Five Songs to Kick Your Confidence in the Rear

I love music. Music helps me think, feel, breathe, live. When I need to focus on running, I listen. When I need to tune out distractions and write, I listen. When I need to relax, I listen.

In the past, I wrote about songs that move me and songs that help me create. I therefore wish to delve into songs that kick my motivation in the rear and boost my self-confidence.

I think of them as my Girl Power Songs, Bad-A Ballads, or Power Playlists.

My first pick is songs from The Matrix soundtrack. That is because The Matrix is my power movie. I watched at least a part of it in college, every day that I needed a boost. The music is no less empowering.

Second on my motivational music playlist is Evanescence. Amy Lee is my kind of singer, combining classical powerhouse with near-death metal grunge. This is the sort of song I know the words to and sing/yell along to every time.

Third brings us into the first of my adult choices. I listen to a variety of music, but only like a handful of rap. Maybe a few fingers-worth, actually. I’d be no sort of music-lover without Eminem’s “Mom’s Spaghetti”* making my list.

Not far behind is Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy.” Also not one I can turn up around the kids; it’s still one of my top motivational songs.

Last for this truncated list are dubstep playlists. I particularly love having a fast-paced final number for my last lap or final aerobics set. This remix of “Turn Down for What” is perfect for just that.

Do you listen to music when you need a boost? What are some of your upbeat favorites? Do you turn them up and yell along?

—————-

The following were written without the aid of music, due to the presence of small children:
Wednesday, July 31: Wrote “All We Are is Dollars in a Wallet.”

Thursday, August 1: Answered Mathew’s questions in “Another Liebster Thingie.”

Friday, August 2: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Bruce!

Saturday, August 3: Announced the 37th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a free verse of whatever subject you choose. PLEASE ENTER! Tell your friends! Tell your enemies!

Sunday, August 4: Shared Norah Colvin’s interview with me about school day reminiscences.

Also, “Song, For One,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, August 5: An inspirational quote by Neil Gaiman.

Tuesday, August 6: “Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Nine.”

Wednesday, August 7: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “The Dishes and Other Evils,” “The Top Ten Reasons Why Being Pregnant is Awesome,” and “Five Minutes Later.”

 

*Yes, I know its real name is “Lose Yourself.”

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

What is Your Music of the Night?

This morning whilst sorting laundry, I was treated to a rare concert. One of my house guest’s eight children is quite proficient at piano; as such, she was giving our lovely not-quite-as-prestigious-as-a-grand-piano some exercise.

Beginning with “The Phantom of the Opera,” she worked her way through to “The Music of the Night.” -At about an Allegro. I think Michael Crawford, wherever he is, felt a jolt. Heaven help me, I had to stop her.

First I exhorted her to slow down. Then I used words like, “hypnotic” and “seductive.” I finally pulled out YouTube and our portable speaker and let The Master explain it to her.

As a child I would lay next to the speakers in our family room and allow the entire 1986 original London cast to wash over me. Envelop me. Yes, even hypnotize and seduce me. My sister and I pored over the included playlist, read its stage notes, pictured in our minds what the music and speaking parts outlined.

I saw the daring, terrifying phantom descend into the masquerade. I trembled with pleasure at the image of his masked form waiting just behind Christine Daaé’s mirror. And I wept inside whenever I heard his echo to the romantic interchange between Christine and Raoul (skip to 4:03).

My poor visiting piano player didn’t know any of that, of course. How could she?

After I returned to my laundry, I thought about music. I thought about S. Chersis mentioning books as a craving and how that put me in mind of songs that I must listen to until satiation.

Phantom is not the only music I’ve loved. It’s not the only music I still love and still need to ingest periodically. I also cannot live without Chopin, The Pixies, Offenbach, Led Zeppelin, Book on Tape Worm, Evanescence, Weezer, Holst, Eminem, Prokoviev

When I use the word “love,” I do not exaggerate. These songs and others reach a part of me that nothing else can and help me to feel again.

Does anyone else ever get that way with music? What songs speak to you? Have you any that always have and always will?

mpumelelo-macu-9p-DsBtSygA-unsplash

—————-

Plug into your favorites, and read what I wrote this past week:
Wednesday, June 26: Delved into our secret tastes with “Have You Any Guilty Pleasures?

Thursday, June 27: Re-blogged Lunch Break Fiction’s fantastic story, “Where the Wild Things Were.”

Friday, June 28: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Bereaved Single Dad!

Saturday, June 29: Announced the 32nd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is ‘Little Willie’ poems. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, June 30: Nothing. Still have house guests.

Monday, July 1: Re-blogged The Pale Rook‘s piece about self-value and creation. She’s an amazing writer and artist; check her out!

Tuesday, July 2: “Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Seven.”

Wednesday, July 3: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “A Return to the Dentist,” “A House Full of Kids is a House Full of Love,” and “A Very Short Parenting Poem.”

 

Photo Credit:
Mpumelelo Macu

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Well, well, well, class. This week you have made me truly proud. The level of terribleness was almost palpable; the rhymes painful; the “swearing” so very entertaining. Thank you.

As almost always, however, there can only be one winner. This week, that winner is Ruth Scribbles.

YO MAMA

by Ruth Scribbles

Slam and a bam
And a hip hop cam

A buck and a tuck
And a Fock Fock Fock

Boo rah chee rah
Bum boom bah

My mama don’t like
Your mama thinks
She better

Rama mama not yo mama
Yo yo mama nana

Daddio patio
Whoop whoop whoooo

Im done with this rap
A tat a tat a tat tat
TAT

Congratulations, Ruth! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

I had a difficult time narrowing results down with the level of talent/cringe-ness for this round. After all was said and rhymed; Ruth’s winning points were her second stanza (A buck and a tuck / And a fock fock fock), her cliché rap references, and her poem’s overall terribleness.

At least two others were close finalists; and all made me laugh through my tears of pain. Read below, and enjoy them as well:

Untitled piece

by Nitin

Yo, yo, this is for all them fellas in the hood,
Don’t let the Five-O ruin your mood,
Let’s keep it gangsta till the end
Let’s fight them snitches and beat the reverend???
Yo, yo, I know I can’t rap for nuts
But I think my anaconda likes them big butts

—–

Untitled piece

by Doug

**** cool
stitch in time, mind ****
dress to the nines, fine
Chantilly lace hangin’
ditty bop well hung ****
hanging ****
banging ****
want you babe bad
bad *** jerky ****
chill hot

—–

It’s a Clean House, Yo

by Peregrine Arc

Yo, yo I stubbed my toe
Gotta get back now to shine my halo.
I mix my speaks, get down in my sneaks
And then I start the hammer on my
Beautiful Louisiana

Vroom, vroom now grab the broom
Word, we’ve got laundry to do.
We must clothe a thousand men
With all the clothes in this here pig pen.

So grab that broom,
Cause you know how we do.
And before you know it, girl…
We got this house shining like a pearl!

My, my, my the house look so fly
That’s what happens when you clean.
So serene, so lean, so pristine
I need to call my girl, Justine.

Now check yourself before you wreck yourself–to the chorus!

Wax on…wax off.
Wax on…wax off.
Momma didn’t raise no fool now–
Wax on…wax off.
Wax on…wax off.

Word to your Hoover.

—–

The Anti-Rap Rap (audio version)

by Trent McDonald

I don’t do rap
But some of the time
Put the pencil to the paper
For some pretty mean rhyme

Anti-rap rap
The anti-rap rap

I try to go deep
But it’s often Willy-nilly
I Can look pretty stupid
Or write very silly

Anti-rap rap
The anti-rap rap
*Something like this* Techno

Often my verse
Comes out perverse

Send it away in a Hearst!
With a loud curse

For
I might say “you lose with booze”
Or you might bring me good news
But the words I use
Show my views
Have no Clues!

They stick out
Like Sore Tooths!

See?
It’s not to be!
Don’t have the key
No good rhyme for me!

More techno
Anti-rap rap
The anti-rap rap
Techno solo

I spew this stuff
Shovel it up in a pile
But my one big hope
Is Today….

Today…

I made you smile!!

Anti-rap rap
The anti-rap rap

—–

Fa la la la la – A rap

by Bruce Goodman

Verse:
You say you don’t want me in your life
Well that cuts like a knife
You say that life’s a breeze
You can say what you please
It won’t bring me to my knees
You’re such a sleaze.
You’re just like the old woman who lived in a shoe
I don’t know why she reminds me of you.
You think I’m going on and on with this rap
Well just cut the crap
I too can talk the talk
And I don’t give a fork.

Chorus:
I don’t give a fork
I don’t give a fork
Fa la la la la
I don’t give a fork.
You dork.

