Category Archives: BPB Creates

Night Drives: Musical Inspiration {Hyacynth}

Night Drive

We sit in his parked car.

Dimmed moonlight seeps in through the open windows, tattooing temporary tiny shadows onto the cloth seats and my freshly sun-kissed arms as I stare at the silhouettes of leaves resting quietly on massive, solid oak branches, gentle patterns pressed against the starlight sky.

Even with the windows down, the air is heavy; it’s been working diligently at drenching our naked skin with humidity, leaving tiny footprints of moisture along our brows, hair lines, napes of our necks for the past two hours.

We’ve barely gone beyond making little effort to engage in conversation; there’s no need for words anymore. We’ve run the entire soundtrack of each other’s self-proclaimed best album of all time in one summer, letting each layer, each chord, each harmony and each lyric soak press into our skins. And tonight we’re both hearing the words from a song we’ve listened to a thousand times before but never really heard.

“I’ll take your words as if you were talking to me.
So say what I know you’ll say.
Say it through your teeth.
Now in the deep and down, your heart moves.
I don’t know how, but I know I want out. 
Wait for something better, will I know when it can be us?”

There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been hung out to dry with last week’s laundry. I know what he’s thinking; he’s got my number, too. My sentiments remain as heavy, stagnant as the humid August air. I desperately need a breeze to sweep me away, take my heart hostage and run until it can’t recognize a single scene in the landscape.

This drive on this night, it’s such a contrast from ones past. Night drives where the chill of May still clung in the early summer air, driving goosebumps over my arms just beneath my light sweater, brimmed with conversations that weaved through the time and space inside his old car until we could see small hints of sunlight creeping over the bluffs, peaking in between leaves dancing in a slight breeze.

“Hands around your waist.
Nameless, standing cold.
Take in restraint like a breath.
My lungs are so numb from holding back.”

Night drives where we’d stripped off our sweaters, kicked off our shoes, talking about sweeping philosophical generalizations that were actually little glimpses of self-confessed truths.

“I said it out loud over and over but what do I know.
I said it out loud but it did not help.
I’ll stop now.
Just so I can hear you I stay up as late as it takes, as long as it takes.”

Night drives where each truth that was unraveled undressed another layer we’d cloaked our outer selves in, dying to undress, shed a shirt, jeans in the thickening summer heat.

“When the time we have now ends,
When the big hand goes round again.
Can you still feel the butterflies? 
Can you still hear the last goodnight?”

Night drives where we found ourselves tangled in each other’s discarded clothes, layers of history, clinging to each other’s underwear-clad bodies while hoping for this time to be different, praying for the current of love to swim against the undertow of reality.

“Feelings change so fast. 
Safety scares them away.
I can’t bring myself to say it;
it’s my own advice I need.
Nowhere and then nowhere.
Living trapped inside the chase.”

Until we’re left here, on a night drive where we’ve found we’re left naked, stripped completely of all our layers, souls barred, secrets shared, staring at each other and wondering how the flesh looks so starkly different from the clothing.

“Wait for something better?
I shouldn’t, it’s not enough.
Pull one excuse from another.
Just one excuse from another.
This time it means us.”

We’re left here. Listening. Finally listening. In your car. Only shadows covering our nakedness, temporary tattoos that will disappear come morning when we layer our clothes, redress our souls. And we find the layers of our soundtrack –the harmony, the melody, the chords — are just clothing to the lyrics we’ve been trying to undress from our first night drive.

All lyrics in quotations marks from songs from Clarity, Jimmy Eat World.

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Next week we will be wrapping up our month of Music Creativity with links from all of you. Don’t forget you still have time to compose a blog post, create a playlist or snap some photos inspired by our prompt or your own musical inspiration. Don’t forget to tag your photos #BPCREATES and submit you post on our Facebook. We can’t wait to see your inspiration.

Jade’s Musical Inspiration #BPCreates

Once upon a time, I used to be a dancer. Not, like, professional or anything, but I did love to dance. It put me in a great community of women – not like the kind who go to Juilliard and tear the competition down, but the kind that loves to celebrate each other, femininity, and womanhood. It made me feel powerful, earthy, and womanly – not to mention, an hour of dancing is way fun and an hour of running sucks b*lls (no offense, runners).

I use music in my writing most especially to set tone and mood. If there’s a particular note of angst, drama, melancholy, or swelling ache that I want to hit in my stories, I put on an appropriate song and play it over and over and over again until my writing hits the notes in the song.

But the song I want to share with you is one that hasn’t (yet) influenced my writing. It’s from my dancing days. And I share it with you because when the prompt mentioned music, this is the one that called from my heart. I had danced to it, and I always loved the way the notes trickled and rolled over my body, bending down my back, and spilling out my fingertips and toes.

It’s this one: Red House Painters’ Song for a Blue Guitar.

I couldn’t even tell you in words what this song speaks to me, I can only dance it. It makes me want to cry. And it makes me want to dance.

I hope you want to dance it too.

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Over the next few weeks we are looking at how music can and does inspire our writing. Do you use music? Has a particular song inspired you? Leave the song, or a link to your writing playlist on Spotify, we’ll be putting together a BPB Writing Playlist to share with you over the next few weeks.

Melissa’s Musical Inspiration #BPCreates

Over the next few weeks we are looking at how music can and does inspire our writing. Do you use music? Has a particular song inspired you? Leave the song, or a link to your writing playlist on Spotify, we’ll be putting together a BPB Writing Playlist to share with you over the next few weeks.

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I come from a musical family and grew up with a love for music. My grandfather taught piano, played organ and insured all of his kids and grandkids plalyed instruments. My husband’s family was also very musical. Music is always being played or made in our house.

To me music can be more than a soundtrack or backdrop to life. It can set a tone, tell a story or inspire creativity. I use music to quiet out the other noises in my head to allow me to concentrate and write. What that music is depends on my mmood and what I’m working on. (I use this playlist the most)

Music can also inspire stories, beyond the obvious one that is being told on the song. In last years Write Before Christmas we featured Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah…

The song is beautiful and has broken me in so many ways at different times depending on what was aon my heart and mind when I listed to it. It also inspired this short story that I wrote.

A current song that is working it’s way in my head is the A-Team by Ed Sheeran

(admittintly I haven’t watched the video, just listened to the music because I don’t want to influence my imagary) He is obviosuly telling a story with the song but it has also inspired me…I have a story in my head that I am working on getting out. I can see the girl, so pale and skinny you can’t tell if she’s sick or just small. Her blonde hair is pretty but never quiet right, which describes her whole look. She knows and she tries but she never hits the mark. Always right there on the edge of a group, never fully welcomed, never fully rejected or mocked. She’s trying to find her way and has fallen, slipped into the snowy world where she’s cold and alone.

Someday I will get it out…the way it plays out in my head….but for now I listen and I imagine it and I wait for the words and charcters to find their way out of the song and into my hands.

How does music inspire you? What music is inpisting you lately, share it with us to add to our writing music playlist.