Dreams of Mariposa
by L.T. Getty
Every decade, Marie must leave her home and everything she loves to start anew. She can’t risk the locals learning the truth of her immortality, much less her vampiric need of feeding off fear. Fortunately for Marie, fear comes easily and she spends her endless days mourning the loss of her beloved.
When she is summoned to the leaders of the masquerade, she is persuaded to assist them in uncovering a mystery of powers possibly more ancient then their own order.
As a rare daywalker of exquisite beauty, there is no society Marie cannot infiltrate. Having spent the last few centuries growing into her abilities, she expects to learn of the old powers, and return to her lonely eternity of mourning.
She doesn’t expect to fall in love.
I spooked my horse while we travelled alongside a creek, but I managed to keep the gelding under control. It was Theo who was nearly thrown from his horse. Since Rosa and I preferred to keep no staff, the maintenance of the creatures was often something we did not do of our own volition.
“Steady! Steady,” he said. He quickly dismounted and petted her nose. “What is wrong?”
“Does she have a nervous temperament?” I asked. He shook his head.
“She is my uncle’s horse, and is all the more calm in her maturity.” He made clicking noises to soothe the mare, turning his attention to the started beast. Involuntarily, I reached out toward him, I wanted to feel his hair between my fingertips. At once the mare’s eyes widened, and she reared. Theo let go of her bridle and fell backward. I almost leapt at the horse to force her back, but she didn’t come down on him. Instead she galloped the way we came.
“Are you injured?” I asked.
“One who is afraid of horses shouldn’t be riding them,” he told me, rolling up almost effortlessly. He dusted himself off before he caught my eyes “A twelve-year old animal, and she still rides like the wind.”
“I shall fetch her for you.” It would be easy enough, once we were out of sight, to leap from my horse and run until I found the mare.
“Lend me your horse. I can recover my own mare,” he said. “You would leave a lady on the road, defenseless?”
“You and I both know you are far from defenseless. I shan’t be more than a minute, but each minute we delay only adds to the duration of this situation. She’s likely calmed down and eating berries. She knows my voice.”
“Help me down,” I said.
My horse was too slender a beast to pick up any real speed with two passengers, though my weight was negligible. Theo was no small fellow. I needed no help, but I knew how to play my part in my society and his. He put his hands about my narrow hips, and I put my arms around his neck, and slowly he boosted and then lowered me, ever in control. He had beautiful eyes, and I knew he could not deny mine as his gaze lingered.
“Is this yours?” a familiar voice broke the trance, and I glanced at Hilda, who had caught the mare.
Why I can’t Listen to Lyrics When I Write
I’m not going to profess to be a connoisseur of music. My sister Ali has always had a knack for the keyboard. My dad’s got my nieces and nephew learning guitar. I have multiple friends who either taught music or have amazing voices. I’m the one blaring Nickleback at my BBQ.
That isn’t to say I don’t have good focus when I’m doing a task. I joke about I learned years ago not to listen to the radio or music with lyrics when I study. I don’t need silence, and I have the discipline to be focused on the topic at hand if you’re watching TV. And by study, I mean verbatim memorization. I can listen to anything while I’m doing taxes or making cookies, but for the amount of education I have, I’ve learned to appreciate classical and jazz.
So when I write it’s not that I don’t listen to music, it’s more that I intentionally don’t listen to music I know the lyrics to. I can kind of get away with it if it’s in a language I don’t understand, but if I really like the song, The Queen of Misheard Lyrics over here might be singing along as opposed to focusing on the words. Now, this isn’t always the case. I enjoy listening to podcast and audio books, and I can be a bit of a musical theatre nerd, especially if I’m cleaning or sorting. Lyrics are more than welcome when I’m doing something mindless, like I’m 40 minutes into a spin.
If it wasn’t for looney toons and other animated shorts from my parent’s age, I might not know a thing about classical music, either. My go to is Youtube and the word “Instrumental” and then I switch it up. I’m not huge on Background Ambiance, but I usually go with terms like “Epic” “Celtic” “Jazz” or “Classical”. When I write, it’s typically “Epic” that’s my first choice when I write. It’s almost like that’s what sets me into the writing ‘zone’ as opposed to goofing around with emails.
I think the word epic gets thrown around a lot. For Instance, here’s two lyricless epic songs. They’ve got very different feels to them:
What to listen to, and when
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but here’s what I generally like to do:
Fight Scenes: Epic Music Scores. Write the term ‘battle’ when you’re searching. Have an aesthetic idea? Are we in a period time piece? Writing a high seas battle might make for some swashbuckling music, whereas the epic battle between two wizards might need something more solemn, with some ominous latin chanting. If you’re stuck, think of epic music you hear from movie soundtracks. There’s too many to list, how about you guys name or link to some of your favourites in the comments?.
Journeys: Video game soundtracks. Video games have come a long way, and I honestly don’t game much any more. That doesn’t mean I won’t look up how many people are needed to make a soundtrack come to life. Most folks agree that The Shadow of the Colossus Soundtrack is amazing, with both epic highs and quiet moments.
Editing: Something unrelated. I like jazz, or classical, although as stated above, my knowledge on classical music is limited. I really enjoy listening to Beethoven’s Virus, especially when you listen to multiple reiterations.
How about you? When you sit down to write, can you just put the radio on and go? Do you find music sets the mood and the tone for your novels? Comment below, and maybe share a link to some excellent instrumental music.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
L.T. Getty is a science fiction and fantasy writer who hails from the Canadian Prairies. When she’s not writing, you can likely find her driving an ambulance and dreaming about travel.
L.T. Getty will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.