With Sad Girl heading in to the chute, and Don’t Stop Believin’ in the can and waiting for editing, it’s time to start work on another story. This one is also musically inspired.
In 1991, Bob Seger released the album The Fire Inside, and the title track is another of his lyric masterpieces. I was shuffling through my music one night, and “The Fire Inside” was followed by the Casting Crowns 2005 song “Does Anybody Hear Her?” The similarities between the songs caught my attention, especially when I compare DAHH’s video to the lyrics of TFI. There’s a club scene with a girl almost reluctantly dancing with a guy who’s obviously attracted to her, and as he leads her away from her friends, her expression seems to alternate between excitement and fear.
I let the songs play back and forth, and watched the video a couple of more times, and turned my imagination loose. “Does Anybody Hear Her?” is something of a challenge to Christians for them to look at themselves and make certain they’re truly sharing God’s love in their actions toward and treatment of everyone around them, not just “the good people” in their churches. I wandered down that path a little ways, but realized that that story has been told a bunch of times, and not only are Christians probably tired of hearing it, few non-Christians would be interested in reading it. That didn’t mean I was going to completely abandon any references to church or Christians.
As I was contemplating directions, my muse introduced me to Molly Nolen, and she began telling me her story. There was an ugly childhood, an absent father and a mother who died when Molly was 14. Then she told me about Tony, and their encounter that was right out of both songs, and what that encounter led to, and so my next story began.
The working title is “The Fire Inside,” but I don’t think that one will last. We’ll see. I have a tendency to use the inspiring song title as a working title, and the first time I did it, it seemed to stick all the way through. Too early in this process to know if that will be the case here. But I’m about 2,500 words into the story now, and there’s already a dead body. Shame about that. But that’s life, really. Being a Christian doesn’t always protect you from dealing with things like that. But most of the time it makes it easier for you to deal with it.