Tuesday, September 18, 2012
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.