Guilty Pleasure

Kylie lifted herself up onto the low wall, plugging in her earbuds and watching her classmates carry on around her. Opening her phone, she scrolled through her music, careful to glance around to judge if anyone else was able to see her screen.

She chose the artist quickly, closing the phone before anyone got too close. Her eyes flickered around despite Kylie knowing how obvious it made her look.

Even with the phone closed, she swore that the screen was shining the artist’s name out into the word. Maybe everyone could hear her music through the earbuds no matter how many times she’d checked at home that the current volume didn’t allow for that.

The song playing was her favorite, the song that often cheered her up when she was at her lowest, but right then, it was making her uncomfortable. It felt like a target had been painted on her back as she listened.

She was working on that.


My eye roll is a reflex. I hear people say something stupid, and it happens. I’ve told my mother that a hundred times, but I still get reprimanded when it happens around her. I’ll have to take the scoldings because the eye rolls aren’t stopping.

So when I heard, “I wish my life had a soundtrack,” in class, the eye roll was guaranteed.

The comment that came next was also a reflex. I swear.

“You do. You listen to music, I’m sure. Music is playing in your life. It’s a soundtrack.”

The girl didn’t look pleased with me. All I could do was shrug. I’d said the truth. It wasn’t like I would apologize for that. We all had a soundtrack. People who said otherwise weren’t being careful about theirs. It was a shame when it was so easy to customize it. I had my sad songs that I played at my sad moments, my happy songs that I played at my happy moments, and every other shade between. Only a fool would say I didn’t have a soundtrack.

I don’t know what they expected. Magical speakers blasting out their individual soundtrack for the whole world to hear. Obviously that would get in the way of all the other soundtracks being made. Except for those rare occasions where they came together, like prom or weddings. On those rare occasions, we allowed our personal soundtracks to become group ones, reflecting music we might not choose for ourselves. Those were special in their own way.

When I died, no one else would be left with my exact soundtrack. No, this one would always be mine.

Music and Writing

There are a lot of writers who create playlists for their books. I’ve stumbled upon plenty with playlists on their websites. Either a soundtrack of sorts to the story and/or what the author listened to while writing.

Some fans love this too. I’ve seen fans ask for playlists from authors who don’t make them. I assume they listen to the playlists while reading because that’s what seems to be the reason for them.

I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been one of those people. I’ve never been one of those writers or one of those readers.

I love music. I listen to music just as much as I read on any given day. I’ll listen to music while I’m doing a lot of things, but I will never listen to it when I’m writing or reading. It’s too distracting from reading. I can’t focus on the story, and I feel even more strongly about that when writing. I’m someone who has to focus on the music when I’m listening to it. I can’t do that and either read or write at the same time.

I just can’t do it. I’ve tried before, and it never works. I can only focus on the music when it’s playing, nothing else.

Authors getting inspiration from music makes complete sense to me. Just recently I wrote something after getting the idea while listening to a song. That rarely happens to me, but it does sometimes. Still, it blows my mind that authors can listen to music when they write. I’ll never be able to do it.