My upcoming book of short short stories, Shake Away These Constant Days, originated as a project called Our Band Could Be Your Lit, in which I wrote a story under 1000 words every week. To generate this much content, I based the stories on songs suggested my musicians and writers from around the world. The original idea was 100 songs, 100 stories: find the creative common ground between two mediums and cultivating the virtue found therein.
Until September 25th, I'll be doing a blog post a day about the stories in the book. After that, it's all up to you.
Exclusive to SATCD. For years there was just a HelpsBothWays.doc file on my computer with only one sentence in the body: “If you want a prostitute to lick your ass, it costs the same as a blowjob.” (Source: Some stupid show on HBO.) Thankfully, this idea morphed into something completely different in which a small-time crook sneaks into a man’s apartment and finds him dead. At that point, he’s faced with a choice of an easy looting or a complete turnaround.
The song itself has no words except the announcer of a football game, which immediately made me think of a dark apartment with just a TV on, flickering with a game. The prostitute thing makes absolutely no sense to me now, but the football game idea was always there.
I did have to figure out which game I wanted to do, though. I don't know enough about sports to fabricate a game, and I'm pretty sure I just ended up Googling "famous football games." Eventually, I came across Superbowl XXV, the Wide Right Game. It had struggle, failure, and, most importantly, redemption, built into it already. Formatting around it was embarrassingly easy. Once I embodied the title of the song in there somehow—mainly around what the two characters have done for one another through their somewhat insalubrious actions—I was done.
I always think of my buddy Josh's dad when I think of "poor people who owned a few small things like CD players and deep fryers." My senior year of high school, he dropped way too much money on a three-foot wizard statue carved out of stone. The only purpose we could figure out for it to serve involved my buddy Ben getting drunk and trying to fight it.
The pretty Irish girl with bad eyes is a very real girl who is really named Jacqueline. I can't remember her last name and I didn't really know her that well. She was in one of my writing classes and I thought she was tiny and adorable, so of course I made a comment one day that would have been humorous if I had gotten sheepish at the last moment and just come off as a dickhead. I guess this is as close as she'll ever get to an apology.
Tomorrow: A story named "When There Is No Road" that is based on the song "Rock N Roll" by Paleface. Suggested by musician Monica "Mo" Samalot of Paleface.
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