I did this completely by accident, by dint of poking through Winamp's media library on a drunkard's-walk, going "Oooo, I haven't heard this song in a while." And then when it was done I looked at it, moved a few things around, and said, "Huh. This goes with a story."
This seems to be a part of the process this year, since it's exactly what happened before I wrote "Needles." I got obsessed with a couple of songs, and then a few days later realized they were essential to the mood of the story I'd been trying to figure out how to write for months.
Writing is a very left-brain/right-brain process. However much the little guy in the driver's seat likes to think he's in control, really the deep squids of the subconscious have all kinds of traction. And what we get from the squids is highly dependent on what we feed them--but of course, sometimes the squids crave a certain kind of fodder, and they make sure they git it.
All this stuff happens in a very mysterious space, deep in the symbolic parts of the brain, and then it's the job of the logical left hemisphere to take it and turn it into a narrative that other people can understand, through the use of craft and experience.
You gotta trust your squids. And still keep them from running the joint, because if the squids are in charge, who the hell can see through the ink to swim? Er. So to speak.
This is what they were craving today:
1. Jethro Tull - Steel Monkey (3:40)
2. Jackopierce - Anderson's Luck (4:09)
3. Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime (4:19)
4. Billy Idol - Heroin (6:57)
5. The Patti Smith Group - Dancing Barefoot (4:16)
6. Vienna Teng - Gravity (3:38)
7. Dire Straits - The Man's Too Strong (4:40)
8. John Lee Hooker - One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (3:26)
9. Supertramp - The Logical Song (3:48)
10. Billy Joel - Allentown (3:50)
11. Tom Waits - Ol' 55 (3:57)
12. Joni Mitchell - Chelsea Morning (2:35)
13. Alanis Morissette - You Learn (3:59)
14. Steely Dan - Show Biz Kids (5:26)
15. The Dandy Warhols - Not If You Were The Last Junkie on Earth (3:11)
16. Bruce Springsteen - Prove It All Night (3:59)
17. The Escape Club - Wild, Wild West (4:08)
18. Mumford & Sons - Dust Bowl Dance (4:40)
19. Big Country - Steeltown (4:39)
I mean yeah, my brain is definitely on to something there, and chewing hard. And I didn't see it until I stepped back and looked.
I wonder how I managed to avoid sticking "Not an Addict" by K's Choice in there. Possibly it's just so tied in my head to Jenny that there's no prying it loose for another addicted character. How I got out of it without "High on Sunday 51," I'll never know--except nobody ever was willing to fight that hard for this guy. And Stew's "Rehab," also just doesn't work.
But I think I might as well face up to it, and just name this damned thing "Steel Monkey," as I've been tempted to since the very beginning.
What is it with me and the vampire stories this year, anyway?