Yo-Yo Ma He’s got it.

I don’t get out much, but last night, Guy took me to the Charlotte Symphony to hear Yo-Yo Ma.  Right up front, four rows back, I could see him sweat.  More important, I could see his passion.  Some of it was stage presence, which I recognized as I do it myself, but when he played, you could see the passion, and it felt good to see it there.

There was a violinist, not the first chair, but the second.  She had it too.  It probably helped that the piece of music was in my opinion, romantic.  Concerto in B Minor for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 104.  It seemed I could hear a hint of a gypsy passion there, but I’m not an expert of classical music, so who knows.  I might have been projecting, too, as the woman reminded me of fellow author Vicki Pettersson, another person who is passionate about her art.

And that’s what impressed me the most about the experience, apart from the music seeming to be hot-wired into my brain, skipping my ears, and going right to my psyche–The passion.  It’s how I work, and I felt at home, recognizing it there.  I couldn’t help but wonder if being a musician was like being a writer.  Long times alone, dedication to craft, working hours to get one small part right.  Your mistakes (typos/sour notes) glaring and obvious.  But then I wondered if I wasn’t a musician in the pit, but maybe a composer, seeing as I’m not playing what someone else had made, but creating a balanced piece of work with flow, pacing, and structure from little bits of words.  A beginning and end, a story to tell, an emotion to relate, ebb and flow, balance.  Maybe my editor is like the conductor, guiding the process, trying to make it appeal to the masses and sound polished–something that the public will feel comfortable with and enjoy–want more of.   Maybe you guys are the musicians, playing my words in your head, balancing them against your experiences to get a completely different song than the person next to you.

Maybe I need to shut up now.  (laugh)

Get out more.  (laugh again)

Anyway, it was a good evening, and I came from it refreshed in a way I had forgotten that music can make me feel.  My very first story was inspired by a piece of music.  I wonder if I still have it . . .  The music, not the story.  The story is in my lockbox, all handwritten and messy.  Ugly.  Beautiful.  Passionate.



Filed under Drama Box

70 responses to “Yo-Yo Ma He’s got it.

  1. jamie from nashville

    You have no idea how much i needed to hear what you posted – passion, no matter what the source, is food for the soul. It’s been an unbelievably tough week and my defenses are a bit on the ‘low ebb’ side, but what i got from your post was amazingly uplifting. Thanks, Kim. You’re the best…

  2. That is a cool story, Yoshi. 😉 I’m glad you remembered it.

  3. this post made me recall a night at the philadelphia philharmonic playing brahms and bach. me and my friend were the only fans of classical music in our group…in particular bach. i think we might have been the youngest people there, we were so young. i was only 20 and my friend was 18 then.

    the point of all this was is I distinctly remember a flutist in the orchestra who definitely had the passion for the music. you could tell she loved the music and you could hear her notes above all the others. the concert was definitely an eye opening experience for my friend and I.

    thanks for reminding me of all the good memories in my life.

  4. mudepoz

    I have an idea for one of my punkins’, but I need to know Kistin’s birth and death years oh great keepers of the canon 🙂

    • OMGosh, Mud! Are you asking me to think? He was born January 29, 1980, and died July 29th, 2007. I think

    • Thank you much! I blew it, I should have bid on the T and the armband 🙂 I should have just taken notes! Eh, at least I hit Vampiric charms and ordered the mug. Let’s see how long it lasts before a Student either cops it, or it gets smashed. I’m on MP3 4 right now, and each time they die, they die in the midst of an audio book I got through the library, with a waiting list of a gazillion. And since they lock out of the computer after 7 days, but can stay on the MP3 forever. Sigh. Which means the two audios I had of yours are … dead.

    • SeattleRobin

      That’s just so wrong that Kisten was born the year I graduated. Getting older by the second…

    • Antonio Rich

      Hmmm…good one. i think he died in 2005, but i don’t know when he was born? ivy was born in 1979 i think, and i thought kisten was older by a few years…say, 1977?

    • Antonio Rich

      i thought rachel’s 1st year with ivy was 2000-2001…oh well, wrong again…

    • Antonio Rich

      I went back to the “timeline” on the “extras page” and i didn’t realise that rachel was a 4-yr intern when she joined the IS in 2000. her first year w/ivy was 2003/2004. So, i guess bk #8 is spring of 2008(i had thought it was 2006).

  5. Wonderful. I’d love to go to the symphony. I love all kinds of music. 😀

  6. Phil

    I VOTED!!!! Go Kim!! 😉 Why does that lead keep changing??

  7. Roger Simmons

    I was just at Bitten by Books – Richelle Mead is catching up FAST..
    If you haven’t yet voted please do.
    Tell your fellow reader friends to vote also.

