Sparkles, Hooks, Earworms and Awareness: Taylor Swift Rocks Pittsburgh (and me)

Hey there!

I was going to do a post on what I learned during my make-up lesson. I figure if the Ladylike Pervert wants to know, maybe other people do, too. (Although it would be more fun to have the conversation pajama party-pillow fight-style. Can’t have everything!) Look forward to the make-up post soon. But not today.

Great seats, huh?!

Today, I am going to squee about the Taylor Swift concert I saw in Pittsburgh Saturday night. Yup, I’m a Taylor Swift fan. A country fan, too. Why, you ask? Because I went to college at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, for one reason. Country didn’t get me for the four years I was in college. I even resisted listening to country music for the two years I stayed in Nashville after graduation.Β  Then Brad Paisley started making it big. And Deanna Carter started singing “Strawberry Wine.” I am an absolute sucker for nostalgia, especially if it involves wishing I knew then what I know now. And Brad Paisley’s love for his

wife comes across with heart stopping clarity in songs like “Then.” I close my eyes and hold still every time he sings the line “But I’ve said that before…”

I listen to all kinds of music, but country has my heart.

So when my neighborhood BFF Melissa said, “It’s my birthday, and I got us Taylor Swift tickets. Let’s drive to Pittsburgh,” I said “Squeeeeeeeeee!”

Why do I love Taylor Swift? More than one reason, actually. I’ll make a list. I love lists.

Singing her heart

1. I admire her ability to capture universal teenage heartbreak moments in her songs. When I experienced the growing up moments that she highlights so beautifully in her lyrics, I tried to pretend I was cool with it. That I didn’t care. That it didn’t matter. That he didn’t break my heart. That I won’t still remember what it felt like twenty-four years later. Awareness is a gift.

2. Her music gets stuck in my head for weeks at a time. I had “You Belong With Me” stuck in my head for two solid weeks. Total earworm hooks. I appreciate a good hook.

Enchanted

3. She is sparkly. And adorably gawky in the best possible way. And when we cheered for her, she looked like we had just given her a pony for her birthday. Appreciation is rare.

4. She makes me want to hug my girls and be there for them when they get their little hearts broken in a few years. She also makes me want to try my best to teach my son how to not break hearts – or at least to do it honestly. Honesty is valuable.

Those are the big ones. Melissa loves that she doesn’t wear low-cut gowns and

She sparkles!

push-up bras and she doesn’t sexualize her dance numbers, either. I was so in awe of the violins, the ballet and tap dancers, the fireworks and Taylor’s seven-foot long eyelashes that I didn’t even notice the lack of boobs and bumps and grinds. I love boobs and bumps, but Mel is right, I don’t want them from Taylor Swift. I’m glad Taylor knows that.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

I also had a writing epiphany somewhere during the finale, “Love Story.” A hero should come through in the end. He should say all of the right things. Things that not only feed into the heroine’s emotional needs, but the emotional needs of the reader as well. What are those needs? I think some of them might be unique to the individual, but I also think some emotional needs are universal. Taylor Swift’s ability to write songs that resonate with me, a thirty-nine-year-old mother of three tells me I might be right. I think the books on my keeper shelf also tap into my emotional needs and satisfy them. For me this happens on a subconscious level, but I’m trying to raise my conscious awareness. I think I could write more powerful stories if I could isolate my issues. I know I’ve got them! Want to help? What are your favorite kinds of books and hooks? Which books live on your keeper shelf and why? Which songs do you put on “repeat?” If you help me isolate a powerful common thread that is strong enough to motivate a character, I’ll name her/him after you. πŸ™‚

Ending with fireworks is good, too.

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