Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Step By Step

For this week's writers roundtable, let's talk about step-by-step story creation when writing for a themed anthology.

For example, if I were your editor, and I asked you for a story about "insert topic or character here," what would be your process for coming up with a story? Would you begin with the character of the protagonist? Would you begin with a plot? Would you instead immerse yourself in research? What works for you, and why?

Gordon Dymowski: It depends on my familiarity with the topic/character - if it's one that I'm not as familiar with, I always try to immerse myself in research. (If it's a character, I try to read that character "in their natural habitat" - get a sense of *how* a story with that character works). As I'm researching, ideas usually begin floating, and once I begin getting them down on paper (real or virtual), a storyline begins to emerge....and then the *real* fun begins.

Marian Allen: Well, in all honesty, the first thing I would do is see if I already something written that would fit -- or could be made to fit -- the topic. If not, I would cast about and try the topic on my existing characters/worlds to see if any of them would like to do the work. If not (and also meanwhile), I would do what I do for one of those writing exercises where you take a word or phrase and use it to spark a story.

"If this, then that." If the topic is coffee, then what? Anything from the many places coffee is grown and all the landscape and politics and personal stories of the plantation workers, to all the many places coffee is and has been and will be consumed.

How much time do I have for research? Do I already have a couple of good books on the subject? Is the anthology literary, fantasy, mystery, of science fiction? What's the word count? The answers to all these questions will outline my possibilities and contain my musings.

Then comes the time of wandering around staring into space while I, consciously and subconsciously, poke bits around in the soup I call my brain to see what will stick to what else. Eventually, I'll get a notion of a character, a relationship, a conflict, a compelling setting, a story line, a tone, or SOME damn story element that will be the first solid beginning. That particular element might or might not survive the writing process, but, if it gets cut, it'll go in the bits box for possible future use.

Ray Dean: If it's Alt History, I usually like to start with history/technology research. Looking for some odd facts or historical notes. Sometimes it's just something mundane that sparks a 'what if' idea.  If the 'theme' is character centered, like a superhero, werewolf, etc. I start with the central character and build from there. If it is a genre, I look at the elements of the genre. What makes it tick? What elements are the heartbeat of the genre? Once you have the set or the tone of the piece it's time to start asking the 'what if' questions and see who is kicking around in that world. But you really never know what is going to spark an idea. And sometimes you start in with an idea and it fizzles before you've even finished a first draft. Sometimes you change direction with the idea, go back and take a different path in the plot. Starting over with another idea is necessary at times, but that's when it helps to be more of a plotter than a pantser. Outlining ahead of time to make sure you have a solid plan. With themed anthologies it can be a different process each time, a combination of ideas or brainstorming processes. It helps to be open to consider odd ideas or look to unusual sources of inspiration.

Andrew Salmon: For me, I get to know the characters/world I'm working in. Research is the key. Then I grow the plot from the characters.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Do’s and Don’ts of Romance

by Ellie Raine

Romance can be the most intoxicating part of your story. It can also be the most nauseating.

That’s why it’s imperative to pay close attention when crafting a novel, movie, or comic. Even if your story’s central element isn’t romance, you must pay close attention to it. A little romance on the side can be a great improvement, or a great wart on your manuscript’s otherwise handsome nose.

I’ll speak as a reader for a moment. There seems to be a trend with romance (non-erotica) in stories that have the same cringe-worthy beats that I’d like to bring to light.

First: Less is more.

Your characters know their names well enough. While slipping in a few oh, John’s and oh, Jane’s can add an effective conveyance of deep emotion, it lessens the thrill each time it’s said. Less is more. Repeat: less is more. While writing, placing softly spoken names in your manuscript is a strategy game. Add too many all over the pages, and it sucks away any romantic implications you were trying to make. In short, it gets old. It gets wrinkly, smelly, dementia-ridden old.

And from an erotica standpoint, the same advice may apply, though loosely. Sex scenes are awesome, and having a name moaned in the heat of things can get a reader hot and bothered like no tomorrow. HOWEVER, again, saying names too many times can grow bunions on your manuscript’s feet. And don’t get me started on blatantly saying the words ‘penis’ and ‘pussy’ like a thirteen year old. Innuendos are far more effective. Make it a challenge, think of all the colorful names you can give a guy’s juicy squirt-gun or a girl’s moist cavern. Don’t just vomit ‘penis’ every three words.  Tone it down. Less is more.

