Sunday, November 27, 2011

"How I Came to Write This Story" Paul Brazill and R. Thomas Brown

OFF THE RECORD is an e-anthology where each story is influenced in some way by a song. The project was put together by Luca Veste.

The proceeds from this anthology will benefit literacy charities in the UK and the US:

In the UK, National Literacy Trust:

In the US, Children’s Literacy Initiative

For a truly amazing play list of the songs by Court Merrigan, go here. Ain't technology grand!

Paul Brazill-Life on Mars

'It's a God-awful small affair.' -Life On Mars? David Bowie.
When Luca Vesta chose the song for me to use as inspiration for his Off The Record anthology, I knew I was onto a good thing.

I'd known the song Life On Mars? since I was about 10 - almost 40 years. I loved it for it's drama and those lyrics that always fired up the imagination when I listened to Bowie.

The theme that I took from the song- and ran with- was the sci-fi fantasy of people searching for life on Mars when there were 'Sailors, fighting in the dance halls' down on earth. The contrast between the high minded notion and the low life.

Of how things are and how we think they are.Or how we want them to be.

And how we are all connected beneath the stars. Only a few degrees of separation between us. And if that is such a good thing, after all.

R Thomas Brown-Dock of the Bay

When Luca asked if I wanted to be a part of this, I jumped at the chance and knew exactly what song I would use. Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding is a song I've always loved. My parents would play it on car rides, and it's a tune that I find myself singing for no reason quite often. For me, it evokes different emotions depending on my mood. In more reflective states, its a simple song about the satisfaction of wasting time simple things. When times are tough, the words about nothing changing and ever present loneliness are familiar and somehow comforting.

The setting of the story is on a dock, so that part is a direct reference. The other inspiration is about the things I worry about these days, though not literally what happens in the story. Losing job and family are things I've seen happen to friends, and seem all around. Those things bother me and are the fuel for most of any anxiety I have. In the story, a man has suffered both of these things, and has run out of fight. He has one final plan to extract some measure of revenge from the person he sees as responsible.

R Thomas Brown


Charles Gramlich said...

Great title and concept. Off; the record. I once started a story where each chapter title would be from a song but I never finished it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Good blog topic. How often do projects die and why?

Paul D Brazill said...

Thanks for putting this up, Patti!