Concerning Spring Music and Creative Geniuses

Here are the things I want to be doing right now:

  1. Writing The Rise of The Narcoleptic Turtles.
  2. Driving with my windows down in the car listening to music.
  3. Frolicking in the park in front of our house because the temperature reached 80 degrees the other day.

Writing blog posts doesn’t make the list.  I texted friends this morning because I have no idea what to write in this space because my brain looks something like this:

“All right, Ferrets, let’s begin this year,” Talulah said, putting a headlamp over her electrified hair.

      Ruby remembered this exact moment last year, when her initiation group surfaced the Red Cooler underneath the baseball field. It meant the Dark Ferret Society was real.  Ruby could still imagine Jeremy, Elmo, Persephone, and Elizabeth’s faces when they discovered the signed glass bottles representing seven years of Dark Ferrets, seven years of mischievous and secretive pranks, and seven years of sneaking into the Green Room underneath the bleachers in Havelina Hall.”

Which is ridiculous, really.  I’ve showed up in this space week after week for the last year, always having thoughts on something.  Even more than that, I LOVE to write, weaving words in and out.  But apparently, my muse is traveling to me every day from Snowflake, Arizona, refusing to talk to me about the blog, being very snippy about the second book.

I’m sorry, muse*.  You aren’t snippy.  You’re whimsical and creative and I appreciate you, but you’ve become too good for the blog.  You walk in every day in your very fashionable white coat, floral dress, and canvas sneakers with a fresh vase of tulips and a long checklist of characters for me to write.  And it’s great, because you make sure the light is right and the walls are the correct shade of white and you always know which jewelry goes with which dress.  But we all know I love the blog, just like I love the tennis shoes from five years ago I can’t throw away and the books from which I’ve torn out favorite pages to mail to friends.

*For anyone freaked out by me personifying my creative mojo/flow/genius, she’s very real and exactly the opposite of me: fashionable, organized, and demanding.  She’s the kind of person who looks amazing on the red carpet with her hair pulled back in a pony tail.  She’s a stay at home mom and runs a company while sewing beautiful tents and teepees for her three pajama-ed children to play make believe.  Her cabinets are shaker and white.  She is so nice to show up to my house every day to help me create worlds.  I normally greet her in my pajamas, unshowered, drinking coffee and eating last night’s pizza at my desk, laptop and notebook open.  I am not kidding; I am describing my current state.  She shakes her head at me, only ever saying two words: “Oh, writer.” It’s affirming and motherly and when I offer her grapes and pretzels she rolls her eyes and pulls cheese and crackers out of her purse because she has all the answers.

She doesn’t budge on the blog.

So one of my friends texted and reminded me of a certain part of the past.

“What about songs that mean something to you right now? I love your music choices and how you share them with others.” -Mandy Milner

What the lovely Mandy is referring to is a little thing called CD of the Month Club.  Once upon a time, Emily of the past used to create a mix cd at the beginning of every month containing required listening for Octobers and Februarys and Julys.  It was physical music love in a world of downloads and Spotify.  It was like cutting a picture out of a magazine and taping it to your wall to remember.  Putting a mix cd in your car stereo to drive to the city was the best present I gave people for a long time.

Well friends, guess what!  Brought to you from Emily of the past, I’ve created a playlist for you.  And while it’s not being sent to you in the mail with black sharpie handwriting on it, it does contain all the songs I want to be listening to right now, driving down the highway with our hair blowing, big sunglasses necessary from all the sun.  So if you were sitting right next to me in the passenger seat, I’d play all these songs loudly, simultaneously singing and yelling about why I love them and why they are important right now.

Stop what you are doing!  Listen to the playlist all the way through.  Remember that spring is about waking up and finding love in all the weird places.  Drive somewhere just to get some lemonade.  Take someone with you.  Talk without agenda.  Experience the music for yourself.

After you’ve done that, here are the reasons for all the songs.

1. Clumsy by Fergie – I love this song because it somehow made it onto Scott’s morning playlist, so we dance to it while pouring coffee and eating cereal and making lunch.  It also reminds me of every song Casey Neistat has ever put in his videos, so I feel like I’m in New York City in the Spring, walking down those big sidewalks with arms full of bouquet-ed flowers.