Second: It’s about what you DON’T say.

For me, as a reader, I want the couple to finally say those three magic words: “I love you”. It’s the focal point of a budding romance, the fireworks finale on New Years Eve; it’s what we’re all waiting for.

So don’t give it to us.

Seriously. If it’s going to be said, keep it to a minimum of one or two moments in the entire manuscript. If you say it too may times, it looses its magic. Again, less is more. It’s the reason we want the romance.

Unless, of course, your characters were together to begin with. That’s a different animal, but even still, overusing the magic words will lessen the magic.

And even though I want to read I love you more than anything in a book, what I really enjoy is to see the love, rather than hear it.

Placing a gentle hand over your lover’s while they stare at the setting sun can just as easily tell us they’re in love than if they’d said it.

Third: We like someone for their virtues. We LOVE them for their flaws.

Good romance is beautiful. GREAT romance has ugly, beloved depth. This one concept is the root of all fantastic romance. If you look back through your manuscript and realize your protagonist’s only reason for being head-over-heels for the love interest is “they’re so pretty”, it’s time to get your nails dirty and dig deeper. Have them notice a few physical flaws in the lover, like pudgy sides, or some acne scars on their face. Show us these characters aren’t perfect Gods (unless they ARE Gods, then by all means, ham up the gorgeous). Show us their battle wounds, their mature wrinkles, their flappy arms. You don’t have to make them hideous, just human.

And that weird, annoying tick they have, where they pick at their bloody fingernails or have a crazed, neat-freak streak? Yeah, your character better be irked by it, and even get frustrated, but by Gods, they’d better love them for it, too. Basically, if they have a trait that got under the protagonist’s skin, but then they walked out of their life, your protagonist will suddenly notice they can’t live without that annoyance.

That’s what they ought to love. That’s what we’ll love about them, too, and love the protagonist for appreciating it. Pretty models in dresses are great for cover art (I’m looking at you, Young Adult) but if there isn’t more reason for the love, then no one cares.

So, romance, however small the amount, can be essential to your story. Pay attention, and steer clear of these detrimental trends.

Originally posted at

Monday, November 23, 2015

Remembering Memphis Comics & Fantasy Convention

This year's con was a lot of fun, and it was great to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Here's a pictorial recap:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Nugget #66 -- One Hero Inspires Another

And that’s the story that I had to tell, how one hero could inspire others to be heroic. How one unselfish man could make a very selfish person do something dangerous in order to save someone else. How one other rather non-adventurous person could become an action hero to try to save the man she loved. And how at the center of all that was the one man who could help foster something amazing in each of them. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

[Link] How to Be a Prolific Writer

by James Scott Bell

Got an email the other day from a writer I met at Bouchercon. We’d chatted a bit about the craft, and he wanted to thank me. He’d just completed his first novel and was raring to go on his second. He wrote, “I’m amazed at how prolific you are.”

That was nice to hear, because when I started out that’s what I wanted to be—prolific. I was 34 years old and hadn’t written much of anything for ten years (I’d been told in college that you can’t learn how to write fiction, and since I couldn’t write fiction—fiction that was any good, anyway––I figured I just didn’t have it). So when I made the decision to finally go for it, even if I failed, I wanted to make up for lost time.

Now, according to traditional standards of the writing life, I am prolific. I’ve produced around fifty books, hundreds of articles, several stories and novellas. I’m happy with my output.

But I’m no Nora Roberts! Seriously, she is amazing. She may not be your cup o’ noodles, but as a highly successful professional writer, there is something awe inspiring about her production. And there are many other writers out there I could point to with the same wonder.

We all have our floors and our ceilings. The trick to the writing life is to get yourself up to the ceiling and stay there. Stay there long enough, and maybe you can blow out that ceiling and put in another story (wordplay intended).

I heard from a young writer recently who said he was having trouble getting started. He has a wife and young child at home, is working long hours, and when he gets some time to himself he is easily distracted by social media, and is too much of a perfectionist to get many words done.

For those who have these sorts of constraints, let me offer some advice on becoming more prolific, for it can be done!

