Song Stories

I have been working on a few song stories today. This is a process where I listen to a song and create a story based on the lyrics, the song rhythms, the notes as they move in their octaves, and the intent behind the song or album.  While doing this, I learned that Terry Pratchett had passed away. It’s clear what Terry gave us, with his bold humor and outrageous sense of imagination. It’s a big loss.

His death has spurred an intense creative process for me. He was not shy about voicing his opinion that those who do nothing, get nothing. In order to be a writer you have to write. You can’t be lazy about this. For myself, I agree. I cannot be lazy. If I don’t write the thoughts, the characters, the story, it all goes stale and crumbles away like a cracker forgotten somewhere in the depths of a cupboard. Nothing happens. I will be remembered for nothing.

This of course is very close coming upon the heels of Leonard Nimoy and I simply cannot let my imagination waste away and dishonor their memories. So I have begun listening again to Severed Fifth, a band started by Jono Bacon. I want to finish the stories that belong with those songs, to illustrate everything those songs describe.

So in honor of Terry Pratchett, today I work. I work to be an inspirational author. Here is the first few paragraphs of Drill Down a song in Severed Fifth’s album “Nightmares By Design”


The motorcycle was going to be fast. Really really fucking fast. Oteo felt the speed contained in the massive engine as he started it. The rumbling purr belied the real strength, but as he let out the throttle it roared to life, begging to be released from confinement. He indulged it. The helmet’s heads up display showed that the pathway out of the cycle barn and into the Arizona desert was clear. Tucking his feet up he turned the machine loose.

Within seconds they were at over sixty miles per hour. The quarter mile mark passed without Oteo even noticing it. The machine seemed to take over as he leaned forward into the body cavity. A sweet feeling of peace spread through Oteos limbs the faster they went on the asphalt trail. Now the bike rose up slightly and they left the ground. He was free! The anger that was ever present in his head faded away. The rumble of the engine turned into his blood and mind, keeping him alive, making him WANT to live.

The peaceful feeling lasted exactly thirteen seconds. A glance at the blips in the proximity sensor in the helmet wrenched him back to reality. Two automated drones caught up with him a heartbeat later. The EMP pulse was invisible. Oteo closed his eyes and relived those thirteen seconds in his head over and over again, ignoring the pain.