Category Archives: music to plot by

Halestorm Music to Plot By and Some Thoughts on Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

The Strange Case Of... album coverOkay, so I’ll admit it: Lzzy Hale is my latest girl crush. I really like the second Halestorm album, “The Strange Case Of…” And maybe especially if you’ve got characters that happen to be brash young women with a bit of potty mouth, you might want to check it out for yourself. There are several songs I find really inspiring.

The one I wanted to post about is “Beautiful With You.” To me, this is like a romance novel set to music.

Okay, so this is a thing with me: I know that the genre has traditionally been one of escapism, in which heart-breakingly beautiful women hook up with sinfully sexy men in dazzlingly exotic locales. Thinking back to my days as a writing teen, I can see this influence in all the extraordinarily lovely people globetrotting about. What do I really know about globetrotting? Or being an extraordinary beauty, for that matter.

Bupkis.

I KNOW that I’m not the only woman around who is touched by the “beauty in the eye of the beholder” trope which explores the phenomenon that affection changes perspective. How many of you have found yourselves especially touched by a Regency in which it’s the Plain Jane snags the wealthy duke? The duke who might have overlooked her if not for some extraordinary aspect of her character–imagine–and, by the end of the book, can’t remember a time when he didn’t see her as the most beautiful woman in the world.

The Enchanted CottageOne of my favorite movies is The Enchanted Cottage, a 1945 film starring Robert Young and Dorothy McGuire. Oliver comes home from the war (WWI) disfigured from a plane crash and tries to hide from his family, his fiancee, and the world in a seaside cottage where he meets Laura, a homely local girl with no prospects. They’re wonderfully lonely and damaged characters who hopelessly decide to marry for companionship only to find themselves more miserable for the sham of it. Until the magic of the cottage transforms them into beautiful people and they fall into love and happiness.

But, of course, it wasn’t the cottage at all.

I can hear that in this song. Or choose not to. Whatever suits. So here it comes. I couldn’t find an official video on YouTube, so here’s one with lyrics. Listen to it, pick up the MP3, then get inspired and go write my next favorite book, okay?

If you’d like to leave suggestions for similar books and movies or enthuse over Halestorm, please feel free.

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