Thursday, February 26, 2009

Win Lunch with me from Time Out Chicago and looking for lyrics!

Time Out Chicago is running a contest this week to win lunch with me at a South Loop restaurant.  They are doing this because I will be part of the Columbia College Chicago Story Week Festival of Writers March 15th through 20th.

If you can't read the contest details above (which you probably can't because I had a nightmare of a time getting the PDF to a jpg), just go to for all of the details. 

All you have to do to enter is visit the Story Week Festival of Writer's website and find out when and where my event is. Then plug in that answer at You have to enter between now and 8 pm CST on March 4th. Now, note they aren't flying me some place to have lunch (I wish!), so you should only enter if you are in the Chicago area or can easily get here to have lunch with me in the South Loop.

Okay, now I have a strange request. In BALLADS OF SUBURBIA, different character write their "ballad," basically the story of the most important moment in their life. For my character Stacey, it's about realizing that both of her parents are pretty much incapable of raising her and that she has to take care of herself. So she starts dating a ton of boys and winds up getting pregnant (Don't worry I'm not ruining anything for you by telling you this. You know Stacey had a teenage pregnancy from pretty much page 1 of the book). Everyone opens their "ballad" with a song lyric. Right now Stacey's is a Jane's Addiction lyric:
"It's up to me now
My daddy has gone away"

I'm not sure this is perfect. Mostly because the song "Had a Dad" that this is from is actually about there not being a god. It's not a literal, my dad let me down song. Maybe I'll end up using it anyway, but maybe, just maybe there is a better lyric out there. There are some qualifications though:

1. It cannot be more than two lines long. This is because of fair-use laws. 
2. It has to be a song that came out before April of 1995. Stacey is not psychic. She cannot use lyrics from songs that were written after she wrote her "ballad."
3. It has to suit Stacey. Stacey is not a punk like most of my characters. She would listen to mainstream alternative rock from the late 80s/early 90s (ie. Jane's Addiction, Faith No More, Nirvana), heavier classic rock because of her mom (ie. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, also stuff like Fleetwood Mac), she also had a hair metal phase (Poison, GNR, Bon Jovi, etc) and a hippie phase (though, god help me, I will not quote the Grateful Dead in my book. I considered it, but I just dislike them way too much. So I don't know, Beatles or Doors instead of the Dead please)
4. It has to describe the situation I describe above. ie thinking your parents are failures, can't take care of you, so you date lots of boys looking for one to take care of you and get knocked up and forced to grow up too soon. It doesn't have to cover all these things. That would be one hell of a song, but perhaps it covers one of these aspects or a general feeling of it.

And I would need ideas by Sunday at the latest. The copyedits go back on Monday and if you guys or my critique partners or me don't come up with something, I'm sticking with the Jane's Addiction I guess.


MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

OK, I'm just hungry.

And you're name is Stephanie.

My name is Stephanie.

You're in Chicago.

I'm kinda in Chicago.

You're a writer.

I'm a writer.

(Although you'd never guess it by this comment.)

So, did I win lunch? Hahahha

Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marie said...

omg. i hate the Dead too.
I'll put my thinking cap on...

Unknown said...

I feel like I was born to attempt to answer this question for you.

“Daughter,” Pearl Jam (1993):
She holds the hand that holds her down,
She will rise above.

Led Zeppelin, “Communication Breakdown”:
Hey, girl, stop what you're doin'
Hey, girl, you'll drive me to ruin

Led Zeppelin, “Night Flight”:
Oh, mama, well, I think it's time I'm leavin'
Nothin' here to make me stay

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Breaking the Girl” (1991):
She was a girl
Soft but estranged

Also, consider taking a look at both parts of “Thick as a Brick” by Jethro Tull—not the radio edit, but the album as a whole. Lots in there, if Stacey is the kind of gal who’d get down with some Tull.

I'll do much more hunting later tonight/tomorrow.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Manic Mommy, you've gotta enter at Time Out's site. I hope you will. You sound like a fun person to have lunch with :)

Nicolette- hmm, Daughter. It seems like a possibility. Only issue being, I have as strong dislike for Pearl Jam as I do for the Dead so I'd have to think on how I feel about that. Also I looked up the song on Wikipedia and its actually about child abuse, but still those lines do seem very Stacey and Stacey would listen to Pearl Jam.

Clearly we are on the same page because I actually used RHCP Breaking the Girl for another character's ballad.

I'm going to have to check out the whole song of the Zep songs to see if they are a match (ideally I want the whole song to work with the sentiment of the ballad) and same with Tull. I never listened to Tull so I would ahve to hear it and see if it's a Stacey thing. Off to check it out...

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Oh and I forgot to say thanks for all your help and in depth thinking on this Nicolette!!!!

Becca said...

I was going to suggest Daughter, too.

(I'm quite sure you gave me Vs. when I was a young, young girl! I feel like it was one of my first CD's. Or maybe you had to buy me a tape because I was not cool enough to have a CD player.)

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Becca, I probably did. I went through a phase with that album. A friend of mine was really into PJ and got me into it briefly, but since then... I think it doesn't help that it is way overplayed on the jukebox at work. But yeah with two votes for Daughter I am definitely considering it. It may work. I keep wavering between it and what I already have...