Demands of music slowed it down, but artist’s novel ready for release

Cover of Rebecca Day’s new novel, ‘Derelict’.

Most creatives are good at more than one discipline. I know photographers who can also draw and musicians who are great writers. It didn’t surprise me when Rebecca told me she was writing a novel. She and Jenn have both always been good writers.

I have to say it did surprise me when she told me the first draft was baked. I have to admit I had no idea what to expect.

Rebecca Day The Crazy Daysies
Rebecca Day was catching up on email when I snapped this candid shot. The back deck is a favorite work spot for both of us. A cup of coffee is almost always in our hand.

I say that because the last few years in the music business have been a whirlwind of activity for both girls—writing music, performing it, recording it, promoting it, booking shows, and keeping up with all the nuts and bolts of any small business. Rebecca asked me to look over the book, and I agreed. She knew I’d be pretty tough on her. I was always harder on both of them about their writing because I knew what they were capable of and expected no less.

This was a few years ago. I don’t remember the exact date. I read over the first draft and applied my red pen when I had ideas or corrections to typos that are so easy to overlook once you’ve worked with material for a long time. Jenn read over it too. The three of us have collaborated on various works before, so this was nothing new.

Once I read the first draft, the music occupied the girls. Jenn had two children. I “semi-retired” and found myself busier than ever helping out with the music biz, running a website, doing occasional freelancing, and working on poetry and a nonfiction manuscript.

Recently, out of the blue, Rebecca told me her novel was done. So I agreed to read the final draft.

As has long been the case, I was pretty astounded at the way her mind works. I’ve often felt that way when I read Jenn’s writing too. So I took the red pen out for one final assault. I read the novel straight through for two reasons.

The lesser reason was that I wanted to get it done because her publishing deadline was coming up.

The greater reason was that I wanted to see what happened.

Once I closed the folder, I told her I was finished.

“What did you think?” she asked.

I paid her the highest compliment I could give any writer.

“You told a good story.”

I think that’s the main driver of any book—to tell a good story and keep the reader engaged and turning pages.

Meanwhile the music churns and each of us continue to write. It’s a passion for sure, but it’s just something you do without thinking.

The artistic mind is always a restless mind.

I’m looking forward to getting a paperback copy of Rebecca’s novel. I remember holding my first book in my hand years ago. That’s the real reward, I think, the finality of something tangible in your hands. I’m looking forward to her next novel in this series.

And I’m also looking forward to hearing the new recordings they’re about to produce of their music.

Working that novel into her schedule was a challenge for Rebecca. I know how that is. In the end, she finished what she started despite myriad interruptions. So this is a hat tip to Rebecca and all writers who manage to produce work while meeting demands of everyday life and chores. It’s not easy, but it can be done. It turned out that a song she’d recorded, “Write It in Stone,” made a perfect motif for the book she wrote.

(Kay B. Day/Sept. 13, 2019)

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