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WUI - Writing Under The Influence

Of that, I'm guilty.

Influence of what, though?

I'll tell you shortly.

'Take a read of this - great writing; great rhythm' Is what Mr Hollis Porter's comment read under Episode 18 of What Happens on A Cruise...

Mr Porter's eyes (followed by his fingers) are the kind you want glazing over your writing. His reviews, more akin to those out of the Guardian newspaper! His content, reminds me I've got some way to go. So he gets a full paragraph mention. Why? His comment drove the realisation of the musical influences in my writing, home.

I re-read the chapter; I got the rhythm.

Then I smiled. Was he indeed referring to my writing?

I smiled some more; definitely a Guardian or Times newspaper review. I had paid him to write a review, it must have been handsome. I can't remember. Ha ha.

But I recall I was highly intoxicated on a beat. And intoxicated, words became sentences, became paragraphs, became the story.

And, judging by the DM's coming in, Chapter 18 pleased a few souls. It certainly pleased mine. The rhythm locked in from the get-go. Fed intravenously through my veins, coated my soul, and when the bass dropped, so did the words. And there it was. Episode 18, What Happens on a Cruise, Stays on The Cruise, in all its rhythmic glory—the song: 'The Future (feat. Anthony & Cleopatra) Purple Disco Machine.' Have a listen.

Music not only influences my writing but can also become part of the story.

Episode 13, What Happens on a Cruise, Stays on The Cruise, showcases this beautifully. 'It teases with believable banter, great musical references, some sizzle and the feeling of being away on the cruise yourself.' (Another review from an avid fan whose eyes you also want glazing your story.) This episode has the feel of an entire night out. The feeling of being at a good wedding party where Next's: Too Close formed the backing track. Have a listen.

I'm like Lemara in the cruise series when it comes to music. One song becomes my jam on repeat. As in, I put it on repeat for hours and hours. You get the picture. I relate to her in that way.

The daughter doesn't know how I do it. Listen to the same song all day, all week, rest of the month. Come to think of it, neither do I. But when a piece of music hits, hypnotises, sets the tone, stage, vibe, I write. When the music influences, dictates a style, takes me on a journey - words dance across the paper.

'He placed the cases in the car's trunk while Julia plopped herself in the back seat, and I sat in the front. Joshua jumped behind the wheel and keyed the ignition into a song and choreography. The engine beats simultaneously as the horns of Mayer Hawthorne's 'Time for Love' bleat through the speakers, and Julia and I add backup vocals to his 'Loving You in the Day' Still takes my breath away.' Joshua looks over at me knowingly, and I give him a slow, sexy smile.'

The above, an excerpt from All The Highs, another such writing, written while heavily intoxicated under the disco-funk of Mayer Hawthorne's 'Time For Love'. This short story happens to be one of my all-time favourite pieces of writing, the song adding to the storyline. Go have a listen.

This, a Christmas Day present to my readers last year, packed full of banter, great chemistry and 'The best sex/aviation-based extended metaphor I've ever had the pleasure of meeting'. Of course, it wasn't me who said that. I would not have said it that way, but you can guess whom.

But don't take our word for it. Instead, tap the links above if you still need to read it.

And here they are, playing their part of my listening, some writing and your reading pleasure.

From the current work in progress, What Happens on A Cruise, Stays on The Cruise, what I listened to as I wrote.

Chapter 2 - Rupert Homes: Escape, but you may recognise it as the Pina Colada song

Chapter 3 - James Hype: No Drama

Chapter 6 - The one where Lemara gets herself entangled with Harry.

Have a listen. Loco Escrito: Adios Thirteen of his songs make my playlist. It's safe to say I love his music!

Chapters 7 - The one where her boyfriend Joshua unexpectedly turns up.

Have a listen. Tame Impala and Borderline (though I much, much prefer the Single Version) is an artist I discovered via the daughter but won't forget anytime soon.

Chapter 8 - The one after Joshua turns up.

'He looks from Lemara back to Joshua. Somehow making the connection, he gradually releases her hand to Joshua's waiting one.

Sat sobering on the pool's edge, was the guy who's face got kissed by Lemara's hand.

The crowd, once again sloshed on their alternative entertainment, only this time it was Psy's 'Gangnam Style' they whooped their tipsy moves to.'

Another excerpt, this one taken from Chapter 12, the all singing and dancing wild 'White Night Party aboard the cruise. And if by chance you have forgotten what Gangnam Style sounds like, have a listen here Psy: Gangnam Style

Chapter 14 - After the party comes the storm. The tension builds, the story sizzles and the violins come out to play. Have a listen. Ray Chen Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E

Chapter 15 - The one where Harry's white shirt double-crosses Lemara and Joshua's words almost felt like they were indeed cutting her open. Have a listen. Cloak Dagger: Cut Me Open I discovered him on Instagram

Chapter 16 - Winston Surfshirt: Smile for Me

Chapter 17 - Winston Surfshirt: Make a Move Another off the daughter's playlist and I tell you what, he can put me to bed any night!

Other music, playing their parts

Junior Kelly: If Love So Nice

Vitaa & Slimane: Avant Toi

Gentleman - Intoxication

Pete Hellers - Big love (though this tune comes out often).

FKJ & Masego: Tadow

And true to my writing, I inked WUI, under the lively mix of John Legend feat. Buju Banton, Can't Be My Lover. A beach and your best Caribbean Rum Punch optional!

So there you go, no one genre or decade. Everything from classical to hip hop, alternative/indie and reggae. Instrumental and non-lyrical and lyrics in a foreign language works just as well too.

These are the songs/music I listened to as I wrote and in turn, made my playlist. What's on your playlist? Do you WUI, write under the influence? What is that one guilty pleasure, that song or piece of music that gets your writing going? Gets your creative juices flowing?

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