—–

Camel Meat with Thyme

by D. Wallace Peach

It a crime not to rhyme
Or do time in the clamor slammer
For the chime of the hammer
Don’t be a mammal
Better trammel
On a camel. Huh.

What you yammer in a verse
Don’t need to rhyme perverse
Keep the curse in your purse
How you like my meat
Cooking camel in the heat
Serve it with a beet. Huh.

Sometime gotta play the game
Gotta eat the meat, Pete
We rap a beat the same
With a handle for our name
Wolfing camel or parakeet
Ain’t it a culinary treat. Huh.

—–

Oi

by Deb Whittam

My mom said a ok
You will cook or I’ll make you pay
You do nuthin but twitter and insta
So I think its time you all cooked me dinna.

—–

Thank you all. Peace out.

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Ruth: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

‘Sup, yo? This here’s the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. We’re all up in yo’ proprieties fo’ 23 weeks now, bruh.

Wanna play? Being terrible isn’t as simple as ya think. That’s why I’ve got a basic overview and about 22 weeks of contests y’all can read through. This is more about missing a beat, tricking a pattern, an’ appalling audiences with lost metaphors.

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. Chelsea’s all for equal treatment of genres, so the Topic is Cliché Rap.
  2. This beat don’t need to be as long as Mom’s Spaghetti. Keep the Length to a few verses or fewer.
    An’ keep the submission limit to 3.
  3. Rhyme? It’d be sublime if you’d rhyme sometimes; crime the mind and throw us all off when you suddenly stop.
  4. Above all, make it terrible. Nicki Minaj, Eminem, and Drake need to feel compelled to call upon the awesome power of Tupac to sneak into your house and steal the vowels from your keyboard, so they never have to sit through that again.
  5. This blog’s generally a general audience sort, but the judge is not ignorant as to the content of most rap. I therefore suggest you try for PG-13. Get creative with asterisks if you want; just don’t offend your mom.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (May 3) to submit a poem.

If you wish to remain anonymous till next week, use the form. Leave me a comment saying that you did so I will be able to tell you whether I received it.

For a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!

dom-hill-465368-unsplash.jpg

Photo credit:
Dom Hill

Do You Know Your Influences?

One of my favorite stories is a chapter in Louis Sachar’s Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger. A dubious character named Dr. Pickell hypnotizes a woman to help with her smoking addiction. He tells her the cigarette will turn into a worm in her mouth; then, as is his wont, adds a twisted behavior at the end of their hypnosis session.

“[Dr. Pickell] rubbed his beard and smiled. ‘Whenever your husband says the word “potato,” you will slap him across the face.’

‘When – Fred – says – ‘potato’ – I – will – slap – his – face.'”

A few paragraphs later, we learn the effects of Dr. Pickell’s meddling.

“It was an interesting thing about the word ‘potato.’ Whenever Fred said it, she slapped him. And he’d ask her why she slapped him, but she never remembered slapping him, so they’d get in a big fight, each calling the other crazy. Then they’d kiss and make up, which was nice because her breath didn’t stink.

“They never figured out it had anything to do with saying ‘potato.’…

“But deep down they both must have realized it somehow, because while they used to eat lots of potatoes, they gradually ate fewer and fewer, until they finally stopped eating them altogether.”

You would be surprised how often I think about this story in real life. Sachar is a master children’s author, crafting a deep story in a few, easily understood sentences.

Although I could go on for a bit longer about children’s authors, Louis Sachar, and pickles vs. potatoes; I bring this story up to discuss influences in our lives and whether we notice them or not.

Just think: when you walk into a store, what do you see? Someone has planned what you will see. Someone has looked at studies that say how much space a shopper needs upon entering before he may encounter something on sale. That someone knows that angled aisles are better but not as space-efficient (so they hang tags off the shelves), that we shoppers look for sales, and that we need enough space in an aisle to avoid the ‘butt-brushing effect.’

Advertising is a sneaky business, and one we often think of when considering this subject. As prevalent as purchasing bits of our mind is, however, that is not the influence that I am interested in discussing.

Instead, I want to think about less-evil, subtle influences we are ignorant of; things like choosing to act like our hero, striving to never wear red because you think it’s evil, and picking a genre of music after a coworker won’t stop listening to it.

