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Dear Writer Letter - Jukebox
SSar's Beast
I am copying my prompts from the sign-up form to here: I don't have a lot else to say. I like these songs. I am really excited to see what someone comes up with for them. My prompts are loose suggestions - if you hear the song and think of a totally different story, use that. Either within my prompts or without them, I want to read a story that someone else has imagined.

I am open to various gender identities and various romantic or sexual pairings/groupings. If the song refers to a "she" or a "he", that'll be my default way of understanding the song - but you're welcome to switch it up, and I don't have any preference as to the gender of the narrator, no matter who's singing.

Big Science - Laurie Anderson
This is a weird song and lots of different things about it captivate me. The initial exchange - up to You can't miss it/ This must be the place - blows my mind. Every time I listen to it it sparks different ideas.

I find this song easiest to read as a satire of progress narratives, the way we talk about brighter, better futures, bigger cities - big science. (Or Big Data, even, if you like!) You could tell a story like that. What does bright and shining progress mean to you?

If it speaks to you more, I would also love characters falling off mountains (cartoonishly). Or the bitter stranger sharing a pack of cigarettes. Don't feel you have to refer to everything in the song in one story.

Bullet - Covenant
I really like all of the metaphors and similes in the song. Play with them, if you like - are some more literal than others? Or, who are I/we/you - and why are these perspectives set apart, "the only ones"?

I like the music video, if you want to use that for inspiration as well.

Of all my requests, this is the one for which I have the least idea of how a story would play out - but I trust you! Take it and write something cool! *waves hands incoherently*

All Mixed Up - The Cars
On one level, this appears to be a song about an unhappy, possibly doomed relationship. You could tell me that story - what's really happening? Is this a reliable narrator, or maybe not? What's the woman thinking? What does it mean that "she never does arrive"?

On another level, the reference to mirrors/biting/tricks make me imagine that the "she" referred to is actually a vampire and her lover hasn't figured it out. Could be as creepy or as cracky as you like.
Either of these stories would please me a lot.

America - Simon & Garfunkel
I like this song for its whimsy and wistfulness. I like it for the final verse, which I tend to read as a description of how you feel when you begin to crash from effort and excitement, rather than as an ill portent for the relationship between Kathy and the narrator. I have been there, on my way to something, late at night or in a strange place, and suddenly lonely at that point where excitement turns into weariness.

Tell me about another point in the journey, somewhere between Saginaw and the New Jersey turnpike.

Or, tell me about something they found (or something they lost).

Or, tell me about someone else they met who was also looking for America.

I Feel Possessed - Crowded House
She said I could never do that

But I know you can you are in my dream

We are one person not two of a kind

And what was mine is now in your possession…

This song has an "I", a "you", and a "she", and the relationship between them is fascinatingly complicated. Are there actually three people? Or is the "you" perhaps an alter-ego - and if so, of whom?

The primary moods I get from this song are hope, wonder, and awe. I love this song for its balance (as I hear it, anyway) of the real and the surreal. As a bonus, if you can manage to keep that balance in your story - a bit of each, but not entirely either - I will be delighted and impressed. (And if you'd rather not take a magical route, some kind of mind-fuckery would work well too.)

To a Hammer - Erin McKeown
I hear this song almost like a riddle I'd like to solve. "I will never leave you, and you will never know it" - how? This couple - if they're a couple - sound like the unstoppable force and the immovable object. I don't see how they can exist together - and maybe that's the problem.

So solve this riddle for me - explain the paradoxes - and tell me more about these characters. (And which of them is really the mono-focused "hammer" - the singer, or the person whom they address? Or both?)

This song reminds me a little of Guy Clark's "Hands" (youtube link) which also uses a hammer and blindness as similes. And also of Kris Delmhorst's "You're No Train" (lyrics) I guess this isn't super relevant, but have some recs anyway, of other songs that come into my head when I play with the ideas in To a Hammer.

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