2. Say My Name by Odesza (feat Zyra) RAC Mix – This past summer when my best friend, Sarah, was here, we drove into St. Louis the way we never do – the skyline way.  It was night and the lights were beautiful and the arch was the arch.  We drove over the Mississippi and this song was playing and I’ve relived that moment ever since.  Because friendship and summer.

3. Roses by The Chainsmokers (feat ROZES) – I heard this on the radio, in the car, driving over another bridge.  I loved it.  Then it showed up on the playlist for our women’s retreat and I wanted to tell Jess, the person who makes mix cds for the retreats, “We just became best friends.”

4. I Really Like You by Carly Rae Jepson – I will never get tired of this song and I’m not sorry.

5. Drink You Away by Justin Timberlake – I heard this and legitimately thought it was a new JT song.  (Justin Timberlake forever). Scott listened and let me go on and on about how I loved it and then he started singing the chorus.  I was baffled.

“WHAT?” I yelled

“Emily, this is from the 20/20 project,” Scott said, laughing.  “It took everything in me to wait until the chorus.”

Does anyone else have relationships where it’s important who discovers the song first? Okay, just us?  That’s what I thought.

6. Devil’s In The Jukebox by Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs – I’m pretty sure my heart and soul sound like Ray LaMontagne’s voice and that harmonica.

7. Angela by The Lumineers – I’ve listened to the Lumineers’ new album while folding laundry and making cookies and doing all the ordinary household chores that accompany us throughout the day.  It joins a very slim list of second albums I’ve loved in totality.  But let’s be real, Ho Hey is Scott and my song and I’m always in the mood for the Lumineers, so I may be a little biased.

8. Mess is Mine by Vance Joy – It just sounds like spring.

9. All These Things I’ve Done by The Killers – Obligatory turn the music up and yell sing while dancing the fine line between the best music and blowing out your speakers.

10. Open Your Eyes by Snow Patrol – We end up rewatching The Office every year, and all you Office nerds will know this is Jim and Pam’s song.  The Office is my heart show and my favorite character of all time is Dwight Schrute.  Since this playlist became so much about love, Jim and Pam forever.

11. Awake My Soul by Mumford & Sons – How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes.

12. Heart’s On Fire by Passenger – This song falls on The Most Beautiful Songs in My Music Library list.  Yes, I will string lanterns in the trees for our outside dinner party while we listen to this song.

13. The Lament of Eustace Scrubb by The Oh Hellos – I think this song does it best when describing resurrection and coming alive.

14. Walkin’ After Midnight by Patsy Cline – Because my brother and I used to take our jukebox quarters at Pizza Man and play this for my mom because Patsy is her favorite.  And because if you are pining for love this spring, this is your song.

15. Swept Away by The Avett Brothers – Okay, maybe my heart and soul sound like The Avett Brothers’ voices and this guitar.  And these lyrics.

16. Giving Up by Ingrid Michaelson – Ingrid is one of my favorite writers and artists.  Scott and I remembered him proposing two years ago on April 26th.  It’s safe to say this is what I was listening to after he proposed.  So many sweet memories.

My muse was shaking her head while I’ve been creating this playlist, but while she was making lists of things for me to do on her fashionable notepad, her foot was swinging.

Things to let me know in the comments:

1. Do you have a muse?  What does she look like?

2. If I bring back CD of The Month Club, would you subscribe for physical copies of CDs sent in the mail to you?  Tell me on here or on the Facebooks.

3. Yes, I know, I did spend most of this blog writing in narrative form, describing made up characters and talking about things we already all know.  Welcome to writing a book!

5 responses to “Concerning Spring Music and Creative Geniuses”

  1. Naomi says:


  2. Elle says:

    I would subscribe!!

  3. Emily says:


  4. Tim Burge-Lape says:

    Absolutely I’d want to subscribe to the cd of the month club. And my muse, she’s that pesky outgoing friend who is always inviting me to do things, go to the park and write, sit at the desk and write, or even just sit at the couch and write. She’s constantly poking me and asking, “Wanna come play?” She looks at me with those pouty eyes. I usually ignore her, but when I don’t she can’t stop talking. Ideas tumble out of her without ceasing. It’s all I can do to type and get it all out. And then she keeps poking and nagging me even when I’m trying to edit, telling me I should do that later. She’s the worst. But also pretty much the best.

  5. Susanna says:

    I would definitely subscribe!

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