Thank Yous, Part 2

7 Jan

Returning to the other day’s theme of thanking people I don’t–and don’t want to know

The rest of my top artists for the year can be accounted for by the sudden left turn my writing took around the end of the year. When I started editing The Resurrectionists, I made a comment here about how weird it was I hadn’t written any sort of love/sex story that didn’t involve death or destruction in a really long time.

Soon after this revelation, a few not so great things happened in rapid succession that I vaguely touched on online, but not really. To be brief: I lost my last grandparent, who was a complete badass, and then my mom had some frightening surgery followed by a few scares. At the same time, my husband was in the middle of finals at Duke. So I was driving between WV, Pittsburgh, DC, and occasionally Durham, mostly by myself, every week. Between the car, the hospital, and all that, it was a lot of thinking time–and I really didn’t want to be thinking about anything too fucked up.

(Which says a lot about my coping mechanisms, and why I mentioned the other day that this one was going to get a touch more personal. Sorry if this is TMI, y’all, but I’m better talking about this shit after it’s over, if you know what I mean.)

Anyhow, I’d been considering trying something fluffier since that comment, almost like throwing down a gauntlet. So while all this crazy scary shit was happening, I whiled away the hours planning and writing–you guessed it!–pure romance. No death, no darkness–okay, occasional violence and definitely superpowers. But it really has nothing in common with my usual fiction, apart from the fantastic and–well, sex. Even more sex than usual, even.

Which is actually not the fun part of writing these things, if you can believe it (I find it the most harrowing, but that’s another story for another time), but it was still a good time. Between October and the end of December, I wrote two such little novellas, one of 30k and one of 40k, and started planning a third. I’m sort of proud of myself because it would’ve been easy to use things kind of falling apart all at once to just shove the writing aside, and instead I managed to get away with just diverting the flow somewhere manageable. I’m hoping to do something with them, even–though under a different name, as it wouldn’t do to have them confused with my dark stuff. That’d just be a cruel trick on someone looking for–either, really. Assuming anyone ever did. For some reason.

Of course, music factored in heavily. There are now two CDs in my truck, one labeled “Equilibrium” and one labeled “Riot Boy”, that kept me company during the worst of it. And no, they are not chock full o love songs, for the record. There are Other Plots involved!

For the former, I can thank:

-Kaiser Chiefs. “Love’s Not a Competition, But I’m Winning” is one of my favorite love songs ever. It’s not hearts and roses, man. It’s fucked. Like that!
-Kings of Leon. I’ve always thought them–okay, but “Sex on Fire” pretty much rocks.
-Others: The Charlatans, Arcade Fire, Starsailor, Black Kids, Snow Patrol (I know, but it’s a ROMANCE novel), and Arctic Monkeys.

For the latter, I can thank:

-New York Dolls. “Trash” (god, that video…) and “Lookin For a Kiss” pretty much invented one of my characters.
-The Clash. Alan Ginsberg’s spoken word and Rimbaud references–hell yeah, it was all about “Ghetto Defendant“.
-Others: Buzzcocks, Blondie, The Kinks, The Jam, Dustin O’Halloran, The Ramones, Joy Division, Stone Roses, and yes, that’s right, Depeche Mode.

So it’d be absurd for me to do a Thank You, Rock Stars post without thanking this lot, since to me, this is the soundtrack of the last couple months. Gave me some good inspiration, and frankly, got me through some shit. So there it is!

And remember, I wanna know what did it for you.

(And for the record, this in no way impacts my dark fic–I’ve turned out two shorts, one of which I’ve already sold, while doing these. All is well! It’s just that I much prefer writing as an outlet to, say, watching TV. Reading helps a lot of course, but I can’t have reading without writing any more than I could have it the other way around.)

Now playing: Flogging Molly – Queen Anne’s Revenge
via FoxyTunes

10 Responses to “Thank Yous, Part 2”

  1. Michael Stone January 7, 2011 at 3:55 am #

    Hey, sorry you had a rough time, but that’s a good list of artists. And many of them heralding from the UK too!

    • Katey January 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

      We all have rough times–what can you do, right? Thanks!

      Yeah, that whole UK-centric music taste thing started in the 90s. Britpop saved me from Grunge.

      And my family. We were in a bar having dinner the other day with my parents and it was a 90s station. All American stuff. I looked at my mom and said, “You thought Oasis and Supergrass were obnoxious? LISTEN TO WHAT YOU COULD’VE BEEN STUCK WITH.”

      Yay for America being musically awesome again, though. Woo!

  2. Alan W. Davidson January 7, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    Jeez, Katey, you’ve had a lot on your plate the past couple of months. Sorry to hear about your grandparent. The last of mine died 25 years ago (am I THAT old!) I hope that your mom is on the mend.

    And thanks for the heads up about the move of your blog. I mostly rely on that feed to alert me for new content and seldom just pop in to places to see if there’s anything new. Umm….Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    • Katey January 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

      Yeah I’m 30 so I was lucky to have a grandparent this long. Still, we always miss ‘em!

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too, Alan :D

  3. Meghan January 7, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    You always awe and inspire me with how you just keep turning out awesome stuff, in spite of (or perhaps because of) shitty circumstances.

    Who did it for me… um, I’m still churning through the same book, so I guess Cusco and Dead Can Dance get most of the credit. They work well with the Arizona vibe and I tend to go with more ambient stuff when I’m doing the actual writing. (I’ve got a few mixes of random Gypsy-type stuff that Niki likes, but they were given to me as mixes and I have no idea who the actual artists are.)

    • Katey January 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

      Mmm Dead Can Dance! I need to find some Cusco–if it’s in a similar vein I can definitely find good use for it. (Plaguebringer edits? Awwww yeah.)

      I was supposed to send you something for Desert Sun writing… Maybe the 300 soundtrack. Yeah! I’ll get on that! <3

      • Meghan January 8, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

        Cusco is all instrumental, with a sort of breathy Native American Flute meets Electronic feel to it. I liked their Ancient Journeys album best, perhaps because that’s the album BJ had in his stereo on our first road trip to Arizona. I associate it with sunshine, freedom, and temperatures warming as we headed more and more south. (We got out of MN right before a HUGE blizzard hit, so this seemed like a double miracle.)

        It wouldn’t be something I’d pick for Plaguebringer, (except maaaaybe for the fun stuff with our darling RoRo and his boy) but I could see you needing it at some point.

  4. Cate Gardner January 8, 2011 at 3:45 am #

    I thought you were awesome before I read this post, now I’m even more convinced. You dealt with all that, you still wrote (and heck, that’s a lot of words), you produced a magazine and didn’t whine once — we should all follow your example.

    • Katey January 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

      Gosh, thanks, Cate! I was actually shooting insane emails at the end of the RPP reading period from Durham and arranging art from WV, too. The RPP madness was a good thing more than anything else, though–gave me something scheduled to focus on, you know?

      Plus, the authors and artists were really, really easy to work with.

      I’m glad you don’t think THIS post was whiney though! Just figured some explanation wouldn’t go amiss, since I’ve been sort of vague about the whole mess :D

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. A Whole Lot of People | KV Taylor - April 5, 2011

    […] when I did my annual “Thanks Rock Stars” post(s) in Jan, part 2 mentioned that during a really crap couple of months for the Taylor Family, I couldn’t handle […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: