You are a Novel in a Sea of Magazines

I’ve been a big fan of Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors since I saw them open up for Dave Barnes in February 2009, and one of my favorite songs has always been “Fire and Dynamite,” which is where the title of this post comes from.

I love that line, so the other day, I was thrilled to see that Drew himself loves that line just as much:

“The woman you love can drive you crazy. They are unpredictable, stop [you in your] tracks, make you wish you knew more about them. The best love songs revolve around a lyric that puts flesh on this idea.

I had the lyric, ‘You are a novel in a sea of magazines’ floating around in my head for weeks. Magazines you flip through, you have briefly, then you throw them away. A novel you savor, you relish, you stay up at night thinking about. You might even re-read it and every time you find more complexities and nuances and character details that make you fall more in love with the story. A novel takes time, requires commitment. You don’t just read a novel in a day. It surprises you, makes you lose your mind trying to know where the narrative is headed. A romantic love worth holding on to is like a novel, not a magazine. It’s Steinbeck’s East of Eden versus People magazine October 1989. Who remembers People Magazine October 1989? No one except the celebrity who made the cover. Who remembers East of Eden? Everyone who ever read it!

This feeling doesn’t just apply to romance, it applies to every meaningful human interaction. We are all novels, in the process of being authored, by ourselves, by fate, by God, by community, by suffering, by happiness, and all the other experiences that drive our history. I wanted to write a song that has this mysterious joy to it. I wanted big drums, loud guitars, unadulterated shouting, and an ernest heart, that says, ‘yes, we all matter,’ especially that girl or boy you keeping thinking about every 15 minutes.”

– From the Singled Out feature on

I don’t think anyone has ever been able to put my chronic single-ness into words quite like that before, including me. I don’t want a bunch of magazines, superficial and meaningless (although I do NOT feel like this about magazines in general – I actually love magazines as a medium and hope to work for one soon!). I want a real story, with real characters, real meaning for all involved.

Idealized? Yes. But I think there are others out there who feel the same.

For those who haven’t heard the song, check it out here:


4 thoughts on “You are a Novel in a Sea of Magazines

  1. This gives new meaning to “writing the great American novel”. Someone, somewhere, will see this and you will be part of their great novel- American or otherwise…

    You make me more proud each time I read what you write.

  2. Pingback: The Single Girl’s Checklist #31 | What's shakin' in the real world

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