Words and Music: The Project

January 24th, 2022Posted by Nancy

During the pandemic, an opportunity arose to get a grant to do some digital creative work. That never happened, but it seemed like a great project to work on anyway, especially in the middle of ongoing COVID restrictions. I’ve had some experience recording myself reading but now I had the opportunity to add music, as my husband’s post-retirement project is learning to compose on his computer.  A creative challenge was just what he needed (at least, in my opinion!).

I set to work picking sections roughly 3:00 minutes long from my four published novels and from The Witch Novel (my WIP).  I reviewed the selections I’d done at public readings to try to find excerpts that would make sense with minimal explanation, would give a feel for the book, and would be different from each other in tone and content.

Richard would then record me and compose a background score that complemented the theme and tone of the selection. We both have had moments of “wait, should I go back and change that?” but sometimes it’s best just push the little creative craft off from the shore and let it go.

To see more of what Richard has been up to in our basement, you can check out his Youtube channel.

PROJECT #1 Leontine and the Bees

This is the introduction to one of the three main characters in my Work-in-Progress, unimaginatively titled The Witch Book.

The readings for this project were all done in May and June, which was the perfect time to read this excerpt, which is set in a hot summer garden amidst lavender and poppies, buzzing with bees. For the video accompaniment, all I had to do was sit outside in our garden with my iPhone. We have no shortage of bees and they are particularly fond of the lavender, salvia, and Russian sage in our yard.  When I’m pruning or weeding in those areas, I move carefully, tell them I’m coming, and we seem to get along just fine.   

When I started working on this book, I decided that, just for fun (???), I’d experiment with different voices and tenses for each of the main characters. I don’t know if that will survive into the final version but I’ve enjoyed the process (well, as much as I ever enjoy the process these days).

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