April 14, 2011

My Albino Moon Nightmare

Anyone who has read this blog for more than a few months knows I am a writer. They also know my online portfolio is here: Akurgal. I don't how many people have visited my portfolio, but those who took the time to look around probably encountered this story: Albino Moon.

I wrote this story several years ago, around 2003 or 2004. There was a writing contest that featured a short prompt, a word limit of 1000 words, and a 24-hour deadline. I don't remember exactly, but the prompt was something along the lines of, "All alone in the long desert night..." From the prompt came four lines of verse, from the four lines of verse came the idea for a band, from the idea for the band came the idea of a Native American lead singer and a short study in race relations in America. I decided to call the band, "Golden Earring" because pirate paraphernalia was everywhere at the time. Pirates, it seems, often had at least one golden earring as a sort of last resort money that they could fall back on when times were rough in order to bribe a jail guard, buy a pint of ale, or whatever.

It took about two years of edits and revisions for the story to finally wind up in it's current form (as linked above). It has done very well at Writing.com and for about a year and half now I've been playing around with the idea of expanding it into a novel. As part of my research to test out the feasibility of this idea, I bought a guitar and started taking lessons. I've always wanted to learn to play a guitar anyway, and now I find myself in a position of having more than enough time to practice and study music. Two birds with one stone: fulfill a dream and write a book. Simple enough.

So I'm talking to my guitar teacher explaining to him why I'm taking lessons. He asks to read the story, so I print out a copy and take it into him. At my next lesson (this would on April 7), he mentions that there is a real band named "Golden Earring" and asks if the story is based on them.

A real band? I've never heard of them.

He's not sure where they're from, but he informs me they had a couple of hits in the eighties and that's why he remembers them. One of their songs, "Radar Love" is a regular feature in sheet music collections of rock songs for guitar players.

Naturally since I don't much care for rock music, I've never looked at sheet music for rock guitarists, which is another reason I've never encountered them before.

I decide I need to look into this band. Well, this past week I've been sick so I didn't have a chance. Today I finally started searching around and this is what I found:

My chest seized up and I very nearly had a heart attack. Seriously. This was the closest I have ever come to dropping over dead from absolute shock. Not only is the band real (and very successful in Europe), they have a song named "Albino Moon", and the album that this song appears on is called, "Millbrook U.S.A.", which is the town where Chris is shot in my story's climax.

I guess that kills that novel idea dead. Their song is nothing like I imagined my fictional song and their band is nothing like I imagined my fictional band, but for international copyright infringement that would not matter in the least. I suppose I can think up a new title for the song, the book, and the band. It's not that hard to do. It's just really disappointing.

Oh, well, back to the drawing board, I guess. I suppose some folks will call it psychic synchronicity. I just call it a novelist's worst nightmare.

And it's too bad, because I really do love that story.

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