A Poor Man’s Score

In the summer of 1962, while watching the Cinerama epic How the West Was Won, I was captivated by the music. Composed by Alfred Newman, “one of the three godfathers of film music,” this big-screen score opened my senses to the emotional power of music in film.

In my first novel, The Spectacle of Let — the Oliet and Obit, I tried to create an emotive geography and sense of place; a feeling and sentiment of being somewhere once, then again and again. Many writers create this feeling with words alone. While I wrote I wanted music — an emotional landmark, a musical score — familiar melodies that transported me to my literary home each time I returned to the wanting manuscript. So it was that I became a curator of an instrumental playlist, “a poor man’s score,” to accompany my written words.

Some compositions I associate with my enigmatic heroine, the elusive beauty, Niva Miramontes; others, like those by composer Javier Navarrate, with a deep sense of being alone, lost in the beauty and fear of writing and discovery. All of them together lend another emotional measure and force to the written word. They remind me of the moment I saw James Stewart galloping his big pony over the Rocky Mountains, determined to concur the West, accompanied by the panoramic majesty of Alfred Newman and his orchestra. You can find the playlist, entitled The Spectacle of Let, here on Spotify.

Why I Write at 5 A.M.

Writing is a place and getting there is the real art.” — Otto Cristóbal Almeida.

I am fond of this quote, of the allure that creativity is more than a verb or action.  It is a mysterious haven—a place, perhaps even a connection to another realm.

There are many names for this foreign connection: the muse and mojo, sentiment or feel. I know it when it get there, when words take over.

I write at 5 A.M, the only time I am not in motion, going somewhere fast, waiting for the next thing, or making up shit to do.  I love coffee and quiet time, my favorite chair, the iffy anticipation that I might fall into the story, get lost in the far reaches of fiction, conjure a character like Otto Cristóbal Almeida, the celebrated author, poet, and protagonist of my first book, The Spectacle of Let – the Oliet and Obit, who famously said, “Writing is a place and getting there is the real art.”

The Spectacle of Let – the Oliet and Obit is now available on Amazon.com.

Atlanta is quiet at 5 A.M.

What is an Oliet?

An oliet can appear to be more than just one thing.

Writers love words, or at least the feelings and emotions behind them.  I love the idea that one day a word I coined will be in the dictionary.  If so, perhaps it will read like this:

Oliet | Noun | O-li-et | \ 'Ō-lee-et \

Popularity: unknown + emerging

  1. A truth of a different kind, a trilogy of sorts, a spectacle of fiction invading life by day and commandeering one’s dreams in the dark of night, then slowly letting go, leaving an indelible mark.

Origins:  2013 – 2017; American Literature, English.  The word first appeared in The Spectacle of Let – the Oliet and Obit by Samuel Zamarripa, Floricanto Press 2017.


Calling all writers: Let's connect

For twelve hours a day, five days a week, I am a driven entrepreneur, the president of an innovative technology company, Intent Solutions, of Atlanta, Georgia. In the early morning hours and late at night on weekends, however, I am a passionate author. I write fiction.

My first novel was published this week by Floricanto Press of Los Angeles. It took me years to get from inspiration to print. A companion book is in the final stage of editing and will be available later this summer. You can find my novel, The Spectacle of Let the Oliet and Obit, on Amazon.

I know I am not the only entrepreneur and businessperson who writes fiction. There must be hundreds, if not thousands of current and future authors lurking behind the slick logos and business imagery of LinkedIn. If you are one of those writers, I hope you agree that writing, whether it is fiction or non-fiction, is serious business. Like anything else we do professionally, it requires discipline, focus, and determination. More importantly it requires creativity and a drive to bring words to life---to communicate. In my view, it is the combination of these attributes that make writers very interesting professionals and stronger entrepreneurs.

I wanted to share this perspective with my LinkedIn universe to put my vocation and avocation together, for in reality, they are inseparable, and, most importantly, to nudge other writers to share their stories about their professional and creative lives. Let's connect!


Peachtree & Ponce: My Literary Debut

The fabulous Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, is located at the corner of Peachtree Road and Ponce de Leon Avenue: a historic crossroads, the symbolic intersection of Gone with the Wind and the Fountain of Youth. To me, it has always represented a curious junction of my undeniable Southern roots and spirited Latino heritage.

This high-contrast corner seemed an ideal crossing, the perfect allegorical spot to reference as I introduce my first novel.  A fantastical untold story of a one-word poem, the first spoken word of God, entitled, The Spectacle of Let – the Oliet and Obit. 

In this first book of a series, I embraced a fanciful and imaginative narrative, a magical style and genre common among many Latin American and Spanish writers. It is my best effort to honor a fantastic literary tradition while discovering my own contemporary American voice.

To those who have known me at different times and places, perhaps this confluence of perspective and culture was obvious all along, or at least understood.  To strangers who have found their way to this literary debut, I hope it gives you reason to read on!

Now available on Amazon

— Samuel Zamarripa, author

Next post: "What is an Oliet?" coming Friday, May 12.