Fifty-two songs, Fifty-two stories
February 5, 2012 5:24 AM   Subscribe

Fifty-two songs, Fifty-two stories
Every week in 2012 I'm going to pick a song, at random or by request, post the video for that song, and write a short story inspired by it.

This was inspired by a collision between two things I liked at the back end of last year. I was involved in an anthology in aid of children's literacy charities, in which every story was based on a classic song title. Around the time that was released, I discovered a project by mefi's own Sifter, a Month In Music.

I wanted to do something that would force me to stop thinking so much, and simply write. No time to think, no time to wait for inspiration, no time to edit and polish, just time to write.

And so, this is it.

Fifty-two songs, fifty-two stories.
Role: writer
posted by reynir (4 comments total)

I love the plots you've taken from the songs. So far, my favorite story is your latest, the one with the fortuneteller. Good luck with the project! Staying motivated can be tough, but I'll bet all this practice will give you some major writing chops by the end of the year.
posted by ElectricBlue at 5:37 PM on February 11, 2012

Thanks, ElectricBlue. The slightly daunting nature of staying motivated to deliver week in, week out, and the discipline that requires is a strong reason for me to do it...and then a stick to beat myself with if in future I'm whining about not having any inspiration or motivation.
posted by reynir at 6:00 AM on February 12, 2012

Just a quick update - the project is nearly done now. Forty-two stories written since the start of the year, ten more to go.

Had a couple of wobbles when inspiration had run dry and I sat stupid and empty, staring at a screen thinking: story to write. Story to write. But eventually an idea would float up from somewhere, or a first couple of halting lines would turn into words that flowed, and there was another week done.

It's been an object lesson for me in the importance of not waiting for inspiration, not hanging around waiting for the muse to pay a visit. Sit down. Write. Anything. Words make more words. And somewhere amongst them, always, lurks a story. That alone makes it all well worth the last year's work.
posted by reynir at 12:37 PM on October 24, 2012

And it's all done. Fifty-two weeks later, there are (due to the vagaries of the calendar, and my timing), fifty-three short stories. It's been a slog at times, when inspiration has seemed very far away, and a lot else has been going on, but I am pleased that I stuck with it to the end.

Thank you very much for reading, anyone who has followed it throughout 2012.

The complete list of stories, and the songs that inspired them:

Why Don't You Kill Yourself (The Only Ones)
Never Tell (Violent Femmes)
Sexyback (Justin Timberlake)
Psychokiller (Talking Heads)
Love Songs On The Radio (Mojave 3)
Caught By The River (The Doves)
Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants (Wild Beasts)
Sabotage (Beastie Boys)
Waiting For The Man (Velvet Underground)
These Days (Nico)
Come Inside (My Bloody Valentine)
4' 33" (John Cage)
Poems (Tricky)
The Grey Ship (EMA)
Way Down In The Hole (Tom Waits)
Invocation (...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead)
Angel (Massive Attack)
We're No Here (Mogwai)
Lucky You (The National)
Everything Trying (Damien Jurado)
Wolf Like Me (TV On The Radio)
Sad and Beautiful World (Sparklehorse)
Walk Away (Sisters Of Mercy)
Jimmy James (Beastie Boys)
Feeling Yourself Disintegrate (The Flaming Lips)
Someday I Will Treat You Good (Sparklehorse)
Keep On Knocking (Death)
TV Eye (The Stooges)
Elephant Gun (Beirut)
Admiral (King Creosote)
I See A Darkness (Johnny Cash)
Clandestin (Fatoumata Diawara)
The Boy Done Wrong Again (Belle and Sebastian)
Don't Ask Me To Dance (Arab Strap)
What We Gained In The Fire (The Mynabirds)
Four Ton Mantis (Amon Tobin)
A Grand Love Theme (Kid Loco)
Police And Thieves (Junior Murvin)
Seventeen Seconds (The Cure)
The Piano (PJ Harvey)
My Autumn's Done Come (Lee Hazlewood)
Blackout (Anna Calvi)
Come In Alone (My Bloody Valentine)
The Beast (The Only Ones)
Feathers and Down (The Cardigans)
Coward (Vic Chesnutt)
The Dead Part Of You (American Music Club)
Twins (Gem Club)
The Drowning Man (The Cure)
Daft Punk Are Playing At My House (LCD Soundsystem)
Hell Is Round The Corner (Tricky)
Beginning Of A Great Adventure (Lou Reed)
Closedown (The Cure)
posted by reynir at 9:18 AM on December 30, 2012

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