I got to write one more check to yet another amazing band.

The members of Phish were kind enough to let me use the lyrics from their song, If I Could, in the pages of Time Between Us, and I couldn’t be more grateful!

Here’s the story.

I’m inspired by music, and when I’m writing, I need songs that help me escape my real world and completely engulf me in another one. When I first started writing Time Between Us, I had this really long playlist. Well, actually it wasn’t a “playlist”, it was just every song I own that came out between 1991 and 1995. Which turned out to be a lot of songs.

When my husband, Mike, and I first moved in together we did the obligatory “combining of the music” thing, and we had more than 800 CDs between us. A few years ago, we took turns ripping them into a digital library and got to experience our old music all over again, and realized we’re kind of junkies.

But I digress…

So I had a bunch of music on my iPod — all the stuff Anna, a high school junior in 1995, might have had in her own CD collection — and when I was writing, or in the car by myself, or at the gym, I would put it on random shuffle and listen to see what songs jumped out at me. Every once in a while, one would. And sometimes it would hit me so hard, I’d have to stop whatever I was doing and just listen to the lyrics. Nightingale Song was one of those moments. Anna Begins was another. If I Could might have been the biggest.

Take me to another place, she said.

Take me to another time.

My ears perked up.

Stay with me ’til time turns over.

I want to feel my feet leave the ground.

I pulled the car over.

Hear you laughing as we go…


I knew the song. I hadn’t heard it in years. But oh my gosh, could there be a more perfect song for Anna and Bennett?

And it matched the scene I’d been working on! I wove in some of the lyrics from If I Could, knowing that I might need to take them out if I couldn’t get permission to use them. But as with Pearl Jam’s Corduroy lyrics, once they were in the story, I couldn’t imagine that particular scene without them.

Also, like Pearl Jam, Phish was another perfect fit for my story for more personal reasons. My husband, Mike, introduced me to them when we were first dating and this album completely reminds me of those early days with my adorable, new, music-loving boyfriend. He used to make me mixtapes and he’d paint the paper covers with watercolors. Those of you who’ve read Time Between Us will totally get that.

Thank you, Phish, for writing this beautiful song, and for allowing me to use your words in my little story. They absolutely make the moment for me, and I hope they do for readers as well.

To see the songs that ended up on that final playlist, check out Anna’s shelf HERE.

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