If you've read any of my Retro Reminiscing articles here at BBS, you already know that I'm a bit of a sucker for the sugar-sweet pop music. To me, it's sort of like chocolate - you can never have enough of it. That taste also transcends to the books I write.
Because my muse is so closely connected to music. One of the things I do when I start plotting a story is I create a playlist for the book. The songs might have the same theme as the book, or they might be ones I can see one of the characters having on "repeat" on their iPod. On such song for All That's Unspoken was Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne"
This song has always been a favorite of mine. If it comes on the radio at a time when I'm already feeling nostalgic--or sugar-deprived--and you might catch a stray tear or two falling.
I was playing with the idea of writing a small town romance centered on a couple who had been apart for a long time, but had never gotten over each other. They'd traveled their separate roads after graduating from high school, but now, eight years later, find themselves standing face-to-face and wishing they could turn back time.
The core idea I finally settled on was "Hailey Lambert came home for the holidays to help her father. Instead, eight years later, she is forced to face all that was left unspoken between her and high school crush, Nate"
You can see how it connects to the lyrics:
We went to have ourselves a drink or two
But couldn't find an open bar
We bought a six-pack at the liquor store
And we drank it in her car.
We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how.
After looking up the song and listening to it again, I knew this story had to be told at Christmas time. The week between Christmas and New Year seemed perfect, because New Year's Eve is that time of year we make promises to ourselves and others to change our lives.
It's what the couple in the song wanted; it's what Nate and Hailey want.
Those who are familiar with the song know that in Fogelberg's story there isn't a happy ending, though it does imply a moment or two of reconnection.
The book isn't by any means a retelling of the song, but it was the first one I added to my soundtrack for All That's Unspoken. When the words weren't flowing as they should be, I would turn on the playlist and Same Old Lang Syne would always help me reconnect to the emotions of my characters. Their longing. Their love.
Keep your browser pointed to these pages in coming days and weeks as a share more songs from my novel soundtrack for All That's Unspoken.