Clyde Barrow: The Boy Who Wrote Bonnie Parker a Doggone Song to Show Her How He Cares

This week the Debs are talking about music and its impact on our writing and our life.  As Amy said on Tuesday, we like it quiet when we write. No distractions, please (besides kids, social media, and those voices in our heads…). Even though music doesn’t get any billing while I’m writing, I still incorporate…
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Art Influences Art

Film, paintings, music, books– they all carry transformative powers. When the timing is right, and the recipient open, art inspires action. Art often also influences other art, interacting with the creative spirit of another without the artist even knowing. Over a decade ago I used a retention bonus to take a year off work to write a novel. Given the odds…
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The Music That Made THE LOST GIRLS

Music is critical to my writing process. When I sat down to work on THE LOST GIRLS, I’d turn on Pandora and hit the playlist I’d — unoriginally — named “The Lost Girls.” Out flowed a brooding soundtrack of melancholy, loss, helpless faith, and forlorn love that shivered all along my nerve endings to my…
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Losing Myself in the Past: My Writing Playlists

"Anything Goes" by Cole Porter

Historical fiction requires a completely different mindset. To lose yourself in another time, it helps to experience it. To write MODERN GIRLS, I needed to block out the twenty-first century and pretend I lived in the first half of the twentieth century. So I immersed myself in the spirit of the 1930s, using every sense…
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The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living Playlist

There is, of course, baking in THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING, but music plays almost as important a role in the story. My main character Livvy plays the banjo, and one of the ways that she connects to the people of the town of Guthrie is by joining a contra dance band. Here…
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  I cannot write without music. Full stop. End of story. My brain is wired to get down to business once the tunes start. Music keeps the skittish part of my brain occupied so the rest of it can get down to work. It’s the babysitter for my Id. Without it, I’m helpless against the myriad of…
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Deb Elise’s Cheese-Filled Valentine’s Day!

Musical Hearts


In honor of the great occasion, I’m going to share my favorite cheesy love songs!  I am a HUGE cheese-meister, and the only thing that makes me slightly less self-conscious about the bulk of these songs is that several of them have already been re-done by Glee.  And if Will Schuester loves these songs enough to choose them for New Directions, how can they be bad?

(Shhh.  I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that about Mr. Shue and New Directions being fictitious.   They’re the best!  And they’re so going to Nationals this year!  And OMG, how cute are Kurt and Blaine???)

Now here they are, in alphabetical order…

1. All My Loving, The Beatles Not cheesy, really — this one’s a classic.  But it’s so happy and upbeat you feel like you’re proclaiming your love at an Up With People rally.

2. Can’t Fight This Feeling, REO Speedwagon Even before Finn crooned it on Glee, Horton, the Mayor, and the rest of the Horton Hears a Who cast made me roar out loud by randomly belting this one out.

3. Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons The key to this one is the way it starts out soft and gentle, then Frankie belts it at the chorus with “Oh pretty bay-bee…”  I dare you not to scream along in the car.

4. Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart, Elton John and Kiki Dee You have no IDEA how happy I was when Finn and Rachel made this their duet!  And did you notice that in “Wrap Her Up,” Elton’s 1985 duet with George Michael, he gives a shout out to Kiki Dee?  Mm-hm.  Listen again.  It’s right towards the end.  You’ll hear it.

5. Hey Deenie, Shaun Cassidy Not.  Even.  Kidding.  When I was a writers’ assistant on Saved by the Bell: The New Class, the Script Supervisor (I still refer to him as “Immediate Superior”) and I shared an office and blasted Shaun Cassidy: Greatest Hits every day.  Impossible to stay seated at your desk when this song is on.  Impossible.

6. Honey Honey, Abba Again, another group I can’t not sing along to, much to the dismay of my daughter when they played an entire Abba album while we were ice skating with her friends.  This particular song has the oh-so-charming back and forth between Benny/Bjorn and Agneta/Anna-Frid.  How could they ever have split up???

7. I Want Your Sex, George Michael Not cheesy, badass. Do you remember how badass it was when it came out?  George wanted our sex!  And I must admit, I wanted his too.  Big time.  Saw him in concert a couple years ago and I gotta tell you… I kinda still do.

8. Love Story, Taylor Swift I love Taylor Swift, but let’s be honest.  Her songs?  Super super cheesy.  This one might be the cheesiest, and I adore every word.  I actually get chills at the part where he kneels down and pulls out the ring.  No really, I’m that much of a dork.

9. Silly Love Songs, Paul McCartney (okay, Wings) Ryan Murphy again saves me.  I’ve loved this song since it came out, despite the fact that it’s hopelessly uncool to enjoy anything Paul did with Wings.  But now that Blaine and the Warblers did it?  I’m practically on the cutting edge of hip.

10. You’re the One That I Want, Olivia Newton John and John Travolta Wow… this is the second week in the row I’ve cited an Olivia Newton John movie.  But while there was some ridicule over Xanadu (I’m lookin’ at you, Stagliano), I defy anyone to deny the glory that is Grease.  And this song?  The ultimate show-stopper, and a great way to get your Valentine to “tell me about it… stud.”

Bet you’re ready to make a mix tape now, right?

Before you do, share with me — what are your favorite cheesy love songs?  I’ve got lots of space on my iPod, and Valentine’s Day is still young!

Sending cheesy love to all,


Deb Elise