Got all of my kids. It is 1:30AM. I should have been asleep an hour or two ago, but for some reason I just can’t get there. This happens every now and then. And of course tomorrow I will be falling asleep when I should be awake! Oh well…just have to fight through it.

Things are looking up for the changes I am going to make to my novel THE SIZE CURSE. I finally wrapped up one of many writing-related projects I had going on. I am speaking of my review of R.E.M. lyrics starting from their first release (the five-song CHRONIC TOWN) right up until the fine return-to-form album that is 2008’s ACCELERATE. My plan was to analyze the lyrics to each album, then determine what kind of themes or imagery were most frequent on each release. After that I would develop an event in the protagonist’s life that was based on those themes/images. (NOTE: The reason why I stop with ACCELERATE is because the story was written that year. So this novel will not contain any kind of references to R.E.M.’s new release COLLAPSE INTO NOW.)

For the past few weeks I have been analyzing an album per day (when I had time), and I was finding the project to be easier than I thought, but it all felt kind of directionless until I got to ACCELERATE. This album has a lot of references to the past both musically and lyrically. Musically it rocks like MONSTER. Lyrically, Michael Stipe references several songs from the past. For example, in “Sing for the Submarine” he sings the line: “…feel gravity’s pull.” This is a DIRECT reference to the opening track of FABLES OF THE RECONSTRUCTION. It’s almost like R.E.M. mined their past to define themselves in the present.

And THAT was when I really struck upon the connection between my novel and this lyric analysis project. My story opens with the narrator saying he has a problem (the titular size curse), but he has no idea how it happened or how to solve it. Therefore, he wants to reexamine his entire life in search of some clue that might provide an antidote to this curse. Like I said above, ACCELERATE is full of references to the past so the band can define the present. My novel starts out with the narrator saying he is going over his past to solve a problem he has in the present. When the novel goes back to the past, I will start working in references to all previous R.E.M. albums, beginning with CHRONIC TOWN and then moving forward.

This probably makes no sense to anyone reading it. Hell, sometimes it barely makes sense to me! (LOL) However, I am confident that if I take my time and work it just right, then this will be one killer of a technique to add to this book, giving it more depth than I originally thought it could have.

Time to try to sleep again.


About Steve Grogan

I am 40 years old, divorced, and a father of four kids. I am a practitioner of a self-defense system called wing chun kung fu. My other hobbies include writing, playing guitar, reading, watching movies, and listening to music. Recently I have gotten back into fitness, and this time I am DETERMINED to get the washboard abs...whether my metabolism will cooperate with me or not! The purpose of this blog is to write not only about my hobbies, but also about whatever crosses my mind, whether it is something I don't understand or something that aggravates me. So join me as I indulge my tendency to think too much about topics that don't usually cross anyone else's mind!
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