The evil genius and deity Jessica Anthony had me create a soundtrack to help get inside a character’s head. I previously posted some selections from that soundtrack (https://drleo37.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/finns-soundtrack/). At this point, Finn has more playlists on my ipod than I do…that fucker. I can’t listen to music while I write. I like complete silence. These are songs I listen to before I put ass in chair and fingers on keyboard. Some are songs Finn likes. Some are soundtrack to events in the narrative. Some just evoke the vibe I’m trying to put on paper.
After one more submission and some quality time on a haunted island with a bunch of deranged and awesome writers, I start my final semester of grad school. Like Finn, who thought the eighty two thousand splashes of white paint marking the Appalachian Trail would outlast his journey…until they didn’t, I can now see the end of this journey. This book has formed, coalesced, reshaped, and evolved and now I have six months to corral it into a cohesive novel. There are no more, “Hey! Watch this,” moments or flying ass leaps into the writing void that were not just allowed but encouraged in this safe writing cocoon. Ass in chair, USB cable plugged into vein, and time to grind and polish and demonstrate that I did learn a shitload in the last year and a half. As such, last weekend I read the whole thing, start to finish, out loud. There were some, “Oh yeah, who’s your daddy?” moments. There were a lot more, “I wrote that shit?” ones.
So, gearing up for the death march to the finish line, I queued up Finn’s soundtrack….
When I play the movie of my book in my head (another Jess idea), this is the song playing at the end. I wanted to write a happy ending for my guy. I wrote several. None of them felt right. He finally realizes that he loves his children and a beautiful, sunny woman, and he can’t live in this world. He stops torturing himself about that and comes to a peace with his resolution.
In between the tragedies and the end, Finn finds moments of joy. When not rightly or wrongly flagellating himself, he recalls times of happiness. This was the go to song for that.
My own BSW doesn’t believe I killed Finn. She’ll be in charge of producing and marketing the “Finn Lives” bumper stickers. My mother has demanded that I write a happy ending just for her to read. Maybe I’ll listen to this and give it a shot. There are Broadway productions of this, and I’m biased, but this is the best ever version of “The Sun will come out tomorrow.”
This video has over 97K views. I hope I haven’t skewed Alexi’s belief in his fan base. I think I account for at least 40K of those. If there is one song that “is” Finn, this is it.
At one point, Finn looks at the interlaced tree branches over the trail and considers walking in “the long green tunnel without end.” All things end, and so does this amazing and wild MFA ride. I have 30 pages to scrub and an essay to shine, and hopefully I’ll survive this semester with The Matt. Then, I’ll be able to see the end of my tunnel.
I’m Darren, and I write.