I can't write without music.

Every story I write lately has a song to call its own. For "El Diablo de Paseo Grande", it was "Silent Hills" by Lanterna. For "Dahlia's Feast", it was "Quutamo" by Apocalyptica. (And if you don't think Finnish cellists can rock, check out their live performances. Okay, so maybe they're a little weird, but the music itself is nothing short of complete awesomeness.)

For the past year or so, I've been getting into instrumental post-rock, avant-garde classical/metal and the like, all without lyrics to distract me while I'm putting phrases and sentences of my own together. This musical journey started with Explosions in the Sky, and thanks to Pandora, I've since discovered other musicians such as Red Sparrowes, Russian Circles, Lanterna, and Zoe Keating. More cello!

How about you? Do you hear your muse whisper the loudest with some tunes on in the background, or must you have complete silence whilst smithing your words? Do you write with the TV on, or by white noise—tuning the radio to a station where nothing but static comes through loud and clear?

While I'm no fan of sparkling vampires or hundreds of pages of pointless dialogue, I did read a while back that Stephenie Meyer listened to a whole lot of Muse while she was writing her bestselling series and actually posted her "writing playlists" online. Many of the same songs were later included on the Twilight movie soundtracks.

> For Write1Sub1 this week, I'm giving the Pill Hill Press weird western anthology a last-ditch attempt with "Mercer's Ghost"—we'll see if they like it better than my last sub. Acceptances: 1 tweet-tale and 1 haiku to Trapeze. Just the little boost I needed today.
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