Elizabeth Barone

New Adult Romance & Suspense

Tag: music (page 1 of 2)

How Empire Sucked Me In #MondayBlogs

I wasn’t sure that I was going to like Empire or any of its music at first. A trusted friend told me I had to watch this show. She and I almost always have the same taste in TV and music, so I figured I would give it a shot. Since I write about music, I thought getting a glimpse behind the scenes of the industry would be fun. I hadn’t watched a musically-oriented show since Instant Star.

Still, I was hesitant. I’m not big on today’s hip hop music. Once in a while I’ll find a gem, like Angel Haze or Saul Williams. For the most part, though, I feel like an old person. I’m constantly saying that hip hop isn’t what it used to be.

I’ll try anything once, though. I snuggled up with my laptop and started watching Empire.

I fell in love with the characters instantly. I really connected with Jamal, especially when I first heard “Good Enough.” Jussie Smollett’s vocals are rich and full of range. The lyrics are poignant and heartbreaking. I can’t say that every song on the show is as deep as “Good Enough,” but this song grabbed me and drew me further into the show. I’m pretty sure that it’s the strongest song on the soundtrack.

I burned through the first season, and now I’m eagerly awaiting the next season. I went to sleep last night with “Keep It Moving” and “Keep Your Money” stuck in my head—and it’s been over a week since I finished watching Empire. Just like back when I was a kid, Timbaland delivers hit after hit on this show. I even like “Drip Drop,” haha. I seriously can’t wait ’til the next season starts.

Have you seen Empire? What did you think of the show and the music?

How “Fight Song” Saved My Life

I might only have one match,
but I can make an explosion

A few weeks ago, when this episode of depression was just getting started, I stopped writing. I didn’t know what was wrong yet. All I knew was that the passion inside of me had died, and that scared the shit out of me.

There’s nothing I love more than writing. My husband might even tell you that I love it more than I love him. I’ve been battling depression since I was twelve, maybe younger. Writing has saved my life, time and time again. To sit at my desk and stare at that cursor, unable to muster up the joy and love that fuel me and get those words out, was devastating.

I thought about quitting. For the first time since I started down this path, I seriously considered just walking away. Just that thought destroyed me, too.

I emailed my writer friend and critique partner Molli Moran. She sent me the link to Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song.” At first, I thought it was just a dumb pop song. I rolled my eyes as it started, the monster inside of my brain rearing its ugly head.

“You can’t listen to this,” that monster said. “It’s way too upbeat.”

The deeper into the song I got, though, the more it reached into me. By the time its three minutes were up, I was teary—but still trying to resist. I liked the arrangement and the music. I wasn’t a huge fan of Rachel Platten’s voice. I opened myself up to it, though, and found that it helped a little.

Then I closed the tab it played in, and found something else to listen to.

In the following weeks, though, “Fight Song” kept getting stuck in my head. I started hearing it on the radio. It played during commercials on TV. It seemed to be tailing me, reminding me that I still had some fight left. Slowly but surely, I adopted it as my new mantra; when I started to feel awful, I would just sing the chorus or even just loop through it in my head.

Last night, for the first time in weeks, I sat down at my desk and wrote. I wrote 1,800 words in forty-five minutes—a new record for me!

I’m still in this episode of depression. I’m still waiting for my new medication to kick in. I no longer feel like my disease is slowly killing me, though. I feel stronger, more in control of my headspace.

This is my fight song.

Writing Lyrics for a Fictional Band

Diving Into Him (South of Forever, Book 1), by Elizabeth Barone

Tonight I finished editingDiving Into Him, the first book in the South of Forever series. If writing a book is like a marathon, editing is like pushing even harder after that marathon, but at double the speed. It requires a lot of brain power, but I always feel amazing when I’m done, like I’ve accomplished something huge. It’s because I have; I’ve given birth to yet another bundle of pages, a story about hope and redemption and love.

While writingDiving Into Him, I had to write some lyrics for the band. While I never intended to record anything, I still wanted the books to have a genuine feellike South of Forever was a real band. Some lyrics jumped straight into my head, but others, I had to work for.

And I can’t even cry
Because you were never mine

I got lucky with thesewords. They fit the theme of the book so well, and made for a perfect, angsty song for Jett to perform. I didn’t even have to do any fine-tuningbut I did have to figure out some other lyrics to go with them.

Writing lyrics without musicand without any real experience, aside from when you were thirteen and thought you were Alicia Keysis like writing poetry while blindfolded. It’s not easy, but it’s kind of fun. You never know when you’re going to spill off the page, or when you’re going to get it just right.

Running with my mother’s kiss on my cheek
A mournful goodbye, too scared to speak

For South of Forever’s first EP, I tried not to sweat it too much, and just let it flow. I was very happy with what came out of my brainstorming sessions.

I still have lots of tweaking to doideally, I’d like to post the lyrics to all five songs on the South of Forever website (coming soon)but if it doesn’t happen, I’m okay with it. Sometimes, you can’t force art. The important part, the book itself, is complete. Anything else is a bonus.

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