I went back to the green room to find it totally deserted. My bag wasn’t there, but that wasn’t unusual. I expected to find it in the bus.
It was in my bunk, in fact. Out of the zipper pocket, several stuffed animals’ heads poked out.
In the back lounge, Chris, Bart, and Courtney appeared to be playing a three-way game of cribbage. Carynne was sitting near them, writing something in a notebook. Colin was in front, talking computers with Trackie and Tony. I could hear Ziggy singing from inside the head.
Marty put the bus in gear and I sat down quickly next to Carynne.
“Where’s Digger?” I asked.
“Oh, did he not say goodbye? He’s staying behind. Catching a plane in the morning.”
“Aha. No, he didn’t say goodbye.”
She chuckled. “Maybe he’s afraid you changed your mind after all.”
“Changed my mind about what?”
“About firing him on July first.”
“It’s July first?”
“According to the dates on the tour shirt, yes,” she said, then yawned. “So are you going to fire him when we get home?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I’ll have to think about that later. I do know you should take Miracle Mile off our Christmas card list.”
“We don’t have a Christmas card list.”
“Okay, make a Christmas card list and don’t put them on it. No, wait, would it really confuse the fuck out of them if we sent them cards?” I was probably still high, which is why it seemed like such a fantastic idea. “Yes! Make a list and put them on it. Christmas loves everybody equally. Even deluded, self-righteous, religious nuts.”
She chuckled and made a note. “Okay. You got it, boss.”
“All right. I’m taking my drugged self to bed.”
I went over to my bunk just as Ziggy was coming out of the head.
“Hey,” he said.
“Hey.” I ran my hand through my hair, which was still damp from the shower. “You doing okay?”
“Think so,” he said. “A little shaky. I drank some water, but, eh.” He shrugged and dropped his eyes. “Can I ask you a favor?”
“What is it?”
“I’m trying to, you know, get through it on my own, but.” He let out a heavy sigh.
“Get through what, Zig?”
“Life. The day. Feeling… rough.” He shook his head. “It’s not panic. I’m just…”
“Zig. What are you asking?”
“I really want to talk. Not about anything in particular. And I really want to hug you.”
“Oh. Well, that makes sense.” I nudged him toward his bunk. “Go on, get in, and I’ll get in after you.”
“Wait, it makes sense?”
“You’re high, I’m high, it makes sense. Just get in.” I kicked my shoes off and threw them in my own bunk. Ziggy did as I said and I climbed in after him and put my arms around him.
“It’s really a good thing that we’re small,” he said. “Or this wouldn’t work.”
“Yeah.” I leaned my nose against the back of his shirt. Whatever laundry detergent they had used was different from what I was used to. “So what did you want to talk about?”
“I want to try to work that song into the set.”
“Yeah. But I think Chris will have a conniption.”
“I think maybe Chris will be a little less high-strung now. He gave me this whole big apology.”
“I heard about it but not what he said.”
“He basically decided too much religious zealotry was a worse mental illness than being an addict.”
“That was priceless how your sister took Dave to task.” Ziggy shook with chuckles.
“I missed the beginning of it but I got the gist. I guess the Bible study my mom’s second husband insisted on came in handy.”
“Yeah, I got the feeling she’d made those arguments before. Dave, on the other hand, acted like he’d never been challenged like that before.”
“He probably hasn’t. Pompous ass.”
The rest of what we talked about was trivial stuff. I can’t even remember what. Just stuff. Until at some point he dozed off, and I just let myself doze off right after. It felt too good to be wrong.
I know, I know. Right before that I’d kissed my boyfriend-lover-special-person goodbye, and here I was cuddling with another guy. But one of the things that made the thing with Jonathan so special was that it was about him and me and not about me and anyone else. We weren’t exclusive. And Ziggy wasn’t a boyfriend. I couldn’t even call him a lover.
He was my singer. That was more intimate and more significant than any other “standard” relationship I could label.
Anyone who wanted to judge that could go to hell.
