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Music Monday…Soundtrack for “Lone Wolf (Bound)”

Last week I posted “Lone Wolf (Bound)”. Today, I thought I’d post the songs I listened to while writing it. (I’m unfortunately not doing a lot of fiction writing except for the Full (Moon) Flash Fiction, which is frustrating, so I don’t have a lot of playlists to pull from right now.)

Only three, because I listen to my music on repeat while writing, and flash fiction doesn’t require an extensive soundtrack.

1) The Lumineers “Ho Hey”

Totally unashamed of falling in love with this from the Bing commercial. Between this and the vampire Bing commercial, I find Bing commercials to be the best.

My favorite lines are, probably unsurprisingly: So show me family / all the blood that I will bleed / I don’t know where I belong / I don’t know where I went wrong

2) Alex Clare “Too Close”

I swear, I don’t actually get all my music from commercials. This one, Tech Guru introduced me to the song before I actually saw the IE commercial. (Which is kinda gorgeous. Whoever Microsoft is using for their ad work right now, GOOD JOB. Did you see that awesome Iron Man bit?)

It’s actually not the lyrics that get to me on this one, just the rhythm and the electronic work. What would you call that? Someone musically smarter than me should help me out with the proper terms.

3) Florence + The Machine “Drumming Song”

The rhythms here work nicely for the building tension of a full moon night, I think. (I’m not generally a fan of Flo + The Machine, particularly after the whole racist “No Light No Light” video; see Racialicious.com’s “No Light No Light White Supremacy All Dressed Up in a Pop Video is Still White Supremacy” for a great analysis.)

What are you listening to this week?

Music Monday…Songs in the Key of Werewolf (Month of the Werewolf Day Three)

For this week’s Music Monday, I thought I’d focus on songs about werewolves, considering this is Month of the Werewolf. (What I will do for the rest of the Mondays, I have no idea. I should probably do some batch post writing this weekend and get that figured out.) Here are some of my favorite songs about werewolves; probably you will be familiar with most of them, but maybe there will be one or two new.

1) Pack A.D. “Wolves and Werewolves” (Yes, previously featured in the very first Music Monday here, but still an excellent, oft ignored song.)

Wolves and werewolves, baby
scratching at your door
Said there’s wolves and werewolves, baby
scratching at your door
I think I fed them earlier,
I don’t know what they’re here for

2) Bowling for Soup “Lil Red Riding Hood”

Is there an official video for this song somewhere? I think there should be, it would be so much fun. Probably it would involve a lot of Cursed, though.

Okay, so this may not technically be a song about a werewolf, but that is my pet interpretation (see what I did there?), and I think the lyrics support it. Sheep suit can totally equal human skin, right?

I’m gonna keep my sheep suit on
Till I’m sure that you’ve been shown
That I can be trusted walkin’ with you alone

3) Shakira “She Wolf”

Video maybe not safe for work, though it doesn’t actually show anything.

Part of me hates this song, because the video falls right into that horrible trope of sexual woman as monster (I really need to do a meta post about this at some point during Month of the Werewolf), but I find it very catchy, and also there are times when I find the video hilariously charming. (Some of the dancing as transformation is fantastic.)

A domesticated girl that’s all you ask of me
Darling it is no joke, this is lycanthropy
The moon’s awake now with eyes wide open
My body’s craving, so feed the hungry

4) Moonspell “Full Moon Madness”

The guitar is what makes this song for me. The rhythm of it gets beneath my skin, sort of like lycanthropy, yeah?

We are wolf memories
that tear the skin apart
Wolves that once were men
and shall be them again

5) Robert Mirabal “Skinwalker’s Moon”

Beast is on the loose.
Can you sense the desire?
The beast is on the loose.
I can see the village fires
glowing in the dark.
It’s the full moon.
Skinwalker’s moon
just let it rise.
Skinwalker’s moon
just let it rise.

(No guarantees on the accuracy of any lyrics included in this post.)

Do you have any favorite songs about werewolves, either explicitly or implicitly?

Music Monday…Favorite Cover Songs

(I’m trying out batch posting these days, in which I set aside time on Sunday to schedule posts for the week. This week, I didn’t write them in order, and I am trying hard not to reference posts that come later without putting it into context, but I apologize if I missed a reference.)

Later this week, for Werewolf Wednesday, you will see another trailer for The Howling Reborn. It inspired me to focus this week’s Music Monday on some of my favorite cover songs. I write to them a lot, too, so it still fits the theme lately of the soundtracks to my songs.

Gus “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”

Oddly, I didn’t know this was from Scream when I first heard it. Scream was one of the movies playing in the background of my teenage life, though. Some of my dearest friends adored it, and we watched it all the time. I’m still a big fan; I rewatch the first movie regularly. I even saw Scream 4 at the theater this summer. (I saw it at the drive-in as a part of a double feature. Had I watched it on its own, I’d probably be disappointed that I didn’t wait to watch it on dvd, but it wasn’t too horrible.

