fleurlb: (gb_trees)
[personal profile] fleurlb
Dear Jukebox Writer,

Thank you so much for volunteering to create a gift for a stranger with similar musical tastes. I'm delighted to see what you come up with, and am giving you some prompts to help out. If you already have an idea for the song that we matched on, please run with it!

Don't tell anyone, but the sad truth is that I am super-easy. :) Write a story that you enjoy writing and I'm sure I'll love it and enjoy reading it. In an effort to help, I'll tell you my general likes/dislikes and also give a few prompts for the requested songs.

But above all, have fun. If you find that the suggestions feel like a burden, then ignore them and write something that interests you. True passion shines through and makes a story special.

I like...
angst, UST, longing looks, long-repressed feelings that explode one day, kid fic, roads not taken in canon, zombies, wacky road trips, old friends, handsome strangers, ghost stories, crazy decisions that are right even though they seem so very wrong, 2nd person narratives, porn that reveals more than just naked bodies, unreliable narrators, opening your presents on Christmas Day rather than Christmas Eve, and long deep slow kisses that last three days.

I do not want..
passivity, first-person narration, incest, non-con, non-canon slash, porn without plot, child death or grevious injury, and misusing the words less and fewer.

I love...
The National. Seriously. I've seen them 6 times in 3 different countries including traveling to see them play a 30-minute set with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. I love everything about The National, but especially the words. The words are able to create entire worlds of flawed and interesting people, and I cannot wait to read more.

See, I told you I was easy. Now, the prompts...

"Terrible Love" - The National (Song) -
"And I can't fall asleep/without a little help/It takes awhile to settle down/My ship of hopes/until the past leaks out"
"It takes an ocean not to break"
"But I won't follow you/ into the rabbit hole/ I said I would/but then I saw/ the ship of woes/ they didn't want me to"
I love the wistfulness of this song, and the idea that even though love can excite you, it can also scare you. Does the narrator take the chance, or does he/she hold firm to the promise not to go into the rabbit hole?

"Slow Show" - The National (Song)
"You know I dreamed about you for 29 years before I saw you
You know I dreamed about you, I missed you for...for 29 years"
I love all of this song, but that coda catches me in the chest every damn time. It was one of the first lullabies that I sang to my son. The rest of the song is a perfectly described party scene of a socially awkward guy just trying to make a good impression when the stakes, to him, are obviously so high. I'd love to read a love story of any kind - romantic love, platonic love, or even a parent's love for a child.

"Bloodbuzz Ohio" - The National (Song)
"I still owe money to the money to the money I owe
I never thought about love when I thought about home
The floors are falling out from everybody I know"
I don't know what a bloodbuzz is and I don't know if I'd want to be on one, but damn I get the idea of being drowning in debt. Tell me about this debt. Tell me about what the narrator is willing to do to get out from under it. And tell me why Ohio is so important to the narrator.

"Graceless" -  The National (Music Video)
I almost feel like the guys did the video just to counter the jibes that their music is depressing. Tell me anything about the video. The planning. The making. The choosing of the wardrobe. Tell me what Mrs. Berninger thought about the antics in her backyard.

"Mistaken for Strangers" - The National (Song)
"Cause you don't mind seeing yourself in a picture/As long as you look far away/As long as you look removed"
"You get mistaken for strangers by your own friends/When you pass them at night under the silvery silvery Citibank lights"
"Oh you wouldn't want an angel watching over/Surprise surprise they wouldn't want to watch/Another uninnocent elegant fall into the unmagnificent lives of adults"
"Make up something to believe in your heart of hearts/So you have something to wear on your sleeve of sleeves/So you swear you just saw a feathery woman/Carry a blindfolded man through the trees."
The alienation and desparation seep through the pores of this song. Tell me about the narrator and what his or her elegant fall into the unmagnificent life of an adult has been like. Or go to a magical realism place and tell me about the angels and this feathery woman. Or tell me about the picture that the narrator doesn't mind, the one where he or she looks removed.

"The Perfect Song" - The National (Song)
"Nine years older than I was/When I brought you down to see/What I thought would make you fall in love/Where an old canal would dream 'someday man I'm going to be no different than the other rivers'/I tried to look at you/But I couldn't break the ice/We stood out there for an hour freezing/You put your hand around my back/I guess you thought I needed that."
"I never try to find you/I hope you don't remember me/And I hope you're not alone."
"You wanted me to take you home/You said you'd rather be alone/I never thought of that/The car was warm and we had wine/But I couldn't find the perfect song/Now I own furniture, 401, and crow's feet/And I can't even remember the car/Sometimes I can feel your weight when I close my eyes/Seven times I was under you."
"Shallow frame and shaky sticks but I know there's a river in me/Shallow minded adult tricks but I know there's a river in me"
Out of all the songs on their debut album, I think "The Perfect Song" is the most conventional song, but it's also the one that hints most about what the band is going to become. It's way wordier and not as elegant lyrically, but it tells a lovely, heartbreaking story, and has a solid water metaphor running through it. Tell me the straight-up story of this couple. Or tell me about the setup - why did the narrator think the canal would make the person fall in love. Or tell me about tell me about the narrator's current life andwhether he or she has regrets about this missed connection.


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