Joy Returns! and Music

I think the gist of my story will probably be familiar to many. I've wanted to write novels ever since I was a young kid. I was told that it was something a person could not possibly do. I continued to dream about it in the back of my mind, and I told myself that I didn't have time to write, that I didn't have the skills to write a novel, and that I didn't have anything to say. Then one day I knew I had to figure out how to write novels because otherwise I was either going to drown in a sea of sorrow or float along in a zombie existence that bears little resemblance to actually living. I had to do it. Then I remembered a feeling that I had as a kid, of walking into the living room like a cat entering her turf and sitting down at the piano bench, not having to move it one inch because I was the one who played this instrument. It was set for me. Then I would go through my books. Would I practice the classical music and the scales that my teacher had assigned to me? Would I be subversive and dive into “Wichita Lineman” or “Feed the Birds”?

When I played, I could pound. I could touch the keys as lightly as possible, those celestial high notes that made me feel like I was communing with angels. I could use my foot and press down on the pedal and encase my notes in wrapping paper. I could build. I could repeat. I could tell a story. I could be transported away from a world where I was a girl who had a hard time speaking, had difficulty making friends, was followed by anxiety wherever I went, except when I sat down at the piano and surrounded myself with sound.

To me, writing is not about personal glory. It's one of the most humbling things I've ever done. But now when I sit down to write a book, a story calls to me, just like the piano invited me in as a kid. It takes me on a journey high above and far below this earthly plane. It allows me to pour my heart and soul out on a page. It gives me a change to pay tribute. I walked away from the piano for many years. I turned my back on an instrument that had consoled me, inspired me, and invigorated me when I was a child. In my opinion, writing books reopens lines of communication. It sets things right again.