For the Name That Tune post, today on the YA Indie Carnival, I’ve been listening to the Depeche Mode station on Pandora a lot, and inevitably Duran Duran seems to be popping up a lot, one song in particular, Ordinary World:
Came in from a rainy thursday on the avenue
Thought I heard you talking softly…
I turned on the lights, the tv and the radio
Still I can’t escape the ghost of you
What has happened to it all?
Crazy, some’d say,
Where is the life that I recognize?
But I won’t cry for yesterday, there’s an ordinary world,
Somehow I have to find.
And as I try to make my way, to the ordinary world…
I will learn to survive.
Passion or coincidence once prompted you to say
Pride will tear us both apart
Well now pride’s gone out the window cross the rooftops, run away,
Left me in the vacuum of my heart.
What is happening to me?
Crazy, some’d say,
Where is my friend when I need you most?
Papers in the roadside tell of suffering and greed
Here today, forgot tomorrow
Ooh, here besides the news of holy war and holy need
Ours is just a little sorrowed talk
(just blown away…)
And I don’t… (chorus)
Every world, is my world… (I will learn to survive)
Any world, is my world … (I will learn to survive)
Any world, is my world…
Every world is my world…
I like this song. I can’t say it’s my favorite, though I also can’t deny my stint as a Durannie when I was in junior high school. A couple of pictures complete with skinny leather tie and fedora and poofy hair survived the ‘unfortunate’ fire, as blackmail proof, so I’m told. And after enough time listening to it play while making Lego cars on the floor with my husband and daughter, it kind of sticks in my head.
I don’t know if I would say that I think of Ordinary World when I’m writing any more than when I’m doing anything else with bars of a song floating in my brain, but when I go through the day I do notice things in the day that link up with the song in some direct or circuitous way.
If I were to say that there was a common thread in my writing, I would say that all of the stories feature ordinary people in extraordinary situations. I’m not usually a fan of stories where the protagonist is super at everything and has trivial flaws that really point more to their being even more ridiculously awesome. Aside from making me feel inadequate, stories like those lose me in terms of empathy. I’m an ordinary person living an ordinary life in an ordinary world, and I will be faced at some point in my life, as everyone is, with untenable circumstances in which something more than ordinary will be required if I am to survive physically or even emotionally intact. It doesn’t have to be something supernatural. It could be something like facing cancer or the death of a parent or friend. In those times, everyone wants guidance, wants to know that they are not alone. That other people share their weaknesses, and more importantly, that despite those very real weaknesses, they can find the strength to face whatever adversity comes to them. They can transform when they are tested. All of my stories are about such transformations. Why? Because perfection doesn’t exist. That’s what daydreams are for, and they are intensely personal and private. I can be a shark-jumping superhero in my daydreams. But what I take succor from, what gives me something to hang onto when I read a story is to be able to connect with another person’s story who is like me in their mediocrity and to believe, if only for the duration of those pages, that if they are capable of such transformations when the time comes, then so am I.
I am an anthropologist, oddly, since I am also somewhat socially impaired. But in every culture I have gone into, I see the same thing. I see ordinary people, like me with similar weaknesses and potential for change. As part of my day job today, I went to the masjid (mosque) I am working with on preparedness, for the Friday noon prayer. I heard the sermon of the imam. And despite my painfully short attention span, I learned a couple new words today: ‘umma’, and ‘fitna’. I’m probably butchering those horribly, if so I apologize. The one that most got my attention was ‘umma’. I learned that it means community. It was one of the most frequent words the imam used today. “This is your umma” he kept saying. ‘This is your community.’ ‘You have to think about your neighbor and care about your neighbor.’ If nothing else I’d ever heard confirmed it, this point he made for an hour drove home the fact that everywhere, we are not that different. I’ve heard the same thing in churches and synagogues. It was the ultimate proof against the idiots I want to punch in the face who spring up claiming that Muslims as some imaginary monolithic entity are all terrorists and that Islam is a religion of violence. It isn’t. It’s a religion of ordinary people in an ordinary world. And I grudgingly understand that the whole point of the sermon was that you shouldn’t punch anybody in the face, even if they’re idiots…Which brings me to ‘fitna’, which loosely translated is ‘backbiting’. In Hebrew, the same concept is ‘lashon hara’, or speaking bad. Well, the fact that there are fairly equivalent terms in three separate cultures, brings us back around once again to ordinary people and our less than perfect tendencies.
