Welcome to the start of the Third Annual A to Z Challenge!

My theme my 26 fiction posts (which I will keep as short as possible… :)), will revolve around something musical – it could be anything, as long as it's musically-related… maybe a song title, an artist/band, musical terminology, musical instruments, words relating to sound/rhythm/movement/dance etc. I'm a little apprehensive – some of it will turn out to be utter nonsense, I'm sure… but I want to challenge myself… hone my skills… see what I come up with…

So let the games begin……. 🙂

MUSICAL ASSOCIATION/CONNECTION. A CAPPELLA – is specifically solo or group singing without instrumental/musical sound; or a piece intended to be performed in this way; unaccompanied performance.

The lights dimmed.                                 

A hush descended on the auditorium.                 

He took a deep breath… braced himself for the vocal  performance.             

The feeling of isolation was there. Ever present.            

He embraced it, like an old trusted friend. Certainly not new to him, it was an integral part of who he was, woven into the fabric of his life, his a cappella existence.

The youngest of six children, with an absentee alcoholic-ravaged father, and a mother who was subjected to 12 hours, 7 days a week shift work, he had been left to his own devices more often than not. He had nobody to guide him, to support him, encourage him…

Oh, he knew about unaccompanied performance, all right…

He was the master of the a cappella performance.

And this one, was to be the most important a cappella moment of his life!

                             *          *          *          *          *          *          *         



  1. Julie on April 1, 2012 at 8:53 am

    A capella is an amazing start for A to Z! This is such a creative idea and I can't wait to see what happens next!

  2. Stacey Mitchell on April 1, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Ooh I like this, great idea for a theme. I have a massive amount of respect for anyone incorporating fiction into their A to Z posts! (By the way, I couldn't get on your blog for about an hour earlier, thankfully I can now!) I'm looking forward to your next post 🙂

  3. C.M. Brown on April 1, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Great start to the challenge Mish! I'm interested to see what happens next!

  4. Elise Fallson on April 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Really good theme, love music so I'll be keeping tabs. Wish I knew what he sang…

    • michelle on April 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      @Julie~ Thanks for popping in, you're my 1st commentor! YAY!

      @Stacey~ I'm actually wondering about the wisdom of doing so… 🙂

      @C.M~ I hope you're not disappointed… I'm really pushing the boundaries here…

      @Elise~ Ah, he sang about hopes & dreams…

  5. Shelly on April 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Hey you! I couldn't get your video pulled up but other than that your post was exceptional. they always are.
    I'm doing A to Z on my other blog this year. http://secondhandshoesnovel.blogspot.com/

  6. Stacy S. Jensen on April 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    What a fun way to do the challenge. 

  7. Sue Roebuck on April 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    There! I never knew what an A capella was. I'm learning so much already today on the A-Z. It certainly is a lonely experience doing an unaccompanied performance.

  8. Guilie on April 1, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    What a great post, Michelle–life "a capella"! Brilliant, and so poignant, so hopeful even in its loneliness. Great job!

    • michelle on April 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      @Shelly~ It's not a vid, it's a picture… 🙂 I checked it out – awesome… especially Gram…

      @Stacy~ Well, having fun is the no.1 priority in the challenge.

      @Sue~ I've also learned tons of new things from other A to Z posts.

      @Guilie~ Yes, despite our obstacles, hope springs eternal in the human breast…

  9. DL Hammons on April 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Very interesting!  I'm looking forward to the rest of our musical journey!  🙂

  10. Sarah Pearson on April 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I love the way you incorporated the performance into his life experience. Nice one 🙂

  11. mary aalgaard on April 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Such a creative way to use A Cappella, a solitary life. Well done.

  12. Karen Elizabeth Brown on April 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    I am a muscian turned writer also and I think your challenge will be one to follow! I enjoyed the short fiction  on a-capella.
    Some of the letters will be an interesting challnge for all of us during the A to Z challenge!

    • michelle on April 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      @D.L.~ Glad to have you along on the journey… thanks!

      @Sarah~ In truth, there are thousands of "a cappella" kids all over the world…

      @Mary~ Thanks Mary!

      @Karen~ I'm already dreading Q, X, Y… especially for the theme I've chosen…


  13. tara tyler on April 1, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    awesome topic! i love music! 
    and a capela is beautiful!

  14. The Golden Eagle on April 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    I love the sound of your theme! 🙂

  15. Kern Windwraith on April 2, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Great start, Mish. I love the parallel between the protaganist's solo performance in life and on stage. Nicely done!

    • Alex J. Cavanaugh on April 2, 2012 at 12:03 am

      You really captured the mood!

      • michelle on April 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm

        @Tara~ Music is the universal language, brings people together…

        @Golden Eagle~ Thanks Eags!

