1. Take a Technological Purveyor of Music (such as an iPod) and set it to shuffle.
2. As soon as the first song starts playing, start writing. Don't put too much thought into the process, and don't bother trying to force the writing to the song -- just let the music carry your pen along.
3. When the song stops playing, stop writing. Don't edit anything.
But I cheated (as usual). I picked out the songs I wanted, set the song on repeat instead of stopping at the end, and edited. I can't stand not editing. But anyhow, despite those rather wide departures from the rules of the game, the result was three blurbs from three separate stories inspired by three different songs. The first is for my work in progress, The White Sail's Shaking. The second is for my story Sunshine and Gossamer, still in the percolating stage. The third is for my nebulous idea Ginger, a Victorian tale that is simmering (if that) on the back-back-back burner.
So with that, let me introduce my small enterprises.
Vanilla Twilight - Owl City (The White Sail's Shaking)
The ocean was sobbing tonight. He sat on the brig’s side with one leg thrown over it, black boot dangling over the depths below, his hand clenched around the ratline. Deep blue sea met lighter blue sky on the horizon, but around the ship it turned violet and rushed like voices. One soft voice in particular. The night smelled of jasmine in summer, and his chest ached with the sweetness; he breathed it in, trying to grasp it and hold it forever, but it was grasping at a dream. He moved his hand over the rope fibres, whistling a breath out through his nose as he thought of how often that motion had felt another hand instead. He missed it more tonight than he ever had before, for he knew he would never touch her hand again. He would never smell the jasmine in her hair. He would never see that strangely adoring look in her eyes turned to his...
He drew a breath and glanced sideways at the familiar white figure. “Yes, Bent?” he asked back, a little sharply.
“Sorry. Were you thinking of someone?”
Darkwood laughed softly, dropping his gaze to the violet sea once more. “Always,” he replied. “Always.”
Children - Escala (Sunshine and Gossamer)
The green expanse rolled heavenward, the grass and the spattering of flowers dancing in the breeze. At first Sunshine tried to avoid stepping on the blossoms; she walked carefully, higher and higher, with Gossamer whisking along at her side like a lithe black shadow detached from its owner. But the wind grew as she went on through the pasture. The trees at the hilltop were dipping and rising in it, the grass was rippling in softer greys. It caught at Sunshine’s hair and blew it back from her face; it ruffled the black tuft that was Gossamer’s tail. A bird skimmed by, a flash of blue on the landscape. Sunshine’s heart began to rise and she lifted her gaze from her feet to the skyline, which had begun to burn with white fire as the dawn approached. Her pace quickened—she was running, Gossamer ever at her side; a cloud of yellow butterflies burst up before them and scattered into the blue. The wind rushed on by her or she by it, and she threw up her arms to skim the air as the bird had done. On and on, ever quickening, racing the sunrise to the top.
In a moment she gained the summit and crested the hill just as the sun, yellow like the butterflies, shot over the horizon and flooded the Welsh countryside in light. Sunshine’s heart pounded with exhilaration, arms still outstretched, drinking in the dawn with her whole body. “Oh, Gossamer!” she cried, half-sobbing, “what beauty! Oh, what beauty!”
Chi Mai - Escala (Ginger)
She would have to lead the dance, she and Mr. Ransom. Inside her new white dress she was all a-flutter, and she was blushing for no other reason than the newness of being at the centre of such an event. She had just a few more minutes to stand here out of the way before the waltz would play—the waltz she had picked out herself—and Mr Ransom would take her hand, and they would step to the floor together. No! Not even a minute; there he was. Her heart gave a leap like a frightened deer and heat washed over her skin.
“You’re blushing,” he said as he held out one gloved hand to her, and she put hers in it. “Are you nervous?”
“A little,” Ginger managed, answering his smile with a quivering one of her own.
“Why? This is your favourite; you’ve danced to it before.”
“Yes. But never in front of all these people.”
“Then pretend they aren’t here. Just you and the music, Ginger: just you and the music, like it always is.”
Yes: just her and the music. It was beginning now, the soft, slow rhythm she loved so well. It was like a dream; Ransom was putting his arm around her and she rested one hand on his shoulder, the other still in his, her white dress swishing over his black boots. His eyes smiled down at her, and they and the music became all the world to Ginger as the waltz began. He was steady, completely unselfconscious, and slowly she grew less agitated as well.Around, back, stepping lightly on the flats of her shoes—tip, tap... Like a heartbeat the melody went on. Now it was more than a dream. Everything was real, beautifully real. This was her night and no one else’s. She closed her eyes and breathed. It was just her and the music; her and the music.
And in addition to those, I have a larger endeavor: a book trailer for The Soldier's Cross. Credit: Iardacil-stock at deviantART (for the woman); dead-brushes at deviantART (for the cliffs); night-fate-stock at deviantART (for tree and landscape); and Kevin MacLeod (for music). Enjoy!