Thursday, May 25, 2017

Music of the Heart: A Melody in the Dark

Be my friend, my buddy, my dear companion.
I’ll hand you my hand when you’re deep in the goo
of despair.
Laugh with me, cry with me, cradle me softly.
But when night falls and silence takes over,
Intoxicate me, too.

Melody pulled her fingers from her guitar strings and shrugged. Okay for now, she supposed, although goo wasn’t working for her and would have to be reworked. She meant it as a primordial reference, an origination thing that was supposed to hint at a love that was meant to be, that was planned in the stars, or some ridiculous romantic shit such as that. She doubted anyone would get it, though. It would have to be reworked.

Her newest song was a direct rip-off of her favorite song. Maybe indirect. The music was fully different since she was a folk singer, not a rock singer. The lyrics weren’t close to as good, as sensual. The only thing she really ripped off was the one word. Not so much a rip off. Legally, nothing wrong with it.

Professionally, it didn’t probably matter since few of her songs had actually sold and this wouldn’t likely be different.

She glanced at the clock and then looked back at it. “Not again.” Jumping up from her chair beside the window where she always wrote, Meladee ran to throw herself together well enough to jog to the school and pick Josie up. They’d yell at her again, even while she was huffing and puffing from being too out of shape to jog the five blocks to her daughter’s school. They could see she at least tried, couldn’t they?

Hands up... How many of us have fixated on a particular singer/ musician at some point in our lives?

I have. I'm music obsessed. How would I not? I still do. It's no longer that teen angst kind of obsession. No posters all over my walls these days. No dressing similar... Okay, I didn't actually do that, but I have many friends who did. When you're music obsessed but not so terribly musically inclined yourself, you do the next best thing. You write about it.

Or at least that's what I do. I write about lots of musicians at various stages. Research is always fun since it includes catching local live music as well as scanning through songs of the right era online. How often can you indulge in music videos and tell your family, "I'm working!" I do. Research is work, after all. Inspiration is necessary for a writer. Communicating with musicians is also fun, um, work, and necessary for insight. Just today, I chatted with local singer/songwriter JD Eicher through Facebook Live as he did a one hour show through a local paper. In the past, I've gotten to know quite a few singers/songwriters/musicians, both local and of national/world renown. There are the music memoirs, the music business books, and of course the radio.

Of course, then there's the story about the struggling musician single mom who obsesses over a famours musician as she tries in some way to imitate her musical idol but with her own style, as she believes she'll never find a guy who can live up to him. Especially since she's met him. Briefly. One incredible, memorable night, she actually met him, face to face and personal, before she even knew who he was.

And then came another memorable night...

A Melody In the Dark

1979. Pittsburgh. Just after the big snowstorm that paralyzed the city has cleared into a cool, crisp spring, Meladee Lerner runs into Niall Dillon, literally and accidentally. A struggling songwriter and single mom, Meladee has no time for dating or romantic notions, but sometimes in a single wonderful moment, something unexpected happens....

I'm proud and excited to be part of the newest anthology release from Fire Star Press, Music of the Heart. Five authors share music-related tales from five decades (1940-1980): tales of love, longing, obsession, and happy endings. My included novella features the 1970s with the theme Wonderful Tonight. Meladee's story pulls in a very minor character from the Rehearsal series (under author name LK Hunsaker) who is obsessed with the lead guitarist from Raucous, my fictional Rehearsal band. He's hard to live up to, but it doesn't take long for Meladee to realize you can never say never and life can be funny.

Fire Star Press is featuring Music of the Heart by Tanya Hanson, Sara Swann-Barnard, B.J. Betts, Ella M. Kaye, and C.A. Jamison with a chance to win a free E-copy if you leave a comment.

Stay tuned for more about this great anthology from Fire Star Press (an imprint of Prairie Rose Publications).