        @Kern~ All the world's a stage (Shakespeare?)… life is a performance… thanks for swinging by.

        @Alex~ Thanks for finding the time in your HECTIC schedule to pop in, I appreciate it!

  16. Al Penwasser on April 2, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Oh, I thought this was about "Al Capella," my Italian cousin.
    A capella though.  Great Googli Moogli, I couldn't do it.  I have a voice like a foghorn.  Frankenstein sounds like one of the Three Tenors compared to me.

  17. Beverly Diehl on April 2, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Love a capella music (done well).  Like the way you tie it to the character's upbringing (or lack thereof).  Also love the group Rockapella, just saying in passing.

  18. Stephanie on April 2, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Interesting theme!  I'm impressed…this will be a real challenge.  I can barely commit to posting…I can't imagine posting fiction about music.  Very cool!

  19. Beth Stilborn on April 2, 2012 at 2:38 am

    Hi, Mish! GREAT story, and great start to the Challenge. The a cappella existence. Wow.
    You weren't sure a few days ago if your subscription to my blog had gone through — I have a feeling it hasn't. Maybe try the subscribe by email option?
    I'm so looking forward to your month of musical posts! What a cool thing to do.

    • michelle on April 2, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      @Al~ I simply LOVE your whacky & spontaneous humour! PRICELESS! *chuckles*

      @Beverly~ I'm off to google Rockapella – never heard of them before!

      @Stephanie~ I must be a little insane to be posting fiction… I'll admit that I am a little apprehensive about it.

      @Beth~ I think the subscription eventually went through, since I signed up on your GFC and Networked blogs widgets, just to make sure.

  20. Damyanti on April 2, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Well done in such a short space of words, Michelle 🙂

    Look forward to your challenge posts!

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    —Damyanti, Co-host <a href="http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/2012-to-z-challenge-sign-up-list.html">A to Z Challenge April 2012</a>

    • michelle on April 4, 2012 at 6:53 am

      Thanks D – you are the hostess with the mostest! 🙂

  21. The Writing Goddess on April 2, 2012 at 3:51 am

    very interesting way to do this post.

  22. Amanda Heitler on April 2, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Lovely theme and a nice evocative piece of writing too go with it.
    Good luck with the challenge 🙂  Thank you for dropping by my blog as well – as an A-Z newbie, it's much appreciated.

  23. K.D. Storm on April 2, 2012 at 11:56 am

    This is a great post. I have some music training from my high school days and look forward to reading the rest. Greaat job!

  24. Miranda Hardy on April 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    You picked my greatest fear. I can't imaging singing in front of anyone, but without music would be even worse. 

    • michelle on April 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      @The Writing Goddess~ Thanks.

      @Amanda~ Part of the challenge is to support others, so you're more than welcome!

      @K.D.~ Mmm, so you'll be able to identify with some of the terminology/concepts…

      @Miranda~ I can get up and sing impromptu, but I panic if called on to deliver an impromptu speech, crazy but true!

  25. nutschell on April 2, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Ok this is a GREAT start to the A-Z. I love the theme you've planend out for the challenge, too.

  26. Ros on April 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks for commenting on my first A-Z post.  When I read yours, I instantly LOVED it! One of my loves (apart from genealogy) is music…

    • michelle on April 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      @Nutschell~ Thanks for swinging by.

      @Ros~ Thanks for the positive feedback… music brings people together…

  27. Shannon Lawrence on April 2, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    This will be a fun theme!  I liked this.  Simple and heartfelt.
    <a href="http://thewarriormuse.com/">Shannon at The Warrior Muse</a>, co-host of the <a href="http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/">2012 #atozchallenge</a>!  Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    • michelle on April 3, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Thanks Shannon. "Simple" is exactly what I had in mind for this piece…

  28. Valerie @ Life 4 me by me on April 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Wanted to thank you for stopping by. Looks like a super fun theme.  I love South Africa, beautiful!!!

    • michelle on April 3, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Hopefully, I can keep it going till the end… we'll see… my country IS special… thanks!

  29. Rekha on April 3, 2012 at 5:46 am

    This is beautiful, a soft flow like his performance no doubt. I think, sometimes, adversity brings the passion back in us which an easy life tends to scuttle away. Great theme, will watch watch out  for more.

  30. michelle on April 3, 2012 at 11:27 am

    You have put it so eloquently… an accurate summation of the connection between adversity and passion! Thank you Rek!

  31. Debbie on April 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Wonderful!! I also wanted to stick to a theme for this challenge. You've started off with a bang !! Can't wait to see more .. 

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your thoughts. 


    • michelle on April 3, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      Thanks for the visit, Debbie.

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