So you can read my books

Sunday, March 9, 2014


In honor of Arlee Bird's latest posts about his vinyl recordings:

Mankind shares a soundtrack.

Science assures us of that.

Experts in all fields are singing the same tune.

Anthropologists, evolutionary biologists, neurosurgeons, and psychologists

 have all come to the same conclusion while taking different paths to reach it.

They believe the "musical" area in the brain created human nature.

Music is as universal as language.

It predates agriculture. Some scientists believe it even existed before language,

its melodies promoting the cognitive devolopment necessary for speech.

Americans spend more money on music than they do on prescription drugs or sex.

The average American spends more than five hours a day listening to it. Obviously, it is important to us.

It is important to FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE as well.

And with a title like that that, it should come as no surprise. It is important to the lead character, Samuel McCord, too.

It is no coincidence that he owns a jazz club. A jazz club he named after his wife, Meilori.

Music to him has become a remembrance of shadows, an echo of times spent with friends, and a glimpse into a time when he was loved.

He is a monster who mourns the loss of his humanity. So much so that he nutures it in the souls of those who pass his club, lost and hungry.

McCord sees life in terms of music.

When he first views the flooded streets of New Orleans, he hears Bette Midler singing,

"I think It's Going To Rain Today," especially the refrain "human kindness is overflowing."

He championed the tragic jazz legend, Billie Holiday. His wife's favorite song was Billie's "You Go To My Head." He often hears it throughout the novel.

And when he is facing his death before overwhelming odds, he once again hears that song before murmuring the one name he promised himself would be the last on his lips :


Here is the Canadian legend, Diana Krall, singing YOU GO TO MY HEAD: 

{I like to think of this video as Diana rehearsing in the smoky haze of Meilori's.}


  1. I can't write without music -- I listen mostly to post-rock (Explosions in the Sky, Collapse of the Empire, Mogwai) -- during the drafting stage. Then it's Arcade Fire, The Violet Burning, and Of Monsters and Men during edits.

  2. Diana would be a nice feature at Meilori's, I love her smoky voice, too. She'd have no trouble in the jazz club, she's very down to earth. . .
    I like Sam and Meilori's taste in music.

    Saw Lee's post, too. Memories and music go together. It's another way of defining our individuality. And music either matches our mood or makes us feel better.

    I'm just finishing my post for the Wormhole Blogfest on Monday, and added my name to the Linkylist on WEP, it seems to be working now on Denise page.

    Have a relaxing Sunday, if you can.

  3. Milo:
    I can't write without music either. In fact, certain tunes arise through all my novels. I'm thinking of doing my A to Z posts on the different tunes that show up in my novels and their history.

    In THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH, Alice and Samuel have a tense conversation as Diana sings, "Let's Face the Music and Dance." :-)

    Since Sam is nearly as old as America and Meilori is timeless, their tastes in music cover a lot of genres!

    Have a great Wormhole blogfest! I am just dragging in from an early morning blood run! Whew!

  4. That idea for the A to Z sounds interesting. You could produce a playlist at the end, perhaps.

  5. D.G.:
    I hadn't thought about the idea of the playlist at the end. Thanks for the idea. And thanks for reminding me that I had signed up for Stephen's Wormhole blogfest. I quickly wrote it and now have it scheduled. :-)

  6. Interesting. And it makes me feel a little out of step - or tune.
    I don't like music as a background. If I am listening, that is all that I am doing.
    Instead I revel in silence - which of course, isn't (silent I mean).

  7. Elephant's Child:
    We are all different in our likes and dislikes. With apartment living, having music drown out the bothersome noise all around me helps.

    Right now, I am listening to Beethoven's No. 9 in D Minor, oP.125. A moment earlier I was listening to NIGHTWISH (a Dutch Goth rock band with an operatic singer doing the lead.)

    It helps to have which selects the different kinds of music I like from jazz to Spanish guitar to movie soundtracks to Enya to Beethoven.

    But, like you, sometimes I drag home from work at night and just sit and meditate or relax silently.

    You're not out of step -- you're just you -- a lovely thing to be. :-)

  8. Like Elephant's Child, I can't write with music playing. I recently ran across a scientific explanation for this. It actually has something to do with the way our brains are wired, but at the moment the details elude.

    I live in an apartment, too, Roland, but I use a DOHM sound machine for white noise.

    VR Barkowski

  9. VR:
    I use a huge floor fan for the white noise myself. Yet, I like music in the background most times. :-)

    I think my ancient brain uses smoke signals not wires! :-)