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When the Music Stops--week 5

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 Joe
(@joe)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 504
Topic starter  

Last month I was introduced to National Novel Writing Month. Though I didn't really expect to be able to write 50,000 words in thirty days, I thought, like the weekly songwriting assignments, it would be a good way to help me stay focused on one task--other than work. By November 29th--one day before the cut off day. I'd reached (and exceeded) the 50,000 word count. Though the story is not quite finished, I thought I would reward myself for all my hard work and diligence by taking a break from novel writing and revisit my old song writing buddies. How ironic that my first day back our assignment is to write about our favorite story. Though, I can't honestly say it's my favorite story--I'm certain I've read much better stuff--it is what's been keeping me too busy to play on SSG, so I thought it only fitting I use it as my theme.

This is the story of daredevil, Nick Messina Petrovsky, who's grown up in the circus. Nick's parents met in Connecticut 17 years ago when the circus came to town. Infatuated with circus daredevil, Krzysztof Petrovsky, whom she met at a club, Jenny Messina, a student at Yale, left college to become a circus showgirl. Though Jenny--now a circus aerialist--has loved every moment of her circus life with her husband Krzysztof the human cannonball, and her teenage son Nick, who walks the Wheel of Death, she's always kept one foot in the outside world.

Jenny's taught Nick to never take anything for granted and plans for the family to leave the circus at the end of this tour so that Nick can go to college and “change the world.”
Then one day, on the way to watch his parent's aerial act, Nick is detained by 19-year-old Magdalena Kovaczevi, an acrobat with the Bulgarian Teeterboard troupe. While messing around behind the wardrobe boxes in Clown Alley, Nick listens for the music, to gauge how much time he and Magdalena have before the clowns return. That's when Nick realizes that the music has stopped.

At the end of the tour, Nick and his dad honor Jenny's wishes and leave the show. But ten years later Nick returns and now views the circus as his mother had--with one foot in the outside world.

When the Music Stops
©2006JKovak

I thought I'd had my fill
And I'd never be back here again
To the life that once was all I knew
And now just seems so foreign

Things that used to seem so huge
Suddenly seem so small
I find myself laughing at all those things
I'd never really noticed at all

In those daily conversations
You'd tell me not to take anything for granted
And those daily oberservations
You'd insist I make
Now leave me so enchanted

It's not the real world
It's just a fantasy
But don't those fantasy bubbles pop
Leave you looking forward to that one someday
And then one day the music stops

And all those trips that you'd drag me on
And say, Nicky, there's a world out there
Well the world outside's not so frightening, Mom
Or are daredevils allowed to be scared

In those daily conversations
You'd tell me not to take anything for granted
And those daily observations
You'd insist I make now leave me so enchanted

It's not the real world
It's just a fantasy
But don't those fantasy bubbles pop
Leave you looking forward to that one someday
And then one day the music stops


   
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 pbee
(@pbee)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2096
 

Joe,

I think youre novel-writing is certainly influencing your song-writing, this is great, I like it a lot. There are a couple of minor meter issues in there for example
You'd tell me not to take anything for granted
I think that would read better as
You'd tell me not to take things for granted
but of course youve already used "things" a couple of times in the preceeding verse.
maybe:
You'd tell me not to take life for granted
might work.

I think this is quite a mature piece of song-writing, thanks for sharing it with us

cheers

Paul


Check out my Reverbnation page here


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

Hi Joe,

First of all well done on actually writing a novel - that takes commitment and focus, and a lot of self-belief. I couldn't do it - I've tried a few times, and got bored with my own writing half-way down page 2!

Secondly, well done on writing the song that tells the story of the book....can't have been easy, trimming 50,000 words+ down to a few verses and a couple of choruses.....

Thirdly, well done for writing a song that stands up on it's own two feet as a complete story.....you wouldn't have to read the novel to see where Nick's life has been moulded & shaped.....

The one and only tiny criticism I have to make - with the song - is the title - it's kind of misleading, in a way - it sort of leads the reader into believing that the magic of the circus has gone, it hasn't, it's still there....it's just that Nick sees it in a more worldly-wise way......he still believes in the magic, but now he knows how it's done.....

As always, just my impressions of how the song struck me....and as always, just MY opinion.....

Anyway, I like it, Joe.....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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 Joe
(@joe)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 504
Topic starter  

Hey, thanks guys.

Vic, the title, I didn't think about it, I just wrote it because that's the name of the book. I thought about changing it, but nothing came to mind right away, so I figured I'd leave it alone until something does. Of course all suggestions welcome.

But just in case not everyone is aware of this--I don't think it's a mystery, since I know it, but in the circus, when the music stops, it usually means something's gone wrong. In many cases, something tragic. I'm told this is the most frightening sound in the circus. Seconded by emergency clown music.

But, I'll think on the title. Thanks a lot for all the great feedback.

Joe


   
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(@dustdevil)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 99
 

Nice job!

It always amazes me how quickly you guys can come up with stuff. I don't think I could TYPE 50,000 words in a month...

I did not know that about the music. Great title!

John A.

They say only a pawnshop guitar can play the blues. An eBay one does it better. A guitar's bound to feel unloved if her owner plasters pictures of her over the internet for all to see and then sells her off to the highest anonymous bidder.


   
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(@straycat)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1282
 

hi.

interesting story:-)
like the feeling of the song.

any chance we might have a glance at your novel?
i'd love to:-)

cheers,
straycat.

"oh, eventually it will break your heart" - anders wendin


   
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 Joe
(@joe)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 504
Topic starter  

Thanks for asking Stray. This novel is actually not completed yet. I only had to write 50,000 words to win the contest, so I'm completeing the rest on my own time. I believe there is still an excerpt on the National Novel Writing Month site under JoeKo as Author. Remember it's not polished, edited or even proofread yet, so basically it is an extremely rough draft, but you are more than welcome to have a look at it. They even have a virtual book where the pages turn.

Thanks again.

Joe


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

Joe, thanks for the explanation - "But just in case not everyone is aware of this--I don't think it's a mystery, since I know it, but in the circus, when the music stops, it usually means something's gone wrong. In many cases, something tragic. I'm told this is the most frightening sound in the circus. Seconded by emergency clown music. "

I wasn't aware of it, but now the title makes perfect sense.....

Once again, nice work mate!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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