Welcome back to another Music Monday post. Today, I want to go back to one of the songs from my Golden Collar playlist. Desert Rose from Sting is one of those that inspired an important scene from the Choices. Music has always inspired me, whether it’s an entire story, a single scene or a line or two, it doesn’t seem to matter. Much of my writing comes out of an emotion I feel when I hear a song. Desert Rose is no different.

I’d been driving along, minding my own business, listening to my entire music library (a not-insubstantial list, in fact) and this song came up. I’d been working through bits of the book in my head and when I heard it, bam, it hit. I came to me, clearly, the scene leading up to this, the setting, the emotions, everything. In fact, it hit me so hard, I had to struggle for a moment because the emotion in this scene and the one preceding it are quite difficult. (I just re-read it to find the spot and paste it in here and, yeah, ended up bawling. Again.)

If you haven’t read Choices, I’ll warn you there’s a bit of spoiling ahead. So, if you don’t want to be spoiled, stop now!


A soft breeze swept up from the lake, carrying the night smells to Teman, and he closed his eyes, trying not to think about it. But it was nearly impossible, because on that light wind was the smell of the flowers that grew along the waterbank—the sweet desert roses. And the night he introduced his… introduced Bathasar to his mother came back to him. He remembered smelling the flowers as they walked to the camp, and again when he and Bathasar had made love that night after they’d returned to their tent.

The memory of that night crashed into him hard, and he could swear he caught Bathasar’s scent mixed with the smell of the flowers and the lake. He curled up on his side and stared into the fire—a dangerous thing to do when alone in the desert, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. He closed his eyes again instead, but the image of Bathasar, black hair spread out on the pillow, gray eyes full of love, just replaced the flames.

Tears leaked as Teman struggled to push the thoughts away. He was free, he was out, where he needed to be. Yet again, the knot in his chest tightened, and he couldn’t breathe. He fought the emotions, fought the memories, fought all of it.


Poor Teman, he really had a rough time of it there. Stubborn as the day is long, no doubt about it, so he did bring it on himself. But he needed it, needed to go through it. And he certainly came out the better for it, in the end.

Do you, as readers, like to know about the music that inspires stories? Do you listen to the playlists as you read? Would you want to know, perhaps, what songs might go with a particular chapter (if they do)?