My current work-in-progress (Muse) stars two aspiring musicians (one a self-doubting singer/songwriter, one a confident French jazz singer), one aspiring music critic, and one girl who has no musical talent whatsoever. (If you guessed that I am most like Meg, who could not keep the beat on a triangle, you are correct!)

I want the reader to be able to hear the music in my manuscript, and my characters talk about the history of music all the time, and one even describes making breakfast in musical terms. But I realized this past weekend that in my first draft, my characters never go to a concert together.

In the words of Homer J Simpson, “D’oh!”

Writing a book about aspiring musicians without sending them to a show is like writing a book about aspiring chefs and never hearing about what they eat!

::PHEW!:: Thank goodness for shower epiphanies, that would have been a ridiculous thing to miss. And after that epiphany, I immediately knew what I wanted to happen at the show, giving the rough draft another subplot which will enhance the main plot.

I’m still revising the first ten pages for the workshop, but here’s a sneak peek at what’s in those ten pages:

[Ben, Colin and Meg are sitting around a campfire.]

Colin started tapping his empty soda bottle against a log. “There are a lot of good ones. But I don’t think that means that all good songs are about love and loss. What about Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’? That’s about consumerism and shit.”

“Yeah, I guess. But maybe it’s also about what you don’t have by not having any money, so it’s the life you’ve lost by not being able to buy what you want. It’s the loss of things you never had,” I said. This sounded like a bit of a stretch, even to me, but there’s nobody better to argue music with than Colin.

Meg shook her head. “But Waters is really just talking about greed, isn’t he? Like that line about ‘don’t give me that do good bullshit.’ I think he’s really just saying, ‘I’ve earned mine, now go get your own!’”

“That’s not exactly the line,” said Colin.

Meg rolled her eyes and ran her hands through her newly blonde hair. “Whatever. Besides, I can’t quote Roger Waters, he’ll sue.”

I nearly spit a mouthful of fresh beer into my lap.

“Anyway, speaking of lyricists that can’t afford to sue,” she continued. “Ben, have you finished your demo yet?”

Chicken Wants a Nap by Tracy Marchini

"A surprising gem." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Chicken Wants a Nap is available at Amazon, Barnes & NobleTarget and your favorite independent bookstore!

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