Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thanks, Etta

I didn't think it would happen, actually. I was so wrapped up in getting one book written that I never thought I'd get around to even thinking about another one. Lately though there's been a character percolating in my old brain, just an idea, that's all.

Then last night I was driving home listening to At Last by Etta James and it hit me like a drunk with the burning reds – what she'd be like, this character. I could see her, what she looked like, what her apartment looked like, the art posters on her wall, old blues on her stereo, a glass of gin on the rocks in her hand.

I listened to that song several times in a row, hitting replay over and over as ideas took shape and, later, the mystery of it all, the crazy out of the blue magic of it, kept my eyes on the bedroom ceiling as the minutes ticked by into the dark rain of this new day.

This morning I did a quick Google before work and found out more about James. A white Canadian girl raised on Tommy Hunter and The Lawrence Welk Show, I don't know nothin' about the blues or about James, other than At Last was Barack Obama's inauguration song and he and Michelle sure looked pretty dancing close on the tender evening.

The more I found out about Etta James, the more songs I listened to, the more my character rose from the smoky wisps of imagination.

I'm going to be singing this one all day.


  1. Don't waste any time...get the thoughts down on paper before they slip away into the ether.

  2. I love Etta James. She's so before your time! Have at it.

  3. Now there's a sexy number.

    Maybe you're channeling someone of yore hmmm?

  4. Walk the walk and get 'r done girl, now you have talked the talk ! Poor Dave when you get home tonight, there might be a reenactment if you have been singing this all day. Ha !

  5. I loooooooove "At Last"!!! Great tune! I've not listened to her other stuff though; I bet it's great.

  6. That's amazing, Cathy! I love this blog post, I can only imagine how awesome the character and story will pan out!

  7. Cathy, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this post. Like you, I also grew up with 70's CBC entertainers, complete with Tommy Hunter and who could forget those Irish Rovers?!
    Yet somehow I discovered Etta James' sumptuous voice. My husband and I chose 'At Last' as our our wedding song.
    Thanks for bringing back some lovely memories!
    Wishing you much success with that new character.

  8. There's just no telling where, when, or how inspiration may strike. Sounds like you have a beaut of a muse. So, take advantage of her! Write, woman, write!

  9. That is one powerful voice. I will be fascinated to see where she takes you. Go woman go. Please.

  10. Get those thoughts on paper. Even the teeny ones.

  11. That song is one of the most beautiful, heart wrenching songs ever written. She was an amazing singer, incredible voice.


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