How Mama Cass inspired my novel

I’m usually listening to Cass Elliot‘s inspiring voice while writing. Ellen Naomi Cohen, her real name, is my favorite singer.

In fact, I think she should be everyone’s favorite singer. She had it all – an amazing voice, creativity, joy for life… Her daughter, Owen Vanessa Elliot-Kugell can certainly tell you all about her better than I’d be able to, so please go to her official website to learn more about this wonderful woman: casselliot.com

Sadly, she died before I was even born. But she continues inspiring me every day. I’m working in a coming-of-age novel called My Sore Hush-a-Bye. The title is inspired by a traditional American Lullaby called All the pretty little horsesMama Cass recorded a version of that song with The Big Three.

I was starting on this manuscript  and had some ideas about what I was going to tell, but wasn’t completely sure. I was debating about the main character motivation/drama with myself when this song started playing. I heard the lullaby and knew immediately what was going to happen to her, and how.

Camille, the main character, is a fragile sixteen-year-old girl. Another dark, twisted and damaged character I’ve been torturing in order to write a -hopefully- great novel. Well, Camille loves Cass Elliot as much as I do. This is how she describes her relationship with the famous late singer:

“And most of all, there was her voice, the woman who sang to me for all those years, comforting me since that first day with Uncle Bob, going into my core and caressing my soul from the inside out…Mama Cass. Her inspiring voice is my safe place, where I can go to escape, ‘cause she makes all the darkness bearable…she puts light where there was none.

I’d love nothing more than see her, tell her all of it. And yet I will never be able to do so. Her hair reminds me of my mother’s, I believe. I could be mixing them together into one person, because I don’t really remember my mother much. But I remember brushing her hair once—perhaps one of the last memories I have of her before she left—and I could swear it was just like Mama Cass’ when I saw her in a picture.”

I’m deeply grateful to Cass Elliot and her gorgeous voice for inspiring me each day. Want to listen for yourself? Please Visit Amazon’s Cass Elliot Store.

What about you? What inspires you? Share, you might inspire someone else!

I think it’s going to rain…

Copyright © 2012 by Renata F. Barcelos
All rights reserved worldwide. No part may be reproduced without written permission.

Important: Never use lyrics in your writing if you don’t have the right to do so. Lyrics are copyrighted  material. In my case, I’m using a public domain lyric, since this lullaby is of an unknown author and over 100 years old.

 

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5 responses to “How Mama Cass inspired my novel

  1. It’s lovely that you have such a strong female role model, who inspires you so much. When I am stuck writing, I generally go and pick up a book by Robert Cormier, my favourite author. His writing is not knee deep in metaphors, but his characterisation is absolutely second to none, and it is just impossible to not be instantly drawn into his books.

    A few sentences from him and I generally feel back on track:)

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Pingback: Blog Hop: “The Next Big Thing” | Renata F. Barcelos' fiction

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