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Authors: Carina Lupo

Soundtracks of a Life

BOOK: Soundtracks of a Life
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Soundtracks of a Life

Carina Lupo














In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the author at
[email protected]
. Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.













Author’s Note


When I started writing this book I immediately experienced a dilemma. How does one write a story about a character to which music is such a substantial part of the character’s life? How do you write a story where music is an integral part, but without music? The only logical answer seemed to be by adding a soundtrack to accompany the story. As the writer, if I had simply composed lyrics to go along with the times when the main character was composing her music, the reader would still miss the musical element, after all, lyrics without sound is just poetry… like watching a movie scene without the soundtrack, the viewer can’t connect to the feelings that music can deliver so beautifully. So I added a series of songs to accompany the story. They are suggestions of songs to listen that convey the experience that the heroine is going through at that moment of the story. As a reader you can opt to explore the character’s feelings further by listening to the songs laid out on the footnotes if you choose to. It is my hope that this suggested auditory enhancement to the printed word brings you joy, exploring a collection of truly wonderful songs crafted by some great musicians of our time.

All artists and labels involved with the songs suggested; singers, musicians, songwriters, producers, etc., are in no way related to this book. They retain full copyright of their work and the author strongly suggests that if you are interested in exploring these songs that you purchase them via one of the many legal distribution stores for these artists music.






I was fourteen years old on that fateful Monday morning. I didn’t know my life was about to change drastically right at that moment, I guess we never get the luxury of receiving a warning about these things.

My parents were at a small local airport ready to board a twin engine plane to a business meeting in LA. My older sister was at college and I was to stay in the care of the nanny, against my many requests. Not that I didn’t like her, she was nice, but I was fourteen, therefore completely believed that I was old enough to be on my own and a nanny was an insult to my adulthood.

Little did I know I would spend the next years of my life wishing I did not have to be on my own.  I kissed my dad goodbye and he promised me to take me to the symphony, when he returned in a couple of days, to make it up to me. Being a gifted piano player at fourteen, he always encouraged my talent by taking me to any concerts I wanted and I absolutely loved it.

We stayed to watch the plane leave and I saw as the plane made its run through the runway but it never took off, it just skidded off the runaway and crashed at a sandbank next to the end of the runway. Emergency crews immediately ran to the scene but did not make it in time. With all the fuel that spilled out, the plane blew up almost immediately. In the chaos
, no one noticed the fourteen year old girl that ran onto the runway. I just stood there crying and watching the flames, not able to comprehend that just like that, in a fateful second I would never see my parents again.

After that, life changed dramatically. My sister dropped out of school to take care of me. I’m sure she never envisioned having to become a single parent so soon in her life and having to abandon all her dreams to raise her fourteen year old sister. But she was strong, stronger than I ever was, and in spite of having to deal with her own grief of the loss of our parents, she did her very best to be there for me and try to keep my life as stable as she possibly could. It was hard but we managed to scrape together what was left of our family and fashion a new life for ourselves. She became my mother, my sister and my best friend.

But my new life was not meant to last long either… I was eighteen when I was visited by tragedy once more. It is funny as I look back on those days how normal they were. There was no feeling in the air, no great sense of rush or of time standing still. The sun shined, our alarm clocks went off, we got up, had breakfast while watching the Today Show. Then she got into her car, I was leaving to go somewhere… I don’t remember now where. I saw her car turn the corner and that was the last time I saw my sister…

Chapter 1


Music, my one and true companion throughout my life, is what kept me going, well that and sometimes alcohol, I must admit. I had my moments when I just wanted to numb the pain. Who was going to blame me?

I was in my first year at Stanford majoring in Music. I had not decided yet what direction I was going to go with that. My teachers were saying I had the talent to go for orchestra conducting if I wanted and were trying to push me towards that direction. Me, I was too in love with my guitar to think about that. I could play the piano since I was eight.  I picked up the guitar shortly after my parents death and I fell in love with it ever since. I guess it was a good outlet for all the emotions I had. When everything becomes too much to take in, just drown your sorrow and rage in loud screeching guitar sounds. It was good therapy and healthier than drinking, though if you asked my fingers they would probably disagree, but the physical pain of playing the guitar was a major contributor
as to why it was so effective too.

