Friday, April 19, 2024

A Theme Song for a Story

I like to pick songs as the imaginary theme tracks for my stories.

For Bad Species: Diary of a Once and Future Human, my SF MG verse novel currently on submission, I instantly felt that Iniko's ethereal yet powerful song "Jericho" fit the theme perfectly! 

My story explores the life of thirteen-year-old Pearl, a girl born on a hostile world where humans will never belong. Descended from shipwreck survivors, she grew up on glorified ghost stories of Earth, but all she wants is to feel at home on Azuride even though she has always been taught to view her identity one way: 

"I am not really here, I'm an intrusion" (Stanza 2, Line 2, from Iniko's "Jericho"). 

For "the tell-tale traces of a different star" always betray Pearl in her "red, iron-rich blood." Red is a rare color on Azuride . . . a raw and jarring hue that is considered to be unnatural.   

Deep in her DNA, Pearl can't help feeling the pull of the planet her species lost even though she is hopelessly mired in the wreckage of a cruiser that will never fly again:

"My blood churns wild and raw inside me

as I make it to the captain’s chair first

what is this energy, vast as starlight?

I almost feel like a blue sky human:


In "Jericho," Iniko sings of the longing to be a free voyager, too: "I got Milky Way for blood, evolution in my vein/I'm gone, I've been far away /I'ma lumineer now, makin' moves, startin' waves" (Stanza 1, Lines 2-4)

Pearl's journey in the ink is to discover the grit of true worth and strength at her core.