Back in the day, I sat on the floor with my big computer on the coffee table and with cheap headphones on my ears playing Beethoven symphonies from cassette tapes. Over and over and over. It was kind of depressing then, and it's even more so now as I remember it. But it helped me write. It gave me a soundtrack. One of my workshop leaders years ago said that he could sell anything if it had a soundtrack (referring to short stories, but I suspect the principle might go beyond that).

Now the world has changed. It is lit by electricity. We have iPods, of course, so the music sounds better than tape, and we have Pandora. I love Pandora because I like music, and I can listen to it a thousand times but eventually I get tired of it and Pandora brings me something new. When it does, I buy it, add it to my playlist.

Now I sit on the couch, my laptop in my lap (where else?) with expensive headphones plugged into the device of my choice, playing Noosa ("Walk on By"). That's my current favorite, maybe the best song of all time, and I've heard it more times than I should admit. I even burned  a CD so I can play it in the car. It's the kind of song that withstands multiple playings. So does "Summertime Sadness" by Lana Del Ray. But be warned: both will put you into a funk. But they're grand for writing fiction. It's the mood, I suppose, the kind of intensity that lends itself to fictional worlds, the ones I live in while I'm writing. Down there, life is hard. You need to hear Noosa, you need to hear Lana Del Ray. Maybe I'll download some Beethoven.

Copyright 2019 by Philip Tate