As part of the One Book, One Community project here in Columbia, SC, several events have been scheduled that involve other forms of art. Last Thursday, which was the launch for The Stone Necklace, I heard two songwriters perform a piece they wrote about a scene in my novel. It was quite remarkable.
The scene they chose wasn’t a major plot point. It wasn’t the car crash or the hospitalization of the teenage girl. It was a small scene, in a church, when Sandy, a recovering nurse, attends a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Sandy doesn’t want to be there. She doesn’t want to be among addicts. She struggles to accept that she is one. But she must attend, or she may lose her job and her nursing license. We sit with her in that meeting, experiencing it as she does. Feeling what she feels. It’s a step—a small one, but a step—in her recovery.
Why did this appeal to the songwriters? I don’t know, but Todd Mathis and Cully Salehi’s song, “Somewhere Else,” is a powerful testament about life in recovery. They “get” Sandy. And listening to this remarkable music warmed me. I felt like I had shared a character in a way I’ve never done before. What an honor.
The next event is this Thursday at Tapp’s in downtown Columbia. Off Page: Artists Respond to the Stone Necklace will feature works by several photographers. The exhibit opens at 6 PM with a panel discussion at 7. I cannot wait to see these works and to talk with these talented artists. What did they see that maybe I didn’t?
The third “artist’s response” will be an evening of Improvisational Theatre inspired by my novel. The multi-talented Vicky Saye Henderson, who also narrated the audiobook, will lead this participatory event. I’m excited to imagine how this might unfold, though honestly, I hope it unfolds without me being on stage!
The arts are colliding in Columbia, SC. I am thrilled and honored to be a part of it.
Have you had an experience like this with one of your writing projects?