So I mentioned before that my mom was a daydreamer. When her family members caught her zoning out, they would say that she was "Playing Bobby." No idea where that expression came from, but I do know what Playing Bobby means. Growing up, I assumed everyone daydreamed to the extent that I did. It wasn't until early adolescence that I noticed that none of my other friends daydreamed anymore. In fact, they'd never daydreamed like I had.
For a while, I just felt like a weirdo. I was plagued by the desire to do something I should have stopped doing years earlier. Somehow, the topic came up with my mom, and that was when I realized I wasn't alone. She knew what daydreaming was, too. Lots of writers probably Play Bobby, she told me. That was where they got their stories. It was then that I became proud of my imagination and didn't resent it.
So, what the heck does that even mean, and why can't you just call it "daydreaming" instead of talking about some guy named "Bobby" who none of us knows?
Well, for starters, it doesn't mean that I can't distinguish between what's real and what's not. I don't believe I have mystical powers. I may be a proficient cat whisperer, but that's not imagined—that's real. Just ask my former piano teacher's cat, who only came downstairs when I came over for lessons. It wasn't because he wanted to tell me to stop hurting his ears; it was because he liked me. Thanks, Beethoven.
My dad calls me "Pickle." While that may be irrelevant to everything I have ever said/will say, it sounded like a nice introduction to a post on the juices that get us writers going. Creative juice is a strange and intangible thing, despite the fact that everyone talks about it like it's this completely understandable and real thing. What is creative juice? Why do we call it "juice" and not "liquid" or "sauce" or "potato?" Would it really sound that weird to hear people say, "My creative potato is really cookin' today" ? Maybe. At any rate, for some unbeknownst reason, the word is juice. Once upon a time, a man wearing a hooded garment rubbed his beard and declared (whilst stirring a cauldron of toad liver and rooster feet) that the inspiration behind every writer would henceforth and forever be called juice.
Every writer will tell you what inspired his or her latest story. Every reader wants to know. A story about a small man with really hairy feet, off to steal from a dragon? What brought that on? Inspiration is paramount to a successful story. Without inspiration, a writer has to yank the words from his brain, rather than control their spillage from his heart. We all need inspiration, no matter what we do. Everyone knows this. For a little bit, I'm going to talk about my favorite juices.
I'm not one of those people who can write while listening to music, something I've mentioned before. However, I can listen to music before writing if I want to set the mood. Upon exploring the websites of authors, I've found that they typically list what is currently on their "bookshelf" or "playlist." I have decided that it is time that I graduate into the world of playlist-ing. Since I'm still in the Evolution zone, these are all songs that inspire the Evolution mood. Here are some of my mood-setting tunes. Some of them might be embarrassing. And some of them might not make any sense. Don't judge.
I feel the need to categorize these songs by the mood that I'm trying to achieve. So, for epic, serious, dramatic, intense moods (like for tense scenes), I like these songs:
For happy (dare I say it: lovey) emotions, I like these songs:
For nostalgic feelings, I got these:
Sometimes I'll be driving and a song will come on. "No! I'm not ready for this mindset! Ah...resistance is futile."