SOUNDTRACK

  • Why a Soundtrack for a Novel?


    Music is a large influence on me as a writer. This playlist is by no means my greatest hits collection. These songs were swirling around in my head as I wrote INCARNATE. I'm not interpreting the songs; this is just how I was feeling when experiencing the journey along with Edward Mayus. Maybe you will experience them in the same manner.


    Sometimes the songs appeared before I wrote the chapter, other times they arose when I was struggling to identify with the character. It brought clarity. I'm going to be periodically blogging in depth about each song in the coming weeks. Enjoy.

    Why a Soundtrack for a Novel?


    Music is a large influence on me as a writer. This playlist is by no means my greatest hits collection. These songs were swirling around in my head as I wrote INCARNATE. I'm not interpreting the songs; this is just how I was feeling when experiencing the journey along with Edward Mayus. Maybe you will experience them in the same manner.


    Sometimes the songs appeared before I wrote the chapter, other times they arose when I was struggling to identify with the character. It brought clarity. I'm going to be periodically blogging in depth about each song in the coming weeks. Enjoy.

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    .
  • Chapter 1


    Initially, chapter two was the beginning of the book. Wayne Jacobsen, a co-author of The Shack, suggested that I start with Stephen's death. He was right. Dylan's Every Grain of Sand which ponders the existential question of Stephen and all humans; where is God? The last verses are haunting; “Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other times it’s only me, I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man.” When I pictured Stephen in the old musty hotel room in Rome, I heard Miles Davis’ Generique coming from the back alley. Then my mind ran with the ominous tone of Davis’ L’Assasinat De Carala which is foreshadowing the demise of Stephen.

    Chapter 1


    Initially, chapter two was the beginning of the book. Wayne Jacobsen, a co-author of The Shack, suggested that I start with Stephen's death. He was right. Dylan's Every Grain of Sand which ponders the existential question of Stephen and all humans; where is God? The last verses are haunting; “Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other times it’s only me, I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man.” When I pictured Stephen in the old musty hotel room in Rome, I heard Miles Davis’ Generique coming from the back alley. Then my mind ran with the ominous tone of Davis’ L’Assasinat De Carala which is foreshadowing the demise of Stephen.

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    .
  • Chapter 2


    I originally was going to call the novel Landslide, not because of an actual landslide, but because of the questions the artist, Stevie Nicks, in her landmark hit Landslide, ask. “What is love? Can the child within my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?” These are Edwards questions, and if we are honest, these are our questions. These are his questions he seeks the answers on his journey.

    Chapter 2


    I originally was going to call the novel Landslide, not because of an actual landslide, but because of the questions the artist, Stevie Nicks, in her landmark hit Landslide, ask. “What is love? Can the child within my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?” These are Edwards questions, and if we are honest, these are our questions. These are his questions he seeks the answers on his journey.

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    .
  • Chapter 3-5


    The Beatles Nowhere Man is the perfect song for Edward and most people as they go through life in some way blind, brokenhearted, and captive. The lines “… he's as blind as he can be, just sees what he wants to see, Nowhere man can you see me at all,” cuts straight to the core. People just want to be seen. The Dangling Conversation, by Simon & Garfunkle, allows a surface peak into the human condition. Edward and Hayleigh feared their relationship was moving in this direction. Van Gogh is my favorite artist. Don McLean's Vincent is the inspiration for Grandma Abba's dialogue about the art of the journey. Finally, in the lyrics of Its Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding, Mr. Dylan lays it all out about Edward’s past journey up until that night before Thanksgiving.

    Chapter 3-5


    The Beatles Nowhere Man is the perfect song for Edward and most people as they go through life in some way blind, brokenhearted, and captive. The lines “… he's as blind as he can be, just sees what he wants to see, Nowhere man can you see me at all,” cuts straight to the core. People just want to be seen. The Dangling Conversation, by Simon & Garfunkle, allows a surface peak into the human condition. Edward and Hayleigh feared their relationship was moving in this direction. Van Gogh is my favorite artist. Don McLean's Vincent is the inspiration for Grandma Abba's dialogue about the art of the journey. Finally, in the lyrics of Its Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding, Mr. Dylan lays it all out about Edward’s past journey up until that night before Thanksgiving.