I was wondering what happened to Digger. And Daron certainly has come a long way, with his two “boys”. Now, he seems almost comfortable with himself. Good for you, Daron. Way to go.
He sure has come a long way.
Wait, so Johnathan is your boyfriend now? I thought everyone was just calling him that cause they didn’t know what else to call it & didn’t want to seem rude. But I thought you two really weren’t together or exclusive. If he’s your boyfriend now do you guys have like a open relationship or are you guys just lovers/fuck buddies cause if that’s the case then he’s not really your boyfriend. In my eyes you two can have an open relationship & be boyfriends but you can’t really be lovers/fuck buddies & be boyfriends cause it’s not really a commitment. But I guess it doesn’t matter how I see its your life. But if Johnathan is your boyfriend I hope you two break up soon lol.
I like how you & Ziggy are really getting along. You two are so cute when you’re sweet to each other. I want you two to get together I don’t really like Johnathan. I can’t really know why cause he is nice & he likes Daron. I probably don’t like him cause I wanna see Zig & D together. I guess that makes me a hater lol, oh well.
It sounds to me like you’ve got a lot more rules/ideas in your head about what the word “boyfriend” means than I do…
Love, love, love Daron. Things don’t have to make sense, or have labels or be “normal” to be good. I think D’s honesty and …loving nature is exactly what J and Z need.
(I really look forward to Tuesdays and Thursdays-thanks for that)
Yr so welcome!
I think Daron’s starting to clue in that what works for the rest of the world might not work for him. What’s important is if it does work…
loved it ,the cuddle was cute and I can’t even get mad about jonathan anymore because he gets daron and gives him the space he needs.they’d make a nice threesome.
LOL, why does everyone want a threesome? First Colin, now J… 😉
Who doesn’t love a good threesome, lol!?
*snerk* Someone’ll have to write it in fanfic, because I don’t think I can make it happen! LOL.
Hi! This is my first comment and I’m still not sure I’ll actually post it (I’m a social phobic, so I always worry about risks of embarrassing myself) but I do hope I won’t end up deciding it’s not worth posting because, as a fanfiction writer, I know it’s always nice to hear from readers, even when they don’t say much more than just “I like what you write”. And of course I really like what you write. Love it, even. It’s such a fascinating story!
Volume 1 was one of the numerous free ebooks I got from Amazon France last year. I wasn’t sure I would like it because of the first two words of “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” but, as it turned out they were not important enough to interfere with what I was interested in reading about, I ended up buying volumes 2 to 4 as soon as I could. Volume 5 wasn’t available yet and I really don’t like to read on a computer screen (my main reason for wanting a Kindle was that I would be able to put fanfictions on it, and I’m now so used to it that reading online seems even more uncomfortable than before), so I decided to wait and only recently I thought of going to see whether volume 5 was there. So I bought it. But I re-read the others first, which is why I comment here, before I start the part that’s new for me. And this is a good place to ask if you can tell how long I’ll have to wait for volume 6.
Now let me try to explain what makes me like the story so much. There’s the fact that it’s about musicians. I obviously can’t know what life is like for the members of my favorite band, so it’s nice to read something that gives me a better idea (although it’s a different country and a different time… and I’m pretty sure the singer/guitarist was joking when he replied to a comment on the bassist’s Facebook picture with something that included “last time we slept together” ;]). Also, “coming out and coming of age” stories are one of my favorite kind of fiction – my other favorite kind being historical, which I mention because I saw (when my curiosity led me here to read the side notes – and also the comments to every chapter I’ve read so far) that you said this was like historical fiction in a way. It can’t be exactly the same because you were actually alive in the 80s (so you can rely on your memories while people who write stories set in older times only have second-hand sources and therefore much higher risk of getting some detail wrong) but other than that, yes, I can see how it must be like writing historical fiction. Being reminded of the pre-Internet and pre-cellphones era is fun, by the way. The rest is harder to explain. I like the writing style and the characters, but I can’t tell exactly what makes me like them. Well, I guess it doesn’t matter. I just really like them a lot. And having re-read four volumes in less than a week makes it hard to think about anything else.
