Writing 101: Don’t Stop the Rockin’

On this free writing day, remember the words of author Anne Lamott: “I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good at it.”

Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.

Writing is rockin’. There’s no other way about it. And no one’s gonna stop me, honey. Whether I’m writing about Freddie Mercury reincarnated as a gander or pondering the nature of spiderwebs (which I haven’t done yet) or making my own mark on a co-authored novel, I will be rockin’. And I can’t stop rockin’.

Sometimes I have little to say, like when I feel frustrated. I wake up, stumble to feed the dogs and let the ducks out and then make espresso. The living room is cozy. I’ve never been more satisfied with the ambiance. Yet, I pass by. The laptop sits cold as I sweep or do dishes, make excuses to run errands or muck around digging holes. Don’t get me wrong, these things need to be done and, knowing me, I will scrub the pores in the wall because if I notice it’s dirty, I will feel a tug of duty to clean it. I’m afraid of getting lost in writing. What if I create a world so spellbinding I can’t wait to enter the next word and I forget all that’s important to me?

Wow–that sounds like what happens when people become engrossed in social media, only wouldn’t it be far better to be creating something of use rather than wasting hours refreshing a corporate advertising site? Imagine that. <—I revel in sarcasm, thanks.

So say I wake up tomorrow. Feed the dogs. Let them out. Do duck chores. Make a delicious cup of coffee and have a snack of yogurt and a banana, perhaps leftover vegetarian Tom Kha Tofu soup, and then…start writing. Today I read a manuscript for several hours, took a break due to brain fog, only to return and write my heart out on this blog. Why not every day?

Restriction is the game. I can play the game. Take away the source of input, restrain, and shift focus to another outlet. Put all the words down there as if they are my blood supply. The old methods have never worked, otherwise there would be something to show now. More than this. I know that. I also know that there was a lot I had to do around my house and I have been doing everything in my power to complete each task that’s been waiting. And I have done well, though it’s taken a year and a half to get this far. And now that so much has settled, am I not ready to get started more seriously?

I can’t continue to be like Freddie, Joaquin Phoenix’s character in the movie “The Master” and say, “If I could fart right now, I’d fart in your face.” While I’ve had a similar M.O. for many years, it’s time to move on. Farts are for kids. Farting around will not get me far. Not if I’m serious. (And I mean that metaphorically, of course.)

Time is not waiting for me. In fact, my time may be up sooner than I think.

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Litmus, Litmus on the Wall

If you had to come up with one question, the answer to which would determine whether or not you could be friends with a person you’ve just met, what would it be? What would the right answer be?

“Will you form a band with a gander frontgoose?” — Freddie Goose

I used to go around wearing mud on my bill, but I’m over that silliness.

“Oh, I was not made for heaven. No, I don’t want to go to heaven. Hell is much better. Think of all the interesting people you’re going to meet down there!” ― Freddie Mercury

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Flash Talk

You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?

Flaaaaaaaash! Ahhhhh-ahhhh…


Even better, the story can be told in 3:29 in song format. Here are the lyrics as written by Brian May:

Flash – a-ah – saviour of the universe
Flash – a-ah – he’ll save everyone of us
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Flash – a-ah – he’s a miracle
Flash – a-ah – king of the impossible

He’s for everyone of us
Stand for everyone of us
He’ll save with a mighty hand
Every man every woman
Every child – with a mighty flash

Flash – a-ah
Flash – a-ah – he’ll save everyone of us

Just a man (eh, hem…Just a gander)
With a man’s (gander’s) courage
He knows nothing but a man (gander)
But he can never fail
No one but the pure in heart
May find the golden grail
Oh oh – oh oh
Flash (Honk)

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Autumn Leaves

Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?

“Well, darlings, when I was human my birthday was in the fall, but sometimes the leaves hadn’t even begun to change colour yet by September 5th. Fall leaves are spectacular in contrast to the koi pond where I enjoy sitting alone, feeding my fish. Next year I want a bigger pond. The fish are outgrowing this one. I will say that I do not like to feel chilly at all.”

Of course, now I must tip my head to read the paper, but this comes in handy if I'm reading outside. One eye on the sky at all times means I can watch out for all those record producers reincarnated as hawks.
“Of course, now I must tip my head to read the paper, but this comes in handy if I’m reading outside. One eye on the sky at all times means I can watch out for all those record producers reincarnated as hawks.”

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Delayed Contact

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt

How would you get along with your sibling(s), parent(s), or any other person you’ve known for a long time — if you only met them for the first time today?


Freddie wants a go at this one. I will type for him.

“Well, darling, now that I’m a gander I wouldn’t care one way or another about that person, now would I? Having been imprinted, as they say, I am just another person in a goose body who only cares about the person who fed me and kept me warm after I hatched.

Had I not been imprinted, I think matters would be worse. For one thing I wouldn’t get to listen to my music and think, ‘My how awful! What was I thinking?’ and I wouldn’t get to see myself wearing black nail polish with long hair and women’s blouses, all glam rock, and also think, ‘How embarrassing! I was such a young tart.’