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    .
  • Chapter 6


    Flying around in my mind was McCartney’s Blackbird lyric, “… take these broken wings and learn to fly, all your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise.” Edward is just starting his journey. There are times of reflection for Edward of his past. He is sorrowed at his handling of his daughter’s heart. The words made me think of Willie Nelson’s Always on My Mind. “Little things I should have said and done…? Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Soul Companion tells of the courage of a person to walk into the unknown. As a bookend to the thoughts about life, Edward and Tommy have a drink and discussion while Miles Davis' So What is playing in the background. You can hear the words in your head after the base line … so what as you tap your toe to this jazz classic.

    Chapter 6


    Flying around in my mind was McCartney’s Blackbird lyric, “… take these broken wings and learn to fly, all your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise.” Edward is just starting his journey. There are times of reflection for Edward of his past. He is sorrowed at his handling of his daughter’s heart. The words made me think of Willie Nelson’s Always on My Mind. “Little things I should have said and done…? Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Soul Companion tells of the courage of a person to walk into the unknown. As a bookend to the thoughts about life, Edward and Tommy have a drink and discussion while Miles Davis' So What is playing in the background. You can hear the words in your head after the base line … so what as you tap your toe to this jazz classic.

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    .
  • Chapter 7-8


    Edward recalls Bob Dylan’s line “Train wheels running through the back of my memory," … in the song When I Paint My Masterpiece. The song starts out in the streets of Rome, but Edward is hoping that this journey “… someday, everything is going to be different when I paint that masterpiece.” Edward spends much time in reflection as I do in my office or by the fireplace. Many moments I am playing a Jazz classic by Bill Evans, Peace Piece. Relax and enjoy.


    Edward is surprised that Stephen had a lover named Caterina. Here is the love song of two people separated by a great distance as they sing about their love for each other; Boots of Spanish Leather. The chapter ends with the famous hymn. Amazing Grace. I wanted you to hear it differently; I chose Aretha Franklin's version so that you could hum along when Tommy writes the final new chorus.

    Chapter 7-8


    Edward recalls Bob Dylan’s line “Train wheels running through the back of my memory," … in the song When I Paint My Masterpiece. The song starts out in the streets of Rome, but Edward is hoping that this journey “… someday, everything is going to be different when I paint that masterpiece.” Edward spends much time in reflection as I do in my office or by the fireplace. Many moments I am playing a Jazz classic by Bill Evans, Peace Piece. Relax and enjoy.


    Edward is surprised that Stephen had a lover named Caterina. Here is the love song of two people separated by a great distance as they sing about their love for each other; Boots of Spanish Leather. The chapter ends with the famous hymn. Amazing Grace. I wanted you to hear it differently; I chose Aretha Franklin's version so that you could hum along when Tommy writes the final new chorus.

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    .
  • Chapter 9


    Incarnate is a journey about finding the real you. You take it with Edward, but Edward is really you in some way. Like many, we pretend as we go through life. Edward did, and maybe you do also. I chose Jackson Browne's The Pretender as inspiration. The words ending the song say it all; “Though true love could have been a contender, are you there? Say a prayer for the Pretender, who started out so young and strong, only to surrender.” Thanksgiving dinner was interrupted by Johanna as she toasted the empty chair where Stephen would have sat with a verse from Les Miserables. “Oh, my friend forgive me, that I live and you are gone, there is a grief that can’t be spoken. There is a pain goes on and on.” One tender moment is when Edward dances with Hayleigh to the tune of But Beautiful, where the new Edward is starting to come alive as a . . .

