When Life Gives You Music . . .
I can’t sing. When others sing, I stand there and move my lips. So imagine my surprise when I started writing music. I now have five songs produced. I’m amazed at myself. How the heck did this happen?
I write science fiction. I have a bunch of short stories on Medium. I also have 1–½ novels written. The protagonist is a singer. (So is the alien.) I started writing snatches of songs she sings at gigs. Just a few lines, or maybe a verse. Then I expanded some of these into entire songs. By the time the story was finished I had maybe twenty song lyrics.
Well, if I had lyrics, I needed music, I thought. But no way could I write a tune. So I found a guy to compose music for my lyrics, and he found a woman to sing them — a blues singer with the perfect voice for my character. He got the songs produced, and now I have them on Soundcloud.
So, what’s the point here? What am I saying to my fellow writers?
— You never know where your writing is going to take you. You just have to go with it. This was a totally unexpected avenue of creativity for me. I would have been crazy to just ignore it.
— You don’t have to know how it will end up. This music thing is still unfolding for me. Music for sci fi stories? Who ever heard of such a thing? What am I going to do with it? I don’t know yet. (And I’m open to your ideas.) But I’m doing it even so.
— The delight and joy of creating new, unexpected things is such a high — and ego boost. “Hey guys, I’m a lyricist! Who knew?”
— It’s about much more than the money. I know, I know, Medium is all about monetizing our writing. And money is acknowledgement and energy. But I write for the joy of it — both the stories and the songs. Hell, it makes me want to sing!
This is not to say that if “Funny Looking Aliens — the Musical” wins an Oscar for Best Extraterrestrial Movie, I’ll turn down the cash. I WILL let success spoil me.
A story. I finally got up the nerve to go to the final production session at the studio. I didn’t belong there with these professionals. Then the vocalist in the soundproof room said she was having trouble with her voice. She was nervous because the big lyricist was there today. Who, me? Yeah, like I’m the guy with the big fat cigar and the black limo parked outside. We got a good laugh. No more nerves.
Just in case you’re curious what music for science fiction sounds like, take a listen on Soundcloud. A couple of ballads, an Elton John tribute, a Hawaiian love song, and a rude vulgar blues piece.