Collaboration; or, Clash of the Egos

Yesterday I asked singer/songwriter Casey Stratton to talk a bit in his podcast about collaborating with other musicians. He spoke about being possessive of his songs and his process, in the sense that he doesn’t think he would enjoy having to always write songs with someone else. By the same token, he said he has worked with musicians on occasion and it has been a good experience overall. [Watch the podcast here.]

The topic made me think of a time long ago, a time of myth and legend, when the ancient gods were petty and cruel…

What? No? Hercules, you say? Oh, sorry. You know how it is with flashbacks. What I really was trying to say is that it reminded me of my misspent youth in Tortuga as a member of Captain Sparrow’s crew…

Frak, got that wrong again. I blame Michael Bolton for that one.

My youth! Not wasted but spent teaching myself to write in the company of my BFF Ingrid. At the time we were silly teenagers imitating our favourite authors. One time we actually tried to collaborate on a novel that would feature all the characters from our individual books going on a cruise together. I have no idea at this point what the actual plot was supposed to be, and I wonder if either of us knew at the time either.

We had no clue what we were doing. We sat in front of my computer at my grandparents’ house and passed the keyboard back and forth as we took turns writing for each of our characters. I don’t think any fragments of this still exist (fuck, I hope not).

15+ years later we’ve both grown as writers and people (at least we want you to think that we have sometimes), and I ask myself what would happen if we tried to do something together again. I have been a solitary writer since, much as Casey has been a solitary songwriter. I have not spent any time trying to come up with a grown up solution to passing the keyboard back and forth, but I think I would be open to trying to collaborate with someone. Perhaps not necessarily on a novel, perhaps a screenplay, or an anthology. Or the role playing game I’ve been toying with. Who knows?

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