This song is gorgeous, no matter what.

Johnny Cash “Hurt”

I like the NIN version of this song, but the Johnny Cash cover is absolutely unbelievable. It is the most heartbreaking, painful cover I’ve ever heard, and the video shatters me every time.

Scala and Kolacny Brothers “I Touch Myself”

I love, love, love this cover. I walk around listening to it on my mp3 player and beaming at the world, just absolutely beaming. It is so fun, and so unexpected. I love having people listen to this for the first time. They’re always so surprised by it, and then so full of joy.

Glee “Fat Bottomed Girls”

Incredibly, incredibly ashamed of this, because I think is a horrific show full of racism and sexism and biphobia and fat hate and ableism. However, some of their cover songs make me grin and crack me up, and I really, ridiculously love this one. Though I couldn’t find a version on YouTube in my brief search, the performance they used on the show is pretty sexy, too. (I find just watching the performances recommended to me by friends helps keep my rage down regarding everything else.)

Echo and the Bunnymen “People are Strange”

One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite horror movies. Oh, 80s, you certainly gave me movies to love (The Howling and The Lost Boys in particular). And then the 00s and the 10s gave me sequels and remakes that were horrible. What is this life? Why do you hate me so? At least I got Cursed, which while sometimes horrible, was a nice shiny rock video of a movie for werewolves much like what The Lost Boys was for vampires.

This song, though, is awesome.

What are your favorite covers?

Music Monday…Songs From My Current Werewolf Playlist

I realize I did songs from this same playlist the last time I did Music Monday, but it is a massive playlist, so there is always more to share. I have specific songs for specific scenes or chapters, but I also have a playlist for background music; it doesn’t have to exactly match whatever work I’m doing, it just needs to make me feel good while I write, for various definitions of “feel good.” Also, my music can be eclectic.

“Johnny and June” by Heidi Newfield

Johnny Cash references for the win, no matter how cheesy. I grew up loving Johnny Cash’s music, and I just love it more the older I get. Also, I really love the fire in the video here, and that gorgeous car. I like the rise and fall of this, the softness and the powerful chorus. Total windows down, music up roadtrip song.

“Devil Town” Bright Eyes

Not the official music video, but this claymation and live action fusion is fabulous and, at times, hilarious. (The vampires!)

“Whispers in the Dark” Skillet

This great, too, though the version on my playlist is acoustic, and therefore wicked haunting.

“White Sandy Beach” Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

I really should stop putting his music on my playlists, because mostly what it does is break my heart that he isn’t still alive and making music. (Johnny Cash’s music does the same thing to me, really.) I have a lot of Iz’s music on this playlist for a couple reasons, but this is one of my favorites.

“Boxer” The Gaslight Anthem (live at Bonnaroo 2010)

Mostly for these lyrics:

There was something heavy holding you down
And there were whispers that were driving you crazy
And now you hunt the heart of this town
Remember when I knew a boxer baby

“Drop the World” Lil Wayne feat. Eminem

Tech Guru showed this to me for the first, and sold it to me as an apocalyptic rap song. Until that moment, I didn’t know how much I wanted apocalyptic rap songs. The version on my playlist is uncensored and is SO MUCH BETTER. I recommend syncing up an uncensored version with the official video, because it’s amazing. (Tech Guru did this for me the first time, because he is awesome.)

So what are you listening to while you write?

Music Monday…Songs From My Current Werewolf Playlist

I am deep into a werewolf novel right now, and have lined up some music to go with it. I thought it might be interesting to share some of the songs here, along with their official music vids where I can, because official music vids are frequently ridiculous. (Also, sometimes awesome.) (Most of these songs were introduced to me by either Eliza Reeve or my dear friend Kira. I really need to schedule trips out west to visit each of them.) I choose music to write to based on a combination of appropriate lyrics and/or mood and/or a rhythm that gets to me.

Escape the Fate “Issues”

Escape the Fate “Gorgeous Nightmare”

(Wow, this was the first time I watched the official vid. You can skip to about 1:20 for the song to start, but that’s kind of intriguing. Not such a fan of the fat hate, but I will have to spend some time analyzing the video some other day.) (The rhythm on this song really gets to me, especially when the lines repeat.)

Skillet “Monster”

(I still sometimes sing this as “I feel like a rockstar” because it cracks me up every time I do. No idea why.)

The Pack AD “Wolves and Werewolves”

(Alas, could not find an official vid for this one, but I highly recommend buying their album.)

Bowling for Soup “Girl All the Bad Guys Want”

Bowling for Soup “High School Never Ends”

(Also my first time seeing the video, and it’s horrible and hilarious at the same time. Plus Bowling for Soup is ridiculously hot.)