Read the full article:

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now #338 -- Brown-Noising

Do you have a certain kind of music that
helps you focus and write? What kind?

I rarely write to music intentionally. Most often, when I do, it's because there's background music playing at Starbucks while I'm writing. Sometimes will put on some soft ambient "chill" music or even jazz, or perhaps piano music that's not too bouncy. But honestly, what is best for me to write to is brown noise. That's right. Not white noise, but the more sedate brown noise. 

And there's a wonderful noise mixer at

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Airship 27 Productions is thrilled to announced the releases of their latest New Pulp thriller – SECRET AGENT X – Vol 5.  The greatest pulp spy of them all returns in this, the action packed fifth volume of brand new Secret Agent X adventures by today’s top New Pulp writers.

Within these pages the Man of a Thousand Faces squares off against a deadly foreign spy in a climatic battle amongst the clouds; faces terror on the high seas as he duels a modern day Captain Nemo and then battles with a beautiful, cunning criminal mastermind.  Here are thrills upon thrills in four brand new tales by J. Walt Layne, Andy Fix, Fred Adams Jr. and Frank Schildiner.

“By far one of our most popular series,” declares Airship 27 Productions’ Managing Editor, Ron Fortier. “Whereas this time around we thought it might be fun to have a cover that would pay homage to the old 50s Men’s Adventure Magazines and so recruited Ingrid Hardy.”  Ingrid Hardy is one of the premier artists of Canada and her water colors have been featured in various magazines and other publications.

Contributing the twelve interior illustrations is Pulp Factory Award winning Art Director Rob Davis.  “In all this is a great looking…and reading package,” Fortier adds.  “Our Secret Agent X fans will not be disappointed.”

Secret Agent X is one of the most popular heroes ever to emerge from the classic pulps.  Now’s he back; a one man army defending the country he loves against all who would threaten her.  This is pulp fiction at its best!

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – Pulp Fiction For A New Generation!

Available from

Friday, November 13, 2015

Ideas Like Bullets -- Bullets from Another Gun Reviews

I began blogging, albeit the history since I began such an exercise of actually committing said process has been spotty, for a number of reasons.  Shameless self promotion by talking about a variety of things was definitely high on the list, as I remember. I also truly wanted an avenue to share ideas that I would have that I would likely never have time to write, to actually offer them to other people.  Opening up my soul and doling out pieces of my private life was not originally on the agenda, but due to events in the last year of my life, that has been added and I have to say it has worked out well for me so far.  Not sure it’s made for interesting reading for you all, however many single digits of readers ‘all’ refers to, but it has proven a good outlet for me.  But amongst all that, there was another reason to strike off into the vast wasteland...or maybe wasted vastland is a better term…of blogging.

Talking about what I read.  Book Reviews.

I read. A lot. Probably one hundred times the amount deemed healthy by any organization that might even pretend to be able to gauge the healthy results and dangerous side effects of such an act.  Not only do I read voraciously, I also enjoy talking about what I have consumed from the page, be it a paper page or a digitally reproduced one.  So, when blogging became something I did, reviews were part and parcel of that.

Turns out, they still are.

Periodically, probably about once a month or so, this space will be filled with Bullets From Another’s Gun: Reviews by Tommy Hancock. And although this will largely be focused on books, there will periodically be salient or savage thoughts on such things as comics, DVDs, TV shows, and the like.  But, yes, to force variety on you from my very own corner of existence, welcome to the return of Bullets from Another’s Gun, with two reviews as follows.


Monsters: Evil Beings, Mythical Beasts, and All Manner of Imaginary Terrors by David D. Gilmore

University of Pennsylvania Press


I am a reader.  I am also a writer.  Being both, it falls to me the glorious and wondrous privilege of reading both fiction and nonfiction works.  Not that being an author is a requirement to do either, but it definitely makes me better at that craft.  Which is why from time to time I review books that aren’t full of fictional over the top heroes and dastardly villains.  Every once in a blue moon, which is a nonfiction fact type occurrence by the way, I will find myself telling tales on a nonfiction tome I have read. 

