It has been a long time since an open call has been so compelling as to inspire me to write a Submission Sunday post. I have been a busy bee these last six months. I completed a full-length poetry collection (I'll have a special announcement about that in the coming weeks) and reached the 25,000 word mark on my second novel-in-progress. I say second novel-in-progress because my first novel is not finished either. Ugh. Regardless of the insurmountable workload that lies ahead of me, I felt the call for "Close My Eyes Forever: Crime Fiction Inspired by Heavy Metal Hits" with the intensity and urgency that I feel every time I hear "Fuel" by Metallica.
For me, this call isn't just about metal, though various metal bands did take up a lot of space on the mix tapes and cd's of my youth, Metallica being on the top of that list, of course. I've mellowed out a lot since then, but I'd argue there's no better music to run to than System of a Down or Rage Against the Machine. Maybe it's because many of their songs create the feeling that I'm being chased. Or maybe that I'm the one doing the chasing. Either way, they get the job done.
There's nothing like music to set a mood quickly and effectively. Just recall how people reacted the last time you heard a DJ play "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas or "Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)" by Neil Diamond at a wedding. Or what happens to your tear ducts when listening to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's rendition of "Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World." Listening to Marilyn Manson or Korn creates serious anxiety for me. Bossa Nova carries me to a warm Brazilian shoreline.
So many artists and writers, myself included, listen to music while creating. I have playlists for each of my characters in my epic fantasy to help me keep their character and tone consistent. Some writers share playlists to add another layer of depth to their creations and to connect with their readers. Maybe I'll share mine one day.
Fun fact: I recently learned that black holes emit a super-low B flat. I know nothing about the physics of space, or string theory, or whatever else the universe is made of, but if it turns out to be wholly musical, I wouldn't be surprised. There is a palpable resonance to everything that you can connect with if you quiet down and pay attention. I encourage anyone to try it. It takes some mind-training, but it's worth the effort.
Although I may not have the time to write a story to submit to this publication before the deadline, I think the idea is fantastic and I will definitely be reading the stories inspired by these songs. There are so many great lyrics in heavy metal--hard core poetry set to hard core music--that I'm giddy in anticipation of the forthcoming drama and suspense.