Through it all—my thirteen years of trundling between the U.S. and Vietnam on covert missions, my time in combat, my survival of the fall of Saigon, escaping under fire, my still-classified work after 1975—my devotion to music never flagged. I still play the piano (I now have a Steinway grand, thanks to my daughter, Susan) every day. I play Mozart more than any other composer. I’d play more Bach, but much of his music is simply too difficult. Also in the mix are Satie, Beethoven, and Chopin.
Writing has always been my major vocation, but I dallied with theater, dance, and music before I accepted the judgment of my Muse and returned happily to telling stories. It’s clear to me that my fascination with languages and love of music have served me well as a writer. My novels and short stories show the steady influence of my work in languages other than English, but music rarely appears in my stories. I believe that its absence is explained by the inapplicability of the logic of music to writing. The thinking inherent in music applies to no other endeavor, and the ratiocination of no other pursuit is applicable to music.
For all that, learning to think in multiple systems of logic has helped my writing immensely. I’m especially grateful for the contribution of music. Even if it hadn’t helped, I’d be thankful for the beauty and peace music has introduced into my life.