The Power of Suggestion

Eleven more pages of the courtroom scene edited on Saturday. And a couple of interesting brushes with the power of suggestion.

First there was the piano moving thing. You know how I joked about Ohio and ended up living here, then joked about root canals until I had one? One of my other recurring themes was piano moving. In talking about the life of a writer, I would describe the predicament of having friends and family who think you do nothing since you’re at home working on a book by saying, “We need help moving this piano. Hey, let’s get Joe, he’s not doing anything!” And so it came to pass that, because I said that, I think I have ended up moving an inordinate number of pianos in my lifetime. Including two on Saturday. But I suppose I shouldn’t complain, as one of them came to our house.

It also hit me the other day that I hadn’t really sat down and played guitar for a while, and my songwriting has really languished. Then I came up with the idea to approach it like a writing project. When I get to a stopping spot with all of these manuscripts I have piled up, I’m going to take the open time to write the equivalent of an album’s worth of songs (I’m thinking 20 – some will be clinkers, and some won’t work when it’s time to record them, so figure 20 to get 13 good ones).

Apparently just that thought got things rolling inside my head. Last night I was half-watching the History Channel and I caught a line that instantly called out to me: “He died a free man in London.” Well, free man in London stuck in my head like a chorus, and I instantly knew I had a song. In fact, I decided to spin the song off of what I had seen in the program, to answer one of the writing prompts in my songwriting notebook: “Write a song telling a story from history (like Al Stewart does).”

So now I’m tinkering with writing a new song, but first I want to research the subject a little more, since it’s one where I need to be careful with the approach that I take. It’s something I want to report on, not aggrandize, lest people get the wrong impression. If I think of it, I’ll keep you posted. Maybe I can steal some moments to work in it here and there between editing sessions. The calendar is running out, after all, and I’ve still got miles to go before I direct.

I’m not sure how to harness all of this, if indeed it can be harnessed. Maybe it shouldn’t. Perhaps there are some things in the literary world that are still mysteries – even to the creators.

Listening:
I don’t think there are any Russians
And there ain’t no Yanks
Just corporate criminals
Playin with tanks

(via iTunes shuffle play)

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