Monsters: Evil Beings, Mythical Beasts, and All Manner of Imaginary Terrors is a book that holds much promise from just reading the back cover copy and gendering at the table of contents.  It is laid out as a comprehensive study of the belief in Monsters around the world, how we as a race develop our concepts of the monstrous and why we do so.  Most notably, the book holds itself out to be a cursory look at monsters from around the globe, giving readers a peek under the beds and into the shadows of multiple societies and letting us get up close and personal with what scares everyone from Native Americans to Aborigines in Australia and tribes I’ve never heard of in Africa and Antarctica.

On that note, this book succeeds rather well.  From the Wendigo to bunyips, from were-sharks to an ogre named Flaming Teeth, Gilmore lays out a monsterography that definitely got my idea wheels to spinning.  So many works like this one tend to stay safe, to only focus on the monsters that we recognize, the creatures that are at least on the periphery of what we know.  In Monsters,  Gilmore goes beyond the easy and delves into the dark corners of various societies and really pulls the ghoulies and ghosties out for the readers to enjoy and experience.

Where this book loses a few steps, for me, at least, is in its real intent.  Packaged to be something that fans of monsters or even creators like me who are interested in fodder for stories would want to read, Monsters is actually more textbook than anything. It also is a chance for the author to share his thesis on a very specific topic.  This book is not about monsters, but rather about WHY there are monsters.  To that end, Gilmore cites multiple studies, from psychologists and psychiatrists, including Freud, Jung, and others, to an endless array of anthropologists and even archaeologists to show not only why humanity needs to create monsters, but how there seems to a whole host of universal themes that link many of the stories and legends around the world together.

Now, there is nothing wrong with a book that does the above. As a matter of fact, I found some of the facts and studies presented to be interesting.  The issue, however, is that this volume couldn’t make up its mind what it wanted to be.  On one hand, it was a well written sort of thumbnail encyclopedia of monsters and scary creatures.  Then, with just a sentence of transition, it became not only an intense study of the origins of such belief, but an overbearing top-heavy-with-citation-and-references term paper.  When it made that transition, it was more cumbersome text book than anything.  And, as for some reason is the wont for such works, the author only spends two paragraphs on the last page actually outlining his theory, and not doing it very well I might add.

THREE OUT OF SIX BULLETS- (For those new to my reviews, I use a six bullet scale, not five stars.  Yeah, it’s mostly to keep with the ‘Gun’ motif, but books with 1-2 bullets sorta stink, 3 is average, read it if you want, 4 is just slightly above that, and 5-6 are pretty much should and have to reads.) If you’re wanting to learn about creatures you’ve never heard of, then this is the book for you. If you truly want to know about why we need to create monsters, this is the book for you.  Its biggest drawback is that it does a horrible job of balancing and blending these two intentional directions it attempts to go.


No Game for a Dame: A Maggie Sullivan Mystery Book 1 by M. Ruth Myers

Tuesday House


It is absolutely no secret that my first love is not only mysteries, but mysteries featuring investigators, usually of the Private type.  It is also, with a little digging of a deductive sort, not hard to determine that I am a particular fan of book series, giving me a chance to see the characters I love show up again and again. So, to trip across anything that purports to be the first in a series about a Private Eye is going to get my attention.

No Game for A Dame not only got my attention, but this book kept it and me on the edge of our respective seats.

Set in Depression Era Dayton, Ohio, No Game for a Dame introduces private investigator Maggie Sullivan.  The daughter of a deceased policemen, Maggie has hung her shingle and handles the cases that private citizens don’t necessarily want the police involved in.  At least, that’s what she’s handling when this book starts.  Hired by the owner of an office supplies distributor to investigate his nephew to determine if he’s in any sort of trouble or perhaps causing trouble for the business, Maggie finds herself in the midst of a mystery that involves or at least borders on including every crime you can imagine.  Extortion, burglary, and, of course, murder.

When a thug who bursts into Maggie’s office winds up dead not long after, she is of course considered a suspect.  Getting at least out of that enough to carry on with her job, Maggie becomes bound and determined to figure out what is going on, as all the loose ends in this tale come together as clear as mud for her.  And she’ll find out the truth, she’s sure of that.  Even though it’ll probably kill her.