I was always actively writing music, channeling all my demons into
songs on a piece paper. That was also one of the best therapies money could not buy and just like that I got by, day by day.

With so many
songs burning a hole in my pocket I decided it was time to put together a band with some friends and try out some of them in the world, scary as the thought may be. It’s a weird thing if you think about it. Here it is… the deepest darkest corners of my soul for your entertainment!

I would be on vocals, piano and guitar, then first up on my list was Ted, a drummer, a scrawny guy with dark brown eyes, dark skin and messy hair. Like most drummers, he was a very intense guy, very nice
, but really intense. He is my friend and my go to guy for those drink to numb the pain moments, but I mostly tried to stay away from him. I had too much intensity in my life as it was. Nonetheless, he was always very kind to me and agreed immediately to join my band. He was one of those people you can always count on for some adventure. James was my choice for bass player. A sweet guy, tall with flowing dark hair and blue eyes, he has this smart look to him and is handsome but not overly so. James was mostly into jazz and preferred to play that instead of what I had in mind, but he was the best bass player and also my best friend so I wasn’t taking no for an answer. I said he had a lifetime of playing jazz for all of ten people and might as well enjoy some audiences while he could!

We decided to call ourselves
Paper Cuts
, a terrible band name like only first band names get. I hope we were drunk when we chose that, I can’t remember… that’s probably a good sign!

I actually wanted one more person to join the band, another guitarist who
, ideally, could also play the piano. That way he could play piano while I played guitar and vice-versa or just have an extra guitar on certain songs. But I guess I was picky on this subject.  I hadn’t found anyone yet that I liked. Also, the guitar world is definitely a boys club and I was the odd one out, so I can’t say I got along with most of them, which didn’t help. We decided for now, we would just start with the three of us.

In spite our horrible band name, we did start to book some gigs at local bars. My teachers were terribly disappointed at this endeavor and disapproved of what they considered a waste of my talent.

But I didn’t care, we were having a blast and actually playing the songs was less scary than I thought and a lot more therapeutic than I would’ve imagined. Seeing people enjoy the songs and connect with them made me feel better in some weird way.

We are getting together for rehearsals in an empty classroom in the campus. Ted and I are silently starting to unpack our gear getting ready when James arrives with a big smile on his face.

“I have an announcement to make to my fellow Paper Cutters,” he says solemnly.

” I say twisting my face in disgust, “I actually didn’t think this name could get any worse but I was wrong!”

He ignores me and
proceeds with his announcement. “I was just talking to Jeff. He is the president of the Law School Review…”

Ted interrupts, “
Wow, wow, wow! Hold on a second. Since when do you have friends at the Law Review?”

“You know, Ted, those snobbish jazz players. He was congregating with his future listeners.” Ted and I have a good laugh but James is a good sport and is not deterred
by our mocking.

“As I was saying
… I was talking to Jeff and they will have this big party for the Law School and they are looking for a band.  Apparently he heard of us and asked us to play at the party! There will be something like 200 people there!”

“Wow our biggest gig yet!”
I say now impressed.

“And get this! T
hey are paying us $800 bucks for the concert.”

“My, my”, Ted says, “I should have gone into law… what kind of student pays $
800 bucks for a school band to play for their party?”

“It does not reflect well o
n Jeff’s future as an attorney,” I mock.

“You two are mean,”
James says trying to reprimand us, but he is laughing too. “Anyway,” he continues, “who cares! We get to play for 200 people and get our biggest pay check yet!”

“I say we go out tonight and celebrate James’ snobbish rich friends!”
Ted says with a cheer.

BOOK: Soundtracks of a Life
10.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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