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I’m Officially a Directioner

I guess that’s what you call me, now that I’ve attended my first concert. Woohoo–I’m a Directioner! Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

One Direction

If you’re a fifteen-year-old, maybe. But I’m not. I’m considerably older. However, you’re never too old to have fun and that’s what I did–accompanied by my fifteen-year-old daughter. I attended a One Direction concert and it was fun! Big fun.

We flew to Pittsburgh for the occasion. Baltimore, MD was the farthest south they ventured this year so we had no choice. Hmph. Perhaps it’s too hot in the south, come summer. Possibly.

the boy up close

Anyhow, it was a great excuse to fly to Pittsburgh. We ate delicious pizza, enjoyed the river views and generally had a glorious time together. And that’s most important. In a few years, my daughter will be in college. She’ll chase One Direction with her girlfriends instead of her mother. She’ll travel and explore, and I’ll be watching all the action from afar. Hopefully, we’ll have more trips in our future, but one never knows.

So as they say, Carpe Diem! Even if that does mean sitting through a boy band concert at fifty. 🙂 Incidentally, one thing I found interesting and “aging” at the same time was the use of cell phone flashlights across the crowd.

lights across the crowd

We used to use lighters. (Do they even make those, anymore?)

Ugh. Things do change!!!!

Music is a Beautiful Constant

I’m not too advanced with my methods of listening to music. If it’s not the radio in the car, it’s Pandora on the web. And if it’s neither of those, it’s a good old-fashioned CD.

I have a handful of favorites that I haven’t gotten tired of hearing, like OneRepublic’s Waking Up, released in 2009. I can listen to it from beginning to end, some part of each song — whether lyrics or sound — moving me in some way.

I had it going in the car this past weekend, during a lengthy drive. But the point of my post is not that particular CD, it’s what I realized while listening to it.

Life changes. Weekly, monthly, every year.

We go through divorce or say goodbye to loved ones who pass away. We switch careers, watch our kids grow, in size and in maturity. Find new things that make us happy, people who add to the quality of our days. We make tough decisions about our personal lives, decisions that disappoint or excite and that mean better is ahead, and we improve and learn and become more of who we’re supposed to be. We hurt and we celebrate.

But the music, it doesn’t change.


Image courtesy of Theeradech Sanin at

As I drove last weekend, the same music blasting through the speakers as so many times over so many months—and a few years—I realized that’s the magic of music. It’s not just a representation of personal taste, of entertainment, but also of emotion and existence.

The music I listen to, unchanging and powerful, ties my life together, each song a thread through who I was a few years ago into who I am today.  It’s all I’ve been through and all I’ve accomplished, plus my potential, bound by music that affects me to my core.

I think that’s beautiful.

Inspiration from Music

My kids love to listen to music. Country is my son’s favorite genre and I’m pleased because I typically like the messages behind country songs: God, America, dating, falling in love, breaking up, getting married, friends…you get the picture. My daughter listens to all the poppy boy bands and pseudo celebrity singers like One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer, R5, and Little Mix. These artists are more annoying and generic to the over 40 crowd, and yet generally harmless with shamefully catchy songs.Music Lyrics

I’ve just finished Book 2 in my Kiss and Tell series and now I have to summarize the entire book into a blurb that will entice readers to purchase the book and spend their valuable time reading. For me, writing the book’s blurb is sometimes more difficult than writing the entire book. Every time I start to write a blurb, I think, “I can’t whittle an entire story arc into 300 words. It’s impossible!” And then I think about music.

If a songwriter can write a song about a lifetime in a two-to-four minute song, surely I can summarize a seventy thousand word book into 300 words. A great example of this is Tim McGraw’s Don’t Take the Girl. Or Collin Raye’s If You Get There Before I Do. Or Joe Nichols’ I’ll Wait For You. Go ahead and have a listen, but I’m warning you, you’re going to need a tissue (or at least I did).

ChristyHayes_AKissByTheBook_200pxAfter listening to these songs and having a good cry, I need to get down to business and write the blurb to my latest novel, A Kiss by the Book. Because if a songwriter can make me cry in 2-4 minutes, I should be able to make someone want to read my book in 300 words. What songs inspire you writers out there?

photo credit: Dyanna Hyde via photopin cc

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