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Occasional and Occasionally Funny Blog by June

Ye gods! The smell!

When I was in graduate school about ten years ago (really? really? ten years?) I spent a lot of time in the University of Iowa computer lab. It was a large room the size of a basketball court located on an upper floor in the main library. Most days it was full of students aged 18 - 22, and coincidentally smelled like it was full of students aged 18 - 22. I needed to work there. But one thing that I noticed: you can't really do things to change a bad smell. You can't nudge a kid and say, "So, your mom ever teach you about laundromats?" And, you know, you can't walk around spritzing people with scented oil (although a woman in California did just that, spraying me directly in the face with essential oils, as we looked over her ancient Honda she was trying to sell me, insisting that the scent would make me want to BUY that car, despite the 200k miles on it, and would I like to buy some scented oils too?). Instead of changing the smell of the library computer lab, I changed the sound of it. Namely, I plugged earbuds in and played techno music. With earplugs jamming away, and a steady beat, no lyrics, I managed to forget about the smell and get some writing done. Go figure.

So, I got into the habit of writing with techno music. But ten years later (seriously? ten years?) I've gotta bit tired of the Pandora stations I set up for writing. A lot of my last book got written to the music of "Boards of Canada." But I'm on another project now...

And here is what I found recently and really really like: Heroes of the Second Story Walkup.

I purchased a download of their latest, The Fun Yearsfrom bandcamp.coom (which is another thing that's new to me, and gosh, why did it take me so long to find it?) The music is super creative but not distracting and kinda droney -- perfect for writing. Let me know if you try it out for yourself, because I'm curious like that.

What do you listen to when you write?
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