So I've been disregarding some of my husband's favorite music for years, sort of snorting over it and asking if the washing machine is broken or is that music? You know, the usual derision, the same kind of thing I used to say about my brother's music when we were teenagers. Jim (husband) has very diverse taste (everything but country and reggae) but the music I'm referring to is the heavy end of his spectrum, like Rage Against the Machine and Rob Zombie. I mean. . . Rob Zombie? Whatever! Am I right?
Welllll. . . it pains me to say this, but maybe I'm not right.
Let me back up. That is not a claim that I can make lightly. (snort!) To make a long story short, it's been a long time since I admitted to something rillyrilly shocking, something that makes people gasp and back away. No, it's not about being an atheist, it's that I'm not really into music. I know, CRAZY. . . and IMPOSSIBLE. But it is so. I hasten to add that I like music well enough, but it just sort of sifts through my head, mostly going unnoticed unless it is especially annoying. It's just the way my brain came out of the factory, I guess. As such, I almost never stick a CD in the thingy, and in the car I usually daydream and forget to turn on the radio. I didn't have an i-pod until I got Jim a snazzy new one for his birthday and came into possession of his hand-me-down nano -- for which he sweetly bought me a hot-pink arm band. He also made me a couple of long exercise mixes for the gym. He played it pretty safe, put lots of songs by bands with names like Vampire Weekend and Broken West and Ezra Furman and the Harpoons, just as long as they have a good beat for running on the treadmill.
And then. . . buried in there at song #19 of 89. . . Dragula by Rob Zombie, off the Hellbilly Deluxe album. Uh, thanks sweetie. Doesn't really sound like my thing. . . But you know what? I was WRONG! This song does wonders when you're lagging a little on the treadmill. You can feel the spurt of energy. And it's not just that. It's become a sort of unofficial theme song for my work-in-progress, the one that is named "Bad-Ass Sci-Fi Novel" on NaNo, to conceal its true top-secret name.
There's something about the endorphins of running that has been making the treadmill a great place for me to have a positive outlook on my novel. Seriously, and I am not one of those chirpy exercise enthusiasts you want to smother with a big slab of chocolate cake. I am a. . . reluctant runner. But less reluctant now. Because when I'm running and thinking about my book (I turn off the built-in treadmill TV and try to sort of meditate on my book) the ideas pump faster like my blood pumps faster, and everything begins to seem cool and full of possibility. And I'm convinced that's a combination of endorphins + music. In the case of this book, songs like the following, which will give you some idea that this is not a light-hearted, sweet-natured book (I swear, ordinarily I'm more of a Loreena McKennitt girl; this is a new development. Eek! What next?):
When I put on this song while I'm running, I can seriously conjure a kind of movie trailer of my novel in my head, and it is so bad-ass that I am convinced every teenager in the world would line up to see that movie. Or, you know, read that book. (That's my chirpy endorphin self, all positive spirit and cockiness.) And when I come home from the gym, I have to go and scribble down all the new ideas before I lose them.
So, er, sweetie, I'm -- *clears throat awkwardly* -- I, uh, I guess I have to admit your music doesn't totally suck. (except when it does.) Thanks for the mixes!
Now that that embarrassing admission is over, a quick book review! I received some merch from Simon & Schuster yesterday, including Wake by Lisa McMann, which fellow panelist Charlotte raved about recently. So I took it to bed around midnight. . . and I finished it at 1:30. It's a fast page-turny read, and it does not permit sleeping! The premise is this: when people fall asleep around Janie Hannagan, she gets sucked into their dreams. She is powerless to resist, and will black out wherever she is -- in the school library, in the nursing home where she works, while driving. . . and find herself a helpless observer to the dreams of others. Nightmares are most powerful; in her high school, sex dreams are perhaps most prevalent. She understandably spends a lot of time trying to avoid sleepers -- the class overnight trip does not go well. But is it possible she might be able to learn to control it? Learn to change dreams from the inside? The brutal nightmares of a certain intriguing boy provide her a good impetus to try.
This book kept my eyes peeled into the wee hours. It's spare, romantic, and creepy, with likeable, believable teen characters. I heard a horrible rumor that Lisa McMann wrote it in a week, which -- if true -- means she is a robot and not to be trusted. But I forgive her, because this book was really fun. ;-)
Wake is a Cybils nominee in the YA sci-fi/fantasy category. The sequel, Fade, comes out in February.