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Story Notes for "Ghost Notes"

This week my story, "Ghost Notes" appeared on the Dime Show Review website. Ghost Notes is one of a handful of contemporary fiction pieces I've written and only the third to be published. 

The story was easy to write in some respects. While not fully autobiographical, the incidents described in the story exist with unusual clarity within in my mind. The version you can read is not all that different in broad strokes from the first draft. That is definitely not always the case with my writing.

What do I think this story means? At heart, I think growing up means finding room to grow. Something has to be displaced in order for an individual to find enough space to find themselves. The character in this story finds himself in a very claustrophobic situation,  approaching the start of college with a sense of its possibilities without quite being able to imagine a world outside of the confines of his childhood room. I'm not sure if the ending is a happy ending for him or case of simple survival but it represents the encapsulation of a crisis.

This story is also about music, a major passion of mine. I've been playing and listening to music for a long, long time and part of this story is a love letter to the tunes of my childhood. Part of the fun in writing this piece was revisiting that music -- cringing at some, celebrating others.

A selection of songs I drew from as inspiration for this piece:

 "One More Hour" by Sleater-Kinney: The album this is on was released about two years before this story takes place but the tone of passion and intensity compressed right down to the most combustible state rings true to me for this piece.
"Little Room" by White Stripes: Another anachronistic song  that nevertheless summarizes the themes of this story with a bit more succinctness and verve than I can manage.

"In the Garage" by Weezer. I could pretend that I'm somehow above this song or that its words don't strike me at some visceral level but that would be a goddamned lie.

"Shaking Through" by REM. I was a HUGE REM fan in high school. Hell, I still am.

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana for obvious reasons.

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