by Nick Turner

Introduction (For those who like this sort of thing: skip it if you want!)

This story is really a collection of stories, all built around the person of John Scott and his journey from almost more loneliness than he can cope with to almost more love than he can cope with.

You may already have read my story Tim Comes Home which is posted in the adult/youth section of Nifty. I had nearly finished Tim when I decided to discard it and begin again; I found that Tim turned out more violent than I really liked (even though I deliberately kept all violence 'off-stage') and I thought that perhaps the same things could be said in a more gentle way.

And so Dancing to the Music of their Hearts was born. This too is a story about loneliness, love, forgiveness and redemption, and features many of the elements present in Tim. A Catholic faith, going commando, gayness (of course!) are some of the features that unite characters here, too, but at the time I didn't know that I was going to re-read Tim and decide that there was more good than bad in it, finish it, and post it to Nifty after all. So you must forgive the re-run of some of these themes, and take consolation that otherwise the story is utterly, entirely, different.

One important difference is that the plot is much more relaxed than in Tim: each story is dealt with individually, and there is little interweaving. There is a big cast of characters, though I introduce them all slowly, and so I hope you will be able to sort out who's who easily enough. If not, let me know and I'll provide a Dramatis Personæ list. Dancing is not, unlike Tim, a 'thriller', or a mystery tale. So the pace is different. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy it.

So there you have it: Dancing is actually finished now, although I am revising it as I post it in stages. And if any of you cannot sleep for wondering what happens next, if you send me an email, I'll send you the whole story for you to read at home, albeit perhaps in a somewhat unedited state.

I had an awful job coming up with a name for this story; it began as Sailor John, (a bit too camp) then it was The Course of True Love (a bit too corny, but I was basing it on that bit from A Midsummer Night's Dream which I quote below, which seems to me to sum up a lot of the story). The third title was Go Thou and Do Likewise which actually I liked best, but then thought a bit too recherché. The last rejected title was simply The Scott Saga, which now appears as a subtitle. It does not mean to suggest the great Nordic Sagas, but rather the Forsyte Saga; the story, or rather stories, of one family over a period of time. In the end, the rather schmalzy title I ended up with was suggested by a scene in the very last chapter which I won't spoil for you.

I wouldn't be surprised if these characters spawn one or two more stories some time in the future; it seems to me that Jules and Sandy (who won't appear until Chapter 4) need their story telling, as does Chris at University.

But at the moment I am beginning to turn my mind to the composer George Handel and his mysterious trip to Italy in the first decade of the eighteenth century. I wonder what he got up to…… He never married, you know…… :-)

With best wishes,



LYSANDERAy me! for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth;
But, either it was different in blood,—

HERMIA O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low.

LYSANDER Or else misgraffed in respect of years,—

HERMIA O spite! too old to be engaged to young.

LYSANDER Or else it stood upon the choice of friends,—

HERMIA O hell! to choose love by another's eyes.

LYSANDER Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it,
Making it momentary as a sound,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say ‘Behold!’
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to confusion.

HERMIAIf then true lovers have been ever crossed
It stands as an edict in destiny.
Then let us teach our trial patience,
Because it is a customary cross.
As due to love as thoughts and dreams and sighs,
Wishes and tears, poor Fancy’s followers.

Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Act 1, Scene 1