Zen for Ten 34: The Coaster

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! Here’s some new listening to help usher in the New Year. For today’s post, I’m delighted to welcome my friend and colleague Susan Ingram. Susan is a fellow Baltimore writer; she and I studied together in the Johns Hopkins MA program in fiction, and she is a short-story writer, novelist, and memoirist.

“The Coaster,” her story featured in this post, is a beautiful short piece about the passage of time and the challenges of letting go of the past. Susan writes, “This story came to me with one line and an image. I woke up one morning with the line ‘Animals weren’t allowed on the coaster,’ and the image of a little dog’s face clear in my mind.” Out of this, she created a piece about “the parallel melancholy feelings of how the end of summer felt as a kid, when it was time to go back to school, and the feelings as I age of that carefree/discovery/exciting time of life being gone.

I’ve paired “The Coaster” with two movements of Maurice Ravel’s Ma Mere L’Oye, Mother Goose Suite, which folks who’ve followed this blog know is one of my favorite pieces (and inspired my novel To Love A Stranger). I’ve used the first movement, “Sleeping Beauty’s Pavane,” and the third, “Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas.”

Susan’s writing, with its gentle and poetic repetition of certain key lines, and its vivid imagery and evocation of childhood, needed music with a similar poetic flavor. I felt that the simplicity and rich colors of Ravel’s music, along with the tribute to childhood in Ma Mere L’Oye, made it a terrific pairing for “The Coaster.”
Enjoy the video and learn more below about Susan and her writing. As always, thank you for visiting the blog!
About Susan:
Susan Ingram headshot
Susan Ingram has a background as a long-time film industry camera assistant and subsequently a long-time weekly news journalist. Stories from her novel The Troubled Times, which draws on her experiences in the journalism world, have been honored as finalists in Glimmer Train literary magazine’s competitions. Her short story “Three Little Things,” an excerpt from her memoir-in-progress Film/Addict, was a Glimmer Train Top 25 awardee. A longer selection from the memoir was published recently in So To Speak literary journal of George Mason University. Susan’s fiction has been published in Dime Show Review, Sick Lit, Jersey Devil Press and Seltzerzine.  She holds an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University and lives near Baltimore. Visit her online at www.newzcook.wordpress.com and on Twitter at @newzcook.

Writers! Would you like to contribute your work for the Storytelling and Sound series? (You provide the words, I provide the live reading and the music.) Email me at kris@krisfaatz.com for info.

Readers! Like what you see here? Be sure to subscribe and never miss a post.

Storytelling and Sound fans: if you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to check out music-inspired To Love A Stranger!


3 thoughts on “Zen for Ten 34: The Coaster

  1. Pingback: ‘The Coaster’ with Ravel soundtrack | Susan C. Ingram

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