In my life, I’ve seen examples of all of these behaviors. My brother is in medical school because one of his scout leaders was/is a successful doctor. One of my relatives will not wear red. And our family all got hooked on dubstep because my husband’s coworker played it nonstop.

For me, personally; I do not sew because my mother did not, I read and write because she did, and I abhor shopping and matching and new trends because she always tried to get me to wear (what I thought were) ugly combinations at the store. On sunny days I feel more capable and happy. If a friend makes a nice comment, I feel more confident. A jarring chord or fighting at home raises everyone’s anxiety levels.

When I think about it, the influences seem obvious. When I don’t, they don’t. Either way, I behave impulsively.

When the day is grey and ordinary, do you huddle up and wonder why everything’s dark and depressing? After hearing a favorite song from your youth, do you find yourself fondly (and ignorantly) reminiscing? Or, are you self-aware enough to buck the trends and have a happy-ever-after without any pickles princes?

pickled-cucumbers-1520638_1920

—————-

Check out what I wrote this week. These posts may affect your day:
Wednesday, March 6: Wrote “It Takes Pains to Be Beautiful but I’m No Masochist,” a discussion of whether beauty is skin-deep and how much some people need to help that.
Also, “A Ghost of a Pinned Chance,” in response to Peregrine Arc‘s writing prompt.

Thursday, March 7: “The Cure for Depression: Get Outside,” another suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.
And, typed up a free-verse poem, “Seasonal Perspectives.”

Friday, March 8: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Michael Fishman!
I was prolific this week! Wrote “The Seedy Underbelly of Writing.” Be careful out there, people.

Saturday, March 9: Announced the 17th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Under-the-Table Deals. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, March 10: “I’d Like to Mouse Wheel a Motion,” my entry for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt this week.

Monday, March 11: “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Five.” Pants Hands-down, one of the funniest in the series so far
Tuesday, March 12:  An inspirational quote by @Girlbebrave.

Wednesday, March 13: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Selfish Selflessness,” “The @#*&% Diet,” and quoted Erma Bombeck.

 

Photo Credit:
Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

I was worried when I didn’t get many entries for this week’s contest. Perhaps you were shy? In the end, though, we had a good and difficult-to-judge turnout. Thank you all for participating; you make picking a winner nigh impossible every Friday.

No more suspense. The winner is Furious Pockets.

“It’s Raining Phlegm,” from “It’s Raining Men”

by Furious Pockets

Temperature is rising — energy’s getting low
According to my doctor, work is not the place to go
Cause today, I don’t feel fine,
And since just about half-past ten
For some weird reason, a mystery,
My nose started raining phlegm!

It’s raining phlegm! Gesundheit, it’s raining phlegm! Ahem!
I’m gonna stay inside and let my tissues get
Absolutely soaking wet!

It’s raining phlegm! Gesundheit, it’s raining phlegm! Every specimen!
Yellow, green, lumpy and long
And sometimes red—I think something’s wrong!

WITH a much-needed Honorable Mention to Michael B. Fishman, who wrote EIGHT song parodies this week. I had trouble picking a favorite, but laughed the most with “Traction.”

“Traction” (“Satisfaction”)

by Michael B. Fishman

I can’t get no, tire traction.
I can’t get no, tire traction.
Tires spin, and they spin, and they spin and they spin
I can’t get no . . .

When I’m drivin’ in the snow,
and the weatherman’s saying what I already know;
he’s supposed to bring back warmer weather –
supposed to clear up icy roads.
I can’t get no . . .  No traction.

Congratulations, Furious Pockets! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

Every week, I post the entrants from the form and from the announcement post into a new blog post. I paste them without names, then go do something to cleanse my memories of who wrote what. I try my darndest to be impartial.

Today took so long because of a busy schedule, but also because I could not settle on a winner. You all write so terribly well, and parody well enough to make a grown Al Yankovic cry. At such a high level of skill, cleverness, and cringiness; I went with Furious Pockets for following the original song meter well, mostly keeping to the subject, and for a terrible subject matter.

As is our usual, this does not mean the rest were any less terrible. If you submitted a poem/song this week, go right ahead and give yourself an awkward pat on the back. These are fantastic:

“Just Pay Me” (“Let it Be”)

by Michael B. Fishman

When I find my teeth feel like loose rubble,
Dentist Mary comes to me speaking words of crowns and
“Just pay me, just pay me.”
And when I hear the drilling she is standing right in front of me,
“I’ll save your teeth of wisdom, just pay me, just pay me.”

