Mood Music

Christina here. Lots of authors seem to listen to music while they write in order to get in the right mood – sometimes the same song over and over again to inspire a particular scene they might be working on. Many of them have specific playlists for each book with one song per chapter, which they mention either on their blogs or at the start of their books so that readers can listen along with them. I can’t do that. I need silence in order to compose my thoughts and disappear into my own little world, and music would drag me out of it because when I listen to something I really like, I get lost in that instead.

ThorThat’s not to say I don’t find music inspiring. I do, but I like to listen to it before or after I write, not during the process. And I also love to watch music videos as some of them are mini stories in their own right and they can trigger plots or characters in my head. Today I thought I would share with you some of the songs, music and/or videos that I’ve found helpful while writing my Viking stories and the reasons why.

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The Northern Lights!

Northern lights 2Nicola here, just back from a cruise along the coast of Norway taking in some spectacular scenery and the stunning beauty of the Northern Lights. Standing on the deck on the ship at 2am in temperatures of -13, it did occur to me to wonder what our ancestors had made of the extraordinary phenomena of the aurora. It’s so beautiful and other-worldly that even in these days when it can all be explained by science, it’s still pretty mind-blowing.  How did people view the aurora in the past? Fortunately there was an excellent lecture on the ship that covered everything to do with the Northern Lights and it was so interesting that I thought I would blog about it here.

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Colors in the Fire

Joanna here, talking about enjoying her fire.DSCN1436

I'm lucky enough to heat with wood in the winter, so I have a fire going in the stove for about five months out of the year.  I'm a hippie refugee to the country, rather than real country folk like my grandparents, so my woodstove has a clear glass door.  I get to watch the fire burn.  It never fails to lift my spirits.

My son sent me some packets of fire color.  You toss this in and the chemical — this particular chemical is Cupric Sulfate — makes the fire burn green-blue.  

These pictures can only give you a small taste of how lovely the fire is.  It's like the auroa borealis — or


my dog, wildly excited about the colors

what I imagine the aurora borealis would look like.    Seeing the Northern Lights is on my bucket list but I haven't managed to do it yet.

I understand the wood that floats in from the sea can just naturally burn with colors. That's something else I'd like to see.

Watching a fire burn is such a basic human kinda thing to do.  I feel connected to my distant ancestors who no doubt sat around the fire working on their computers and playing video games far into the night as the wolves howled outside the cave. 


Do you have a fireplace or woodstove or outdoor fire you get to watch?