Tag Archives: play

Theme Songs for Mothers, Children, Writing and Life


It’s Thursday, past hump day.

Things have been a bit tough on the home front.

Let’s have some fun and talk about theme songs.

 If anyone is around my age, you watched the popular show, Allie McBeal, which only confirmed your absolute certainty that dating and men were crap, and Mr. Right will always screw you in the end. Even with the cool theme music at the end by the talented Vonda Shepherd, single women were basically depressed. We at least felt in good company when Allie suffered.

In one episode, Allie and her girlfriends had to pick a theme song . Picking a theme song is extremely personal and gives a glimpse into a character or at least a summary of where this character is in his/her life. Barry White was the ultimate musician and they used his songs to portray the characters in the show.

Let’s play.

Rules are simple: think of your life and then pick a song that will best describe where you are or what you believe right now. Theme songs change as life changes. For example, a close friend of mine is balancing a new baby, an active 3 year old and a full time job. She is stressed and tired all the time, and her spouse is like a ship that passes in the night between shifts.  Immediately, I term her theme song as Carly Simon’s, Coming Around Again.  Caught up with household and baby chores, sometimes you lose sight of your husband. I believe this is temporary and will lift and one day you will recognize the person you decided to spend your life with.  I lived that theme song myself a few times. Gotta love Carly.

When I was dating, my own theme song was from Queen, Another One Bites the Dust. No explanation needed there. I couldn’t get a relationship to get off the ground with a rocketship – everything just bit the dust. It was actually my entrance song at my wedding.  Joshua loves it too, he calls it the “pirate” song and sings the words around the house, having no idea what the words mean. Hysterical. At least he’s not lip syncing with Britney.

Another girlfriend of mine is going through a chaotic time in her life. Work stress, family stress, and personal stress. She is walking the tightrope and trying to keep positive. What’s her theme song? I told her straight out at lunch: Mary J Blige – No More Drama.

When my son was first born, before the post-partum depression struck, I was completely delirious with the experience of giving birth. I thought it was the coolest, craziest thing I had ever done in my life. After all, I fainted at the sight of needles and never rode a roller coaster. In 26 long hard hours, I had reached the pinnacle of pain, received the biggest needle ever known to man in my spine, and birthed a watermelon. For some reason, Creed’s song, Arms Wide Open just resonated with me.  I had a son, and I had all these intense dreams of him experiencing everything in life I could possibly give him. I wanted him to be open and not afraid. That was my theme song. I hope to dance with him at his wedding one day to that – if my future daughter in law will let me.

Let’s talk writing and characters. Picking a theme song is a fun exercise and can really help delve into your character. Music is such an integral passion in life – why not use it to create a better character? Just thinking of personality may help pinpoint a certain trait or experience to help in your writing.

When I was writing my book, All the Way, I constantly replayed Jan Arden’s song Insensitive. I had the image of my heroine’s last encounter with the hero after an intimate moment, and she realizes he is going to leave her. This was a turning point in their past relationship. I used this song as her theme song and deepened her motivations for why she couldn’t trust him.

And my theme song right now? Well, it’s the one that is constant – unchanging – and always playing in my head.

Rocky.

Just hearing the pounding notes makes me realize I can survive. I can do better than survive. I can triumph.

Here are a few suggestions and some of my personal favorites to fit my journey in life:

Mary J Blige – No More Drama

Carly Simon – Coming Around Again

TLC – No More Scrubs

Queen – Another One Bites the Dust

Barry Manilow – I Made It Through the Rain (no comments please. Barry rocks.)

Jan Arden – Insensitive

Creed – Arms Wide Open

Irene Cara – Fame

Chantal Kreviazulk–Feels like Home (my wedding song.)

Bruno Mars – I want to be a Millionairre

Daniel Powter – You Had a Bad Day

Pink – You Make Me Sick (good for dating and problem husbands)

Bette Midler – Baby of Mine (played all the time when my boys were babies)

What’s your theme song?

Play…


Children’s play is like our work, or so I have been told. Play is how a child expresses his or her individuality and explores his personality. I remember well when I was young my mother was obsessed with dolls. She loved everything about them and always hoped she would have a girl to share her hobby with. Unfortunately, I hated dolls. I loathed Barbies and the color pink. I loved any type of book I could get my hands on, roller skating, ice skating, tennis and all of my stuffed animals. One birthday, she surprised me with a doll carriage. I pretended to like it and went outside and cried. It was a piece of equipment I had no use for. My dad stepped in and told my mother to stop making me into something I wasn’t and to go out and get me a pair of ice skates I wanted. Poor mom. Ended up my brother liked the carriage better than me and strolled all his Star Wars dolls around. He denies it until this day but I was there and speak the truth.

My children have blossomed and now take play very seriously. They love their stuffed animals and can continuously be overheard using voices and creating dramas. This morning, I came out to find over 50 animals piled high on my couch. They were naked, yet again. They said they were the naked super-heros out to save the world and rescue all the animals from evil.  And I still keep wondering when they are going to keep on their clothes.

I also notice how my oldest dominates playtime. He is the alpha male and in charge of the games. Joshie usually follows along happily, but when he bucks the system my oldest tries to nib the rebellion in the bud. Joshie will pick his battles and just disengage and refuse to play. That drives the older one batty, but I discovered after a little while of playing by himself, he is all too happy to compromise for a playmate.

Last week, my husband and I were in the throes of watching The Bachelorette, one of my guilty pleasures. It was very quiet in their room (warning sign) so on a commercial my husband went to check on them. I heard his baffled roar echoing through the house. When I joined him in the room, they had a pile of their stuffed animals in a heap, a toddler pair of scissors, and a bundle of fur strewn over the carpet. Proudly, they announced they were playing barber and had given everyone haircuts. All of the fuzzy monkey hair now gone, the animals seemed frozen in a state of surprise with their baldness. Joshie informed me that their hair would grow back soon. Jake said he did it so he can see their faces more clearly. Echoes of my mother flew forth: “You would look so nice if you would just cut your hair so I can see your face!”

Ah, playtime. Important for adults too. My husband used to love Sony Playstation until the kids came and sucked up his time. Now he looks longingly at dirt bikes and older motorcycles and wonders if we will ever have enough money so he can re-visit his youth and go riding. And me?  I love to read and write – that is my favorite form of playtime. What I have noticed lately is the lack of playtime I see in my writing, and I have moved forward to correct this. I’ve been reading many blogs lately about the importance of the work itself and less attachment to publicity, blogging, marketing, and worrying about success. I think writers have it harder today than ever. Yes, there is much more information available to help us market our books, but I think we are in overload status. When I was writing years ago, it was just about the story. There were conferences, networking and the hardcopy of Writer’s Market to push us forward. Now, the story is so diluted with other factors it’s easy to write without any fun. And a writer continuously writing without fun is a writer that stops writing.

I enjoy my blog, actually, this is my playtime. And I am going back to core principles and am beginning to have fun again. I revisted my novella and cut out the last chapter that was technically good but written into a corner. I started the scene where I thought I would be interested, and things started working. I wrote 14 pages in two hours – the most productive I have been in a long time.

So, cheers to playtime. It should never be overrated or underestimated, no matter what age group we are in.