Hey guys, and Happy Wednesday!
This entire shutdown experience has freed up a lot of my time, and what I’ve been doing with all of it involves four main things: spending time with the fam, doing homework, and thinking and writing up a storm.
Doing all this thinking and writing has brought me to reflect on some of the writing I’ve done in the past, and how I got inspired to cover those subjects.
Ever since I realized I was a writer, I’ve looked for and been struck by inspiration in the most unusual places.The way a leaf falls onto the ground sparked a chapter in the book I’ll someday finish. The way someone at the bus stop laughed prompted short stories I’ve kept hidden in my journal for years. The world surrounds us with inspiration constantly, even when we aren’t paying attention to it.
For years, I’ve been writing on here and on my own. Whenever I got in a rut, I would listen to songs and write scenes that would go along with them, or write about the vibes and moments they created for me. I kept these all hidden in notebooks in a bin under my bed, never really thinking about it until I had another moment to capture.
Recently, I was staring at a blank blog post, listening to a playlist on my Spotify that I call “Thinking About You”. It was about 1 in the morning and “Oh Donna” by Ritchie Valens started to play. Without really thinking, I grabbed an index card and started to write.
“This song takes me back to my favorite moment of a past life I never lived. I’m at the diner on my first ever date with a boy. He is not the most popular boy. In fact, very few people here know his name, or mine for that matter. He is no football star, no life of the party. But he’s strong and tall, handsome too. He wears a Letterman’s jacket that’s not his own and wears it better than whoever it belonged to before.
He puts a nickel in the jukebox and brings me out of the booth and into his arms. We fall right into place. My arms wrap around his neck and his go around my waist, my head on his shoulders, his chin on my head. We sway, smiling, and no one watches is. It’s just me and him, in a little corner of the diner where no one knows our name. Our corner.”
I finished writing it, and it felt good. For the next two hours, all I did was listen to songs and replay them, long enough for me to fill up the front and back side of an index card with a scene attached to each one. Just a couple paragraphs that filled up the lifetime allotted by the music.
By 3am, I had almost seven different scenes, each attached to seven different songs. Some of them split into their own categories, and some created categories together. I slipped them into my notebook and went to bed.
I woke up the next morning and told Naleiah and Em about them, and they got excited. I told them that I was thinking about making an entire series of them for the blog, and they were quick to support it. They sent me lists upon lists of songs for me to use, excited to see what I’d do with them.
So, every night after that, I spent a few hours dividing songs into playlists depending on the vibes that they gave me, with a max of 10 songs on each one. It turned into six blog posts, all ready to launch.
This new series goes up on Sunday, and the stories I wrote for each theme have given me individual Jukebox Musicals. Sometimes, the songs will be connected by one story line and one set of characters. But, more often than not, the scene will be assigned to each song itself, with completely different story lines and characters. I’m still navigating what I want this to be, but I do know this:
Once every week (at least) I’ll post a “Jukebox” entry of different categories.
Most of them are about love and crushes because I’ve been watching way too many rom-coms with my mom lately. But, I do have a few that break it up into non-romance centered stories. One of them is called “Senior Spring,” inspired by my plans with Naleiah and Cynthia to take a road trip during spring break next year. “Senior Spring” will be posted on Sunday at 11am. I’ll post the playlists with the scenes, so you can listen as you read if you wish to!
To keep it going, I’m gonna need you guys to suggest some songs. I want you guys to send me some of your favorite songs, in the comments here or on my Instagram story (@writerscupoftea). Every Sunday, I’ll leave a space for you guys to suggest some songs for me to write things for for the following posts in this series.
For now, I’ll be writing away with the songs I do have, and I’ll see you guys on Sunday.