I knew I'd get an answer on the music thing from among my readers. It was right there in iTunes, so I've now been able to cut out extraneous "bonus" tracks or retrieve good bonus tracks separately from the main tracks. It's not quite as successful with editing out annoying stuff from cast albums, but doing that well would require a split-second waveform view to find the precise edit point, and maybe a mixer board to fade out some and add a second or two of silence at the end, but this is at least as good as hitting "stop" on a tape when recording from a cast album. Now I can listen to Brian Stokes Mitchell sing "Dulcinea" without harshing my swoon.
Though I do wonder if these edits will work when burning a CD from a playlist. Since I don't have an iPod, I just do collections of MP3 CDs to play in the car.
It's been fun plowing through my music collection to reconsider it. I've gotten a little distracted from listening to Jane Monheit songs. Listening to her makes me feel like I'm sitting in a dark little New York jazz club with tiny tables scattered around the room, lit mostly by the candles on the tables. I'm sipping something involving vodka and fruit juice from a martini glass (or maybe champagne), I'm wearing a little black dress, sheer black stockings and killer heels, and I'm just sitting there, letting the music wash over me, feeling mellow and swanky at the same time. Yes, I do get all of that from listening to a song, and just that vividly. Too bad I'm still not really able to sing without coughing. It's very frustrating. I still have a voice (though it's getting rusty). I just can't manage more than a verse before the coughing starts. And, oh joy, the newspaper this morning had an article on what a bad spring this will be for allergies, since everything seems to be pollinating all at once. The spring allergens aren't as bad for me as the winter cedar/juniper type things are, but it doesn't sound like it will be fun.
I think I've got an idea for rewriting my cover copy, and I've got more ideas for the second half of the book. I just need to work out the specifics of the climactic scene. I know what will happen, but I have no idea how it should happen, and I need to figure that out soon because it will affect the events that happen leading up to it. I think some serious brainstorming is in order. I can do that while walking to the post office. Or flying to the post office. If I had a sturdy enough umbrella, this is the kind of day that I could Mary Poppins my way over there.