Inspiration Through Music: Three Days Grace

There are songs you listen to when you’re happy. There are songs that you may intentionally avoid when you are sad. And then there are those tunes that seem to satiate the rage inside of you when you just don’t give a damn anymore. Likewise, this can help you get into a character’s head if they are having a really, really bad day. Folks, I introduce you to Three Days Grace. This band has actually been one of my favorite rock bands for a number of years and has helped to inspire scenes for books all across the board. I listened to these guys back in 2008 when I was just starting out on the first draft of Memento Mori and now, I find myself revisiting their music as I prepare to dive into it again. As we move further and further into The Monstrum Chronicles, the darker and darker situations will become. In Memento Mori, we return to the event that started everything: the Seraphim City tragedy. We get inside four new character’s heads, and two returning characters. It’s ambitious, trying to write six different characters and make it work for the story but I’m confident that I will be able to pull it off. All of these characters are trying to overcome something dark in their pasts and all of them have a reason to be angry about it. That is where Three Days Grace really succeeds in helping me flesh these stories out and bring them to life. Today I’ll be sharing four of their songs with you and writing down what I see when I listen to them. Enjoy.

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Inspiration for “Home”

Good morning, folks!

Hoping everyone had a wonderful and safe Christmas! It actually snowed here… quite a bit. I ended up staying at my parent’s house and was without my computer for a full 24 hours… (which almost never happens!) Still, it was a pleasant day unwrapping gifts and spending time with my family. Among many fantastic gifts, I received some new video editing software for my laptop. Hopefully now, I’ll be able to experiment more with making some more professional looking book trailers! I’ll take a look at everything this Thursday when I have more time!

Since I am once again pressed for time this morning, I would just quickly like to thank those people who read “Home” and enjoyed it. The idea for the story had been trapped in my head for several days and that morning I literally dumped it from my noggin onto the blog. I wrote it in an hour, so any mistakes I made I apologize for. I was trying to get ready for work, too!

If any of you wondered what my inspiration was behind this story, I’ll say right now that it was a combination of a couple things. One is a unique book trailer that someone posted for the novel, “Going West” by Maurice Gee. The trailer is a stop-motion animated piece which runs for about one and a half to two minutes. The narrator brings life to Gee’s stunning imagery through the course of the video. You can find that video here.

The second inspiration is a new song released by Puscifer this year (fueling my James Maynard Keenan obsession), which is called “Tumbleweed.” I listened to that song while I wrote “Home”. You can find that song here.

This week, I’ll be posting some interesting factoids about “Vox” and “Aequitas”, specifically where I get my inspiration from while writing those books. I’ll also be posting more writing tips in general!

Til then, enjoy the day!

KSilva

Home, a short story

By metro, the man found himself soaring over the dark city he’d inhabited for nearly a year. The train rumbled as it passed by the silhouettes of abandoned railway cars and the shadows of drunken individuals too far gone to see where they were stumbling to. In the late hours of the night, the only light came from neon yellow streetlamps which lit the streets in strange splotches, highlighting a rubbish bin here and a beat-up stop sign there.

As the metro traveled deeper into the tangles of the city, the man reflected on the night. He reflected on things he wished he could forget. There were images of women varied and yet still hazy, their faces never quite clear enough to his minds eye. There were scenes of bars and brothels, the glasses lining the high varnished counters like posts on a fence and a red glow bathing the room around him. Cards in his hand, but never good ones. Then came that sick crack of self-realization. It had tumbled down on him like bricks and he’d stumbled out of the places where he’d wasted most of his nights away in.

The metro glided high up over the city. The gloomy tenements that housed the city’s poorer families and the darkened doorways, which always housed one or two lonelier individuals. It curved down toward the suburban squalor, a place where the houses stretched on in perfect unison. The front lawns were a blanket of green, even in the night. The communities seemed to vanish like smoke in the air as the metro plunged back down between several high-rises.

Then the city rose up, buildings like children’s building blocks, wielded by men who wished them higher and higher. The man could smell money on these streets, like the ever-present stench of garbage. It reeked here. The people who clumsily made their way through the alleys and backstreets were much like he’d been. Too lost in their own minds to see what was truly around him. Oh, he’d seen the error in his ways eventually. But it had left him hollow. How he’d even been able to board that metro, he wasn’t sure. But he knew it would take him somewhere far from this corruption, if even only for a day. Escape was necessary.

As the city slipped back into the blackness, the forests sprung from the earth. A mixture of conifers and bare limbed trees congregated with a harmony he’d not seen in that city. Beneath the twinkling stars, the woods roamed the hills, a fur coat over the cold terrain that did hardly a thing to keep it warm.

He rode in silence. The other passengers on the car were escaping the city, too. They didn’t want to speak about the terrors they’d left behind. Neither did he.

It wasn’t long until the night began to give way to the day. Pink light burst out from below the distant trees and clawed its way across the sky. Then he saw the snow. It was hard to say when it had first started, but now it was impossible to ignore. It fell across the forest and the ground in sheets. The longer he looked at it, the more the man felt his memories of the city pass away. He was moving somewhere innocent. Somewhere that didn’t need to know about all he’d seen. Somewhere where he could forget about all of the mistakes.

The metro stopped in a tiny station, nearly a quarter of the size of the one he’d been in when he’d boarded. The man summoned a taxi with a quick wave of his hand, the only taxi in the village in fact, and it took him away. They drove by a quiet stretch of streets; the houses donned with lights of every color. In the front yards, snowmen sat contentedly with scarves around their icy shoulders and carrot noses poking into the early morning light. Even the air smelled sweet and spicy and he could imagine a mug of hot buttered rum in his cold fingers before the sun was fully up.

He got off at a little house half way down 4th street. It was much plainer than the ones around him. Candles glowed in the windows and a wreath shook on the door, the wind trying to pull it away. Slinging his bag over his shoulders, the man approached the front door and timidly knocked.

Commotion inside. A dog barked somewhere in the house. Chairs scraped against the old wooden floors and after a moment, the door opened a crack. Then wider.

An older woman, her dimpled cheeks growing red within moments, her blue eyes giving way to a kind of intense delight that he hadn’t seen in over a year. She reached over the threshold and wrapped her tiny arms around his shoulders. She smelled like warm apple pie. Her touch felt so welcome against the cold.

“Welcome home, dear.” she whispered in his ear.

He pulled away to look into her eyes once again. “Mom.”

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Merry Christmas, everyone! I won’t be posting a blog post for the next couple days! Everyone have a safe and happy holiday! And thank you so much for supporting me this holiday season once again!

~KSilva

“Home” is copyrighted to Katherine Silva.