—–

Inspired by “Ice, Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice

by Peregrine Arc

Alright stop.
Collaborate and listen, while I sit back in my brand new invention
The muse will grab ahold of you tightly
It’ll flow like a harpoon deadly and mighty
Will it ever stop? Yo I don’t know
Let’s turn on the lights and watch the poet go
To the extreme I wield my pen
Light up the words and rhyme like a fluffy hen

Nice, nice poetry… Really nice, nice poetry.
Nice, nice poetry. It’s really nice nice poetry…

—–

Untitled, but mostly seems inspired by “Bohemian Rhapsody”

by Nitin

Mama just drilled a man (not what you think!)
Put a drill against his teeth
Pulled the trigger, now the cavity’s filled
Mama that tooth was just decaying
But now I’ve gone and filled it all the way
Mama, saaay ahhh
Didn’t mean to become a dentist
If I’m not administering anaesthetic tomorrow
Scream on, scream on because everything matters

—–

“Bird Drips Keep Fallin’” (“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head“)

by Michael B. Fishman

Bird drops keep falling on my head,
and just like guy whose head is not really too big I never wear a hat,
those bird drops keep falling on my head and I’m bawling.
Because they smell, and they don’t smell very well.

—–

To the tune of the old Beatles classic: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”

by TanGental

Position yourself on the left of the centre
A democrat with a glint in the eye
Make a friend with a tea party member
Who’s more interested in the How than the Why.
Set up a committee to debate the issues
That matter to ordinary men on the bus.
Given them a budget to commission reporting
And let them know you don’t want a fuss.
Technical topics are always banned
They’ll only go over your heads
Look instead for a popular cause like a wall
And it’s done
Nancy’s in cahoots with Donald
Nancy’s in cahoots with Donald, ah, ah
Follow them now until the election
And watch as they build a castle of lies.
No one smiles and everything’s gone sour
And the only way out is to get high….

—–

“The Buffet” (“A Horse With No Name”)

by Michael B. Fishman

On the first leg of the buffet I was looking at all the rice.
There was brown and white and jasmine too
all this food for just one low price.

At the first stop on the buffet I was holding a sharp steak knife
There was strip, T-Bone and sirloin too
all this food who needs Herbalife?

I’ve been through the buffet with a plate in my hand
the beans were cold but I didn’t complain.
At the buffet you can eat ‘till you puke
until your belt it can’t stand the strain.

—–

“My Dear Ottoman” (“Mrs. Robinson”)

by Michael B. Fishman

And here’s to you, my dear ottoman,
seize my bottom with your wired spring coils
Woo, woo, woo.
Oh if you please, my dear ottoman,
I hope your fabric never fades away
Hey, hey, hey.

I’d like to know a little bit about your plushy piles
and how they always manage to soothe mine.
I sit on you for hours and I stand up with a smile
stroll around the house until I sit again.

—–

“All You Need is Money!” (“All You Need is Love”)
“Can you Imagine?” (“Imagine”)
“HELP!” (“Help!”)

by Ruth Scribbles

Cash, Cash, Cash,
Cash, Cash, Cash
Cash, Cash, Cash

Imagine there’s no money
It’s hard but please try
No food in your belly
Above you only sky

I need some money
(Help) not just pennies
(Help) Hands up!! I want some
(huzza)

Imagine all the rich folks
Living like you do
Beggars would be riders
Horses wishes too

All you need is cash
Cash is all you need

—–

“Ambitious Kinds” (“Suspicious Minds”)

by Michael B. Fishman

I just caught the clap, from some gal I met.
Why did I think I loved you baby?

Why can’t you see, what you’ve given to me?
How will I ever tell my family?

We can’t get back together, this penicillin’s mine.
And we can’t get together, until the doc says you’re fine.

—–

“Brainy Gals and Sundaes” (“Rainy Days and Mondays”)

by Michael B. Fishman

Walkin’ by myself and feeling cold.
Sometimes I will admit
to feeling like I just don’t fit.
Lookin’ around,
Trying not to feel cast down,
brainy gals and sundaes always get me down.

What I’ve got to do is lift my mood.
Tell myself it’s not my fault,
forget the sundae, drink a malt.
Lookin’ around,
sad eyes and a broken frown.
Brainy gals and sundaes always get me down.

