ellen_kushner (ellen_kushner) wrote,


Last night, we went to Town Hall to see Richard Thompson solo acoustic concert of perpetual bliss.  He always does that to me.  A genius songwriter and guitarist - but also a performer of tremendous generosity.  The air changes when he's in it.  I love his albums, but LIVE . . . I swear to you, he cured my flu one night in Boston - for 24 hours, anyway.  Miraculous.

Opening last night was his perfectly competent, rather dull son Teddy. Never mind, I thought; it's the perfect chance to think about all those thorny issues in the book you're writing.  No distractions, you know?

But, no.  I was just bored.

And then RT came on.  He started playing, and my brain & heart cracked open like a John Donne or George Herbert poem!

I was glorying in the songs, I was thrilling to the guitar riffs - and the novel started marching through my brain, throwing off sparks - I was watching it all happen - I was seeing all the connections - and during the guitar solo on "Vincent Black Lightning," not only Delia but probably my poor neighbors heard me shout, "Yes! That's it!" followed I'm afraid a few beats (and visions) later by a chuckled, "Of course! Damn I'm good."

And then I just enjoyed the show.  Because I now had the entire second half of my novel to hand.

Oh, dear, and now I want to write a long screed here about how the Power of Richard has moved in me, from the stormy cross-country drive where my friend Nick popped a cassette of Shoot out the Lights in the car stereo, and I went: Holy crap!!! This is just like that book I'm writing (Swordspoint)!!!! . . . . to the chance meeting I had with RT on the shuttle plane from NYC back to Boston where I was making Sound & Spirit . . . to last year's City Winery all-request show where kind friends saved me a seat down front . . . . .

But I must march myself and my backpack back up to Butler Library, where a long table in a quiet room awaits me, smelling of brass and old wood and many, many books, and tall windows let in the sun over 114th St.   After all, I've got the second half, now!

Oh, what the hell:
Tags: richard thompson, swordspoint, wip, writing

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