I’m a grad student, so most of my days are unstructured. That suits me, but I realize the rest of my life won’t be like college. I’ll tell you about a recent day that was pretty typical. My major is musical composition and I’m working toward my master’s degree at DePaul University in Chicago with the aim of either composing or conducting, or both, I hope.
On Wednesday my earliest class, the notation seminar, is at ten, so I slept in until 9:00. I get quite a bit out of the lectures, but I’m so eager to graduate and be finished with school, that sometimes I get antsy sitting and taking notes. I tend to drum my fingers on my tablet or jiggle my knee when I’m bored–or anxious–and other students give me dirty looks to make me stop. Honestly, those things and humming under my breath are acts I’m never conscious of until they bother other people around me.
Classical music means a lot to me. I was mostly raised by my dear grandmother, Gram I call her, and she was my inspiration to go into the field, making sure I had piano lessons. Also making sure I practiced. A lot!
Lunch that day was a quick bite and a latte at the Starbucks a block away from the music school, on Halstead. I spent the afternoon continuing with the composition I started a few months ago. I worked at the Starbucks. They don’t mind, as long as I buy an occasional refill. After this semester, completing that symphony, which will serve as my thesis, will be the only hurdle left before I get my degree. Can’t wait to get out into the world!
My life has been sheltered, I admit, and I’m a bit shy around most people. In a roomful of strangers, I tend to stand off to the side and not talk to anyone. Somehow, though, stepping onto a podium to conduct feels natural. My shell drops away and I love connecting with the sea of musicians before me.
In fact, my life right now is ideal except for one thing: Len. He was my instructor for my first music theory course at DePaul. After the course was over, he made his move. I was incredibly flattered that an older, worldly man would pay attention to mousy little me. After a few dates in his campus apartment, where his wife never came, I decided to break it off. That’s when my lover turned into my stalker. Tonight, after a solitary dinner in my own apartment, I expect more pleading phone calls that I’ll ignore. I wish he’d leave me alone!
You can read more about Cressa in EINE KLEINE MURDER , the first book in the new “Cressa Carraway” mystery series.
Meet the author
Kaye George is a short story writer and novelist who has been nominated for Agatha awards twice. She is the author of three mystery series, the Imogene Duckworthy humorous Texas series, the Cressa Carraway musical mystery series, and the “FAT CAT” cozy series with Berkley Prime Crime. Eine Kleine Murder will debut April of 2013 and the first “FAT CAT” book in 2014.
Her short stories can be found in her collection, A PATCHWORK OF STORIES, as well as in several anthologies, various online and print magazines. She reviews for “Suspense Magazine”, writes for several newsletters and blogs, and gives workshops on short story writing and promotion. Kaye is agented by Kim Lionetti at BookEnds Literary and lives in Knoxville, TN.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.