Funny but it seems I always crave a barbecue.
Nice to know somebody’s cooking.
Funny but it seems that when I wake up and come to,
she is still so darn good looking. (So darn good loooooooking)

What I feel I can make go away.
But ice cream makes me want to pout
and brainy gals I can’t sort out
Moping around,
feeling like I’ve just been drowned,
brainy gals and sundaes always get me down.

—–

“That Tea Cozy” (“Cracklin’ Rosie”)

by Michael B. Fishman

That tea cozy I adore.
Keeps my tea warm till there ain’t no more to pour,
I’m sipping it slow,
lord don’t you know.
Have me some fun with a cup of oolong.

Twitching from too much caffeine.
Ain’t nothing wrong I just had one cup too much,
this tea it’s my crutch,
to drink, slurp and such.
Don’t need no more ‘cuz this tea it keeps me going.

Oh, I love my oolong tea, man.
It’s got the snap to make me happy.
Tea and me we drink in style, man.
My tea cozy, you store bought cover,
if you weren’t made of cloth I’d make you my lover.
So keep my tea warm and we’ll keep on drinking onnnnnnnn.

Pour it now… pour it now… pour it now my cozy.

—–

Thank you all, again, for spending the time to make us all laugh (or maybe cry). Tomorrow, I will be sure to outline what I will look for in whatever theme comes to me, and possibly to impose a submission limit. 😉

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Mr. Pockets: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Greetings and welcome to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, v. 15.

If you’re new or forgetful, read my how-to on terrible poeting so you know what I’m talking about. Then, read the following rules and enter:

  1. Topic: Satirical Pop Song. Parody a specific one if you want, or go your own way. (Link to Billboard’s Top Pop Song Chart.)
  2. How long should you croon? Write us a verse or two and a chorus; there’s no need for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” after all.
  3. Most pop songs rhyme, so I’ll expect at least some of that sugar. I’m not going to kick anyone out who can’t think of anything that works with ‘Sheeran,’ though.
  4. Lyric us something terrible. Make Weird Al shake his head and say, “I never would have gone there” -and then secretly try to match your style.
  5. As usual, keep it PG-rated.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (March 1, 2019) to submit a poem.

It’s always fun when we can read what everyone has thought of before The Final Countdown. If you want that, include or link to your poem in the comments below. If you’re shy, though, post using the submission form.

 

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Photo credit:
Eduardo Balderas

What is the Beat of YOUR Creation?

After delving into lighthearted topics like Life After Death, I thought it might be time to hit a heavier subject today. Let’s discuss music.

Do you like music? Do you listen to music when you write? How about if you do other creative things; like painting, sewing, singing, dancing, acting, etc? I feel like creation comes in so many forms and even tried to capture that idea with poetry. I, myself, delve into other arts besides writing. I sing, play, paper-craft, paint, draw, and do not dance.

And I need music.

A friend of mine told me she doesn’t listen to music much because it affects her. That is precisely why I listen. Yes, with the mental and emotional issues I deal with, I am affected as well. I am moved to tears, anger, fear, resolve, sadness, or elation. Not only that, but I am moved beyond the slip of a shadow those two-dimensional words convey in print.

Take this angry piece I’ve listened to today:

I have played it fifty times because, when music influences me, I have to hear it over and over and over …till whatever feeling it ignited within is appeased and I can move on.

That’s not to say I’m a grunge rock groupie. Before Blackbriar, I swam the soporific currents of Chopin. This piece, in particular, was on repeat for a few days:

I haven’t talked to my husband much about my Chopin infatuation because he’s already a little sensitive about how much into The Awakening I was in high school. Chopin has brought me to new heights, however, even 169 years after his death.

In my defense, I am not the only author who has attributed inspiration to music, nor even to specific tracks. Stephenie Meyer, who wrote some sort of romance book you may have heard of, even lists the songs she “hear(s) in (her) head while reading the book.”

I’ve written two or three blog posts with a certain song playing. One of my favorites, Let’s Stay in Bed Today I wrote while listening to “Defcon 5,” by Book on Tape Worm:

And, another of Blackbriar’s songs, “Preserved Roses,” plus Faith Marie’s “Antidote” were responsible for depressive works like It’s All in Your Head, Are You In There?, and It’s All a Lie.

I hate to end on a downer, so you’ll be happy to know that Wilhelmina Winters is often fueled by The Piano Guys:

So, is music your muse? What are some of your favorite jams?

