Friday, April 22, 2016

The Five Senses Blog Tour

Hello, everyone. Welcome to Carter Quinn Books. I'm delighted to be able to participate in RJ Scott's annual blog tour highlighting World Autism Awareness Day (April 2).

One autistic person described hearing noise in his head: ‘It pounds and screeches. Like a train rumbling through your ears.’  Powell, J. (in Gillingham, G. 1995 (from NAS website) In light of the events of the last 24 hours, I've completely scrapped what I had originally written about physical pain to focus instead on memory and music. 

I can be sensitive to noise on random days. The television can be too loud. A guitar on the radio can cut right to my nerves. Nails on a chalkboard can bring me to my knees. Thankfully my relation to sound is generally positive. So positive, in fact, that I fear the possibility of slowly losing my hearing. Because on a good day, music can transcend all that troubles me. In the right moment, a song can take me from whatever moment I'm at to the one it wants me to remember. They say the song remembers when and I know it's true.
This year has been a terribly tough one for fans. Incredibly talented artists have been leaving our world in what seems like an unprecedented pace. Patty Duke, George Kennedy, Doris Roberts, Harper Lee, Alan Rickman, Merle Haggard, Glenn Frey, David Bowie, and now, Prince.

"Mama Tried," "Lyin' Eyes," and "Raspberry Beret" all bring with them general feelings of simpler times in my youth, mostly my teenage years. They make me smile and remember the freedom of long summer days in the harvest field. I remember making mix tapes, recording them onto cassettes from the radio, all sorts of impatient when the DJ didn't shut up when I thought he should.

There is one specific Prince song, however, that still yanks me to a precise moment and scares the unholy hell out of me. I'm sure it's a lovely song. For someone. But not for me. Not on volume 36 and not on infinite repeat for an hour. And yes that is exactly what I was subjected to that night, oh so long ago. You see, my friend and her girlfriend (oddly, I can't remember if it was GI Jane or Fluffy Tits at the time) decided I needed to accompany them and their three girl friends to a queer bar in Topeka.

About an hour into the drive, the girls were starting to feel their oats, getting hyped up about the idea of being able to let loose and be themselves. Remember, this was 1997ish--a century ago as far as LGBT rights and awareness go--and we all had some reason or area where we had to hide our sexuality. So the girls in the front of the Toyota or Nissan SUV popped in a Prince CD and selected the song "P Control." I'd never heard it before (why would I?) but I've never been the same since.

It turned out to be a hilarious night. We all had fun at the bar. One of the girls had so much fun that we left her to sleep it off in the vehicle while we all piled into Denny's for drunk-breakfast. We freaked out when we returned to the SUV to find it empty. Turns out she had woken up and flipped out. She wandered over to the hotel next door to try to use the phone to call one of the girls. (None of us had cell phones yet so how she thought she was going to get in touch with any of us is a mystery best left to her drunken mind.) She was about as freaked out as we were when we finally found her after about 10 minutes of searching. She kept screaming, "You left me!" and the driver, whose name I can't remember, screamed back at her. "We left you in the damn car, bitch! How did you think we were leaving you somewhere?"

Almost twenty years later, any time I see a Denny's, I think of that night. I hear that song and that argument and I smile, even though I will claim even unto my death bed to be permanently traumatized by the repetition of that song. P Control indeed.

If you haven't heard the song, here's a link. You're forewarned it's what one would call "explicit lyrics" and pretty poor quality video. I'm pretty sure it still gives Tipper Gore nightmares! But maybe you'll listen to it and smile. And maybe if you hear it again or see a Denny's restaurant later, you'll think of this story and laugh.

Leave a comment below, telling me about a song that transports you to a fun place. I'll award a Vanished: The Complete Trilogy paperback or ebook to a random entrant. We haven't finished formatting the ebook yet, so please be patient if you choose that option. Also, be sure to check out RJ’s blog to see the entire Five Senses Blog Tour schedule. Also, stop by the TTC Books & More Autism Auction.

Thanks to RJ for allowing me to participate in this great cause.

Hey, while you're here, take a moment and sign up for our forthcoming bi-monthly newsletter, launching in June. It's guaranteed to be fun! 


  1. Thanks for the post and participating in this great blog hop! One song that always gets my kids and me jumping is I Want a Dog by Pet Shop Boys.


  2. Thanks for the post that took me down memory lane with music. One song that is part of my favorite road trip collection....Bryan Adams-I want to be your underwear. It is hilarious and so raunchy without being obscene.

  3. Angela:
    Thank you for participating in this so important blog hop and for sharing this post and your story with us. One of my favorite songs is Paradise by the Dashboard light by Meat Loaf. i have no choice but when i hear this song on the radio or at a party i just have to sing along (and when possible dance). Although it was released in the late seventies i remember hearing it almost on every party in the eighties and it reminds me of a time when i was care free and didn't have any responsibilities.

  4. Thank you for the post and taking part in the hop. I don't exactly have a favorite song or a song that takes me down memory lane. I do however break out in song when I see something that makes me think of the lyrics to anything song (for example my sister was walking in front of me the other day and she's gain a booty since I've last saw her. So the chorus for J.Lo's song Booty (the one with Pitbull)just popped out of my mouth).
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  5. Definitely JJ Fad's "Supersonic"'s a piece of '80s all-girl rap that transports me both to grade school and a college road trip! (Song still holds up, too...)

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

  6. Random number generator came up with 5, meaning Trix is our winner. I'll be contacting you via email shortly for details about your prize.

    Thanks to everyone who played along with us!