Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Road Trip and Sense Memory

Two days road-tripping from NYC to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, have left me wondering how on earth I'm going to blog and tie everything back to something writerly. I didn't read or write anything, but I listened to A LOT of music, which brings me to tonight's topic: SENSE MEMORY.

In my acting days, Music served as a prop to get me into a certain emotional state of being. Music would help me "remember"; music was my madeleine, (the cookie that aroused Proust in his Remembrance of Things Past) and access the past to be used for the present.

Writing is no different. I am a fiction writer, and I have to put my heart and soul into my writing for there to be truth in it.

Our playlist and forward motion in the car opened an undulation of feeling: Glen's Danzig and Campbell, The White Stripes, Michelle Shocked, Prince, Lyle Lovett, the B52's, Everlast, Iggy Pop . . .

I thought about the other week when I was struggling to finish the first draft of WIP. I had been having such a hard time with the ending, and having my two protagonists realize their feelings for each other was like pulling teeth. On a beautiful sunny day in the city, I went for a walk with my I-POD and played LOVE SONG by The Cure, over and over again. I got into this state of first love. The song reminded me of my boyfriend in Italy when I was 19, and how intense it was. I felt like I was 19 again - the best part of 19. Over the next few days I finished my first draft. Which, as you know, will only be the first of many.

Here in South Carolina, I had fantasized about listening to LOVE SONG and dancing on the beach by myself, but the feeling of young, impassioned love has been replaced with the grounded joy I feel sharing a life with my husband and children: but I know that I have access to my adolescence with the click of a button.


  1. Whenever I listen to "Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode, I remember driving to jr. prom downtown and rain and being 16 and so excited by possibilities. I think that's why I have so much music-from-my-youth on my iPod, to the chagrin of my daughter!
    Oh, I was just reading WALKING ON WATER and read your grandmother's words about you, decided to look up L'Engle, and found you again in real time! Congrats on your novel.

  2. Hi Margaret! I totally remember that song and am glad that you relate to my musings! Thanks for looking me up!

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