In 2004 I was heavily pregnant, suffering horrible morning sickness, and bored out of my mind. I started watching the music channels on the digital freeview since I was finding daytime tv beyond tedious. A song caught and held me, something a bit different and from a band I'd never heard of, in a style of music I'd never listened to before. The lead singer looked a bit odd, and the video seemed very surreal, but it caught and held me.
The song was In the Shadows, and the band was The Rasmus. I don't know why the song got under my skin so much, but it did. I listened to it repeatedly. I bought the album it came from - Dead Letters. Around the same time I woke up one morning with a character in my head and a name - Keir. I wrote twenty pages of story, not having written much in the five years before, despite having been an avid writer all through my teens. Then baby number two arrived, I became chronically depressed, and both music and story sank into the background.
Shift forward another five years. My three children playing happily in the garden over summer. Me, hugely overweight a year after the birth of my third child. Bored, miserable, tired. Feeling as though my identity was slipping away, aside from being a wife, a mother. Losing the person I'd been under labels that, although I was proud of them and took joy in being those things, had me wondering who and what I was any more. I needed something else. I needed my passion back.
I dug out the short story about Keir. I'd left him sitting in a dungeon, alone, dying, with no hope. Could I save him from that? And so save my own sanity? I started to write again. Once I'd started, I couldn't stop. I scribbled and typed endlessly, frenziedly. The words poured out of me. My husband thought I'd gone crazy. Maybe I did a little, but it felt so much better.
And as I wrote, I listened to music. I listened and I sang. In the years since I'd first heard In the Shadows, The Rasmus had two new albums out - Hide from the Sun and Black Roses. I LOVED them! So much of the feel in Keir is down to that music. It inspired me and kept me going. I'd found my passion again.
So Keir has come out of the shadows and into the world, and took me with him. Music carried us there, and for that I will always be grateful. I'm writing again, and I'm published. I've been to see a few bands over the last year and loved it, but now the chance has come to see The Rasmus live at last, and that is the biggest to-do on my list. I have my tickets! The past year has been an utter blast, and sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe that it's real. I'm finally the person I want to be - mother, wife, friend and author - and I couldn't be happier. :)
(Oh, and on the wildly unlikely assumption that this should ever get back to Lauri Ylönen - I apologise for saying you looked 'odd'. I should say 'distinctive'. Blame it on pregnancy hormones. :) )
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