Blind Faith

Chapter Three: A New Sound

"It's no good."
Nancy tossed her notebook down onto the floor with a grimace, folding her arms across her chest. "It just won't work, no matter how I do it. I can't get the lyrics to lie right."
"Yesterday morning you said you had it all down." Copper glanced up from her magazine, casting her friend a surprised look. "When we headed off for that radio interview, you were confident as anything that this song was gonna be a hit, and something special t'boot. What went wrong?"
"I reread what I wrote." Nancy sighed. "I never was a lyricist, Copper - my forte is music - and I'm well out of inspiration when it comes to new words. However I write it, it won't fit together how I want it. I really hoped this song would be something special, but as it is it's rehashing words we've used before, and the melody is barely up to speed. How are we going to lay anything down by the end of the week, if we haven't any words?"
"Let's see what you've got." Copper reached over, scooping up the notepad and skimming over the words. "They're not so bad, Nance! You make too much fuss!"
"Well, not so bad doesn't win awards." Nancy said grimly, taking the book back and dropping down onto the sofa beside her friend. "I want this song to be spectacular, Copper. If for no other reason than Diablo are our main competiton, and we have to blow them away."
"So they are involved in the award nominations, then?" Copper asked. Nancy nodded.
"Yes. Mom told me this morning." She agreed. "Hence my sudden panic now. Whatever I do, Copper, it just isn't good enough. And let's face it, writing love songs was never my strength anyway. I'm not a romantic."
"Well, if that's the case, Copper should be writing the lyrics." Topaz lounged in the doorway of the front room, her eight month old baby daughter clutched in her arms. With a grin she set the baby down on the rug with her blocks, taking a seat opposite. "She's our die-hard romantic and she's gonna be a bride before we know it. Perhaps it's time we maximised our resources."
"I can't write lyrics!" Copper exclaimed. "Besides, I'd feel stupid...they'd be corny and cliche. Trust me, Nancy's writing is a mile better than mine ever would be."
"So we're back to having no lyrics at all." Nancy rubbed her temples. "Because I refuse to go to studio with these, guys. The rhyming stinks. Hollie could probably write better."
"We can ask her." Topaz looked amused. "Hey, Hol, what do you think we should be singing about?"
Hollie gurgled at her, picking up the nearest block and tossing it across the room with a giggle.
"Well, I guess she thinks the lyrics suck too." Nancy observed dryly. "Thanks, kid. You're great support."
"Have you asked Sadie's advice?" Copper asked. Nancy shook her head.
"No." She admitted. "She took off after our meeting this morning to meet Alex in the city and I didn't have a chance. We have precious little free time to ourselves at the moment, and you know how new this whole 'relationship' thing is for her. I didn't want to interfere."
"Wow, Nancy has a heart." Sylva pushed open the door, dropping down onto the window-seat. "What's the problem, anyhow? Nance, you're not having another fit over your lyrics, are you?"
"She is." Topaz nodded. "Heaven knows why. I'm the one who's gonna be singing them, after all, and I didn't see anything too tragic about them."
"I just wanted this song to be different somehow." Nancy sighed. "I wanted it to reflect something else that we have - more than just the rock and roll chick stuff we churn out from time to time, and more than a deep and meaningful ballad. When I wrote the melody it flowed so easily - and I was real proud of it, to tell you the truth. But it's proving a nightmare to stick lyrics to."
"Well, maybe you're looking at this from the wrong angle." Sylva suggested.
"How do you mean?" Nancy turned confused dark eyes on her bandmate.
"All our music is recognisable as Jewel music." Sylva explained, settling herself more comfortably up against the window pane. "Even if we do turn out different songs, you can always hear the Jewel twist. But that's because everyone knows Topaz from a mile off, and we've built up a sound for ourselves."
"So what are you saying? That we're too conventional?" Copper asked. Sylva shook her head.
"No, not at all." She replied. "After all, you should never quit when you've hit a good thing, right? And folk love us for being that little bit different. But when we were laying down the album tracks before the fire happened, we were discussing the idea of diversity for the album. Right? Topaz had that beautiful song in French she wanted us to cover, and we did. It sounded awesome."
"So you want us to sing in French?" Topaz raised an eyebrow. "Should we ditch this song and release the French number, then? Because it's a cover and I think that Jetta and Phyllis want something original."
"No, you know, Syl might be onto something." Nancy's eyes sparked with light at this. "For once, she might be on the right track. Topaz, how good is your French?"
"Lousy, and getting worse as time goes on." Topaz grinned. "You heard me when we were in Paris last - stilted and slow. Mom raised me to speak English as my first language and I was never much of a language student. I could get by in French if I had to, and that was it."
