story back then. She’d fallen in love with a mobster named Sonny and he did nothing but break her heart. In my mind’s eye, she’ll always belong with Jax, the guy who loved and accepted her through pretty much everything. This particular song played as she was remembering her and Sonny together. Sonny had just married someone else.

The next song is from One Tree Hill. There have been a few artists (The Wreckers, Kate Voegele, Tyler Hilton) on the show that I fell in love with during the early years, but none quite like Haley Scott. This scene is the first time she shows the guy she loves her musical talents. It’s not her best song, but it had me hooked on Bethany Joy Galeotti’s music. It also made a great backdrop to the damage of lies between Lucas, Peyton & Brooke (my 3 favorite characters).

Finally there was Dido. Though many discovered her through Eminem, that’s not how I found her. It was back with a show called Roswell where I first heard the lovely, ethereal lilt of her voice. Like on Tree Hill, there was a ton of music to discover, but their opening theme song was done by her…and I loved it! In fact, here’s the song put together with parts of Max and Liz’s love story.

What songs have helped you discover artists you may not otherwise have become a fan of? Where did you discover them?


Where Does Your True Superpower Lie?

Like many of my fellow bloggers/writers, I am drawn to the supernatural both in book and tv/movies. From these books, shows or movies, all sorts of questions come up…and we find ourselves drawing lines and making comparisons. A couple months ago Emma talked about super couples…literally speaking. Karen, at the beginning of the month, discussed how to be both evil and likeable…These ladies got me thinking about some of my favorite fictional characters and where their true strengths lie.

Take J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter, for example. Most people think of Harry and felt that his power was in the fact that he was a wizard. But look deeper… Think back towards the long walk he made when he surrendered himself to Voldemort. His true power was actually the same as his mother’s…and his saving grace, both times. It was his ability to love and his unselfish, unwavering sacrifice. He cared more about who he could help and save rather than himself. His mother sacrificed herself out of love for him…and in doing so, saved his life. He loved the people at Hogwarts enough, even the unloveable ones, that he was willing to walk into the lions den and sacrifice himself to save them. By doing so, he destroyed the one who would destroy him. It was not in his power that he had strength, but in his humanity and willingness to open his heart.

On to the ever popular Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. What was the true strength of the Cullen family? Was it the super powers they received because they were vampires? I don’t think so. You began to see their strength when they realized that someone who was important to a member in their family was being threatened. It didn’t matter whether they were all in agreement with whether or not she should be included in their family secret. Once she was threatened, the only thing that mattered to the entire family was protecting someone they considered one of their own. Their strength was in family. They believed in each other, supported each other (even when they didn’t necessarily agree), and they protected each other. As the last movie in the series prepares to launch, I’m stoked. This is when you see them truly use those family ties to protect those that they love. It should be their best movie yet!

One of my favorite series is The Sword Of Truth by Terry Goodkind. In this series you meet a young man named Richard Cypher, a woodsman/guide and a young lady in white named Kahlen Amnell. In the first book you learn that Richard is actually “The Seeker Of Truth” and gifted with a magic sword, then later discovers he is actually a very powerful wizard. Kahlen is a magically talented person called “The Mother Confessor”. Although they both have these incredible powers, their strengths come from their belief in good, their love of the truth, then eventually, in their love of each other and their willingness to sacrifice themselves and each other for the greater good of the world. If you haven’t read this series, I encourage you to do so. It is amazing. (I’m being deliberately vague as I don’t want to give away any details to those of you who haven’t read it. I will tell you, though, that I read through the entire 11 book series in no time at all, and so did my husband.)

If you’ve ever read the Riley Jensen by Keri Arthur, you’ll find another case of a character with super powers (Riley is half vamp/half werewolf) where her strength is in her bond to her twin and her willingness to look behind the surface.

The same can be found in pretty much any show… Roswell was not all about the fact that 3 alien kids landed on earth. It was about the relationships they built and their ability to love…and eventually, to trust.

In Supernatural, Sam and Dean are demon hunters…but their strength is in each other and their ability to still see the good in things even after everything has been taken away. Yes, sometimes they fall off that path, but that’s the beauty of these brothers…eventually, they are able to pull each other back when one of them loses their way.

I’m sure you guys could probably list many more examples…or have some feedback about the ones I’ve listed. I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions. Don’t be shy…Share with me!

And you know what? This subject doesn’t just apply to books, etc. It can apply to us as well. Think about what the outside world sees as your strength….then look deeper. Pull back those layers…what really drives you? Do you know? What would your best friend say if I were to ask them?

For me, most people see my outgoing personality and my confidence and they assume that they’re seeing my strength. The truth is, it’s my ability to pick myself up and dust myself off after I’ve gotten knocked down and that is my superpower. I recognize that life’s challenges are just that…challenges. And in the words of the Mother Abbess from The Sound Of Music…”When one door closes, another window opens.” One failure just leads you closer to success.

Okay, I went first. Now it’s your turn!