Sometimes, I surprise even myself at how many ways I find to procrastinate. When I’ve finished Googling pictures of gorgeous men (research), beautiful homes (research), smugglers (research), Catholic saints (research), scenic Yorkshire coastal locations (research), 17th century artists (research), and what’s coming up on the next Outlander episode (re – nah, can’t even pretend), and when I’ve tweeted all the tweets I can possibly tweet, and when I’ve scrolled up and down Facebook in a desperate attempt to find something new to read, even though I’ve already scrolled up and down my timeline twelve times already, and when I’ve pinned a few pictures to Pinterest, and when I’ve read my emails yet again, and when I’ve tidied my desk, and when I’ve drunk gallons of tea and then had to run to the loo several times, I’m almost out of options, and have no excuses not to write. Then I remember YouTube.
Ah, YouTube. What did we do in the days before this wonderful site? I remember frantically pressing the record and play buttons on my old cassette recorder, balancing the microphone gingerly on the chest of drawers next to my radio, and praying that no one would barge into my bedroom to disturb my desperate attempt to tape my favourite songs from the American Top Forty, hosted by Paul Gambaccini. Those were the days. So many of my recordings were filled with various members of my family yelling at me to do something, and my increasingly exasperated hisses of “Shut up!” Then there was the horror of the tangled up tape! Aaarrgghh! All those brilliant songs, ruined. Lost forever! Well, until next Saturday afternoon when I’d have to go through the whole rigmarole yet again.
Now, with a click of a mouse, you can not only listen to music any time you want, but you can watch the accompanying video, too. Brilliant, and not too technical even for someone like me, who has no idea how an iPod works and wouldn’t have a clue about the mysterious ways today’s teenagers listen to music.
Anyway, I digress. Having been very good and written a whole scene, I decided that what I needed, more than anything, was a soundtrack to the story. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds. You try Googling “songs about unrequited love and falling for your best friend while living in a stately home and facing bankruptcy”. Surprisingly, Google seemed a bit perplexed about that one. Anyway, I went onto YouTube and decided to start with the title track, since that’s the obvious place to begin, and it is, after all, how they start films. So I added Paul McCartney’s Once Upon a Long Ago to my brand new channel, which is called, astonishingly, Once Upon a Long Ago. Because, in case you hadn’t realised, Once Upon a Long Ago is the title of Kearton Bay book three.
Then I tried to think of the most anguished song I could think of. You know, a song that showed a man really struggling with his feelings and not knowing what the hell to do with them. I came up with U2’s With or Without You, so I played that. Twice. Or it might have been three times. I really do love that song. Luckily, when you play one song, YouTube comes up with suggestions that you might also like. Some of them aren’t to my taste, but some are very appropriate, and before I knew it, I was adding song after song to my channel.
I have managed to spend about two hours doing this. How many words I could have written in that time, I have no idea, but I suspect that I would be a lot further on in the story than I am now. I have to confess, however, that I did also listen to the theme song from Outlander. Several times. Well, it’s good. If you don’t believe me, listen to it here.
The only thing is – and it is a teeny problem – I can’t listen to music while I’m writing. I don’t like any sort of noise really, and I prefer to work in silence, so that the only sound I hear is the frantic tapping of my fingers on the keyboard, *ahem*, so I don’t know why I felt the sudden need to make a soundtrack. It’s hardly important, is it? And it’s not going to get those scenes written any faster, is it? On the other hand, it gave me something to talk to you all about, so that’s always nice. And it did make me feel all emotional and involved with Will, my lovely hero, so I think that always helps.
I’m off back to Kearton Hall now to get on with his story. If you want to know what sort of music I’ve been listening to, or if you’re looking for clues about poor Will’s state of mind (or Lexi’s come to that!) then you can find my playlist here.
Have a great week xx