"Hrm." Nancy frowned. "Well, there goes that idea. I was wondering if you could, you know, write us some French lyrics for the song. You sing really well in French, even if you don't speak it fluently, and I know it'd catch people's attention. It'd be something different - just to prove we could do something different."
"Well, it sure would stand out." Topaz looked thoughtful. "But I'm nowhere near good enough at French to turn out decent lyrics, Nance. I'd struggle to do it in English, if you want the truth. Sorry, but there it is. I can sing in it, but don't expect me to write it."
"Oh well." Nancy sighed. "Never mind. Back to square one."
"Maybe...maybe not." Sylva's blue eyes lit up with an idea. "Perhaps Topaz isn't bilingual enough to write us French lyrics...but surely Copper is fluent enough to write us Spanish ones?"
"I told you already, I'm no lyricist!" Copper put up her hands. "I play drums, that's about it!"
"But Syl is right, you know. You are bilingual." Nancy's expression became excited. "And when you come to think of it, if we did a song in Spanish, Copper, it would appeal right across America. You know as well as I do that Spanish is practically a second language in the US these days, with all the folks from Mexico and South America and then places like Cuba. You're one yourself, after all! And California is very multicultural in that sense - it'd be awesome if we could play on that somehow!"
"C'mon, Copper, it might be fun." Topaz grinned. "You'll have to coach me in pronunciation, and stuff, but Nancy's right. It would be something different, and it would send out the message that we produce music for everyone, not just those who speak English."
"Right." Sylva nodded her curly head. "When we were out in Morvania, for instance, we sang in English, and it was fine, but there must've been folk who didn't get a clue of what we were singing about. And I know that when we played Paris half the crowd was singing along without knowing a single word of English. It would be nice to have something kinda - different on the album, too, if we've the French song and we'll be touring Europe in the fall. That's bound to send our ratings up over there."
"Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world, you know." Nancy added. "C'mon, Copper, will you give it a go? I love this melody too much to junk it, but there's no way anything I'm coming up with is going to set it apart from anything else we've done. You could at least try?"
Copper sighed.
"All right, if you insist." She said, resignedly. "I'll try. But that's all I can do, okay? Just because I'm fluent in Spanish doesn't make me a successful lyricist in that language, so be warned. It might be nonsense. I've never written lyrics before, after all."
"Well, I'll help you with working it to the melody." Nancy promised. "And we know Topaz's voice is good enough to pick up the tune right away, so it shouldn't mean too much of a delay. After all, you can teach Topaz to sing it phonetically, right?"
"I guess so." Copper agreed. "Half of the battle with Spanish is the pronunciation, though. I wish I was as confident about this idea as you are, Nance. It could just put us back a week or two and drive Phyllis mad, if I can't come up with anything worth singing."
"Think of it this way, Copper. You'll get a writing credit on the new album." Sylva dimpled. "It'll be 'music by N. Pelligrini, lyrics by E. Santiago'. Don't you want that?"
"I suppose it would look kinda neat." Copper admitted. "All right. I'll see what I can do."
"Sweet." Sylva tucked a loose curl of hair back behind her silver slides. "So we've hope for the new song after all! Good thing too - I just about got that synth line down, and I'd've been mad if we had to junk it."
"So would I." Nancy admitted. "It's one of the better tunes I've written recently, to be honest - I wanted us to use it somehow. I had to do something while Mom was getting better, after all, and while the company was being put back together. I guess everything I went through then kickstarted my inspiration. I was feeling dry before the fire, but now I've music coming out of my ears."
"Now that would be different." Topaz giggled. Nancy grinned.
"I suppose so." She agreed good-naturedly. "You know, I guess there's something to be said about group pow-wows after all."
"And here's Sadie." Sylva glanced out of the window, waving as she saw her fair haired friend parking her car. She pushed the window open.
"Hey, Sadie, get in here - Jewel are having an executive board meeting about the new song!"
"Noone told me!" Sadie protested, locking her car.
"Well, it kinda just happened." Sylva admitted. "We've bullied Copper into writing us some Spanish lyrics for the new song - what do you reckon?"
"I reckon it'd be different." Sadie acknowledged. "Sounds cool to me. Hang on, I'll be right in!"
"Looks like it's unanimous, Copper." Nancy remarked. "You have plans this evening?"
"Nope." Copper shook her head. "Why? You have plans for me?"
"Seems as good a time as any to start writing." Nancy shrugged. "We'll go out to my studio in the city, get away from the Mansion and baby squeals for a while, and see what we can do. Okay?"
"Okay, I suppose so." Copper agreed. "Just be patient with me, huh? I've never done this before."
"None of us have." Topaz reflected. "But you know what? It just might be what we need to kick-start our award winning campaign!"

