Published by indie author on August 22, 2015
Genres: Time Travel Romance
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Seconds before her plane crashed, Sandy Garcia, a forty-something working mother of three, wished she had never met and married her husband. When she recovered consciousness, she realized her wish had been granted. She woke up to a world where she was a popular and multi-awarded theater actress / singer / dancer / published author / professional photographer.
Alex Marquez was a child of the theater and she grew rich and famous by doing something she loved. On the road to success, she made a lot of wrong choices which left her single, with one perfect child, in her forties, remembering the relationships she screwed up and the other children she should have had. When she woke up after a plane crash, she realized she was being given a second chance to live the family life—she was suddenly married with three children.
As both women navigate the intricate web of the lives they never initially chose to live, they question whether achieving their dreams was worth losing everything else that they’ve ever held dear.
Two women. Two lives. An old friend’s promise fulfilled. A bedtime story. A black cat.
What are you willing to give up for that precious second chance?
Some time last year I co-facilitated a writing workshop called #JustWritePH, which ended up propelling 20 all-new stories into publication. One of the writers was Yeyet Soriano, who, during the blog tour, shared what she’d learned from the experience in a post right here on WRFF. At the time, her novel Turning Points was bundled with three other stories, but she recently launched it solo on Amazon.
I’ve already picked up my copy, and just in case you need a little help getting into the mood of things, watch this video playlist, and keep reading to learn why the author felt these songs worked with her novel Turning Points.
Turning Points Playlist by Yeyet Soriano
I love music as much as I love writing, so this assignment of trying to come up with a playlist based on my first novel, Turning Points, was just a welcome breath of fresh air. That is not to say, that it was very easy to create the playlist, but it was work I was willing to put in. After much thought, I came up with the following songs, with the applicable lyrics which made me choose the songs, and the particular parts or situations in the story these songs would be relevant.
It is not an accident that there are no modern songs in this playlist. The novel is more about looking back, which was the problem, the conflict really. But here goes . . .
1. “Turn Back Time” by Aqua (from the Sliding Doors OST)
I love this song and I love the movie Sliding Doors which starred Gwynneth Paltrow long before she became Pepper Potts in Iron Man. My novel is premised on something similar to the story of the movie—alternate realities—of people living through alternate versions of themselves based on a different decision made in the past. My novel also has the element of going back in time, so Aqua’s song (and let me just say, I was pleasantly surprised to hear this from the same group who popularized “Barbie Girl”), sang plaintively and with such poignancy, just captures the overall theme of Sandy and Alex’s story. Back when she was young, Sandra Alexis’ life branched into two, when a part of her (Sandy) picked the blue bus and another part of her (Alex) hopped on the pink bus. Their lives went in totally different directions from there.
2. “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical Les Miserables
This is the first song from a musical out of several in this playlist. Not only is this timely, since Les Miz is now having a run in Manila, but because this song covers Sandy’s frustrations in life. She felt that she missed out on achieving her dreams because “real life” happened. It got so bad, that she wished that she had taken a completely different road in the past. She felt she was no longer happy being a working wife and mother of three having to juggle a career, a demanding husband and three kids with varying needs (Her teenager was just starting to rebel), and Sandy feels she no longer has anything left for herself, since all she does is firefighting.
3. “I’ll Give My Life for You” from the musical Miss Saigon
By now, you will notice that this playlist will have several songs from musicals, because, well Alex’s life (or Sandy’s alternate life) is that of a famous theater performer. Miss Saigon was the first musical that really converted me into loving the theater. That it starred a predominantly Filipino cast was a major consideration, but the songs were brilliant too. There was a time when I could sing any song from this musical by memory. This particular song, “I’ll Give My Life For You,” resonates because it is a song about a mother’s love for her child—that she would do everything for the child to have the future he deserves. Alex’s frustrations in life include two children she lost before they were born—not having had the chance to even do anything for them to show them she loved them. When she slipped into Sandy’s life, with Sandy’s husband and three kids, she toyed with the idea of just staying and giving up her brilliant career, just to be with the three kids that she would have had, had she chosen a different path.
4. “My Favorite Things” by Julie Andrews from the movie The Sound of Music
Sandy adores her kids and she has fun with her kids. She makes up stories to tell them, however crazy these stories are. Although there were only three kids in Turning Points, this song from The Sound of Music captures Sandy’s happiness when she is able to be with her kids. Making them happy with her stories makes her happy as well. I can visualize the scene in the movie where there was a storm and Julie Andrews as Maria comforted the scared children (because of the thunder and lightning) by singing them this song and they ended up dancing around the room in sheer happiness. This is the overall ambience in the novel when Sandy/Alex relates a story to her kid/s.
Yes, I loved this movie too, and yes, I have memorized most of the songs too.
5. “The Way He Makes Me Feel” by Barbra Streisand (from the Yentl OST)
Another musical movie, albeit probably not really that popular, with Barbra Streisand in the title role. All of the songs were just excellent, but “The Way He Makes Me Feel” would always be for me, the greatest love song a woman could ever sing to a person she loves. It is about having all these feelings she couldn’t understand, how these feelings bring on a multitude of other emotions and turmoil, but in the end…she just loves “the way he makes her feel.” At the heart of the novel, Turning Points, is a love story, pure and simple. There is Sandy meeting Miguel and how they fell in love. Then they got married and had a family. At the particular time the story starts in the novel, Sandy was frustrated with Miguel, then her husband of seventeen years and she wished she had never met him. She got her wish and woke up in a life where she had never met her husband, Miguel. She would realize though that he was still the one, after everything. He was really still the one, regardless of whatever reality she lives in. If that’s not a love story, I don’t know what is.
This song would best accompany Sandy’s first meeting with Miguel, their romance, and Alex’s realizations in the end.
6. “Neverending Story” by Limahl (from the Neverending Story OST)
Underlying the real story of Sandy and Alex, is a fairy tale that Sandy related to her kids. It is this fairy tale that helps put everything in perspective and helps Sandy and Alex achieve the resolution that they seek. I love how listening to Limahl’s Neverending Story just brings you to a place where anything is possible—where time travel is a reality, where second chances can actually be had, where a black cat can bring about the shifting of two worlds, with the help of two children face to face on either side of a mirror, separating two worlds.
7. “Save a Prayer” by Duran Duran
Yeah, this song is included. I was looking for a song about a one-night stand, and this suddenly jumped out to me, because of the above lyrics. This is for Alex, whose life is a series of non-serious pseudo-fling-like or one-night-standish type of relationships. Her longest relationships are with a man who was married, and another man she hurt by going into that affair with the married man. Apart from those two, there was nothing serious in terms of relationships in her life. But there was a one-night stand that left a mark in her life, and this figured prominently in the novel. So I had to include this song. Plus the main characters are in their forties, so they lived through the eighties and probably shipped Duran Duran as well!
8. “Break On Through” by The Doors
The only rock song in this Playlist, this song by The Doors just captures the ambience of the time when Sandy and Alex are at their bottom-most, trying to find a way to return to the realities they chose in the first place. I see this more as the music to a video, with the two women starting out as desperate, and then ending with the two of them reaching their resolution. I can hear “Break on through to the other side” being sung over and over again in Jim Morrison’s growl, until the climax of Alex and Sandy losing consciousness in their respective worlds.
So there you go, Turning Points’ unconventional playlist. I hope listening to this list of songs would enhance the experience of reading the novel. I hope it also gives you a glimpse into the weird mind and tastes of the author.