Blue Moon Publishers Author Jill Bowers Discusses Music and Her Writing
By Jill Bowers
When I was in fourth grade, my teacher told me about a writing contest. She showed me the requirements. The person holding the contest was looking for poetry and short stories to include in an anthology.
“I have to be twelve to enter,” my ten-year-old self told Mrs. Stitzer.
“Send them some poetry anyway,” my teacher said. “They don’t have to know your age.”
I gathered all of my work (not all of which was good… but give me a break, I was ten) and gave it to Mrs. Stitzer, who sent it in to the cosmos of the Internet and to the judges of the contest.
I didn’t expect anything to happen. I was too young, and I knew that they’d know somehow. Maybe they’d be able to tell from my writing.
But I duped them.
One of my poems was published in the anthology, despite my age. When we did book readings and signings throughout my state, everyone was shocked to see a little girl next to the high school students whose work had been selected.
The poem that was published was simply titled, “Music.”
From a very young age, I could write about music more beautifully than I could write about most things. Music was the starting point of my life, from the first time my mom sang me a lullaby to quiet my infant cries. Music was also where I started my writing career, and continues to influence my work and creative process.
I call my office my writing lair. In it I have whiteboards, a computer, unique pens, way too many books (if there is such a thing), and water speakers that do a light and fountain show to the beat and volume of the music I play when I write. Seeing and hearing the music inspires me to write. The words flow more freely when there’s music to coax them from my mind. My scenes capture the emotions I try to convey much more aptly than they would otherwise because I feel those emotions myself through music. Most commonly, I listen to movie and television soundtracks, including music from TRON, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, and so many more.
Along with writing about music or to music, I write and arrange music. I’ve written choral music, piano music, and, most successfully, handbell music. The most recent premiere of my work was performed by the Westminster Bell Choir in Logan, Utah. The piece is a medley of Doctor Who themes, arranged for handbells with permission from the BBC.
Does music help you in your creative process? What kind of music do you like to listen and work to?