Ready to Revise

I love music.  Nearly all kinds of music, really.  It’s frequently a melody or the lyrics within that inspire me to write.  Music can set the mood for my writing session.  Create a pace for my story to trot along to.  When I sit down to work on a screenplay or story, music is always present.

This song was my inspiration for the book I’ve been tinkering around with:

I started the story nearly four years ago.  I was listening to this song before work one morning, and as I was strolling down the clinic hallways, bringing the clinic’s rooms to life and preparing them for patients, I was humming the tune.  Typical day back then.  As I walked down the last hallway, an entire scene- the “call to adventure”- smashed into my head.  Apparently, it even appeared as if something actually whacked me upside the head because I stood in a daze for a moment and a coworker asked if I was okay.

I wrote down everything I could remember in case I forgot it (though to this day I recall the entire scene with clarity) and dove in from there.  I worked backwards.  Who was the grandpa and why does what he says matter?  How did the couple veer off track?  Who is the thief?  Why in the hell do I now have a squirrel in the story?  And a talking cat?  Wait… what?

Ideas dropped into my lap and I flew with it.  It was easy.

At first.

But, you see, I was in love at the time, too.  Heels over head, madly in love with a man with whom I’d had an on/off long-distance relationship for over two years at time.  He was moving back West and wanted me to be in his life.  Every day.  All the time.  “You’re so stuck with me,” was his expression.  Silly me.

Apparently “stuck” was not the case.

Flash forward four years later.  I could go into detail with regards to our demise, but I won’t because it has no bearing on my current story.  Plus, it would only make him look bad, which, if I wanted to be a total bitch, would serve me well but I would rather leave it to karma and move on…

I started the book while I was in love with a man.  After everything that happened during these years with him, I couldn’t touch the story.  I wasn’t able to play with my characters without breaking down.  I would try to sink into it, but it would spin me into a near-depressive state instead.  It was an unfortunate scenario because I honestly believed the story to be absolutely lovely and unique.  I loved it.  I wanted to fall back into it,  but there was a part of me that wasn’t ready.

I moved on (fiction-wise) and wrote a screenplay.  I finished it earlier this year and set it aside for some “simmer-time” if you will.  Meanwhile, I became absorbed in some other things.  Like, life.  Work.  Living with a two year-old.  Trying to stay in shape and eat healthy.  Yet, like every other writer, the keyboard called to me.

I decided to give the story another shot because it was always in the back of my mind.  It whispered to me.  I couldn’t let it go.  When I played with it this time, it was almost as if the past didn’t exist.  I was– I am– truly free.  An interesting consequence is that I believe my story will be more believable now, which is ironic seeing that it takes place in an alternate sort of universe.  I think I can better convey the characters’ emotions thanks to my past circumstances.

However, my screenplay revision is way past-due.  I want to re-write until it’s gold. I mean, it’s not Oscar-worthy, but every single person I’ve talked to about it, anyone I’ve emailed a synopsis, all of my elevator pitches have come back as two thumbs up.  Every single one.  Does that mean it will be a success?  No.  But it does mean I’m on to something.  I need to shape it, mold it, give it some love.  Which means placing my darling on the back-burner for a while.

On that note, I’m gently tucking my lovely story in for a nap and moving on to the screenplay, which means a change in music.  My music selection will be sliding to more of a garage band rock sound.  Cool.  Steady beat.  Heavy on the guitars.  I don’t know if it’s common to have your music change like that.  My music for the dramedy/love story has been a sort of alt rock/alt country collection I guess.  I don’t know. I leave you with the last song I heard during my story play session, a song I adore:

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2 thoughts on “Ready to Revise

  1. Nearly a decade ago I went to see The Wrens play at Emo’s in Austin, Texas. The Wrens were good, but the opening band totally blew me away. That local band turned out to be a little-known Okkervil River. I’ve seen them a few times since, but nothing will compare to that magical night and the privilege of stumbling upon a hidden treasure.

    I look forward to reading what that song inspired you to write. And just how that came to include a squirrel and talking cat 🙂

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    1. Thank you. Oh how the mind works… Our creative processes refuse to follow any set rules, as I’m sure you’re well aware.

      I love it when I stumble upon a band I’ve never heard of but who immediately capture me. I had the same experience when I went to see Pete Yorn play around 8 or 9 years ago. A British band called Elbow opened for him and I was mesmerized the entire time. I’ve seen them a few times since, and they’ve never failed to set me alight. In fact, they’re probably my favorite band. They’re not well known on this side of the pond, unfortunately.

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