As a writer I’m hardly alone in sometimes turning to song lyrics for inspiration. In part because the words are married to music and thus able to sneak past the logical mind, a lyric can attach itself like a burr without your realizing it. I’ve launched a number of stories on the energy of a song lyric, and just published one, ‘Rocks Against My Window,’ at the new online zine Metazen.
The story started with a phrase, bouncing around in my head for years, from the song ‘Writing Notes’ by Boston rocker/writer Jen Trynin. In the mid 90’s, Jen’s first CD, Cockamamie, produced a modest indie hit, ‘Better Than Nothing’ (one of the best songs of the 90s), and a good deal of industry buzz. There was a bidding war for rights to her next record, and some insiders declared her The Next Big Thing. It didn’t happen–for a tangle of reasons Jen details in her terrific rock ‘n’ roll memoir, Everything I’m Cracked Up To Be.
It’s not surprising Jen’s a fine lyricist. She studied creative writing at Oberlin, and the Boston Phoenix printed an excerpt from one of her stories. Maybe we’ll all get lucky and she’ll start publishing some. In the meantime, check out her book and CDs at her website.