So what are you listening to (or watching) while you write?

Monday Musings…What Won’t You Write?

A couple different things came together to inspire this post.

First, Eliza Reeve and I talked about her accidental prophecies; as she mentions here, first she said she would never write werewolves, then she wrote “Lunacy”, which is an excellent story you read; then she said she would never write vampires, and now she has a couple stories out with publishers; and just last month she said she’d never write a historical romance, but Circlet Press just put out a call for subs, Sense and Sensuality, which looks like a lot of fun.

So that’s been on my mind, the idea that once you say you will never write something, you end up taking back that proclamation in the future.

I’ve run into that with kink, as well, and then I read Squick City, a post by Lisabet Sarai that talks about what lines authors draw when writing kinky stories.

The combination of these two things makes me a little leery about talking about what I won’t write, because what if I end up like Eliza? However, the things I won’t write are generally things I also won’t do, kink-wise at least, and I’m pretty confident of my hard lines when it comes to kink.

So here are some of the things which make me invoke Your Kink is Okay, It’s Just Not My Kink: golden showers, scat play, age play, foot worship, necrophilia (though, I do write vampires, so this is a bit of a gray area, technically), bestiality (despite writing werewolves and shapeshifters, so I’m sure this is a bit of a gray area too, technically).

Not a lot, really, though I’m sure there’s more I’m just not thinking of right now.

But that doesn’t include everything I don’t write, because some things I am just not interested in. I don’t write dominant men with submissive women. I don’t often write m/m, though I love a good m/m/f threesome. I don’t write supernatural men and human women, because I’m more interested in stories where the women are supernatural. (“Hunter, Prey” is a bit of an exception, because Aisha is human at the start of the story.) I probably will never write about mummies. (I think.)

Some things I don’t write are kinks my partners left me with. (Anti-kinks, sort of, though that sounds more negative than I want to be for some of them.) I don’t write non-con, though I might write a negotiated and consensual non-con scene within a kinky relationship. (I haven’t, but I might.) I don’t write water play, in that there is a threat for drowning or being stuck in the water or anything that might involve water and being out of control around it because one of my partners is terrified of water and I made sure to edit any such things out of my stories. I am careful when I write about candle and wax play, because of some bad experiences my partner told me about. Etc.

Hilariously, I wrote “I don’t write contemporary romances (though this is a place I think will likely change; however, I am more interested in paranormal romances, so I stick with them right now).” but it’s not true. I just sold a contemporary erotica piece, at least, but it’s so very much not what I’m used to writing it automatically made the list of things I don’t write.

So these things change and one person’s kink is not someone else’s kink and we all have things we do or don’t write and things we say we won’t write but then end up writing. What are yours?

Writing…Dominant Women, Submissive Men (for Hack Gender)

At one point, I saw a review of Like Tooth and Claw that was pretty negative overall. I’m not linking to the review because the review itself isn’t the point. People should be encouraged to leave honest reviews without feeling like the author will come and yell at them for writing a negative review. However, the review did make me think. When I saw Hack Gender start appearing on Twitter, I decided to finally put down some of my thoughts.

The part of the review that stood out for me was when the reviewer basically said zie couldn’t identify with the characters of my story, “Hunter, Prey,” because the woman was dominant and topped the man and the man was willing to be dominated.

I’ve run into this before, both as a writer but also as a kinky woman, especially as a kinky queer woman who is considered dominant. (Theoretically, I’m a switch, but there are very few people for whom I bottom [so far, exactly one], and I am far more likely to be the top when participating in the kinky community.) When people discuss kink — whether they themselves are kinky or are simply analyzing it from outside — most of the time they assume dominant man and submissive woman.

That is not my kink.

One reason it’s not my kink is that a lot of the time, there is no man involved in my kink. Most of the people I played with were women and they were either bottoms or switches who bottomed for me. And yes, I think there is something beautiful about the women writhing in pleasure-pain.

There is something beautiful about men in the same situation.

But this isn’t about my kink. It’s not about your kink. It’s about the assumptions of people — here, readers, but I think this applies in other situations as well — when addressing something considered unusual. A dominant woman and a man happy to be dominated.

I intentionally wrote Aisha to address some of the things which bother me about paranormal romance — and romance in general. Aisha isn’t a virginal slender young white woman. Aisha has a lot of sex without being in a relationship, she is in her thirties, she is fat, she is black, and she owns a construction company and fights to hold her own space in a very masculine field. At the beginning of the story, Aisha picks up Finn — a stranger — in a bar for an uncomplicated one night stand. (Finn later complicates it.)

She is hard to identify with because she dominates her romantic partner in the story.

Women are not supposed to be dominant. Women are supposed to be taken, not to do the taking themselves. Women are not supposed to go after what they want, and they are certainly not supposed to get off on holding power in a sexual situation. They are not supposed to enjoy denying their partner’s orgasm, especially when the partner is male. They are not supposed to enjoy tying up their partners and beating them.

