As you know, I’ve been writing, and a big part of my writing process is music. I’ve been re-exploring old playlists as well as combing through my “Discover Weekly” options through Spotify to come up with another list of songs that have been on repeat in my head — even when Spotify is turned off. Several of these songs can relate to different scenes and characters I’m writing, some are just fun to blast in the car or dance to around the apartment (two, coincidentally, are my nephew’s favorite songs to ‘drop it low’ to — added to my playlist before I’d ever even seen his sweet 14-month-old-dance-moves but now will forever be favorites).
Once again, I don’t watch music videos, but I’ve provided links if interested. This time I’ve also starred the ones that might come with ‘parental advisory’ labels (meaning I’m advising you, Mom: there are swear words).
- Numb — Adam Jensen
- No Roots — Alice Merton
- Cringe – Stripped — Matt Maeson
- Torches — X Ambassadors
- Everybody Gets High* — MISSIO (love the little drop around 2 minutes)
- Batshit* — Sofi Tukker (love the pause around 1:30)
- Hymn* — Kesha
- Oh My Dear Lord — The Unlikely Candidates
- Stone Cold — Demi Lovato (the outro starting at 2:20 is everything)
- Love on the Brain* — Rihanna (love the sultry/smoky/jazzy sound)
- Broken Bones — Kaleo
The whole list can be found on my Spotify here.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland is a book about zombies interrupting the Civil War. Don’t let the idea of zombies scare you off, though (Mom), because this story is so much more than the next zombie apocalypse novel.
Our main character, Jane, was born during the Civil War, right around the time the dead came back and put a stop to the battling. Everyone became focused instead on solving the issue of zombies — or “shamblers” as they’re known in the book. Old beliefs linger despite the physical war ending, and the view of post-war America where neither side won is fascinating.
Black and Native American children are sent to boarding schools where they learn combat skills to fight the shamblers. The ultimate goal is to attain a position as bodyguards for the wealthy. Jane is enrolled in one of the best of these schools, and while she is an excellent fighter, she struggles with following the rules. Her antics lead her from a frustrating situation to one that is downright deadly. She has to fight –and not only against shamblers — to keep those she loves safe.
Dread Nation is very well-written with believable and relatable characters. The America Justina Ireland paints is vivid and sometimes heart-wrenching in its authenticity. It isn’t hard to imagine some of the reactions, beliefs, and social norms created in this alternate society. This book is both entertaining and deep, evoking fun conversations about zombies as well as more serious social commentary that could be applicable even today.
Also worth noting, I really love the chapter titles. It’s a small touch, but in my opinion, they are very well done and made me look forward to each new story-within-the-story.