New Flash Creative Non-Fiction: The Crazy Christian Music Lady
When I owned and ran a record label, I was searching for new artists to represent. I went to shows, and my colleague, a brilliant rapper in his own right, would bring me demos to listen to. This particular artist I believe I found on Craigslist. I had posted an ad for people who had recorded a demo with decent quality and wanted to work with a local label that already had a track record. We had already been releasing some compilations, and I was booking bands in venues. She had a pretty nice country sound, and it didn’t appear to be overtly Christian, so I agreed to meet her.
I travelled down to her home in West Denver. They were building the first light rail spur, just a few feet from her house along Colfax/US40. Piles of dirt, construction equipment, and orange fencing were strewn about. Some houses would be getting a new rail neighbour, while other houses that were simply in the way were bulldozed. I found some parking amid the upturned sidewalks and the scraps of asphalt not assaulted by the construction and made my way into her home.
We met and had a pleasant enough conversation, at least at first. However, I noticed immediately that there was Christian paraphernalia everywhere. Crosses, crucifixes, and religious detritus abounded in her home. It could have been a shrine and charged pilgrims a small fee.
I grew up evangelical, and so I wasn’t made uncomfortable by it. If anything, it would make for good marketing. The Christian music market is vast, and if she was fit and the music was good, there could definitely be a market for the music which would generate album sales and tours (this was before streaming was a thing). We sat down and began to talk about music.
She started in music in the late 1970s. I was impressed that she was still considered attractive, considering she smoked Marlboro reds like a chimney and had lived a hard life. She also liked to keep a little shooter of whiskey in her pocket and take little sips, of which she took three during our meeting. Those habits don’t lead to aging well. However, she had managed it. I could tell she had been around the block many times and had lived a good deal of life. We put on her album and listened to it a bit. I liked what I heard, and I wanted to work with her.
Somewhere in the conversation, she remarked about her love of animals. I replied, with pleasure, that all my friends in the pagan and the LGBT community were also passionate about their pets and loved them to death. This idea set her off immediately. She was convinced that pagans kill animals. I tried to convince her that the opposite was true. Anyone who has hung out in circles of people where alternative spirituality is practiced knows that people love their dogs, cats, birds, etc. You will often find these nature lovers at any protest against cruelty to animals. The LGBT community is a famous defender of cats and all animals. Both communities boast people who are vegan and vegetarian. I’ve been to more than one spirituality weekend with multiple dietary restrictions, not the least of which was vegetarianism and veganism.
I tried to convince her that her idea about pagans and the LGBT community was absolutely nuts. She flew into a rage. I told her I would reach out to her again in the future. I tried to take the CD of her album she had offered me. She then screeched that she could never work with me, and now she was out $20 for the CD. I ended up buying the CD that she was going to give to me. I liked her sound, and I thought I could do something with her as a career, but we ended up not working together for obvious reasons. I walked out of her house with only a brief look over my shoulder. I didn’t understand her response or simply not believing me when I explained what I had said. Looking back, it was the anticipated response. She was not quite as into the New Age I had anticipated. I was young and didn’t quite know how to handle these situations the way I would now. I often wonder0 about whatever happened to her and her music. I hope she plays on.
An unfinished coloring book (A Short Story Collection) by Cameron Cowan
an unfinished coloring book is a collection of short stories from Cameron Cowan. These short stories explore dramatic moments in the lives of everyday people. The collection also features the exclusive release of The RKO Killer: An I.G. Farben Mystery.
The collection includes:
What happens to the employees of a diner that are being torn down to make way for a new interstate? This is their last night in The Diner.
The Swedish Connection
Two artists, one relationship failing, and a really bad bottle of alcohol. Two men talk about their lives, their hurts, and their problems over one really bad bottle of vodka that they can't stop drinking.
The Kingdom of Nordstrom
The world has ended and the air had gone sour. One drifter finds a colony of people surviving in a derelict mall in Tacoma. Will he stay in this new kingdom or will he continue to wander the highways?
America Discount World
Set in the near future, America's cultural heritage is on sale to the highest bidder. Dale has made a life selling off America's cultural heritage and when a soon-to-be-divorced reporter comes to interview him about it; a new relationship just may form.
The Classy Drug Dealer
Andrej leads a quiet life running his dry cleaning and laundrette. However, it is only a front for his real business. When the consequences of his actions walk through the door one night, Andrej is forced to sacrifice everything, even his own life.
Set amid the California housing crisis, 4 tenants in an aging building try to figure out how to survive in a world that is trying to kill poor people and preventing them from surviving and living.
The cold war is on and America is building its nuclear arsenal. Set in the years at the end of Vietnam, one man gets a job making nuclear triggers at a Colorado plant. This is his story.
What is a teenager is a bland suburb supposed to do on the weekends? In this story, two boys find a great place to party and we learn about the secret and seedy underworld of the American suburb.
Topher has just a few hours to get to the lottery office in Olympia, WA to turn in a lottery ticket that will change his life. There's only one problem: he has no way to get there. Will he make it? Can he get the money in time?
The RKO Killer
In this collection exclusive, Isaac Farben is hired by KYW radio in Chicago during the roaring 1920s to find a criminal who is making headlines for an exclusive radio interview. Farben travels with his trusty assistants Mr. and Mrs. Rustin and Anna Fowler to southern Illinois to find this man and bring him back to the radio station.