Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bring In Da Noise

A person can go about 3 to 5 days without water. You can survive without food for a little longer than that.

I, however, cannot live longer than a few hours without sound of some sort. It could be normal city sounds, background television shows, thunderstorms or music.

Complete silence is not calming. It is not refreshing. It is loud. It is terrifying. I do not like it, Sam I am.

Maybe it's because half of my life has been spent in noisy places. In the city car alarms go off at one in the morning, bar-goers stumble past your window at two shouting at the top of their lungs and sirens of all kinds of emergency vehicles play a sporadic nighttime symphony. If I did not have these sounds, I would not sleep.

Ever since I was little, listening to a Billy Joel tape in my Walkman as I slept, my need for sound was apparent. It started with a constant running fan, even in winter, and progressed to leaving the radio/tv on.

How does this effect my writing? I've had conversations with other writers who can't write with noise. Others can write to music as long as it doesn't have words. Then there are the ones like myself, who can write with anything on, at almost any volume. As I type this I have the Elite Eight Arizona/UConn game on in front of me.

I'm one of those who creates a playlist that I think matches the mood of my book, or even the scene I am currently working on. Scary part? Those We Don't Speak Of from The Village Soundtrack. Haunting part? Creep cover by Scala & Kolacny Brothers. Introspective moment? Breathe Me by Sia.

If the music is faster, I type faster. If only the same principle worked when I exercised.

My mind wanders if I try to write in complete silence. I start to wonder why there isn't any sound or whether or not I took the chicken out of the freezer oriftomorrowisgarbagedayorwhereileftmykeys. My thoughts are too loud in silence and rarely hones to the task at hand. Music/noise allows me to focus.

Are you like me? What do you listen to? Do you need quiet? How do you achieve isolation from noise?

Monday, March 7, 2011

WriteOnCon Contest!

The WriteOnCon crew just announced the dates for WriteOnCon 2011. They happen to span my birthday as well! August 16, 17 and 18 are the dates so mark them on your calendar. It's a fantastic opportunity.

Speaking of opportunities, they are running contests to help get the word out. The first contest has begun, with the prize of a query critique from Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary Agency! Go here for more information: Sarah Davies Critique!

Keep checking the site all day today for the new contests! I see they just put up a query critique from Jennifer Rofe of ABLA! I met Jennifer in Big Sur in December and with her feedback I improved the first pages of my MS.