“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”
– Plato

I came across this quote as I looked through my Commonplace Notebook. I had written some time ago and as I struggled to focus on meeting my daily word count (I didn’t); I flipped through my notebook for inspiration. The quote made me realize that I needed to go back to my center by doing something I’ve strayed from these last few months.

My current work in progress (WIP) is a romance novel titled Ulterior Motive. The action-packed, slow-burn romance of Joshua “Rico” Cohen and Melody Blue Randall has been the focus of my writing since November 2019, when I lost NaNoWriMo.

Melody and Joshua meet for the first time when she is running from her wedding. Then they don’t see each other for some time. When they reconnect, they become exactly what the other needs but not what they want. From different worlds, both carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. As the web of lies and quest for truth threatens to destroy their lives and their hearts, they must embrace the very things they fear.

Writing this story is emotional because there are some things that hit close to home. Also, I like these characters so much. I am rooting for them, and despite knowing how the story will end, they are fighting me at every turn. Both characters struggle to forgive and move forward.

When writing, I look to music for inspiration. Sometimes, the songs are predominately instrumental. Often, I turn to jazz and movie scores. However, the Ulterior Motive Soundtrack, which you can listen to on Spotify, contains a sensual mix of 1990s R&B and Hip-Hop titles. There are 110 songs, but this changes daily as I add and delete tracks as they fall in and out of context.

You need not listen to the songs in order as it as much a WIP as the novel. When I complete the rough draft, I will rearrange the songs to match the plot. Maybe I’ll also explain the Soundtrack, recounting why I chose each track.