It was warm in the bed this morning and I really didn’t want to crawl out, but I had to because work and this–my blog. Well, really, more the the blog, because all work is good for is paying the bills. It’s not like I get any kind of stimulation from it other than the exercise walking to and from the local.
If you were here yesterday you’ll know I had a bit of a meltdown Wednesday night. If you’re here today, you’ll know things are much better. These things happen, and this one happened in part to a combination of situations that brought up a bunch of bugaboos in my head. Yes, that is a technical term, so you can trust me. Your mind can kill you, and mine has done of good job of trying that for–oh, maybe fifty years now?
The walk to work was refreshing. The morning was bright and quiet, I didn’t feel bad, I was taking in the fresh air, and I had the song Borderline running in my head. Why? Because I’d picked it up after reading something on one of the blogs I follow, and that’s how I role with the earworm.
But this tune got me thinking, and by the time I rolled into work I had a question that needed answering. So I shot it off to my beta reader and Trusty Editor(tm): what is the soundtrack of Annie’s life? What music defines her? This I had to know, because I was getting my inner Tatiana on–
Allow me to explain.
Though I didn’t pick it up on the first run, I am a big fan of the show Orphan Black. (And you should be, too, but that’s a different story.) It’s the story about a lovely lady who discovers she’s really a bunch of lovely ladies, one of a batch of clones born in 1984. She leans this when one of her clones takes The Big Dive right in front of her, and Sarah, the clone the story revolves around, ends up taking over that woman’s life. And in the process he discovers she’s also a soccer mom living in the same city, and an American student, and a German rocker, and a crazy Ukrainian bitch who wants to kill everyone, and . . . well, it just goes on and on.
One of the things the main actress, Tatiana Maslany, does to get into the character of the women she’s playing was to create playlists of songs for each character. So when she’s getting made up for Sarah, she listens to The Clash, Dizzee Rascal, and the Streets; when she’s Helena’s it’s Antony and the Johnsons and Tom Waits; Cosima is Grimes and electro/Diplo music, and Alison is show tunes, Les Miz and West Side Story. She puts on the music and gets into the grove, and that’s what allows her to play three different people all sitting around wondering what they’re going to do with their lives.
When I had the chance I role played out a scene between Annie and Kerry, one that I’d written back in November and was told was lacking something–namely, Annie didn’t feel right. Since I used to role play a lot–and most of that almost meant I was the game mistress–I’m good at doing different characters because I had to be. So that came into play, and by the time I arrived back at the apartment, I had a good idea about the interaction.
Then the email came, and I had three tunes, and the first one, I was told, was probably the best one to describe Annie meeting Kerry for the first time in person. (I’ll leave that “in person” dangling here . . .) So I started rewriting, taking my time, getting things the way I thought they should . . .
And when my editor came on and read the part I’d finished, she was like, “You got it!” She loved the new action, and the new Annie.
I’ve been tired and under a lot of strain the last few months, and it’s shown in my writing. A lot of adverbs need to go bye-bye, so they gotta go. But I need to relearn things, to be more descriptive, to roll back into the role playing, get it out there more.
My characters are different, but they aren’t their own real people. They are me, and I have to live them.
Otherwise they’ll never have a life of their own.