September is National Piano Month and in a serendipitous event (as in totally unplanned but lucky), Laurel Fork Press has just published my story, “Hands of the Master.” I don’t plan to be confessional about all my stories, but I will admit this story came partly (okay, maybe mostly) from my experiences as a piano student/music major who happened to have very small hands. And yes, they occasionally bled, although not as much as in the cover image. Mostly I had problems with swelling in my wrists. But Celia, the narrator of this story, has other problems as well . . .
HANDS OF THE MASTER
When Celia first hears a recording of pianist Jiri Mrazek, a world-renown pianist who died the year she was born, his powerful, passionate playing changes her life. Drawn to his music, she soon discovers parallels between his life and hers. And when she makes the final round of the prestigious Horowitz competition at age twenty-one, the exact age that Mrazek won the same competition, she realizes her destiny is to be Mrazek’s musical heir. But her endless practice injures her hands, her small, weak, useless woman’s hands. And so, against the advice of her mother and doctor, she undergoes a cutting-edge procedure, a duel hand transplant. With hands like Mrazek’s, nothing can stop her from following in his footsteps. But surgeries carry risks, and dreams nurture the seeds of obsession. Mrazek died at a tragically young age. Celia must discover just where the parallels between her life and Mrazek’s end.