No Game for a Dame may simply be the best Private Detective book I have read in a really long time.  Maggie Sullivan nails every prerequisite a strong PI character should have and definitely falls into the hard boiled arena when she needs to.  Having said that, she is not in any way just Phillip Marlowe in a skirt.  M. Ruth Myers makes sure that Maggie is all woman at the same time she is giving Spade and Spenser a run for their money.  And she doesn’t do it in clichéd ways, either.  Maggie Sullivan is a fully rounded character, one who shuffles her thoughts about all aspects of her life, from interacting with the girls in the boarding house she lives in to dealing with the two over protective policemen who act as her surrogate fathers, with the danger that gets thrown at her like bullets.

Another fantastic aspect of this novel is the cast that Maggie comes into contact with.  Not only is the supporting cast that I feel we will see in later novels (and yes, there are more) strong, but all of the characters in this book stand out as well crafted and very much real.  Combine that with the way that Myers makes Depression era Dayton very much a part of the story and No Game for a Dame works in every single way.

SIX OUT OF SIX BULLETS- No Game for a Dame is fully loaded as truly a fantastic PI novel and hits every mark it aims at.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tuning Up Your Writing Time (Writing to a Music Mix)

This week's roundtable for writers: Writing Soundtracks

Do you have a certain kind of music that helps you focus and write? What kind?

Aaron Smith: I rarely listen to music while writing. When I do, it's usually instrumental (classical or jazz). There have been some exceptions.

Michael A. Gonzales: I listen to a lot of music when I'm writing fiction. Creepy movie soundtracks, trip-hop (Massive Attack, Tricky, Portishead) and dark hip-hop (Rza, DJ Premier).

Bill Craig: It depends. Sometimes I listen to movie soundtracks and sometimes jazz, depending on what I am working on. For action stuff, soundtracks. When writing a mystery, it is almost without fail Jazz or maybe salsa if writing my tropical mysteries.

Nancy Hansen: Back in the late 90s/early 2000s, when I was first writing the stories that have now become the core of my Pro Se imprint Hansen's Way, I discovered Celtic and alternative/world music. A friend had me over for lunch and chat one day, and she had a local university radio station on, which played a lot of Celtic, Folk, New Age, and Native American flute stuff. It was all very mood-inspiring without feeling intrusive. I got to thinking, this is perfect for writing! The university station eventually changed formats, so I started collecting music geared toward my writing, and over the years have made myself some custom playlists. It was not an inexpensive venture, because this was before MP3s were big, so I was buying CDs and begging for music store gift cards on birthdays and holidays. I have added a few soundtracks, notably from the Tolkien movies, and Firefly/Serenity. I also grabbed some of those 'relaxation' albums with music that has nature sounds in the background.

I stumbled across Live 365 about 6-7 years ago, where you can fins just about anything in the way of music. A free membership means you have to listen to the same two commercials every 15 minutes or so, and sometimes you get bumped off when a station is full, but there's still a lot of good stuff out there. Having the names of artists and titles of specific albums and songs helped me be more discriminating in what I purchase. Most times I go to Amazon and buy just the cuts I want.

Youtube has a lot of channels featuring instrumental compilations of music geared toward a specific audience. Some are collections from movies or video games, but there are a few that are artist-composed. A current favorite is Adrian Von Ziegler, a Swiss composer who is really talented. I even found some pirate-inspired music for when I'm working on those battle scenes in the Jezebel Johnston novels. Many of the Youtube channels are at least an hour or two long, but I've got several bookmarked that last 6-10 hours for those all day sessions.

Perry Constantine: I used to just put my iTunes library on shuffle but lately I've started using to find playlists that suit what I'm writing.

Van Allan Plexico: It has to be instrumental. No lyrics whatsoever. That would be insanely distracting.

Symphonies and soundtracks work better for me. Even instrumental pop and rock is too distracting.

I tend to go with the Babylon 5 music by Christopher Franke, the Lord of the Rings soundtracks by Howard Shore, the "Musical Evenings with the Captain" collections of music played in the Aubrey/Maturin novels, and Beethoven and Mozart symphonies. Sometimes I'll put Pandora on "Soundtracks" and let it go, though it tends to play Batman and Pirates music too often for my tastes.

Pete Miller:Yes, I write to music often. I have lots of movie score cds and will play appropriate music for suspense or action scenes. Sometimes I will play big band or swing to get my mind into the period.

For me, lyrics are often too distracting...