    Chapter 9


    Incarnate is a journey about finding the real you. You take it with Edward, but Edward is really you in some way. Like many, we pretend as we go through life. Edward did, and maybe you do also. I chose Jackson Browne's The Pretender as inspiration. The words ending the song say it all; “Though true love could have been a contender, are you there? Say a prayer for the Pretender, who started out so young and strong, only to surrender.” Thanksgiving dinner was interrupted by Johanna as she toasted the empty chair where Stephen would have sat with a verse from Les Miserables. “Oh, my friend forgive me, that I live and you are gone, there is a grief that can’t be spoken. There is a pain goes on and on.” One tender moment is when Edward dances with Hayleigh to the tune of But Beautiful, where the new Edward is starting to come alive as a . . .

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    .
  • Chapter 10-11


    The journey starts to pick up for Edward and the characters in the novel in the way described by William B Yeats in his poem The Second Coming. Later this would be put to music by Joni Mitchell called Slouching to Bethlehem to Be Born. The chorus juxtaposed Edwards ongoing journey; “… Surely some revelation is at hand,


    Surely it's the second coming, And the wrath has finally taken form, For what is this rough beast, Its hour come at last, Slouching towards Bethlehem to be born.” We are all in some way sliding into Bethlehem.

    Chapter 10-11


    The journey starts to pick up for Edward and the characters in the novel in the way described by William B Yeats in his poem The Second Coming. Later this would be put to music by Joni Mitchell called Slouching to Bethlehem to Be Born. The chorus juxtaposed Edwards ongoing journey; “… Surely some revelation is at hand,


    Surely it's the second coming, And the wrath has finally taken form, For what is this rough beast, Its hour come at last, Slouching towards Bethlehem to be born.” We are all in some way sliding into Bethlehem.

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    .
  • Chapter 12-13


    The story turns in the next two chapters as life becomes real. The uniqueness of Edward's journey taken in the flesh is like everyone's journey including Christ. It has its time of doubt and mystery. The recently deceased Leonard Cohen best described this authentic human puzzling's in his song, You Want It Darker. The lyrics are haunting but reflect the human struggle to understand. “If you are the dealer, I'm out of the game, If you are the healer, it means I'm broken and lame, If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame, You want it darker, We kill the flame.” The reader and the writer are left to ponder. Edward, in my mind, meditated to Bill Evans' Some Other Time.

    Chapter 12-13


    The story turns in the next two chapters as life becomes real. The uniqueness of Edward's journey taken in the flesh is like everyone's journey including Christ. It has its time of doubt and mystery. The recently deceased Leonard Cohen best described this authentic human puzzling's in his song, You Want It Darker. The lyrics are haunting but reflect the human struggle to understand. “If you are the dealer, I'm out of the game, If you are the healer, it means I'm broken and lame, If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame, You want it darker, We kill the flame.” The reader and the writer are left to ponder. Edward, in my mind, meditated to Bill Evans' Some Other Time.

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    .
  • Chapter 15


    Edward returns to Rome to confront the next turn in his journey. He needed to face his pain and redemption. Whenever my thoughts of pain pass my mind, I never fail to recall the powerful version of Hurt performed by Johnny Cash. The song ends with these words; “If I could start again, A million miles away, I would keep myself, I would find a way.” This is the realization of everyone's journey.

    Chapter 15


    Edward returns to Rome to confront the next turn in his journey. He needed to face his pain and redemption. Whenever my thoughts of pain pass my mind, I never fail to recall the powerful version of Hurt performed by Johnny Cash. The song ends with these words; “If I could start again, A million miles away, I would keep myself, I would find a way.” This is the realization of everyone's journey.

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    .
  • Chapter 16


    In the end, every well-traveled journey ends in redemption. I am at home on an island wherever I find one. Bob Marley said it best in in his Redemption Song. “These songs of freedom? All I ever had, Redemption songs, These songs of freedom.” At the end of Edward's journey, he is no longer blind, or broken-hearted. He is free! Ya Mon!

    Chapter 16


    In the end, every well-traveled journey ends in redemption. I am at home on an island wherever I find one. Bob Marley said it best in in his Redemption Song. “These songs of freedom? All I ever had, Redemption songs, These songs of freedom.” At the end of Edward's journey, he is no longer blind, or broken-hearted. He is free! Ya Mon!

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    .