Monday, 20 September 2010

All the better to dance you off your feet, my dear

A moment in our house, last night-

SANGU, daring and slightly loony writer, waltzes back and forth across the living room. By herself. Arms outstretched, feet tapping to the rhythm, spin, spin, you know.

Slightly bemused, STEVE stops in the doorway and observes this spectacle for a few minutes. Eventually SANGU realizes she's being watched and stops. A charming (she hopes) blush creeps over her face.

SANGU: I was trying to put myself in a scene.

STEVE: Oh. So you weren't just pretending to be a leprechaun?

SANGU acknowledges that yes, her version of the waltz might have involved more speed and Irish bobbing than most ordinary waltzes do, and yes, she does generally request that STEVE be honest when critiquing her various creative efforts, but really. Does her Beloved have to stretch this honesty quite so far?

The reason for this solo waltz/lunacy?

The short version is Iron Maiden's 'Dance of Death'.

The long version is that a few days ago, I happened to be listening to a couple of Iron Maiden songs that my brother and I loved when we were both wee teenagers and still living together. He's still a wee teenager in my opinion, but I thought I'd grown out of my screaming-men phase. I'm not really a big heavy metal fan, but there's something about the angst and melodies in certain Iron Maiden and Metallica songs that really work for my writing.

All of which is to tell you that I listened to 'Dance of Death' for the first time in a while. My feelings for the song weren't new: every time I've heard it, I've always loved the solo bits, they always make me want to get up and do a high-speed waltz. I felt the same thing this time, only there was also something different.

Instead of me wanting to get up and dance, I had this spooky, haunting, amazing vision (in a non-crazy way, I hope) of my protagonists from ECHOES being cornered in a room by confused, lost, misshapen guards. And one of the guards reached out and said a single word:


The reason this haunted me so much was twofold. First, these guards have been soulless, lost, lonely creatures for so long - and they've suddenly discovered that they can feel alive, through music. And second, it's essentially about my characters having to dance for their very lives.

I kind of fell head over heels for the tension and emotion that vision conjured up for me. I mean, crazy-loony-solo-waltz-through-the-room head over heels.

But I haven't written the scene down yet. Why not? Because it's so gorgeous and lovely in my head, I'm terrified of not being able to do it justice. Of ruining it with a couple of careless words.

So I'll let it stew, and I'll do my solo waltz, until it's ready.

Happy Monday, everyone!


  1. I'm just tittering about you walzing around the room to Iron Maiden. Isn't it stange, I find really hard driving rock music quite the motivator, too.
    Really enjoyed the Jenny Diski. I shall definately be looking for more of her work. I loved the cover photograph,too. Wasn't Animal's People moving? xxx

  2. This is a rocking story and I can totally picture it too!
    If I had walked in on you I would totally have joined in on the iron maiden leprechaun waltz. ; j

  3. Vix - it was! I think I cried a fair bit! Ah, it's so nice to hear you share my feeling that hard music can be very motivating!

    Alesa - that comic is priceless! I am saving it and am going to print it off and stick it up on my wall! HAHAHA it's so apt!
    I'll let you know in advance before my next leprechaun outburst, so you can join in :-)

  4. Right on! I'll get stompy waltz boots ready. ; j

  5. See? You can't escape those heavy metal influences.
    I still love those bands - guess that makes me a wee teenager as well.

  6. What a cute post. I love the screenwriting in the beginning :)