Music permeates just about everything I write, and I often think of my writing in terms of music. So naturally, a full-length book manuscript is like a full-length album. A concept album, perhaps.
This is especially true for MOONCHILD, the memoir manuscript I’m revising (as in completely re-envisioning, you can read about this writerly overhaul and the revision process here and here). There is so much music in the text of the book. Always music. And discussions about the meanings of the songs that are incorporated into the story, an exploration of where music and life and self intersect.
So, yes, each chapter starts off with a lyric from a song. I did up a little CD label thing (which proves why I’m a writer and NOT a graphic designer) that lists the songs that are quoted at the beginning of each chapter. Here it is:
During the spring of my freshman year of college, I stayed up late a lot, usually on really rainy nights it seemed, and talked to people on IRC chats who I knew through a music forum. I was on the east coast so even though it was really late for me, after all kinds of other activities, it wasn’t as late for people in other time zones. We talked about music, books and movies, music, our lives, music, the meaning of life, the future of the universe, and more music.
Around this same time, I really got into Counting Crows. I had never paid them all that much attention to them in the “Mr. Jones” heyday but a college friend lent me “August and Everything After” and “This Desert Life” and I was instantly enamored. There are so many great songs on those albums.
So, all my chapters (except for the first four that cover childhood), are named after song lyrics. In fact, I’ll just put the list of songs on here, to give an idea, and then I want to talk about the general motivations. Some songs come up more than once, (“Moonchild” by Chris Cornell, for example), different lyrics are used in each chapter. That song is the repeating refrain of the story, for sure. Anyway, for now, I’ll just give song title and artist.