Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Well, there ain't much going on Tuesdays--it's my "recovery" day, mostly.  And although edging is progressing, the Granny Blanket is not yet finished (although it's already getting some use!).  So I thought, Tuesdays being Violin Days, I'd show you a few pictures of my baby, Allemande.

Ahh, he's Gee-Or-Geous, isn't he?  So, a bit of his background...

I started taking violin lessons only about... *counts*  20-21 months ago, after spending 7 years on the piano solid.  In between there, of course, I picked up my other instruments: a hammer dulcimer (12/13), a pixie harp (2.5 octave lever harp), a mountain dulcimer (a gift), and guitar.  Piano is still my first love, and the place that I do most of my compositions, although I do compose for harp often enough.  Anyhow!  

So I'd wanted to play the violin years before I ever wanted to play the piano, but we had a piano, so that's what I played.  I don't regret it.  But it has been lovely to finally get a chance to go after this dream.  So I started lessons, and played on a rental for, oh... about 9 months, before buying my own violin.  I tried several at two different stores, ended up bringing home four, checking them out, getting a feel of them, and...the decision was made for me.  I loved this guy, because of the deep German sound, stronger, as opposed to a brighter Italian or French sound.  And so I named him Allemande.  

He's nothing really special in real life, just my own, my precious, but by some obscure maker in Europe somewhere and VERY cheap as violins go, ya know...  But I love him anyway.  I'm sure if I was only a better player, I could make him sing.  

So all of this going on about 6 weeks after I finished my novella, Passages, and was wondering what to do with myself until editing in Summer Workshops.  And then I read an article about a group of about 20 squatters living in numbers 94 and 95 in Park Lane, London.  Yes, THE Park Lane, with the mansions and Hyde Park just across the way.  That idea Just Fired Me like MAD.  And here was Allemande, all shiny and new and needing a story written about him.  


That was the sound of inspi(ration) hitting me Like A Brick, on the night of March 9th.  In a week, the story was planned, mapped, and researched.  And in a total of three months, I wrote a novel, titled Allemande.  

Allemande went on to win 3rd Prize in the One Year Adventure Novel 2009 contest, and has received mostly rave reviews from its readers.  If I ever got a book published, I'd want it to be this one.  I put my soul into this book, that is, what soul I had left after pouring most of it into Passages (I'll never be the same after that).  If you'd like to read the whole thing, you can go to the OYAN website and click on the Showcase link at the left side, and you'll find it there.  Until then, here's  a little blurb, from the middle, which tells the "alternate story" of Allemande.  That is, Book-Allemande's history.  

“How did you get Allemande, Morceau?” I asked.  I pushed “Allemande” out quickly, dropping the word, afraid to mention it.
            He wasn’t angry, and even the tone of his voice stayed the same.  “It was…magic, really,” he said thoughtfully.
            I smiled cautiously.
            “I mean, it seemed like a miracle,” he continued.  “I was in a little town way down in the south of Sussex, on a street corner.  I was walking down the pavement, when I looked up into a store window and saw an…accordion.”
            “An accordion!”
            “Well, yes, at first.  I’d considered taking a few accordion lessons at the time, so I went into the shop—it looked like an antique store—and asked about the accordion.  The man went to get it out of the window display, but as he carried it back, he tripped over an ancient Persian-or-something rug and tumbled into a mass of objects.  Out of the chaos, a violin case hurtled through the air and I dove through a glass cabinet door to catch it.  That’s how I got this scar….”  He put my hand on his wrist and I felt a knotted, twisted line under the skin.  “Anyhow, that’s how Allemande and I met.  I told the man I didn’t want the accordion anymore, and he was quite upset with me, so I had to pay nearly double for the violin, but it didn’t matter.  I hardly noticed the lost of the money and the walk back to my flat, though I must have nearly been run down several times with my head so far up in the clouds.  In my flat, I tuned her up and just the moment I plucked the D string, I knew she was magical.  I could hardly wait to get a bow on her, and when I did, out came the song.”
            The song.  I knew the one.  The one I’d first heard him play—that wild, visceral melody.  I wasn’t sure if it was a pagan sort of madness, but it was beautiful enough to be angelic. 
            “And now, if you’ll excuse me,” he said.  “I owe the dogs a stroll.”
            He brushed past me out the door, and Viola pushed herself out of her chair with a creak.  When she spoke, I knew her arms were crossed just by the sound.
            “And he hasn’t written a thing since,” she said.  Her voice was cynical, but I could imagine it a little mournful.  “Not a measure, not a note.  No, it was his one thing, and now he’s dry.  Dry as rosin dust on an empty stage.”
            I stood still, unmoving, face down, after she followed him through the door, leaning my back against the wall and thinking of a world of dry, dry dreams.  
I still love this book, which is saying something after one has spent every waking and sleeping thought with something for 6 months.  But that's the story.   And that's Allemande.

Not much else on my mind today.  Homework, a quiet day at home with tea and music mainly.  Wicking of speech [[Amziism/Spoonerism = Speaking of Which]], I just heard this song on the radio, by Francesca Battistelli, so go listen to it!

Hoping you all have a wonderful Tuesday, with lots of tea and music and lovely stories that need to be told to the world!
AMZi x x x x x

1 comment:

  1. Yes, this is a wonderfully written book. I enjoyed it thoroughly. :)
    I think there are a couple of parts that could be tweaked to be even stronger. (This coming from an arm-chair quarterback so to speak.)
    Also, I have a secret about this book that even the author doesn't know! *gasp*


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