Five Leaves Left

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Quick Overview

Ten Short Stories that use Nick Drake’s 1969 debut album Five Leaves Left as a launchpad and soon leave their birthplace far behind in an eclectic tour ’round the world.

73 paged paperback pocketbook, 105 x 150mm

Five Leaves Left

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Courtney Seiberling lives in a cabin in Hollywood and writes plays, ploys, stories and games, shoots films and photographs for a life as well as for a living .


What I did.

I wanted to take a writing class, but I couldn’t afford one. So, I decided to give myself a project instead. This book was that project.

My boyfriend gave me Nick Drake's studio albums one year at Christmas. I played them on repeat for months: in my car, at work, on my headphones. Images kept coming to mind and stories began to unfold.  I saw characters I didn’t know in places I’ve never been. I realized they had feelings and desires and wanted to be put on the page. I found they had a lot to say.

I’ve always loved music and its power. Music is the strongest way to connect our feelings with our bodies, and our bodies to each other and our world. I love musicians who can make your heart bleed and yearn and sing out all at once. Nick is one of those artists.

I decided to write a story for every track on his album Five Leaves Left. I found this album to be expansive, timeless…all the components that a solid album has. It was also his first and seemed to fit with this being my first book.

I’m not trying to explain the songs. You can do that for yourself.  The stories are just a reflection of the experience Nick created for me. And my hope is that these stories create an experience for you.

I’ve always been interested in how artists influence other artists. This book is for anyone who has ever been inspired, by anything really: by a rock concert, magazine article, a spider building a beautiful web, or a crab finding her way into the sand. This book is for anyone who has wept because a song fit them so well or danced out of their body because they loved the beat in it.

There is art and inspiration in everything. May you always look for it and be taken away like I was.

Courtney Seiberling

Los Angeles, Fall 2009