  8. Phil

    I found the blog’s mobile site! Yay! Funny tho it has our names after our comment instead of before so you don’t know whose comment it is until after you read it. Anyhoo, now i can visit from my phone when i go somewhere, like to the ER yesterday … But TMI

  9. Monica

    I love your books. They are wonderful reads and cant wait to read the next one.
    I would like to know if the boots on the cover of Every Which Way But Dead are avalible to buy. I have tried finding them everywhere i could possible think and i cant find any that even look similer. I love the boots and want a pair just like them.

  10. I love seeing the way your mind reflects and processes – how the performance affected you, and whether your craft is like a musicians or a composers. You’re a great writer, Kim, so either way we are “listening to” wonderfully action-packed, soulful, and humorous masterpeices. Plus, it makes me smile and appreciate you all the more to know that you see us readers as part of your orchestra. (Is it cheesy for me to say how beautiful I think that idea is?).

    I know what you mean about how romantic Yo Yo Ma’s music is… I don’t listen to classical music that much, but I had a crush on a cello player in college and, uh, saw a lot of chamber performances in the small music auditorium at the university. Intense. Romantic. Yeah, good times 😉

    • I love you all the more for the passion you put into your work. I know i am not alone. Following you on your analogy, let me say that there are some parts inyour story that gave me goosebumps, similar to the music taking your breath away. It’s all because of that passion your enrich your talent with.

    • whoops, wrong reply. sorry. it was going to be in the main thread.

    • Hi, Tiffany. And that memory is going to stick with you forever! I like that.

  11. proudfit

    Hope you got wear something formal

  12. charmedwarrior

    i think passion itself has a specific tone that resenates. and depending on if you are tuned into that specific tone, depends if it invokes a response from you. which is why some are passionate about some things while others are not. and why you may have a specific response one time but another time a totally different response.

    in other words….Music Good…Books Good…Life Good. LOL

  13. Sebrina

    Passion fills your heart to the brim, and courses through your physical and emotional being until finally you simply have to share it with the world; some share it through writing, music, or other forms of performances. It’s like magic. It’s strong and heady in a way that alcohol, or drugs could only hope to become. What makes it special is the passion that has the greatest potency is usually for something small: a perfectly worded phrase, or a perfectly played chord; if one well, and truly feels that passion then others will as well. Without passion the world would be dead, or at the very least extremely stunted.

    I find that if others have a passion for something, I’ll give it a shot at least once. That being said, I’m officially curious about Yo-Yo Ma thanks to your post.

  14. It sounds wonderful. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall, watching you listen! Sooooo. Is a certain witch going to a concert in a novel any time soon? Maybe with Yo Yo MA performing….

  15. Stephenie

    Passion… It’s a good thing. Well sort of. Gave myself heat-exhaustion at a concert once because the band was just so… passionate. My friends didn’t think it was so great when they were dragging me back to the stadium. 😀 …Oooh Well!

    Continue to go do fun things so I can hear about them. Being a broke 19 year old I don’t get to do anything fun. No money.

    • Hi, Stephenie. Yeah, I’m doing fun stuff now! (laugh) You’re not seeing the twenty years of scraping Guy and I did. We had fun during that, too, though. I learned a lot and found a strong inner core that I lean on today. Like a pole dancer! (laugh) I’ve got to make a button. Use your inner core to pole dance! –Kim

  16. Mmm. When I met the Tall Dude, he was in the music program. Piano, trombone, and choir. When he realized that in order to be a conductor, he had to be first water, and he knew he didn’t have the passion and therefore wouldn’t get a job as anything other than a music teacher. His boyhood friend did end up teaching music, but the Tall Dude never completed his music degree. He stills sings semiprofessional opera (in fact, the day I was at Arcana, I had a good excuse not to listen to Handel *Grin*). We have gone to many concerts at Ravina, including Yo Yo Ma, and Itzhak Perlman, incredible, passionate musicians. Tall Dude’s choir also sang with Pavoratti, he nearly was run over by him in a golf cart. Silly stuff 🙂

    It isn’t just the arts. Competitive sports, Chess Players, researchers all can have that passion. All of them study or work alone.

    Me, I’m just glad Tall Dude is no longer in his Gregorian Chant phase *shudder*

    Hehehe, I’m back….

  17. Shanda

    Nothing like some good music to get you in the mood :P. But seriously speaking, the right type of music really motivates you. Sometimes even makes you think about things a different way. For example, techno music could change a dramatic scene into comedic romance. Have a good day Kim!

  18. Ember

    Kim, this is the cd that I listen to when I am trying to relax. Yo-Yo Ma is amazing! You are so lucky to have gone to the concert and experience this in person!! I think Trent would appreciate it too!

  19. Caitlin

    Amazing analogy, Kim! I loved it. I, too, believe that music and writing go hand in hand. Anytime I have writier’s block, the first thing I do is turn on my favorite playlist. It seems I can always find a song to get me back into the groove. And when reading, I am constantly thinking, “You know, I bet this song describes exactly how this certain character felt at this moment in their story.”
    Anxiously awaiting my next visit with Miss Rachael again. It’s been way too long! But I know it will be worth it.

