Alison’s Advent Calendar Day Three – Music.

I read a lot of blogs by fellow writers about the role of music in their lives, and most say that music plays a major part in influencing their work. Music certainly does that for me.

How can that be? Surely I don’t listen to music while I’m writing? Well, I have been known to have my iPod on while I’m working – usually when the other half has the telly on and I’m attempting to drown out the irritating adverts. Music doesn’t distract me like endless offers from PPI experts or legalised loan sharks do, but it doesn’t help me while I’m writing either. The inspirational side of music kicks in when I’m away from the computer.

It’s fair to say I don’t suffer from writers’ block (I’d better go and touch some wood, quickly!). In fact, it would be fair to say I sometimes wish my imagination would shut up and let me sleep. However, I do get to the stage after a few hours at the computer where my eyes have white dots in front of them, and my brain turns to mush – and as a result my work turns to mush too. It’s at times like these I recall the words of Monty Python – ‘And now for something completely different.’ For me, the ‘something completely different’ might be ironing, or cleaning, or a stroll to the supermarket (man, I know how to live!), and I always have my iPod on.

Music never fails to lift me up, and my raised spirits kick my imagination back into gear. As I’m ironing, or cleaning, or walking, ideas for various storylines flood my mind, all to a soundtrack of my favourite tunes. I imagine scenarios, often involving me being far more cool than I am in real life, which play out to whatever track I’m listening to at the time. If the scenario is particularly satisfying I’ve been known to play the same song over and over again,  all the way from home to town two miles away. I probably look a bit batty, skipping along the riverside path, grinning and chuntering to myself, but I really don’t care. In between the daydreams about top film directors falling over themselves to turn Dory’s Avengers into a blockbuster, and my acceptance speech as I pick up an ‘Amazing Screenplay’ Oscar for said blockbuster, some of my most creative storylines have come as a result of my passion for music. I can’t write music, but I can write to music.

Here’s one of my favourite tunes: a festive song I find extremely evocative. It’s the lovely Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders with ‘2,000 Miles’.

The children are singing; it must be Christmas time…

Cue goosebumps.


Advent Calendar 004

Today’s advent calendar picture: a little bunny in the snow looking up at a star. Ahh!


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