Saturday, January 29, 2011

Many Minor Miracles

Albert Einstein once said “There are two ways to live your life; one is as though nothing is a miracle, and the other is as though everything is a miracle.” I honestly believe those are the only two options. And I’m convinced the second one is the truth.

Maybe all authors have the sense that the road they’re on is dappled with little miracles. I sure do. It’s easiest to notice them when you look back. How did I ever get here? I ask. It happens one small step at a time, but those steps are laid out before me by a kind and gracious hand. I’m sure of it.

And now I’m in need of another small miracle.

I’m having so much fun designing a book trailer!

The Beginning of the Book Trailer Production Process

First I wrote some words that might work, to explain, in the text of a book trailer, what the story is about.

Then I began looking for a piece of music I could use in the background. There’s a river in the story, so I went to you tube to find songs about rivers, but nothing really fit. Then one night when I couldn’t sleep (a common malady for writers, isn’t it?), it dawned on me that Russian music might be nice. So I got up and googled “Russian Christian music,” and immediately found the most hauntingly beautiful song, sung by a lovely Russian woman, in Russian.

With just a bit of tweaking, the words I had written fit the cadence of the song perfectly, and the nuances of the music fit the mood as well.


An unexpected bonus was that the video performance of the song begins with a prelude that fits Zinovy’s story as well. Before the music begins, the video has several seconds of the sound of ocean waves hitting the beach, and twice in that prelude, a young child mournfully cries, “mama.”

Zinovy’s story begins when he’s a grown man, but the loneliness that haunts him as a man—the agony that has led him to build the fortress walls around his heart—begins when he’s five years old and his widowed mother is murdered by the FSB. The prelude to this beautiful song will allow us to portray that part of Zinovy’s backstory, as an introduction to his journey toward the discovery that all his life he has been walking with God.

My son-in-law will produce the book video trailer. His six-year-old son, William, will be the model for Zinovy as a child. One dreary morning this winter (of which there will be many), Stuart will take William to the beach at Ambleside and film him walking along the shore, crying out for his mother.

One little miracle involved the finding of the right kind of costume for William. He needs a hat with a Russian look. No hat designed for a Russian winter exists in balmy Vancouver. But this past weekend, on a business/pleasure trip to Alberta, I found no less than six possible Russian hats in the four thrift stores I visited.

But the miracle I’m really praying for now involves the use of the music. I need to contact the singer of the song to ask permission to use the music for the video. After an extensive search on the internet, including some follow up phone calls, I found myself at the end of a dead end road. I can’t find her anywhere. She may even be in Russia. She may not even speak English.

It will be a miracle if I can track her down. But life is full of miracles. I’m excited to see how this one will come to pass.

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