Thursday, February 28, 2013

This week's writing and studying music

I keep rediscovering music from the 90s that I love listening to while drumming away on the keyboard. A while back it was Mazzy Star, this week it's alternative Canadian folk group, Cowboy Junkies. Rich is the best way I can think to describe the band's sound, which is more than a little odd because their tracks are not overly complex. Somehow, Margo Timmins' vocals and the perfectly timed instrumental's shift between light and dark moods to create fantastic emotional contrast within their best songs.

Light and Dark in Characters

I like having a similar sense of contrast within characters that I write. That's not to say that everyone in my stories are a mess. Yeah, I like flawed and complex characters as much as any other pretentious writer. At the same time, I'm fascinated by the number people I've met over the years who have been successful in their fields. From the talented and gifted who manage to marry theory to practice amidst the chaos of the world, to autodidatic blue collar craftsmen whose insights frequently outstrip those of their formally educated counterparts, I like writing about people who get hard tasks done in challenging environments. Such people are often colorful, larger than life, and the clash between the competent and incompetent furnishes plenty of dramatic material.

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