Yesterday I got a message from God. I don’t doubt it because I talked to a friend at my RWA chapter and she said it happens to her too. Thanks, Leslie, for convincing me I’m not just clinically insane.
It was a disappointing day, starting off with that immense feeling of failure at seeing my friend succeed where I’m still hitting a brick wall. House-hunting is turning into a nightmare that would scare Freddie Kruger. Then comes something every writer dreads. (The girls at VFRW call it “the big R”.) I was feeling lost and at odds with everything I wanted in my life.
I sat in the car and clasped my hands together in prayer and said, “God, please, just point me in the right direction.” Of course, I’m sitting in the car at the time; God isn’t a GPS, so I felt kind of silly. But then I plugged in my iPod. The first song that came on had been playing in the morning when I turned it off, “Have a Little Faith in Me”. Ironic, but I pretty much saw that one coming.
Next, though, was a song that I still believe Atlantic City gifted me with personally, Nick Lachey’s “What’s Left of Me”. John and I went to AC for my birthday in ’07 and I wanted to walk the boardwalk so I could see where Paul’s bar in “Release Point” would be. John had a blister on his heel so I walked it alone, no music (the way Grace did when she went walking every day in the MS), down to the south end of the boardwalk where the casinos are just buildings in the distance. I found the location and felt a chill flutter over my nerve endings. On the way back I passed a casino that piped music out to the boardwalk, and that song was playing. The lyrics fit Paul so well that I knew it was a gift: “Watch my life pass me by in the rear view mirror…I don’t wanna waste another day stuck in the shadow of my mistakes…Now I’m broken and I’m faded, I’m half the man I thought I would be; but you can have what’s left of me…take what’s left of this man; make me whole once again.” It stopped my heart cold. I didn’t have my note pad with me so I repeated the lyrics in my head over and over until I could get back to a pen and paper and scribble down what I’d heard.
Next up: Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry”. I’d been feeling like crying all day. I didn’t.
Next: Avril Lavigne, “Keep Holding On”. Self-explanatory.
Next: Mark McGuinn, “Mrs. Steven Rudy”. Maybe God just needed a laugh. Surely He knows I love that song for its snappy beat and the POV of someone who’s lusting after something he knows he can’t have.
Next: Harry Connick Jr., “Where or When”. I couldn’t hear the song but the title said it all.
Next: “On the Right Track” from Pippin. ‘Nuf said.
Next: Bruce Springsteen, “Thunder Road”. An anthem when I was growing up, I picked up on the words, “Sit tight, take hold.” (“Well I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk…”)
Next: John Williams, “Theme from Star Wars”. Not sure what that was supposed to mean but it sounded ominous.
Next: Josh Groban. It calmed me down when I had a case of road rage. (One of two. It was a full moon and the talent on the road showed it. I wanted to cry for the adrenaline running through my veins, but I remembered the song that had played earlier.)
Next: Susan Tedeschi’s “Alone”. ‘Nuf said. Snappy, jazzy beat. “Don’t want to be here alone.”
Next: Tim McGraw, “Live Like You Were Dying”. That says it all.
Next: Shania Twain, “Up!” The lyrics: “Up up up, can only go up from here.”
Next: Keith Urban, “I Thought You Knew”. I might be stretching with that one, unless He’s addressing my nagging self-doubt.
Next: James Morrison, “You Give Me Something”. That song (on TNT commercials) dogged me through numerous ball games until I gave in and searched iTunes for it. More good lyrics: “I never thought that I’d love someone; that was someone else’s dream.”
Next: Rascal Flatts, “I’m Movin’ On”. “At last I can see that life has been patiently waiting for me; and I know there’s no guarantees but I’m not alone.”
Next: Cowboy Mouth: “Too Much Fun”. The song that played over a highlight montage at Cooperstown last July while we waited for the Induction ceremonies to begin. It gave me the distinct impression that baseball is one heck of a fun game to play.
That’s when we came home. Okay, God, I get the message. I’m going back to work on “Release Point” ’til it’s done, and then I’ll go back to my other WIPs.