Welcome to December! Woohoo! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I had a wonderful time with my family. Thankfully, my brother took care of the cooking (he’s much better at it than I am!). We also played cards, an old family tradition that I feared my kids would never get to learn the joy of. The game my family always played when I was growing up is relatively unknown, but we’ve taught it to our kids now and I love playing Hands and Feet with them.
As fun as Thanksgiving was, I must admit that I had a bit more fun the day after though. On Feb. 27th, author Tim Mendees hosted a live launch of Black Hare Press’s newest anthology, Banned. I was one of four authors that came together to talk about the stories we wrote and to share a reading of the drabble prequel that we wrote for the anthology. It was an outstanding event - my first live streaming - and I am so happy I could take part! If you have a little time, you can watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtNdjU6CSpU
Each of the authors read their own drabble, and I think you’ll enjoy checking out the different voices of the authors as they read their own works. For this anthology, we were asked to use a song title as the title for our story. We then had to submit a short story along with a drabble prequel to it.
I spoke in the video about how I came to use Piece of my Heart by Janice Joplin. The short answer is that it was my mother’s favorite song. (This is the version I grew up listening to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8ezU30CdwE). She loved music, and she passed that down to me and my brother. As it would happen, my brother became a musician and plays locally.
The story I wrote was of an artist who, as a child, was convinced by his mother to sell his soul to the devil to become a famous musician. The prequel drabble is about the child, but the story is about an artist who becomes possessed every time he picks up an instrument.
It’s a fun take on the ‘sold my soul to rock' n’ roll’ idea. It’s also a little play on the world of rock musicians who used to live by the mantra of sex, drugs, rock’ n’ roll. In fact, the story opens with the protagonist, Columbus, waking in a hotel room with no idea where he is.
Although I don’t think my mother convinced my brother to sell his soul for his music (if I find out I’m wrong, I’ll let you all know), it was definitely her love of music that influenced both our tastes in bands and the songs we love (though my brother and I have vastly different tastes). She loved to sit in the audience and watch live musicians and would constantly try to drag me out to see my brother play.
This story was a bit of a tribute to her love of music, and to the memories of seeing live music with her. And in the days of isolation, it’s also a little about missing the chance to watch my brother perform (though don’t tell him I said that!)
I hope you enjoy this little tidbit about my story. You’ll get much more insight if you check out the video, though. And you’ll get to hear more interesting people talk about their own stories!
If you want to take a peek, click on the link below to learn more about “Banned”. And if you haven’t yet, sign up for more information! In January, I’ll be coming out with my first newsletter, which I hope to fill with entertaining tidbits, some free reading for everyone, and to promote some interesting works by the amazing artists I know!