Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Stella Comes To Fruition

I enjoyed a longer lie this morning in a quiet house, which was lovely. With the weather nicely warm and sunny after some heavy overnight rain, full use was being made of the garden by the family, which meant a rare silence in the house.

After a shower, coffee and bacon sandwich I went to get the Sunday papers then returned to work in the garden. I cut the lawn and trimmed back the overhanging hedges that entwine from the wall leading to the next street. After yesterday's work, the place is looking pretty tidy after the winter.

It's great having a garden, I have to admit. I remember working in my parents, but that was a long time ago now. I've lived in a few flats since I left home and the nearest I ever came to a garden was a cactus plant on top of the telly.

But now we have a modest but nice garden. It's secluded and sheltered, which means in the summer it gets very hot under the sun. Ideal for barbecues, it is also a great place to spend time working when you can grab a few minutes. Which is why I like it. My mind wanders when I'm using my hands and ideas pop up all over the place like Meercats on the landscape of my mind. I've yet to spend time writing in the garden; late summer evening appeals most for that idea.

I spent some time playing with Mopsy and Pippin in the afternoon. They seem to have taken a real likeness to the taste of my skin. I'm not sure if it is because they are female, but they seem to love licking my hands, arms and face. Gail says I shouldn't encourage it but I can't help it - I'm in love!

Late afternoon I began work on the final leg of Stella. I completed all the edits, circling the areas that I need to expand and divulge on because I need a different hat on to the editing one. It was dinner time anyway so we sent Laura to her Grans for the night and as soon as she was dropped off I picked up the phone and ordered an Indian. I went for a Lamb Chana Puri starter and a Lamb Madras with pilau rice and nan bread. I was totally stuffed, but one hundred percent satisfied.

Once the food was out the way I got back into Stella. Not literally, you understand, I'm a married man! I worked on the areas requiring expansion or restructuring and it took me until 1am to get it finished. There are just a few geographical references to take care of and a couple of double-checks and confirmations for it to be complete.

The story of Stella covers many parts of the world in such a small space of time (the story comes in at about 16,000 words). Amsterdam, Prague, New York City, London, Morocco - all these places play a vital part in the story. I want to give it one more read through against the backdrop to the album it is based on; Stella by Yello.

The tunes must match the plot in mood and meaning. I have used a lot of artistic license but the album has been begging to be written as a story for years, ever since I first heard it back in the eighties. This story has been a long, long time in coming to fruition. I'm glad I finally sat down and wrote what has been in my mind, each time I have listened to the album since 1988.

And now it is an entity in my hand; real words on paper with real characters and a fully linked story. I'm proud of it and why not?

As for publication, I'm not sure how to progress with this. Should I remove the link with the album to allow me to pitch the story as a traditional novella? I don't think I could do that because the essence of the story came from within the music. It doesn’t feel ethical and just doesn't sit right unless I follow my instinct first.

My first instinct is to contact the band themselves. Yello's albums were recently released as part of a remastering programme so there is a marketing possibility here that is relevant. The band are still active to my knowledge so I think a practical advance made to the band and their management could be in order.

Even if all I get from them is a "thank you, that's very nice," I'll have satisfied my curiosity as to what they think about it. If they don't want to follow it up, then I'll go the normal route giving them a credit in the book.

Bottom line is, I am now in the market for a publisher.

Colin 10:50 am


A coffee cup toast to you, Colin, on completing "Stella." Good luck, d:)

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