Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How The Dresden Dolls Told Me To Write

Do you believe in "signs?"  You know, like when something happens and you're like "oh that's God/Fate/The Universe/Whatever telling me something."

I don't.  Not really, anyway.  But when coincidences happen, I still take note.  Coincidences like this one:

I started writing my current WIP on December 16, 2009.  But that's not really where the story of my coincidence begins.  Let me back track, because (as my crit partners know) I love frontloading with backstory!

In 2000, I was a freshman at Boston University.  That year, I took up many habits, including always carrying a colourful umbrella, drinking my coffee black, and waking up to the Emerson College radio station as my alarm.  The morning show (I think it was called something like "coffeehouse") on WERS played some of the best music, including, as I discovered one fateful morning, the Dresden Dolls.  I awoke to "Coin Operated Boy" and knew that I had stumbled on something great.  I didn't realize it was something that would change my life 10 years later.  (Okay, it didn't exactly change my life.  But, you'll see.)

So, of course, I bought a DD cd and listened to it all the time.  I blasted my faves mostly, like Half Jack and Girl Anachronism, so I guess I never really listened to the disc from beginning to end without skipping around.

Fastforward to early 2010, where I'm sitting in bed with my headphones and computer.  I break out the old DD disc for some accompaniment since it has a dark and theatrical sound that compliments my WIP perfectly.  David is snoring next to me, but I don't hear it through the earbuds.  I'm so immersed in the scene I'm writing that I don't notice when the disc ends and I'm writing in silence.

I'm just about done with the scene, the one where my protagonist barely makes it out of a violent conflict and is taken to another world when I hear an old haggard voice say "Amanda..."  My heart leaps into my throat.  Before I can realize that the voice came from my headphones and not the middle of my mind, it finishes, "You're telling me a fairytale."

I of course listen to it two more times to make sure it actually IS on the disc and not my crazy imagination.  Then, just to double confirm, I wake David up.  "David, David, you HAVE to listen to this!  Did you hear that!?  Is it real!?"  He wipes the sleep from his eyes and stares at me like I'm mad.  I probably am, but he can't deny it is a crazy coincidence.

If I believed in signs, I'd have thought, "Of course.  I'm a born writer!  That's why fate saved this hidden track from me until now!"  But I don't.  So I didn't.  What I did do was remember that the singer/piano player in the Dresden Dolls shares my first name (Amanda Palmer).  I also remembered how I rarely listened to cds all the way through when I was in college and grad school.  So, it all makes sense really.  Not a sign at all.

Do you guys believe in signs?  In fate?  Has anything like this ever happened to you?

**Sidenote, the Dresden Dolls are doing a reunion tour on the East Coast and I'm painfully sorry that I don't live in Boston anymore!!! :(


  1. Yes! I believe in signs!! This is totally a sign :-) ... and I'm not just playing Devil's advocate!

  2. AH! My memory sucks. Apparently I bought this album my senior year in college. wasn't released in 2000. :)

    Whatever...sometime in college I bought their album!


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