I hath finished “The Garden of the Mad King” after 3 and a half years of thinking, and just over a year of writing. I both love it and hate it, and there is a looooottta work to be done to fix it. But I’m not thinking about that just yet.
I always miss certain aspects of a book when the composition is finished, and in the few days since I finished this one, I’ve been missing my playlist. I always make a playlist of suitable music for every book I write; kind of a shortcut to get me in the mood. I am fiercely missing that music at the moment, or rather I am missing writing with that music on. Hearing any of the songs makes me long for the book. In particular, my three main characters kind of attached themselves to particular songs, and hearing those songs can make me yearn for them the way you might yearn for a lost lover.
Bluebell, the lead character and the oldest sister, is inextricable in my imagination now from The Tea Party’s Sister Awake. Rose, the second sister, who is embroiled in a forbidden love plot, will always be Regina Spektor’s Field Below. And Ash, the third sister, who is struggling with an uncontrollable supernatural ability, will always be The Waterboys’ This is the Sea (sorry, this video doesn’t really go with my book, but it was the only one I could find). There were so many other songs: a bunch of great English folk but especially Led Zeppelin and Nick Drake; some hard-edged dreamy post-rock from Hammock and Sigur Ros; and other random songs that just came to mean something to me over the time I was writing. Hard to acknowledge that it’s all in the past now, the lovely squishy sweet feeling of putting on the music, cracking my knuckles, and creating that world.
Time for me now to get out a new notebook, start thinking about a new Kimberley Freeman now, and collect songs for a new playlist.