Born in 1970, I am firmly in Generation X, and the 1980s were the years in which I largely became the person I was until 2012. (Long story: Buy a copy of my memoir when I finish writing it and it’s released upon the world. 🙂 )
I began writing in earnest in 1980, as a homesick ten-year-old, and became more and more prolific as the years ticked by. In those days, music was a huge part of my creative process, whether I knew it or not. Songs would set something off inside my head, and I’d be off and writing.
Somewhere along the way (likely around 2012) I forgot about that.
This afternoon I was thinking of something I would like to do, but the finances just aren’t there. I chuckled and said to myself, “All I need is a miracle,” and suddenly the song by Mike + The Mechanics was in my head.
All at once I remembered the short story project I had done in the summer of 1986, when I’d bought that album. Each song on the album had inspired, in parts big or small, a matching short story with the same title. I called it a “literary album,” and I really enjoyed it. I had done something similar with a-ha’s Hunting High and Low the previous spring.
Writing this memoir has been really hard work, for so many reasons. First of all, I primarily write short stories, so a book-length manuscript feels daunting. Secondly, I am not that experienced with writing nonfiction, so pulling together all of the material and organizing it before I even start writing feels like a lot of “hurry up and wait.” And then there’s the topic itself. Relieving what was easily the most difficult period of my life is, well, difficult. But it’s important that it be written, not just for me but for other who find themselves in a similar position, and so I’m not giving up on it.
But I need to remember what it was like to write for fun.
So I am sitting here listening to Mike + The Mechanics, remembering the characters in my short stories from when I was sixteen.
I think I will take myself on a little trip in a musical time machine, and see what a song can bring out of me in the next couple of days.
Just for fun.
My Duran Duran collection will probably be the well from which I draw. You could say I’ve been a fan for a very long time.
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