If I Could Make It Here I Could Make It Anywhere

Jim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: FIX/MAKE

Empire State Building, New York City, Skyscraper

There are lots of songs that came to mind, but I picked the one I never get tired of. There is something uplifting and exciting about this song when I hear it, even though I have no connection with New York. But I still felt I had to send my main character Annabelle Riley to New York where she met her ex-boyfriend and of course her family. In fact I think that the interactions with Dean were some of my favourite passages to write. All my friends say they fall in love with Chris early on in the story, but of all the characters they like Dean the best because he can be so obnoxious and at the same time so caring. How confusing is that for a writer to hear?!!!

Researching New York sites, hotels and restaurants, checking the subway routes that Annabelle would have taken – it was so absorbing. It made me want to visit for myself and trace her steps around the city. There are so many films and television series that have been set in New York, so many of us are familiar with this famous city even if we have never been there ourselves. So it was easy for me to imagine Annabelle and Chris on the Brooklyn Bridge and high up on the Empire State Building.

For Annabelle, New York is not an easy place to be. But in a surprise twist – the answer to some of her problems actually lays waiting for her in New York.

Well….if you did not have chance to follow Annabelle’s story when I published it on my blog it is now all recorded in the first part of the LEARNERS AT LOVE series “We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves” which is down there in the footer of my blog. I had to remove the Annabelle posts from my blog before I published her story with Amazon, which is a shame, but the joy of holding my first paperback and seeing my family and friends with their own copy is so worthwhile!

Meanwhile….this is the song that inspired Annabelle’s story when she ventures outside of Wisconsin. It is Alicia Keys singing “Empire State Of Mind”.

Oooh oooh, New York
Oooh oooh, New York

Grew up in a town
That is famous as a place of movie scenes
Noise is always loud
There are sirens all around
And the streets are mean
If I could make it here
I could make it anywhere
That’s what they say
Seeing my face in lights
Or my name in marquees found down on Broadway

Even if it ain’t all it seems
I got a pocketful of dreams
Baby, I’m from
New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Hear it for New York, New York, New York!

On the avenue, there ain’t never a curfew
Ladies work so hard
Such a melting pot on the corner selling rock
Preachers pray to God
Hail a gypsy cab
Takes me down from Harlem to the Brooklyn Bridge
Someone sleeps tonight with a hunger
For more than an empty fridge

I’m making by any means
I got a pocketful of dreams
Baby, I’m from

New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Hear it for New York, New York, New York!

One hand in the air for the big city
Street lights, big dreams, all looking pretty
No place in the world that can compare
Put your lighters in the air
Everybody say yeah, yeah yeah

New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Hear it for New York!

Writers: Alicia J Augello Cook, and Shawn Carter

17 thoughts on “If I Could Make It Here I Could Make It Anywhere”

  1. I was born in Brooklyn and I lived in Staten Island which are both parts of New York City, but also very different from Manhattan. I did go to see some Broadway plays and I went to the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building and also to some Museums there. I like China Town and Greenwich Village, but I usually steer clear of Midtown and Uptown. Nice music and I am going to check out the Annabelle Riley story that you wrote.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get the impression that New York is made up of very diverse boroughs, which is very true of London too. We have seen so much of New York through movies and television, it was easy to imagine my character at so many famous sites.

      I followed her route on Google Maps, and I researched hotels, restaurants and other venue I featured in my books. I was able to find out so much online. I needed to find a hotel for Chris in book 2 with a view of Central Park and when I found one that was perfect I used the photos of their rooms to describe the furniture of the room Chris stays in. I even checked out the menu of some of the eateries they go to and have my characters order the signature dishes the restaurant is famous for. I was careful to work out the subway route Annabelle would have taken from MSQ up to Brooklyn where her parents live. I worked out how long it would take Annabelle and Chris to walk on foot from from Central Park to the Empire Stare building and made sure there was a pharmacy that Annabelle could go into in order to buy Arnica Cream. I even checked the opening times for the Pharmacy!

      It was so much fun to be able to research New York and work out what Annabelle could realistically fit into her trip there. I also researched property prices so I had an idea about the value of the apartment that is part of the storyline.

      In the story there is a fictional town of Blackwood – and I had to google other real life small towns in Wisconsin to build a picture of how it would be. But it was more fun using real life settings. I had to do a lot of research on Switzerland for Book 2, but I could tell it would be a place where Annabelle would be inspired and Robin would find it easier to recover from his mistakes. Again I researched hotels and cafes, checking out menus. I read vast amounts of information from travel blogs about the ski resort that features in the book and how crowded the restaurant gets. It was so great to be able to use those little details in the book. For example, because they have to wait for a table, they are able to enjoy the incredible view from the viewing platform and have a meaningful conversation with each other, rather than inside the packed restaurant. In Book 2 and 3 I describe in detail some of the locations I have lived in which was fun to do, again mentioning some of my favourite restaurants and places to visit.

      I found that doing that research helped me become absorbed in my characters and where they are in the story line. It made me realize how helpful research is to bring your story to life. Choosing places like New York and London that a lot of people are familiar with can help them to picture your characters as they move around.

      Yes….writing is fun!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome song! I feel like New York (or any big city) could be the key or answer that we been waiting for.

    Like

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