I procrastinated with constructing an Eclectic Playlist the other day.(It's hard work, trolling through five decades of BillBoard chart-toppers.) And discovered a very old song that, oddly, I recalled from my childhood and didn't realize was an actual song.
When I was a wee mite of a thing, back in the day of Troglodytes and Tyrannosaurs, I had this clunky wind-up music box thing. It was designed to withstand the abusive adoration and overuse that a child like me would give it. It had cartoon pictures of bumblebees, and doves, and apple trees...
And yep, the melody was "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing," by The New Seekers in 1971 and made famous in a Coca-Cola commercial. Silly me, for years I'd thought it was just a cute tune my mother had taught me, just like the ABC song and the "Winnie the Pooh" jingle.
Alas, this writer cannot carry a tune if you put it in a bucket and strap it to my back.
My schooling, for many years, was through the DOD educational system on the large military installations where my father was stationed. I was, from a very early age, surrounded with a literal cross-section of American culture and ethnicity. I never realized how unusual my colorblindness was, until my junior year of high school. My father was transferred to a R&D base that didn't have an autonomous schooling system. It used the local school district instead.
I was thrust into a school whose student body was entirely civilian, among other things. I was lost. I couldn't relate to them, and didn't understand them at all.
Over the decades since, I've embraced that same blindness in many other aspects of my life. Religion, politics, and gender, to name a few.
Nothing in life is binary.
If you only stick to the blacks and whites, you miss all the shades of grey that can enrich your experience.
In "Dark Edge of Honor," my way of showing the world how to sing in peaceful harmony is submersing the reader in the opposite.
And in "Blacker Than Black," which will be released from Riptide in December, I've fashioned a story that puts the reader in a gender-blind position.
The Trunk Novel seems to be swinging the pendulum back the other direction, though. It starts out bloody and violent, and that trend appears to be continuing. Here's me, toying with reader assumptions again...
Any which way I write, though, my prose are as much art as the harmony and melody of a songwriter. My keyboard isn't the ebony and ivory of a piano, and I don't pretend to be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or Sebastian Bach. But I give it what I've got.
The rest is up to the audience.