Level Up

This is the second chapter of a 55,000 word manuscript I have completed. It is a general introduction to the book. I think my query letter sums it the book and introduces it nicely: 

Dear ______, 

The doctor at Mayo Clinic was either oblivious or heartless about my identity as a violinist when he bluntly said to me, Dystonia has no cure.

“You could learn to play left-handed?” he said, partly in jest.

I wanted to scream, “Maybe you could do surgery left-handed” and imagined myself strangling him with the EKG wires he had me hooked up to. I decided that I wasn’t going to believe him. Somewhere in my mind, there was a way to stop my hand spasms. He said my nerves developed a misfiring trigger that caused the tremor. Well, I was going to retrain my nervous system. As a violinist since age 4, I had spent my entire life working on my form, posture, and technique as it relates to the violin. Why couldn’t I do this too?

Along the way, I discovered I was unraveling my entire being and not just rewiring my programming as a musician. So many obstacles blocked me from scratching the surface of the impossible task of rewiring my neural pathways that the impossible seemed hopeless until it started to get easier, and easier. Force of a Fly is part memoir about my musical rehabilitation (as well as a near death bout with a chef knife to the kidney) and part instruction manual.

It is a how-to book about uncovering the virtuoso within all of us who can “make it look easy.” Do you need a violin to read this book? Absolutely not, you just need to be living in a body that’s been on autopilot for too long. How do virtuosos showcase their talent with such confidence and ease? Where are these pianists or violinists or guitarists mentally while in the zone, and how did they find this “space between” where impossible finger gymnastics appear to be as simple as changing the channels on a TV remote? Where are we mentally while we walk the dog, prepare dinner, type on the keyboard, drive the car, or go to the gym? Can we extrapolate this virtuoso’s control of the “space between” and apply it to our everyday lives?

As a violin teacher with a busy studio I have tested my philosophies on many students and have developed a methodology from years spent learning how to play single notes without a spasm. This book is a blend of life, literature, and music.

I’m seeking representation for my prescriptive/narrative nonfiction book Force of a Fly Please let me know if you’d like to look over the completed 55,000-word manuscript or my proposal.

Alex Laugalis


+52 1 55 4868 3582