Friday, October 30, 2009

6:09 p.m.

I try to save every draft of everything I write. Sometimes, as with all writerly things, a most favorite vignette is tossed out for the good of the piece. The story just isn't going in that particular direction. Still, there are things worth saving. My grandfather wrote a book called Never Spit in the Wastebasket, and I believe him.

When I was 12, I took up the cello and sat first-chair through high school. As a senior, I was accepted to study cello performance for a summer at the Missouri Fine Arts Academy. Instead of a cello professor, Dr. Childs, a vocalist, coached me. We met in his office once a week, and while I played a Brahms sonata, he sang the melody. After a grueling rehearsal, he sat back, paused and said, “I don’t know the reason why Brahms wrote this piece, but what I’ve gathered is when he wrote it, it must have been raining. Tell that story.

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