—–

Here’s what transpired this past week:
Wednesday, December 5: Should I Stay or Should I Go?, just my pondering on what comes after death.
Thursday, December 6: Skinwalkers, XLIV
Friday, December 7: Winner of The Fourth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest announced. Congratulations, Michael B. Fishman.
I also re-blogged Susanna Leonard Hill’s children’s story contest. She does another around Valentine’s Day, so try again then.
Saturday, December 8: Beginning of The Fifth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest (Enter it!).
Also, The Little Shepherd’s LullabyI wrote part of this as new lyrics to a song the children our local church ward (parish) are singing. I added, tweaked, re-worked, and submitted it to the contest with a minute to spare.
Sunday, December 9: Livelihood, a flash fiction entry for Carrot Ranch Literary Community. I put on my angry music, thought of the theme, and pictured paint gushing like blood onto a brick wall.
Monday, December 10: Inspirational Quote by e. e. cummings.
Tuesday, December 11: Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Five,
and The Bedtime Routine over at my motherhood site. My second son’s picture is in that article, though I generally prefer to use stock photos.
Wednesday, December 12: This post.

Livelihood

No passersby knew why he sat, in the sun, staring at nothing. A few threw coins or insults. One threw lunch, which he ate, staring as he chewed.

Night fell to all but the wall before him; the whiteness of antique, virgin brick burned into his mind. He paused to start a silent soundtrack. Nodding along to *bom!-bom!-bom!* he opened equally invisible paints.

Pain sprayed black in a wild arc, then red for beating love, then blue for days without the red; then green, grey, purple, orange –

Till, breathless, he stood staring at his soul upon the wall; satisfied.

For me, with the prompt provided by Carrot Ranch Literary Community.

Hallowe’en Serial, 6th Night

Continued from #5.

Carol’s sharp, hasty turn brought her inches from a semi-truck approaching in the opposite lane. Its blaring-horn *Mruuuuuwwwmph!* trailed off behind her as she continued down the road at breakneck speed.

*Oh the werewolf, oh the werewolf / Comes a-stepping along* ♪

Her eyes flitted to the radio; back to the road. Werewolf? she thought. And, How in the heck does the radio know?

♫ *…Once I saw him in the moonlight, when the bats were a flying….* ♪

She chanced another look in the rearview mirror, yet could not see anything. The road was dark and ill-populated. She’d chosen to head East, away from the storm and towards the highway. She hoped to outrun the werewolf -or whatever it was- or at least discourage its following her.

The song stopped and “Thriller” began playing. “I’ve already heard that one,” she muttered, and switched to a new station.

“We’re here with Sergeant Riding to get the latest on this breaking story…” a businesslike female voice said. Carol’s hand, which had been hovering over the controls, slowly drifted back.

“Well,” a gruff male voice began, “We can’t say for sure what’s going on. We’ve had a lot of different reports. What we can say is that everyone ought to stay inside until we have a lead on this case.”

“Sergeant,” the female voice again. “Are you saying we’re on lockdown?”

The man laughed a short, humorless snort. “Now, we’re not trying to scare anybody. It’s more the advice that, if you want to stay safe, you’ll stay inside right now. Oh, and get your pets in real quick, too.”

“We-e-e-ell, I’m sure that’s all we have time for now.” The female reporter sounded worried to Carol. “Be sure to tune in next time for -Eeeeeeeaaaahhhh!”

*Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*

Carol sat in shock. She was hurtling down a city road at 50 mph, but still felt numb. Slowly, she reached up and pushed Power Off on the dead radio station. She didn’t know where to go or who to contact; it sounded like the whole world was going crazy.

Slowing enough to multi-task, she pulled her phone to within visual range.

She had never, ever in her life used her phone while driving, a minor point of contention between her and her missing husband. But she was already finding herself breaking all sorts of personal and written laws in the face of potential death and dismemberment.

Scrolling carefully down her Contacts list, she tried to think of who she could call on a night like this. Anyone she was close to would not be awake to answer, nor would believe such a ridiculous story as she would tell if he or she answered.

“Gardener, Lawrence, Schwartz, Warner… Ziegenbusch.” At literally the end of her list, she paused over the last last name. Was she really desperate enough to try her nemesis, the front desk secretary?

Taking a deep breath, she pressed her finger on the Call icon. And waited.

Continued and ended at #7.