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

"Thank God that's over."
Zoe sank down into the front seat of her car, dumping her folder of concepts down beside her and putting her vehicle in gear. It had been another busy day, rescheduling the video shoot that had been postponed due to technical failure, and working with Starlight Music always put her on edge. There was never any knowing what sort of a mood the proprietress, Jerrica Pacheco would be in, and sometimes - like today - everything had gone awry.
"But the video is done, thank goodness." She murmured, strapping herself in and glancing in the wing mirror to make sure noone was behind her. "I'm gonna go home and sleep, I think! God knows I need it!"
She flipped on the radio, pulling out of the parking lot and onto the main road. The song playing was an old one Zoe recognised from her mother's record collection, and a slight smile touched her face as she sang along, letting the tension of the long day seep out of her as she did so.
"I used to love that song when I was a kid." She mused, as the track ended. "Seems such a long time ago now, though. I hope I can track down my father - after all, then I've put all the parts of where I came from together, and maybe then I can make some order of them. There's no guarantee he'll want me as a daughter, but I know I have to try. If only I could find him, though! I haven't a clue where to even begin."
"And we have live in the studio with us this afternoon director John Garram, whose recent credits include Mirrors and The Life of Adam - but John, another movie production was arguably your most successful ever - the cult classic, Dead of Night. It's almost twenty five years now since the film hit our screens and was such a huge success - what are your reactions to the new digitalised rerelease that's going to be appearing in movie theatres up and down the country from the beginning of next month?"
"Dead of Night?" Zoe stared, reaching to turn up the radio volume. "But isn't that...?"
"I'm thrilled, Calvin. Totally thrilled." The gruff voice of the director responded. "Dead of Night was a film I'll never forget, for lots of reasons."
"Of course, many people might remember it for the tragic death of that stuntman."
"Yes. And you know, I was in contact just the other week with Andrew Power's sister, Ruby. She's thrilled as we are that the film is getting a second airing. We all knew that Andrew loved his work and the more people get to see of it the better. He was one of the best, and he's sadly missed by the profession every day."
"The rumour goes that there's to be a documentary about the film and how the people behind it are faring, this many years on. How many of the original stars are likely to feature?"
"That's mainly to do with the network - I can't be sure on that." John Garram responded. "But I can tell you that it's production is going to be handed over to the best person for the job - Vivien Montgomery. I wouldn't have it any other way, and considering that she produced the original behind the scenes view, I hoped she might be talked into doing a second one. I spoke to her this morning and she's feeling excited at the prospect. It means, of course..."
Zoe flicked off the radio dial, her heart pounding.
"Cousin Viv is doing a documentary on Dead of Night?" She whispered. "But...Dad worked on the set of Dead of Night and...and so did Mom! Ooh! Maybe this is the chance I've been looking for! Maybe...maybe Cousin Viv can get me in touch with my father, after all!"

Prologue: Texas

Chapter One:News For Jewel
Chapter Two: Zoe Confides
Chapter Three: A New Sound
Chapter Four: A Challenge For Copper
Chapter Five: Plots
Chapter Six: A Secret For Stefana
Chapter Seven: Hope For Zoe
Chapter Eight: Dolorida
Chapter Nine: Jewel's Dilemma
Chapter Ten: Wise Counsel
Chapter Eleven: Decisions For Jewel

Chapter Twelve: Zoe Takes The Plunge
Chapter Thirteen: Her Father's Daughter
Chapter Fourteen: The Awards

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series. The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission.
Pay her page a visit!