I have these moments when all is not going well and I am frustrated to think I’m stuck inside this body where I am required to preen all day and step in my own shit, but it could be worse: I could have come back as the ghost of Sid Vicious.”

Ready, Set, Done: A Daily Post’s Daily Prompt

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt

Ready, Set, Done

Today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.

Last night’s dream was amazing and stimulated by a Writing 101 assignment in which description took precedence. My step-aunt, a psychology major at the time, told me back when I was a teen that dreams can be altered, that if I thought about what I wanted to dream about I could control elements of the dream–even stop the dream in its tracks and say, “Hey, wait a minute!” The same day she told me this, I dreamt a demon was chasing me on skis and I stopped and said, “You can’t get me!”

That was that. No more demon. From then on, actually, I did all the chasing in my dreams; I was a demon annihilator.

Dreams lately have been nightly and vivid. Many of them have kept me restless. In slumber last night I found myself at 1 Logan Place just like I’d written about in Day 1 of Writing 101: A Room with a View. Accompanied by my maternal sister E., we were outside the green door with fans’ scribble on its face and the surrounding wall. For some reason I tried the door handle and it opened up to the garden where we stepped inside.

The dream was entirely about Mary, the love of Freddie’s life. She is the person who resides at Garden Lodge, the one Freddie gave his assets to and I have a strong feeling this is because he knew she loved him like no one else ever could or would. I am intimately familiar with a similar situation, a bittersweet, unrequited love that can never be reconciled due to the death of one partner. Yet, Mary’s love for Freddie, and vice versa, was something else. Even if I don’t know whether Mary could move on fully or not, in my own life I am finally going forward. I know she married after Freddie, but it didn’t last. I cannot imagine being surrounded every day by this mansion and garden, the decorations much the same as Freddie had left them. The mixture of love and pain, grief and longing would be heavier than anything else.

My sister and I wandered around the garden while I told her what I knew, surprised to find there were boards leaning here and there against the inside brick walls and privacy screens absent from the top wrought iron fencing on their top half. Being in the garden penetrated my being with pangs of grief that I’ve experienced in other dreams about searching for someone (this person died in real life) I was told was still alive, but I could not find him.

We went up to the door. Even though I was dreaming, my feelings were intense and knocking was difficult. I didn’t know what to expect, but could hear television or radio inside. A curtain of shame loomed over me as I am not one to pester celebrities or bother anyone who wishes for privacy. I’m not an autograph beggar or selfie-with-celebs fan.

I really didn’t want Mary to think I was there to harass her.

A young man opened the door. In some way it was as if he’d expected us. The door swung wide and he stepped back, so we walked in. The foyer was warm. The colors on the walls rich and inviting. There was a wall ahead of us, but slightly to the right were a few steps leading up to an open dining area where Mary sat.

I asked to speak to Mary, but saw her subtly shake her head in the background.

But I held on.

I am inside, I thought. This may be my only chance to ever tell her how I feel.

“Please,” I said. “I want to share something with you, Mary.”

She smiled briefly and approached. She was elegant, slender and tall, compared to me. She looked tired.

We were alone together in a room. A bathroom, it seems. Every word I shared was laden with emotion, so much so that today I cannot recount the words exactly. I felt like a swollen reservoir bursting. How would I ever convince her of my genuine caring?

I told her, I am sure of this, about how beautiful she is and let her know that her pain is obvious to me, that I know of a similar pain. I thought I felt her loneliness.

We hugged. My insides were melting as if all the grief I’d felt in my past hit me at once.

She had an appointment to keep, so my sister and I walked with her out the garden and through the green door.

“May I write you a letter, Mary?” I said.

“That will be fine.”

From Wikipedia: Love of My Life is a ballad by the English rock band Queen from their 1975 album A Night at the Opera.[1] The song was written byFreddie Mercury about Mary Austin, with whom he had a long term relationship in the early 1970s.[2] After performing the song in South America in 1981, the version from their live album Live Killers reached number 1 in the singles chart in Argentina and Brazil, and stayed in the charts in Argentina for an entire year.[3]

Day 2 of Writing 101: Commit to a Writing Practice

Today’s prompt is quite fitting, darlings:

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

Today, try free writing. To begin, empty your mind onto the page. Don’t censor yourself; don’t think. Just let go. Let the emotions or memories connected to your three songs carry you.

Today’s twist: You’ll commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today — and moving forward — are up to you, but we recommend a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Some of us need more than a symphony. More than a rock song. More than a ballad. Heck, we need them all…at once. We need a song that does what they say cannot be done, a song that keeps on into the wee hours, plays beyond the cessation of every other song we are used to hearing.

Some of us need the Rock God Opera. It’s the only way we become rock gods ourselves.

If a song is right, if it is true, we will listen. No matter what critics say. No matter what’s considered the norm. We will listen and interpret and reinterpret that song as many times as we feel like it.

The critics are oft wrong.

