I never had a chance.
Once upon a time, television hosted maybe 5 or 6 channels during viewing hours – unlike today where we have hundreds of channels to choose from, 24/7, and if that’s not good enough, there’s a host of online providers to meet whatever movie desire you might have, not to mention all the complete series of our favorite programs. . .
You get the picture : )
Since my mom worked weekdays, she never had a chance to develop a fondness for soap operas or game show. Instead, on the weekends, she’d play records of her favorite singers. Sinatra, Crosby, and so many more. My didn’t-have-a-romantic-bone-in-her-body mother played records that cranked out love ballads all weekend long.
I was doomed from the start. These love songs left some serious grooves in my gray matter. Fifty years later, I can still belt out lyrics to songs long forgotten, while modern day tunes gets twisted and blurred together with multiple artists and songs.
Whew. My mind can be a scary place!
So what’s the point of all this, you ask?
Melody and tunes catch your attention; lyrics capture your heart.
There are times when I’ll sit in front of the computer…that’s it, just sit. I can’t for the life of me figure out the next move for my character. So I’ll get up and pace around, maybe do some laundry, drive to the store -- and it isn’t until I hear a chord or measure in an unrelated song, that my mind opens up and begin to hum a tune from years back. The words come back with a rush and there I am again, sitting next to my dad on the couch while he tried to watch a hockey game over caterwallin’ of my mom’s record player.
Sometimes I wonder how we survived those formative years, LOL!
Bear with me while I stroll down memory lane and offer examples of lyrics in action. As my Seeker buds can attest, I have very little character-conflict-generation in my soul. In my initial drafts, I jump over conflict for my characters like a pole-vaulter clearing a winning height. If left to my own resources, I’d be writing books that introduced my characters on page one and pronounced them man and wife on page ten, LOL! I desperately need help in the GMC aspect of plotting and I’ve finally found a way to put all those hours of humming and singing to good use.
Here are the partial lyrics to a song I remember hearing when we’d go visit my aunt and uncle. This song stuck in my mind because the Royal Guardsmen sang some goofy songs, yet this ballad had heart and soul:
You say, you’ll always be proud of me
Well, I’m gonna see that you do, baby.
I’ll be somebody something,
If you wait, babe I promise you, yeah.
I’ve got my pride,
Every kid’s gotta hold his head up high
Nothing like you and me
Victims of, poverty.
No, baby let’s wait
No, baby let’s wait
We’ve got time.
Baby Let’s Wait, --The Royal Guardsmen
If you want to check out the tune and the rest of the song, I’ve included a link to the YouTube video.
This song established the GMC for Zac Davidson, the hero in my current book, SecondChance Ranch. He’s the youngest of the three boys and kind of a wild child. No one took him seriously, except Jennifer O’Reilly, his best friend and love. They were inseparable in high school and young love wanted to grow, but Zac couldn’t afford to stay in Hawk Ridge. He had to go out and prove to his family that he was worthy of his share of the Circle D. He knew if he stayed in Hawk Ridge, he wouldn’t amount to anything beyond what his family and the town thought of him. He loved Jennifer, but had to leave to prove himself.
My mother ADORED Engelbert Humperdink. OMG!! Had every album the man ever recorded. He sang a lot of ballads, but this song had kind of a zippy-er beat. Zippy, yet relevant to the male-female relationship:
If I had a chance to see
To put myself inside your shoes
Could I stand by and watch me crawl
Or would I try to give my all
If you were me, and I were you
If I Were You, --Engelbert Humperdink
In Second Chance Ranch, Jennifer O’Reilly had a difficult decision to make when she found out she was pregnant. Having earned a full-ride scholarship to nursing school and out on her own for the first time, Jennifer had a lot of responsibility riding on her shoulders. When she turns to Zac for support and decides she isn’t going to get any from him, she carries that stake through her heart for years. It isn’t until Zac moves back to Hawk Ridge that she begins to realize what he had gone through all those years ago. She begins to put herself inside his shoes and discover there are always two sides of a story.
For these lyrics, I really can’t put the blame on my mom. She didn’t like the Beatles when they burst onto the scene, but she had laid the groundwork for my penchant for romance and there was nothing more romantic than the early years of the Beatles:
There were bells on a hill
But I never heard them ringing
No I never heard them at all
Till there was you.
Till There Was You, --The Beatles
You Tube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr5gCdUXJQY
In Rough Road Home, the third book in the Circle D series, oldest brother, Nick Davidson, continues to punish himself over his wife’s accidental death. Woulda, coulda, shoulda is the theme of his life. He sees nothing of the beauty or love in the world -- he doesn’t think he deserves it. Instead, he tours the country on the back of a bull, going from rodeo to rodeo trying to run away from himself. It isn’t until Rachel Hill pops into his life that he finally learns to let go and live.
So, there you have it. The Audra Harders’ method of piecing together GMC. What do you think? Do song lyrics influence how you see the world? Can you identify with anything I just babbled about? Share how music and lyrics influence your work and maybe share a theme song for your current WIP. Speedbo is only half-way through. There’s still time to get lost in a song and give your characters a whole new outlook on life.
Leave a comment and you’ll be entered in a drawing for an MP3 download or audio CD of your favorite music-to-work-by album by your favorite artist – or collection of artists – not to exceed $12.00. I hope you find the words to the song just as inspiring as the music!! Winner will be announced in the WE.
AND NEWS! I’m thrilled to announce my first independently published book, Second Chance Ranch. Second Chance Ranch is the second book of the Circle D series set in Hawk Ridge, Colorado. I consider Gabe and Melanie’s story in Rocky Mountain Hero (Love Inspired Books) the first book introducing the Davidson family. The Circle D Ranch lives on in my heart, and I hope yours as well. Enjoy Zac and Jennifer’s story!
To celebrate, I’m giving away 5 Kindle copies of Second Chance Ranch. Leave a comment and have your name tossed in the cowboy hat! Come back this weekend and peek in the WE to see if you've won!!
The Trails’ End Ranch is For Sale
Pediatric oncology nurse, Jennifer O’Reilly returns home to Hawk Ridge, Colorado to establish a mountain recreation camp as a safe adventure for children battling cancer. Her path to ownership depends on developing a profitable business plan to convince the bank she can manage not only the camping facility, but the entire Trails’ End Ranch operation.
Generations earlier, one misplayed hand of poker lost part of the family ranch, and Zac Davidson, youngest son and financial genius of the Circle D, wants it back. Intrigued since childhood by the legend of his great grandfather, Zac is the only family member who holds out hope that one day the ranch would become Davidson property again. When the ranch goes on the market, money is no object, only Jennifer O’Reilly stands between him and his dream.