In another lifetime, I was meant to become a classical musician.
Life happened, in the way that it often does, and my path swerved sharply from that course.
I have never lost that bone-deep love for music.
In my own writing, the rhythm and melody lines are more obvious in my poetry, but make no mistake, my stories owe as much to Allegretto and Andante as they do to adjectives and apostrophes.
Because of the way my head processes sensory information, I’ve always had a more intense reaction to music than other people. It has always been mildly embarrassing to be frozen in place by a melody line or shivering because of the intensity and beauty of a well-built chorus.
It is why, if I am honest with myself, there are more pieces of music that have profoundly affected my life than any other type of creative work.
The first time I heard Scheherazade, I was playing it.
I was in the middle of a group of well-trained, but still inexperienced musicians trying to force their way through a rich, complex interplay of parts.
And I felt like I’d been struck by lightning.
I’d always felt some kinship with Scheherazade the character, her of a thousand stories with an overwhelming force driving her to tell them.
But that melody line…
It felt like someone had reached into my chest and pulled out my heart to display to the world.
I have always carried a trace of that song in the back of my head while I am writing.
I stand naked when I write, whether it is my tale or someone else’s.
All the best and worst parts of myself are spread through the voices I create and the melodies of plot and words.
I can only hope that the song I share carries its notes somewhere in the back of the brain, the bottom of the heart.
This is a week about inspirations, both obvious and otherwise.
For the story that sings its own strange song, you can read my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor. It is available here.