In Pazuzu’s Girl, my first novel, I think I was influenced by this idea of everyone being equal or ordinary in terms of the things they have to face. Even the gods and demons, no matter how terrifying or powerful, still failed because of their own significant flaws and had to figure out who they were and what they really wanted besides power, or none of the amazing things they could do meant anything.
You get the idea, at this point, that I really like that song. No, I haven’t found my Simon le Bon fedora or skinny leather ties. They mysteriously got flushed down the toilet when I went to college.
See what other tunes our YA authors have been influenced by today!
Ready for a new kind of teen paranormal romance?
Also look for:
Of Sun & Moon, Book 1
Whispering Evil, Book 2
Book 4, Shadows Rising, coming Fall 2012
But before their romance can grow the demoness tracks Morpho down, and now only needs an ancient artifact called the Tablet of Destiny to complete the destruction of the world. The tablet confers on its owner the ability to control the fate of everything and everyone on earth.
Once the tablet is discovered in the Middle East, the oldest and most powerful gods begin a battle for its possession, with the human population caught in the middle. Morpho, her family, and her new friend must decide, do they escape from the horrifying demoness or fight for their own destiny. How far will Pazuzu go to save his daughter from a hellish fate? Will his banishment from Heaven so many millennia ago end up being a curse…or a blessing?
Banished to Victorian London
“Auburdeen Perneila Hayle,” Sassafras hissed, the amber glow from his cat eyes growing until the front of the wicker cage shone with it, “you will do whatever you can to behave yourself, to not embarrass me or your mother and to absolutely under every circumstance maintain a firm hand on your horrid temper.”
My anger simmered. Yes, I had a temper. And yes, it had taken me into situations in the past that perhaps I shouldn’t have been part of, situations that usually devolved into fistfights and incoherent yelling at the offender. He should be grateful I always kept control of myself enough my magic never came into play. Except that one time. But it wasn’t my fault. Not really. And the offender recovered. Eventually.
Auburdeen Hayle is the sixteen-year-old daughter of the next leader of her coven. When the transition of power becomes tense, Burdie is sent from her home in America to stay with old friends in London to keep her safe. But a handsome young man chooses to hide from the police in her hansom, drawing Burdie into an underground world of magic that challenges even her sense of adventure and puts her at odds with the very people who are meant to protect her.
If you love Smoke and Magic, don’t forget to check out the Hayle Coven series–and the adventures of Auburdeen’s great great great granddaughter, Sydlynn, in Book One: Family Magic http://tinyurl.com/7wkoswt
She simply pointed at the large sign hanging on the fence. “Brindle Holdings.” But which Brindle? Samuel, or his sister, Georgina? The woman who my mother trusted me with, her own very best friend? Could the woman be playing us all false?
Not that it mattered, really. I was a fugitive. Whether Georgina was in league with her brother or not, the coven was convinced of my guilt. And that was all she needed to burn me at the stake, innocent of Samuel’s actions or not.
Auburdeen Hayle is supposed to be in London for her own protection. But since she chose to help and befriend Jack Bishop, everything she knows and understands has fallen to pieces around her. Worse, her friend is lost and in the hands of those who want to use him as a weapon, being slowly devoured by the living metal that infects him. Hunted by the coven meant to protect her and the constabulary being controlled by the very man who holds Jack captive, Burdie is forced to ally herself with those to whom truth and honesty are a convenience.
Jadyn doesn’t want to have a normal life, but then she starts to make new friends. She starts to think that maybe a normal life might not be so bad after all. But soon she realizes that maybe her friends aren’t “human” as she once thought they were. On top of everything else a very powerful vampire, Tabatha, seeks revenge on Jadyn. People from her school start disappearing, and people start dying. She wants to stop the deaths, but Tabatha has other plans for her. Can Jadyn stop the one vampire that is impossible to kill before its too late?
This is Danielle and Ethan’s happily forever after….
Even if they lived on the same planet.
But, they’ll become so much more.