Women are not supposed to have power, and if they do have power they are certainly not supposed to enjoy it.

This is bullshit.

Edited to Add: It has come to my attention that at the end of this post, it may not be clear that I am expressing anger via sarcastic commentary on what people have told me about women and sexuality. I am a dominant woman who enjoys power and sex and fully support dominant women who enjoy power and sex. I apologize for not saying this clearly.

Writing…Project Update

Yes, yes, I too think my blog has mostly become Twitter updates. Sorry about that! The day job has kicked into overtime, and I’ve been hard pressed to get any writing done, much less blogging. However, there has been writing and I thought I’d provide a quick update.

I just submitted a short story to a call for submissions and hope to have good news about it in the next month or so.

Eliza Reeve and I are working on an Untitled Only-Slightly-Secret Project which I think you will all enjoy. It will involve regular microstories posted on our websites for your enjoyment and I am rather looking forward to it! It’s a really fun idea.

I have been reading werewolf stories and watching werewolf movies. I will talk about them soon, promise.

What are you working on these days?

Writing…Useful Rejection Letters

I’ve been both busy with various writing projects and ill, neither of which left a lot of time for blogging. However, I submitted a couple of those projects today and finally have a moment to write about some of the thoughts I’ve had lately.

One thought is about the importance of rejection letters. Sure, nobody wants to be rejected, but it’s a part of the process. (Whatever process, really: job hunting, dating, writing, etc.) The rejection letter itself can be really useful, and that’s the part I’ve been thinking about.

There are a couple ways I think rejection letters can be useful. The more obvious way is if the letter says, We don’t want this piece of writing for reason A, reason B, and reason C, and those reasons are things which can either teach you about the problems of the piece or specific things the publisher wants.

The other way is that it can be validation. (These are not mutually exclusive by any means.) This is what I’ve experienced with my last three rejection letters for erotic short stories. (Two for one story and one for another.) In all three cases, the publisher chose to pass on the story (the anthology was already full, it wasn’t quite the right fit for that particular anthology, etc.), but in all three cases the publishers had encouraging things to say about the story they were rejecting and they asked to see more work.

Each time, the rejection letter was really encouraging even though it was a rejection.

Even rejection letters which give you nothing but the non-detailed rejection are useful, I think, because at least they’re a way to show you’re doing something. You’re writing and submitting and that’s really something, whether or not you’re getting published yet. That’s a big deal.

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Writing…Music for Monsters

There’s a post about music at Werewolves.com: 167 Werewolf Inspired Songs for Werewolves. I love both werewolves and music, and so I was thrilled with this post.

The post mostly talks about songs that actually mention werewolves (or wolves), and I’m pleased to have it, but I also like songs that simply make me think about werewolves.

Some of my favorite songs make the Werewolves.com list:

Creedence Clearwater Revival “Bad Moon Rising” – This is my favorite werewolf-ish song (not strictly about werewolves, but used in werewolf movies frequently) and one of my favorite songs, ever.

Warren Zevon “Werewolves of London” – This is a gimme song when it comes to werewolves. I’m not sure you can not like it if you’re a werewolf fan. (Okay, I’m sure someone, somewhere doesn’t like it.)

Metallica “Of Wolf and Man” – Not my favorite Metallica song, but I do like it.

Duran Duran “Hungry Like a Wolf” – Another gimme song, really, but it’s quite catchy.

Other favorite songs either about werewolves or which make me want to write werewolves are:

Bowling for Soup “Lil Red Riding Hood” – I’m a fan of Cursed as a werewolf movie and as a great soundtrack to a werewolf movie. This is the most obvious song about werewolves, and still one of my favorites.

Nickelback “Animals” – I love this song and before the last stanza, I thought it was going somewhere far more horror story with the noises outside the car. Plus the animal lust makes me write werewolves while listening to it – werewolves who rebuild cars.

Santana “Into the Night” – This song is all rhythm and moon imagery and lust, all things which scream werewolves to me. It’s addicting and makes me want to dance and makes me want to write werewolves, which is not at all a bad thing.

Three Days Grace “Animal I Have Become” – In this instance, I think the lyrics themselves make the best
explanation for why I love this as a werewolf song. There’s something inherently attractive to me about the werewolf’s struggle to tame the monster inside, and though I prefer when she’s not angsty about it, I do love the struggle itself.

I can’t escape myself
So many times I’ve lied
But there’s still rage inside
Somebody get me through this nightmare
I can’t control myself

So what if you can see the darkest side of me
No one will ever change this animal I have become
Help me believe it’s not the real me
Somebody help me tame this animal I have become

What songs do you like? For werewolves or other monsters or for writing in general.