Doubtless I've explained my infinite love for the Moody Blues many times before. At fourteen, I had moved back to my hometown, which was new to me, as I hadn't lived there since I was six. New surroundings, new faces, new school--a school that didn't offer half the classes I had at my high school in Tennessee. What do you mean, you don't have FFA? I was growing strawberries in a greenhouse! No Latin? Do I want to take Spanish or French, instead? Are you joking?? Unsurprisingly, fitting in wasn't easy for me back then; I wasn't nearly as outgoing as I am now.
I found refuge in my musical instrument, a cheap Bundy flute I'd had since fifth grade and, of course, in music. I listened to a plethora of artists from Donna Summer to Gary Wright, Beethoven to John Williams, and even the more modern grunge tones of Pearl Jam and The Cranberries. We had a tape of the Moody Blues; a recording a friend had made my mother some time before. I'd play and pause, play and pause, play and pause each song, working out every note on the flute, until I knew them all by heart. Playing by ear, one of my fellow band-mates would soon tell me with disdain. But that was okay by me. I could read notes in class, then go home and recreate the music I loved.
Nights in White Satin is what did it first, cliché as that may be. You see, the Moodies are most known for that song and, admittedly, all these years later, I've come to love others much more. However, Justin Hayward's haunting ballad about one love ending and another beginning, a truth that had just occurred in his own life at the time, sparked a fire in me that, little did I know, would never be fully quenched. I stopped worrying over notes and set pencil to paper.
I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. Of knights and princesses and great battles and castles and marvelous expanses of rolling land beyond fancy flower gardens. Cramps seized my hand. I had a permanent indentation by the nail of my middle finger. Pencil shavings were everywhere. I'd eat dinner as fast as I could, so I could get back to the story. I couldn't get enough.
Writing stories has been a part of my life ever since.
It's been over twenty years since then, and I can now say, with great honor, that I have met those marvelously talented men who composed the soundtrack to my childhood; the score to my very first novels. I'm uncertain if I remembered to breathe for those few memorable minutes.
Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,