Now I’m looking forward to the time, late tonight, when I’ll curl up in bed with my Kindle and start reading volume 5.
Wow, thank you for your awesome comment! I’m so pleased that picking up the first free ebook led you to so much enjoyment. I know thousands of people have downloaded the free ebooks but only a fraction of them end up commenting here. 🙂
Before I forget, I am working on ebook #6, but it needs a thorough proofread and so probably won’t be out earlier than summer. Another 2-3 months, I would guess, after we wrap up the Kickstarter going on now. (See this link if you want to see what’s happening in the Kickstarter campaign through May 9, to make a paperback and hopefully some other cool things: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ceciliatan/darons-guitar-chronicles-second-omnibus-paperback)
Oh, one other thing I should point out if you mostly read the ebooks, but you’re interested in the details about the music and the history, here on the site, once a month, Daron or I (or usually both of us), will do a “liner note” of background info, plus we share videos, songs, and cool things we find around the Internet. You can see them all using this category link: https://daron.ceciliatan.com/archives/category/liner-notes
If I had to guess what it is that makes people get so immersed in this story, I’d say it’s Daron’s voice and the way readers seem to be able to get right inside his head. All the details about music and what’s going on come through because that’s what he’s thinking about. Life, love, what brand of strings to buy… The musical details are interesting to some because they know something about it while for others it’s interesting because they know nothing about it! So it’s like science fiction, you learn the character’s world as it goes along. 🙂
Enjoy book 5!
And thank you for your reply. 🙂
2-3 months will be long but of course I understand proofreading takes time. Speaking of that, would it be of any use if I told you about the typos I see in the previous ebooks, in case you want to update them someday? In any case, I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m saying the ebooks really should be updated because they’re full of typos and it’s horrible or something. It’s just that I’m so used to proofread things for friends that I spot typos even when I don’t look for them. Which doesn’t make great stories like yours less pleasant to read, so it’s not really a problem.
About the Kickstarter, it’s a pity I have so little money (no job, so…) because you have many really cool rewards. But I’m glad I could at least afford the $6 needed to get a sticker. Now fingers crossed for what’s left to reach the goal.
I do read the liner notes and find the details about music and history very interesting. Also, it’s fun when some part is written as a conversation between Daron and you. It’s easy to forget he’s a fictional character and you actually write the whole post.
Yes, the story being told by Daron himself certainly is part of why we get immersed in it, but not all stories told that way works well (I generally prefer stories in third person, actually) so you really deserve praise for how you make it seem real/believable.
“So it’s like science fiction, you learn the character’s world as it goes along.”
Good comparison. I like science fiction when it’s a good mix between familiar and unfamiliar things and it’s the same here – the “music world” is unfamiliar because I’ve never even talked to a musician except to thank him or her for an autograph (and some other things are because I’m not American), but it’s still on Earth (even if at some point Daron kind of wondered whether Ziggy was an alien lol) and in a time I can remember (even if, in 1989, I was only 12-13 and my favorite kind of music was still songs that were meant for children).
I’ve read half of book 5 so far and of course I love it just as much as the previous ones.
Oh, please do feel free to send me any typos you find. Especially ebooks 1-3 were not proofed as well as 4 and 5. You can email me if you want: ctan.writer @ gmail.com.
Sometimes Daron doesn’t feel like a fictional character. There are days he really feels like his own person–just stuck inside my head. He surprises me sometimes, we argue and disagree… that’s why I started writing the liner notes that way. When I was writing them myself he’d be making comment at me and I finally started writing them in!
Okay, so I’ll go back to book 1 when I finish reading book 5 (probably tomorrow… but then I’ll be at my sister’s, where I won’t have much time), and then I’ll email you (with my Gmail address, which is at my real name, Isabelle D*****). I don’t currently have any friend to help with typo spotting or translations, and I need something to make me feel at least a little useful.
Non-writers would probably find it very weird and maybe question your sanity but, after all, you’ve been writing him for such a long time it must be normal to automatically switch to “Daron mode” sometimes. Anyway, I like the result.
