Monday, September 9, 2013

“My Friends And I” Song And Story Collaboration

I recently had an opportunity to participate in a collaborative project with writers and musicians.  I'm a big fan of music and writing to music so I'm extremely excited to be a part of this work. 

My Friends and I  
music CD and e-book collaboration
CD Cover
eBook Cover

What was created?
An ebook companion to the cd composed of stories inspired by the songs
Who wrote the stories?
Thirteen writers crazy enough to donate 1,000 words
M.L. Gammella; Ruth Long; Sarah Aisling; Lillie McFerrin; Jenn Monty; Jeff Tsuruoka; Lisa Shambrook; Lizze Koch; Samantha Geary; Nick Johns; L.E. Jamez; Jeff Hollar; Bradley Richter.
Who created the cover art for the book?
Micah Van Zandt – artist, musician, performer, and all-around-cool-dude – used the writer's pictures to design a cover that mimicked the cd cover
When will the book be ready?

How can you join in the fun?
Read the stories (click on the writer links above)
Purchase the cd ( Amazon/CD Baby )
Leave feedback for the musicians and or writers
Support indie creatives across all disciplines
BUY THE CD!!  It is great music and supports a great group of artists.

I wrote a story using a fun song by The Rob Hill Band - Under the Olive Tree:

The Lion Tamer walked into the sideshow tent and took a seat in the back row.  He was expected in the main ring in forty-five minutes but the Ring Master knew he never missed this act and would stall if necessary.  His eyes adjusted slowly to the darkness; any breaks in the fabric had been sealed tight to keep out the daylight.  As the show began, a single spotlight came on to illuminate the center of the ring.  In the middle of the light stood the most beautiful creature the Lion Tamer had ever seen.  The rest of the audience gasped, startled by the woman’s unusual appearance, but he simply smiled and waited.

Murmurs rippled through the crowd, discussing the woman’s blue skin that shimmered like a lake in the sun.  Her pale turquoise lips offset the darker hue of her face.  Her deep sea-foam green hair sparkled against the dingy spotlight.  Her midnight blue eyes radiated with white pupils, mimicking the stars in a new moon sky.  The program book cast her as the Water Phoenix.  Her feathered costume completed the Phoenix persona but the Lion Tamer felt certain she was from the night sky itself and that stardust glimmered on her being. 

Her lovely white and blue eyes scanned the crowd until they found his, locking him with a knowing gaze.  A single tear shone in the spotlight as it slid down her cheek.  He smiled sadly, anticipating the part of her act that would break his heart a thousand times.  They both heard the slip of the rope through the pulley.  A flap in the tent ceiling opened and the first few tendrils of sunlight shot down into the center of the ring.  A small wisp of smoke replaced the tear on her cheek as soon as the light touched her face.  The Water Phoenix erupted into a fierce blue-white flame as the crowd oohed and awed.  Her back arched and her body lifted off the ground slightly as the fire engulfed every inch.  It took only a moment for the beautiful woman to become nothing more than a smoldering pile of ashes.  The Lion Tamer watched, hoping the act wasn’t as painful as it appeared. 

The audience began to fidget, wondering if the show was over.  The Lion Tamer knew the best part was yet to come.  His stare remained glued to the center of the ring.  A hush fell over the first few rows of seats as the middle of the embers shifted.  First, the silky blue-green hair appeared to lift from the ashes followed by the deeper blue of a forehead.  Her eyes emerged next, then her luscious turquoise lips.  The crowd remained riveted to their seats as little by little the Water Phoenix surfaced from out of her own ashes, feathered costume and all.  As the last blue toe pulled up from the grey ground, the Water Phoenix smiled.  She glanced to see if the Lion Tamer remained then bowed to the patrons.  The audience cheered and thundered with applause. 

The Lion Tamer slipped quietly out of the tent and back into the daylight.  He studied the crowd as it spilled out, each person chattering about what he or she had just witnessed.  Was it real?  How was the trap door concealed?  What kind of makeup glittered like that?  He grinned at the familiar questions; the same questions he had asked after his first experience.  Five minutes after the last patron filed out, a figure covered from head to toe in a heavy wool cloak passed through the entrance and moved swiftly toward the carnival housing.  Finally alone, the Lion Tamer walked back into the empty tent and stopped in the center of the ring.  He bent and scooped up a handful of ash from the ground, placing it gently into the inside pocket of his coat.  He then proceeded to the main ring to prepare for his own act.

Later that evening when the crowd was gone and the circus had grown quiet, the Lion Tamer emerged from his apartment and set off toward a farm just down the road.  He had taken the same walk every night for the past five years and had grown quite fond of the ritual.  He enjoyed the clean country air, glad to be rid of the sticky sweet smell of caramel and popped corn for a few hours.  He never asked anyone else to come along but he felt sure on this night someone followed him.  He walked through the fields until he came to the olive grove.  He wandered through the grove, admiring each twisted trunk, finally stopping under the largest olive tree.  He reached into his pocket and removed the ashes he’d taken earlier in the day.  He sprinkled the grains along the base of the tree and watched in fascination as small blue flowers with bright white centers sprang up from the ground.

“Why do you take my ashes each day and bring them up here each night?”  The Lion Tamer smiled when he heard the velvet voice.

“Because everything about you is precious,” he replied. 

He turned to see the Water Phoenix staring down at the blooms.  He reached out and touched her face, the smooth skin soft under his fingertips.  She smiled, leaning into his hand.  The Lion Tamer tilted slowly until his ruby red lips touched her pale blue mouth.  The kiss felt like soaring through a hundred years in an instant.  He reluctantly pulled back but left his hand on her face.

“Have you seen what happens when moonlight hits this tree?” he asked. 

She shook her head.  He positioned their bodies so the tree was between them and the rising moon.  When the first rays spread over the horizon, the tree began to twinkle like a thousand burning stars.  The Lion Tamer turned and whispered into his love’s ear.

“It is the only thing I have ever seen that is as beautiful as you.”


  1. Wonderful! I enjoyed that quite a bit; thanks Jenn.

    1. I'm so glad you liked it!! Your song is so magical and fun - it was great trying to think of a story to match. :)