Lee Houston Jr.: Most of the time I put on music to just kick back and relax to while I write, but I have yet to find just one station that plays everything I ever listen to. There use to be plenty of "all variety" (for lack of a better term) stations on the air, with their playlists bouncing back and forth between country, oldies, current hits, etc. when I was growing up. Today they all have to be specialized formats to compete for listeners and advertising revenue.

Ellie Raine: I listen to a multitude of music while writing. For me, it’s extremely important, since I can’t write a word without it.

Do you change your playlist based on the stories and/or genres you are writing at the time? How so?

Van Allen Plexico: I probably tend to put on music from SF shows such as Babylon 5 more often when I'm writing space opera, which would make sense in a "creating the mood" way.

I probably do it mostly to block out outside noise, or simply because I think I'm supposed to. If I were writing in a totally quiet environment, I'd be perfectly content to have dead silence while I worked.  It's not like I would really notice it. Hours can pass while I'm writing and I don't even realize it's been more than a few minutes.

Lee Houston Jr.: Depends upon need. Sometimes I pick songs from a specific era if I'm writing a period piece. Other times I do put on "mood music" to set the stage.

Nancy Hansen: I do change up music to suit whatever I'm working on. When I put together my own playlists I went for a balance of quieter type ballads and fast paced stuff with a lot of bass, drums, and instrumental action for fight and chase scenes. I have playlists for love scenes, and some that are dark and foreboding to get the creepy moods going. I only listen to a few songs with lyrics I understand because I find myself wanting to sing along, and I can't do that and write well. So most of my writing music is either purely instrumental, or in some language (like Gaelic) that I can't understand. Whatever I listen to, it has to enhance the mood of the piece I'm working on, because otherwise it just becomes another distraction. I have enough of those around here as it is!

Rebekah McAuliffe: It depends on what kind of story I'm writing. I structure my playlists the same as movie soundtracks: pieces and songs that would go on the soundtrack if the book were ever adapted to film. Sometimes, the music can even inspire me and help me come up with different plot points.

Ellie Raine: I have one specific playlist I use when writing Epic Fantasy which consists of: “Firelink Shrine” and “Gwyn, Lord of Cinder” from Dark Souls 2, “Secunda” from Skyrim, the Assassin’s Creed II theme “Ezio’s Family”, “Mirror, Mirror” from RWBY, and “Mirror” by Ellie Goulding (Pure coincidence, I assure you!). I play those songs on a loop for that specific series.

For the children’s fantasy I’m working on, I go to Pandora and play Celtic/Irish pub song stations. It’s mostly very upbeat and playful, so it really brings out the fun in the adventurous characters.

As for the paranormal noir story, I typically listened to Bohren and Der House of Gore. It was mysterious, horrific, and jazzy, and it fit perfectly with the mood I wanted to portray.

Aaron Smith: My first novel (which I'd like to forget about; good story but bad writing) was directly inspired by a dream I had which was in turn inspired by a song that was popular at the time, so I listened to that song incessantly while writing that book. Also, when working on a spy story, I'll often have James Bond themes, or occasionally the Mission:Impossible theme playing in the background. And, on the rare occasions when I'm having trouble getting going on one of my Sherlock Holmes stories, I'll give a quick listen to the music from the Jeremy Brett TV adaptations to jump start the right mood.

Perry Constantine: I didn't before but I do now. I try to find playlists on 8tracks that include score music from movies in the genre I'm working on. So for example, I'm currently writing Vanguard Season 3 and I've got playlists that include the scores from superhero movies.

For those of you who don't, why not? Do you find music distracting? Or just not needed? Or what?

Erwin K. Roberts: Frank Gruber, in The Pulp Jungle, tells of an author writing a story for a tomorrow deadline right in the middle of a rousing author's party. Wish I could do that. I can't.

Music, like it - or hate the particular piece, is the last thing I want near me when I write. I am far too easily distracted by audio and video sources. The first couple of years I did cable TV I had to request all monitors in my line of sight be turned off. Otherwise I'd watch the monitor, instead of the camera. Eventually I got over that, thankfully.

I write with no music, and no drinks or snacks at hand. All those can wait for breaks.

H. David Blalock: As I began writing about 50 years ago, today's music is a massive distraction. I find my ideal writing environment to be quiet and even better, during a light rain. White noise is my writing music.