And yeah, I go in and out of Daron mode very easily.
I finished reading book 5 this morning. I wonder if I’ll be able to wait 2-3 months for book 6, knowing everything is here… We’ll see. At least it should help that I have other things to look forward to (including a concert in three weeks)…and the typo spotting excuse to read from the start again. 😉
We’ll get on it as quick as we can! Once the Kickstarter ends on May 9 I’ll be sending it out.
P.S. to Daron: If you ever hear the French song “Un garçon pas comme les autres (Ziggy)”, don’t ask Jonathan what the words mean, it could be embarrassing. Then again, you might be able to figure out by yourself what “mais moi, je l’aime, c’est pas de ma faute” means. Anyway. I like Ziggy, I like Jonathan, and I’m glad it’s just in a “reader likes characters” kind of way because the way it is for you (whatever it is exactly) makes things complicated. As if other things weren’t complicated enough…
Complicated is right. I mean, it would be complicated with just Ziggy alone, but. Yeah.
I don’t speak French, but I’ll let my imagination fill in what it could be.
From a reader’s point of view, at least, complications are good because they make the story longer, less predictable… better.
The amusing thing about that song is that, even if the guy’s name is Ziggy, it would rather seem to be about you (I mean, at some point, it looked like Carynne might end up in that sad “I know he likes boys but I love him, I can’t help it” situation too – but now, fortunately for both of you, it doesn’t look likely to happen anymore).
Carynne and I would have made a great music business power couple. And the longer we work together the more we love each other. But not like that.
You two are great as friends working together, too. 🙂 I’d like to read something from her point of view someday. (Also, Bart’s. I like him a lot.)
ctan runs a poll every so often about which backup characters people want to hear from. Thus far Ziggy always wins by a landslide but if we disqualify him on the next one I bet Bart and Carynne have a shot.
I saw that in old liner notes, and I hope I can vote next time, even if I avoid reading newer liner notes in case they contain spoilerish references to chapters I haven’t read yet. I follow you on Twitter anyway so, if you announce the next poll there, I’ll most probably see it. 🙂
Daron and I will both tweet if there’s a poll of some kind. 🙂
P.S. to Ziggy: You really don’t understand the lyrics of “La vie en rose” or you didn’t want Daron to think you thought of him while singing that? 😉 Not that I doubt a person can sing in a language they don’t understand (I did that before I started learning English) but, considering I manage to partly understand Spanish because of all the words that are close to French, and knowing you speak Spanish, I can’t help wondering. And I also wonder what your real first name is, but I know you’ll probably never tell. (I don’t even use my real name either, anyway.)
I know none of the actual words to La Vie en Rose. I learned to sing it phonetically when I was really little. I should re-learn it now with the real words, eh?
Ziggy is my actual real first name, which is why it’s perfect, because no one believes that.
Yes, and then I wish I could hear you because non-native speakers always have a cute accent.
But hadn’t you said in some interview that you didn’t want to reveal your real name because it was boring? Anyway, I know, you like to tell different versions of the truth. 😉
Like I said, no one believes it. It’s better in interviews to tell people what they want to hear than to tell the truth. They don’t really want the truth. The truth is that no interview in an entertainment rag is anything like the truth… but they want it to seem like it is.
I would have believed it if I hadn’t read a quote of you saying something else before. Call me naïve but I don’t question what people tell me unless a contradiction makes it clear that something is wrong.
Ok so I’m soooo glad things aren’t getting weird now with Ziggy. I was so worried about that.
BUT…you need to talk to him. He needs to know he’s important to you too. He deserves to hear it as much as J did.
Words are really fraught between me and Z. So we’re both careful about using them. And I’m careful about saying what I want or what I feel because sometimes I don’t fucking know.
Ziggy, you let yourself to become vulnerable to Daron again. Way to go!
If I don’t I’ll just be dead inside
Isn’t it wonderful when he does the “I need you” thing? He just melts my heart.