The Forty Watt Flowers
by C.M. Subasic
All Trisha wants to do is create something meaningful. Since she's living in Athens, GA, she brings four other women together and the rock band The Forty Watt Flowers is formed. But making good music isn't as easy as it sounds. From the jock atmosphere of the garage where they rehearse to the beer-soaked bars when they gig, these five young women struggle to find beauty in the mess of notes they try to play and the chaos of their lives.
For this blog tour, I had the opportunity to ask the author, C.M. Subasic some questions. So here is the result of this interesting Q&A!
The Restless Writer (RW):Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what songs did you listen to most while you were writing this?
C.M. Subasic (CMS):
“Everytime that I stare into the sun. Angel dust and my dress just comes undone.”
Hole, Asking for It.
Music gives a space its purpose. How else do you explain how the boxy expanses of gymnasiums with their cold, cinder block walls can be turned into a safe place to slow dance to Stairway to Heaven on prom night?
Plants may make a room look natural. Music makes a room feel natural, no matter what natural you’re looking for.
I have a couple of criteria for music to write to: If I need to focus on the itty bitty words snaking across the page, letter by letter, I need music that is ambient, no lyrics. Music that creates a womb for my thoughts to wander in the direction they need to go.
But if my writing challenge is to hit a certain emotional rhythm, I choose music that matches what I’m shooting for.
With The Forty Watt Flowers I was listening to a lot of Hole and Alanis Morisette, Sleater- Kinney, Bjork and other female artists. The one I kept going back to was Hole’s Live Through This because of its honest portrayal of the paradoxes of being a woman who is at once a victim of her own desires and a rebellious hero, angry at the conflicting expectations and hypocrisies of the world around her.
RW: If you could have a night out with any musician or band, living or dead, who would you choose?
CMS: Hello, waiter? I’d like to order one dinner with the Beatles, please? Can I have it in some strange little Indian place in central London? The kind of place with a back room that has low tables which will require us to all sit on a floor covered in multi-colored cushions and lean back against padded walls.
For the first course I’d like to ask them: What was it about the times when you started playing, who you were as individuals and the chemistry between you, that made your work so creative and far-reaching?
During the main course I’ll ask them: What process did you follow individually or as a group that led you to realizing your ideas? What stood in the way of that? What could have been that never was from The Beatles?
For dessert: If you were a band in today’s world, what would be your challenges?
Post dinner: Would you like to go out dancing?
In a disco with all black walls and flashing mirror balls, we run into David Bowie. Since I’m currently very interested in what fame is like — how it puts pressure on a person while sealing them away in an inescapable bubble — in between dances I ask him: Did you take on those various personas throughout your career (so far) — Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, etc. — to deal with your fame? If you become someone else on stage, does that help you to separate yourself from the star everyone thinks you are? Does a solo act need that cushion of persona more than a band does?
As we’re all standing outside the club at two in the morning waiting for our taxis, I ask: How is being famous both a blessing and a curse?
First Rehearsal, Aline & Trisha
Trisha sat on the curb beside her. "Aline, I’m not an experienced musician or anything. I have no idea what we’re doing. I’m just—"
"You’re going to do very well at this, I can tell," Aline said.
"I just can, that’s all."
Their gazes met. Aline’s smile was so open, like a warm bath.
Trisha asked, "When you write a poem, how do you do it?"
Aline bit her lip. "A poem for me …" She shook her head, started again, "The first thing I do is I get all quiet and I listen."
Aline nodded. "I start with something that resonates with me," she said. "It’s like I’m looking for the seed. That seed has to shake, like all of inside me is just going B-O-I-N-G-! B-O-I-N-G-!"
Trisha repeated, "Boing."
Aline sang, drawing it out, "B-O-I-N-G —I-N-G!"
Trisha repeated, "B-O-I-N-G —I-N-G!"
Aline smiled. "You got it." Then with eyes intent on that interior space of hers, she continued, "Well, that boing gives me a beat. Some days, there’s nothing there. Other days, there’s ten or twelve ideas screaming and it scares me. And then I—"
A thought rang like a chord, high and clear in Trisha’s thoughts. She wasn’t sure if it was because of what Aline had said, or if she’d just needed the space to let it appear. But there it was. She jumped up.
"Aline?" she said.
"We need to get back in there."
AUTHOR Bio and Links:C.M. Subasic
Colleen is award-winning editor who started her writing life as a playwright. She has had 7 plays produced across Canada and worked with the likes of Samantha Bee (yes, from The Daily Show) and Leah Cherniak.
Her plays include Back Alley Boys about the hardcore punk scene in Toronto, Eye am Hear which tells the tale of a luddite teenage squatters at some undetermined punkish time in the future, A Brief Case of Crack Addicted Cockroaches about the relationship between the media and politics featuring a city councillor who smokes crack (which was never produced because it was too off the wall) and Interbastation about the beauty in ugliness and the ugliness in beauty. Her novel Public Image tied for second in the Anvil Press International 3-day Novel competition.
In addition to her work as a playwright, Colleen puts on the dramaturgy, editor and script doctor hats for a range of publishers, producers and writer clients. She has a Master in Creative Writing from the prestigious UBC Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing and has taught play writing at the university level. She's also done the Board of Directors thing with the Playwrights Guild of Canada, The Playwrights Theatre Centre in Vancouver and other arts organizations.
She was managing editor of Taking the Stage: Selections from plays by Canadian Women which was selected as the "most saleable dramatic publication of the year" by the Canadian Booksellers' Association. She has also been awarded Arts Council grants by the province of Ontario and Nova Scotia. She has served on the judging panel of several internationl novel awards. Her one-person play Interbastation was selected as one of the top-10 best shows by CBC Winnipeg in 1998.
She lived in Athens from 1999 to 2001 and, while there, reviewed and edited manuscripts for Hill Street Press.
Colleen currently resides in her birthplace, Toronto, with three grey cats and a drawer full of lint brushes.
Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/colleesu
The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.