  20. Erin

    Hey Kim! I couldn’t find a thread addressing what I wanted so I’m just going to post here and hope everyone forgives me for going off topic. I have a burning need to know why Ivy’s sister Erica is not a Tamwood. I’ve been searching for the answer for about an hour now and no one seems to address this. The only reason I can come up with, from an anthropological point of view (which might be overkill, heh), is that Erica is Ivy’s HALF sister…but then I wonder why she wouldn’t have the last name of HER mother if vampires are matriarchal (which makes perfect sense to me if we’re talking about keeping track of bloodlines). If Erica is Ivy’s full sister WHAT is going on?
    Ok, thanks. I just had to ask. Have a lovely day!

    • Ooo, I’ve wondered about that myself!

    • Kylie Ru

      I thought it was because Erica was younger and not the heir to the Tamwood Estate. Or am I completely making that up? I coulda swore I read it . . .

    • I asked the same some time ago. Don’t remember the exact answer, but Kylie Ru sounds right. Erica is considered as a descendant of Randalls (spelling?), meaning she is her father’s daughter. Ivy on the other hand, is an heir of all things on her mother’s side.

      Let’s see what Kim has to say about this.

    • Roger Simmons

      Erica is taking their dad’s name, Randal.
      Ivy, the first born, is taking their mother’s,
      higher ranking name of Tamwood.

      It’s a vampire thing.

      From: An earlier Drama Box post.

    • Yup, Ezgi and Roger have it right. 😉 –Kim

  21. Margaret Erickson


    Whatever “it” is, you’ve got! Sure, certain pieces of music can remind us of experiences forgotten and the emotions and words that went along with them but the written word transports us not only to the memory itself but to the long-hidden ramifications of that experience. In other words, it causes every minute detail to float to the surface where it often turns into epiphany or something close to it. Music makes us remember, the written word causes us to understand. I wrote to you once before and told you how your interpretation of the intimacy between Ivy and Rachel (when Ivy bit her in the camper…) touched me so deeply that I finally understood what was in my soul. I have loved deeply (I still do) and you defined what I had lost in my translation. Thank you for that. Never, ever doubt that you have “it” because it’s evident on every single page of each of your books (yes, I’ve read them all) and even in the entries you post on your site. I can feel it oozing from you even when it lies dormant like some mythological beast in the story, it’s presence is in the shadows. Not many authors have it. You do.

  22. Suzanne

    You got to go to the symphony? I’m jealous. It’s been ages since I’ve been.

    As someone with a foot in both worlds, you’re spot on with your amazing analogy. I think writers are akin to composers, building worlds with words instead of notes. As for the passion, that’s what I miss most about working in the arts, working with amazingly tallented, passionate artists of all career levels (and being a rabid classical fangirl, lol, the free tickets didn’t hurt either).

    Despite being exposed to classical music from when she was in the womb, the tot seems to be more of a dancer than a musican, but considering I’m married to someone who’s tone deaf, that’s okay 🙂 She does have a great sense of rythem and ballance which is rather important for a dancer. 🙂

    ~Suzanne and the tot

  23. Tina WI

    All I can say is WOW! Todays post is so strong! Nice reminder of why you are my fav writer.

  24. Kat

    Hi Kim~What a wonderful post this morning. You do have a way with the written word. Your story reminded me of the first time I heard a symphony. I was a college student, about 19, and I went to hear the Boston Symphony. I don’t actually remember how I wound up going…it must have been at the prompting of one of my more cultured New York college mates…but I was completely blown away. Of course I was not 4 rows away…LOL…I was somewhere in the nose bleed section, but I was still moved. Love coming to read you stuff in the morning! 🙂


  25. Mendi in STL

    Heyde Hey Kim! Loved your story and speaking of passion, thought you might be interested in a little momentous occasion that took place this year and was recorded for posterity…. http://theninhotline.net/features/TDSlive/

    Quite a passionate project and nicely done. Hope you get a chance to download and enjoy. It is well worth the time/bandwidth to do so. 😉

    Take care and be safe this Halloween!

  26. Phil

    Words are like music to the soul someone said, i can’t remember who, maybe it was my little brother, haha, but poetry, great writing, the authors we all love, i voted btw, anyway glad you enjoyed the concert! 🙂

  27. Kylie Ru

    I must say you got it! Haha, okay okay, I just had to do that. Anyway, you’re right about the musician/author thing. And sour notes (shudder), oh how I hated when those happened. I’d have to immediately stop because it would completely though me off.

    Oh! Guess what! On Thursday, I’m going to have to write a paragraph in my Critical Reading class (that class makes me feel like I’m back in high school, makes me really annoyed) about why I like Halloween. So I thought to myself: I don’t know why I like Halloween, I just do! It just makes sense when you grow up watching Tim Burton movies and the first cartoon you remember watching is Beetlejuice (I _love_ the Ghost with the Most!). My love of Halloween is engrained deep with me, and it not exactly something you can explain.