Such is life: the struggles, grief and trials. Our shamefulness. Our joy. All the moments terrifying and strange mixed up with all those moments rapturous and exciting.

Anyway the wind blows…

How does one see his-/herself truly, without blinders, and grasp the right combination of reality and fantasy? Can life be like our favorite songs? Perhaps our favorite songs echo our lives and that’s why we’ve chosen them.

Don’t Stop Me Now

When the light has faded and everyone’s gone home, there’s a chill in the air and, at times, it’s difficult not to wonder what’s the point. But, just listen.

I’m a shooting star leaping through the sky

Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity…

Music has me by the throat, so the best way for me to be successful in everything, from day-to-day, is to listen to what speaks clearly to my heart, or soul–if you will. I’m not one to deny that a song may influence my work in a wealth of ways. Music spurs thoughts and creates a backdrop, a sort of ballet dance, that fuels creation. A song takes me high or brings me low.

I have no trouble getting low on my own, thank you. I’ll stick to what I love, what makes me feel good and causes me to reflect.

Don’t Try So Hard

When your problems seem like mountains

You feel the need to find some answers

You can leave them for another day

Don’t try so hard

Some tasks cannot be avoided. I set out to conquer these with a smile on my face, albeit the occasional grumble resulting from stiffness in my bones.

But I have often asked myself if there’s a point in which pursuing something becomes a lost cause and I have found the answer to be “Yes!”

Many of life’s problems are not my problems, but worries I have taken upon myself. They do not belong to me and I needn’t feel guilty about dismissing them. I cannot fix what is not mine. I can grieve a bit, recognize there’s nothing I can do and move on.

Time waits for no one.

Writing 101: Inaugural Assignment – Freewrite

I’m supposed to start writing and keep on for twenty minutes, publishing whatever it is that comes out from this assignment. I see I’ve already begun. Much like waking up in the morning, beginning to stir about, there are many options to choose from when it comes to subjects to ponder/write about. Will I think “coffee”? Will I think “I wonder what the ducks are doing?” “The dogs want out NOW.” “So much to do today.”

The weather, predetermined in its own right, greets me with surprise, be it rain, sunshine, fog or wind. Perhaps it is all of the above. What world do I live in? When I look at the stars at night I really do wonder what’s out there, who am I? And I have a keen sense that I am small and that my purpose is mostly significant to other humans. I am otherwise fertilizer. There is a process, much like gardening, of matter breaking down and dispersing into something else. Maybe Freddie Mercury became a goose.

I really don’t know.

071What I do know is that Freddie the Gander loves listening to Queen. I have every reason to believe he will settle for nothing less than a real keyboard or piano as he scoffs at all the toys I’ve offered and prefers the plain, black iPod boombox. Whenever he hears Freddie Mercury’s voice, he begins prancing like the frontman he possibly was in another lifetime. He flirts, particularly to the song “Body Language” with any man or woman who happens to be in the room. Yet, he’s shy. But, have a party and he makes his rounds.

When my friend G. visits, Freddie eyes G.’s cigarette with appetite.

“It wouldn’t suit your palette now, Freddie,” I say. I know Freddie liked to smoke a bit to keep his voice a bit rough.

“Besides, you have air sacs now instead of lungs.”

He watches as G. flicks ashes on the ground and then he says, “Meh.”, stands up a bit straighter and turns on his heels like he’s part of the Third Reich, or on stage exacting precise moves much like his namesake used to do at Wembley Stadium.

And when time to go back to the community pen comes along, Freddie balks. He’s mad.

August2014 229“Eeeeeehhhhhh!” he says, as I push his fluffy goose butt toward the gate. He wants to stay. He’s not a duck. This he knows. I can see he wants me to take him in the house. Even better–be with him outside day and night, for he’s imprinted–more human than waterfowl–and wants to bathe in the tub, watch television and go for long rides in the car to places with tall grass and antique malls.

I end up carrying Freddie back to the pen. Sometimes he protests with kicks of his large, webbed feet, such fleshy feet you’d think they could be malformations of what we have as humans. He squirms a bit, more as I approach the pen. He doesn’t want to return.

It’s as if he’s saying, “Can’t you see, I’m Mr. Mercury?”

I promise him a better future. Freddie likes better, bigger. He wants more. There will come a day when he is shuffled from the Duck House and Garden Lodge to a new property where grass grows in mounds and the sky stretches out in every direction. He doesn’t know this. At least I don’t think he does. Not yet. But he will. One day he will emerge from a transport crate and set his eyes upon his new home, the likeness of which he cannot imagine, as a goose. It will be Freddie the Rock God Gander HEAVEN. 

He’s impatient. Each night he stays in the duck house is another night he doesn’t get to come inside, despite having to wear a goose diaper, which he tolerates well. But I see that he wants to follow me as I turn to close the door after shutting off the light and tell him to take care of the ducks, let me know if he hears anything suspicious.

As I close the door, I hear one last, “Humph!”

If he is Freddie Mercury, he just might hate me a little.