This is a new series in my blog inspired by the things I do to keep myself happy.
Wouldn’t it be cool to have the real world turn into musical? Just when you need it, someone would start singing and music would play and people would dance. Yes, I know those are called flash mobs, but I have yet to witness a flash mob in the real world.
I am not a gifted musician. I played the clarinet for a few years as a child. I can read uncomplicated music and plunk out a few tunes (with one hand) on the piano. My voice is flat, so I only sing when I’m alone. I do have an irritating knack for remembering lyrics—all lyrics—sometimes really dreadful lyrics from songs and commercials that everyone else has forgotten.
Yes, I can remember as far back as age six, right before my mom got rid of our television (thank you, Mom), a groovy Coke commercial with those catchy lyrics . . .
“I’d like to teach the world to sing . . . “
Yeah, that one. I’ll save you the torture.
But, it isn’t just dreadful commercials I sing, I also make up songs in my head.
After grocery shopping, I walked out to the parking lot, and made up this lovely tune (to be sung to the tune of “Dirty Old Town” by The Pogues):
I left my car by Island Market–
Dirty old Forrester, Dirty old Forrester.
I sing my creation to my children. Their typical response? “Just stop, Mom. Please!”
I stop. But it doesn’t stop the song from going through my brain, over and over and over again.
On those rare occasions when I find a missing sock and bring the pair together in my sock drawer, I sing this classic:
The green apple sitting in the bowl with all the red apples inspired this:
I’ve had this song stuck in my head for years.
I’ve changed the lyrics:
She’s a Bella dog and she’s okay,
She likes to wag her tail all day.
“Please stop, human!”
This is my way of creating a musical world, but you have to admit, it would be pretty awesome if music would just start playing and we could all start dancing and singing ourselves right out of any funk we create.
Yes, once again, I’ll announce the news:
SPRING IS MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR!
Who can resist all the blooming flowers, singing birds, croaking frogs, warming days . . .
I’ve been busy with revisions, for I have decided ONCE AGAIN my manuscript needs quite a bit of work.
I’m also working on something big, but I cannot discuss it now. Let’s just say it has something to do with sanity and writing (yes, the two do go together).
I’ll leave you with an image of spring.
And Elizabeth Bennet.
Today is the 200th anniversary of the first publication of Pride and Prejudice.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
This is one of the best opening lines of a novel. It promises adventure, wit, and a touch of appropriate sarcasm.
Another of my favorite quotes (though I suppose this one makes me a bit of a misanthrope):
“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.”
Thank you, Jane!
Here’s my last post for 2012.
I went to my favorite beach with my family.
Saw a whale spout and another, and a magnificent fluke rose up from the water and the creature dove deep.
I would have caught it on camera, but I was too busy watching.
The gentle baleen whales, the gray whales,
My favorite animals.
We climbed on rocks,
Looked in tide pools.
I love how the water sculpts the rocks.
A beautiful afternoon.
And evening . . .
A prelude to the beautiful year ahead.
Dream the beautiful and work through the impossible . . .
Happy New Year!
I’m working on a new project. I’ve written a summary and created character profiles (after a furious vetting process). I think I even discovered the core of the story.
I went on long walks.
I stared into space.
I daydreamed . . .
Now, the time has come where I need to stop thinking and write my first draft.
I confess, I hate writing a first draft. Planning is all kinds of fun, revision has moments of glory, but the first draft? Well, it’s so dreadful and unknown. I’m awkward, like I’m on a first date not sure of what to do or say. I want my writing to be perfect, but what I see on the page is so far from the beauty I first saw in my mind.
You know what I’m talking about: You envision Rembrandt, but you can’t even manage a proper stick figure.
So, here’s what I do when I have to start a first draft:
This needs tidying!
There’s vacuuming to do, baking, organizing drawers, bathtubs to be scrubbed, and, of course, all sorts of day job issues to obsess over and suck up my time.
This past week was particularly stressful with all sorts of real world stuff to distract me—day job dramas, the holidays . . .
This past week I also learned the horrible news of the untimely death of a beautiful and talented young woman. I still can’t quite believe I’ll never see her again.
So, this morning I got up at five and opened a new document.
I know it will not be perfect. I will get stuck, and I will wander away from my desk from time to time to do Absolutely Necessary Chores; however, the story has begun, the characters talk, and things happen. Eventually, I will finish.
This past week’s tragedy is a reminder of the value of each passing hour.
I know how I should be spending my time.
I will write this book.
Where have I been?
Working, of course!
Writing, day job, helping with homework . . .
I haven’t forgotten.
October is beautiful and oddly warm and dry. I’m enjoying this unusual weather, but I’m also concerned because this is far from normal for the Pacific Northwest.
I’m almost at the end of the long project, and I’ve been getting up at 5 to work on my writing. It’s a magic hour before email, the Internet, work, and getting the family ready for the day.
I hope your hours are filled with creative energy and beauty!
I’ve been busy this summer.
Out in the garden
Constantly changing . . .
My garden is my ongoing work in progress.
I suppose making a connection between gardening and writing isn’t new, but I cannot help but see the connection. I am also working on a new YA novel. I’m revising right now.
I hope to see a finished project soon.