Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Writer, fueled by coffee

Blood and Bone and Magic

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Music is important to my writing process, and I usually end up with a collection of songs for most of my stories, long and short. When I’m starting to write, especially a novel, I like to have a song that sets the emotional atmosphere. It’s exciting when I find it—that perfect collection of words and melody and rhythm to capture the energy. I add to the soundtrack as I go, finding a song for a character or a particular place, but that first one remains important, a touchstone. I will go back to it again and again.

This is all to say that I’ve found that song for my next work-in-progress. I’m in love with it—playing it over and over, trying out the words when I’m alone in the car, rereading the lyrics when I take break from writing. The song, Blood and Bone,” is a by Alt-folk musician Hayley Jane, who currently has a kickstarter campaign to produce her next album. It’s the only song I’ve heard so far, but I was intrigued enough to become a backer. Her campaign is nearly funded after only the first few days, and no matter what else the album holds, I’m grateful for this gem.

I listened to Blood and Bone all morning and on the way to a writing day at Mary Anne Mohanraj’s beautiful Victorian home. Quietly typing away on our laptops atop bellies full of Mary Anne’s always amazing cooking, Mary Robinette Kowal, Kat Tanaka Okopnik, Julie Chyna, Mary Anne, and I spent a few hours writing.

To my delight, “Blood and Bone” had made its way into my imagination, into my creative DNA. When I sat down to work on my opening scene, there it was—a musical-emotional undertow pulling me along, plunging me deeper. I wrote the scene quickly before having to leave to pick the kids up from school, the character and setting still fresh in my mind on the drive home.

I love those moments, when the Muse is in control, when the story washes over me and onto the page in waves. It’s not always like that, but when it is, oh it’s magic! And any day with magic is a very good day, especially on a snowy November Monday in Chicago.

Author: Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu is the author of THE SILENCE OF TREES and STICKS & BONES, as well as the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Born and raised in Chicago, Valya received her degree in English at DePaul University and her MFA in Writing as part of the inaugural class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since receiving her MFA, Valya has worked as a college professor, obituary writer, content manager, internal communications specialist, co-producer of an independent feature film, and Goth cocktail waitress.

2 Comments

  1. Wish I was there creating with you.

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed and were inspired by my song and I hope you enjoy the rest of the record. Thank you for your support. I wish you the best of luck in your writing!

    Love always,
    Hayley Jane

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