12 October 2020

Music Monday: Nelenie Ergwyn

[For everyone that is currently thinking that Nelenie didn't have a surname, she does. I just haven't gotten that book published yet. So, as per usual, SPOILERS and YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED, etc.]

There has been a topic floating in a fantasy writer's group I belong to for a while now. It ebbs and flows and resurfaces. "Do you feel inspired by music/Do you have music on while you write?" The five or six of you that are regular readers of the Lettuce know the answer for me, but it has been interesting to see how much my experience is not the norm, at least because I listen to music with words. Many of my colleagues in that group listen to ambient music/sounds or instrumentals only. Does that mean I'm cheating because I'm listening to music with lyrics that speak to me about my characters?

Nope. At least, I don't think so. Everyone is inspired by something, and this inspires me to create them. I think that's fair.

So, this week, a minor character turned major character as the story moved along. Nel and Gin grew up as friends until the differences between the Alynatalans and the Aynamaedeans pulled them apart. Their friendship influenced Nel's relationship with Elys and Tairn's reverence for Gin as a mother figure. Gin's feelings of inadequacy took root when Ben chose Nel over her. Not so minor, eh?

I have been thinking about her because she resurfaces in Guardians of Darkness, the beginning of the Guardians of Orana series and because the woman that inspired her is a good friend of mine who is accomplishing amazing things against incredible odds. So as I always do, I sat with a few songs before I found one that really is Nel's song to me.

Nel experienced so much upheaval during the events of the Nature Walker Trilogy. Her life changed when she came of age and realized that she and Gin were different. Her life changed when she followed the path of a warrior rather than a magic-user and took on all the difficulty that choice entailed. Her life changed drastically when she bucked the system of her people and trained Elys, an Aynamaedean, to fight in the way that Nel was taught. Her life certainly changed when that relationship was discovered and reported - by someone she had loved and trusted for her entire life - and she was exiled, forced to live as a mercenary. 

But with each trial, Nel held her head high and just got on with things. It's what drew her to Elys, I think because they are very similar in personality and threshold for surrender. But there comes a point where you have to just stop, reassess, and take the steps to get back on your path. The song "From Now On" from the musical/movie "The Greatest Showman" really spoke to me when I thought about Nel, and how she comes to that point - and I'll stop there before Nancy Spoilers spiral out of control.


From Now On

Zac Brown Band/Hugh Jackman

I saw the sun begin to dim
And felt that winter wind blow cold
A man learns who is there for him
When the glitter fades and the walls won't hold

'Cause from then, rubble
What remains can only be what's true
If all was lost, it's more I've gained
'Cause it led me back to you

And from now on, these eyes will not be blinded by the lights
From now on, what's waited 'til tomorrow starts tonight
Tonight, and let this promise in me start like an anthem in my heart
From now on, from now on

I drank champagne with kings and queens
The politicians praised my name
But those are someone else's dreams
The pitfalls of the man I became

For years and years, I chased their cheers
At the crazy speed of always needing more
But when I stop and see you here
I remember who all this was for

And from now on, these eyes will not be blinded by the lights
And from now on, what's waited 'til tomorrow starts tonight
Starts tonight, let this promise in me start like an anthem in my heart
From now on, from now on, from now on

And we will come back home
And we will come back home, home again
And we will come back home
And we will come back home, home again
And we will come back home
And we will come back home, home again

From now on, these eyes will not be blinded by the lights
And from now on, what's waited 'til tomorrow starts tonight
Starts tonight, and let this promise in me start like an anthem in my heart
From now on, from now on, from now on

And we will come back home
And we will come back home, home again
And we will come back home
And we will come back home, home again
From now on, from now on, home again


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