Music permeates just about everything I write, and I often think of my writing in terms of music. So naturally, a full-length book manuscript is like a full-length album. A concept album, perhaps.
This is especially true for MOONCHILD, the memoir manuscript I’m revising (as in completely re-envisioning, you can read about this writerly overhaul and the revision process here and here). There is so much music in the text of the book. Always music. And discussions about the meanings of the songs that are incorporated into the story, an exploration of where music and life and self intersect.
So, yes, each chapter starts off with a lyric from a song. I did up a little CD label thing (which proves why I’m a writer and NOT a graphic designer) that lists the songs that are quoted at the beginning of each chapter. Here it is:
So many things have me revisiting my musical past as of late. It’s really kind of odd how so many things converged at once. Sometimes I feel like, for whatever reason, I just really let music slip away for awhile, and over the last month, a switch has flipped and all of a sudden, I’m back.
I think I’m a little too embarrassed to admit one of the things that started all this. I’ll just say this: it was a TV show. And it wasn’t that I loved the music on the show so much as one of the characters reminded me of how I used to feel about music, and that got me listening to CDs again, and trying to rebuild my old music collection by buying a bunch of used CDs, and looking into concerts and shows again. Okay, I’ll give a hint, since it sort of relates to the remainder of the post, this TV show I don’t quite want to name is named after a song.
So, it’s Christmas Eve and I’m awake and wired and have absolutely nothing to do.
It’s been snowing like crazy for the last week and a half. When it started I was in Seattle at a Christmas party with friends, and the next morning we couldn’t get through the road. The next day I came back to Orcas and had a semi (but not terribly exciting)-adventure returning. And then it snowed and snowed and snowed some more. It’s the most snow I’ve seen in the northwest, and it’s my sixth winter here. It’s wild, and awesome.
I’m loving it. It makes me want to go make snow angels and snowmen and build forts and have wild snowball fights. The roads are a mess, I mean solid ice covered in inches of snow. Walking anywhere that’s not a trodden path or shoveled walkway is deliriously fun, I sink in halfway up to my knees.
Wow, I’m exhausted. It’s been awhile since I posted. I’ve been working a lot and also having a blast. I am just loving the group of people I’m working with this summer. I’ve also been busy researching every possible avenue for an adventure between now and next fall when I plan to go back to school. I’ve spent countless hours combing through AmeriCorps options, as well as any possibility I can find that could involve going abroad. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I feel like I have a lot of irons in the fire as the saying goes, and more would be even better.
A few months ago, I wrote this post about how I felt sort of distanced from myself, and a time years ago when I felt more myself than ever, and how much I missed those times.
Well, I feel like I’m back.
First off, it’s like some switch totally flipped for me at some point, when I suddenly, acutely felt my intellectual frustration so strongly that I couldn’t ignore it or somehow make it okay.
I’m not sure how it started – with all these personal changes, it’s hard to pinpoint an exact start to things. They creep. Shift underneath the surface like tectonic plates until they’re erupting and lava is everywhere. And that’s a good thing, at least for me, because it’s like re-awakening, rekindling the inner fire. It’s passion. It’s aliveness. So, even though sometimes it makes present circumstances a little difficult or uncomfortable (because aliveness sometimes makes you aware of where your soul is dying), any day I’ll take it.
So, all my chapters (except for the first four that cover childhood), are named after song lyrics. In fact, I’ll just put the list of songs on here, to give an idea, and then I want to talk about the general motivations. Some songs come up more than once, (“Moonchild” by Chris Cornell, for example), different lyrics are used in each chapter. That song is the repeating refrain of the story, for sure. Anyway, for now, I’ll just give song title and artist.
Closest Google Image I could find to the real thing
Note: Another one from the vault, Jan 2008.
So, I got a gift certificate to Kohl’s for Christmas, and I knew immediately that I would put it towards a new comforter. The one I have now is a twin, and I have a double bed, so it’s not all that warm, and it’s lumpy and worn.
I went looking around at Kohl’s online, and quickly came across one I loved – a deep red with pink and green flowers. It was a little bold for me, I was used to more timid colors, softer pinks and greens mostly, and this bold red one just grabbed my eye immediately. The sale was incredible, about a third the list price, but I waited, a little afraid it was too bold, and the sale passed.
Finally I decided I had to go into the store to look at it in person. It turned out that a co-worker of mine and her husband were going off-island so I went with them. They dropped me off at Kohl’s and said they’d pick me up in two hours. Well, it took me almost that long to make my decision. I found my luxurious comforter quickly, as well as a green one, kind of a darkish pale green with exquisite flower detail.
This holiday season had the potential to be pretty depressing and lonely, as it’s the first one I’ve spent alone. Most years, I went back and saw my family, and last year I was here with Adrian and the doggie, and we barely acknowledged the existence of the holidays (or each other, it was a shitty holiday season). And in the past, since I wasn’t here, I never decorated or did anything for the holidays myself. This year, for some reason, I got it in my head that I needed a little Christmas.