It's Friday, so here's something from the Woo-back machine. 10 years ago, wow, back when the White Stripes were a band, not the colour of my beard.
I guess I'd say this has always been a central thing for me - the fast writing, bang those keys like you mean it - and I was just mentioning to someone the other day this image of hair-on-fire (as opposed to pants on fire, which goes with the current administration in the U.S.) So I still remember writing this cool little story about my doorbell's ringing.
From the woo-back machine...Feb. 21, 2007...
Flaming noggin' writing
Some days the words come easier than others.
When I am blocked for an idea, or more often, too lazy/uninspired to work on the story I am supposed to be working on, I have to give my head a shake – a HARD shake. It's not really automatic writing (if anyone recalls that odd exercise from English class where you scribble down the first thing that comes into your head), but it is a way of forcing you into a story, any story.
Somewhere, a while back, I came across a quote that said, "Write like your head is on fire and words are the only thing that can put it out."
I always loved that image - and this is what I am thinking of when I do the "head-shake" exercise. In other words: just write something DAMMIT and write it NOW!
Early last week I was in desperate need of this, as nothing was flowing, hell, it wasn't even dripping. So I cranked on itunes, set it shuffle and wrote in that blazing head style. It began:
It was one of those odd things, synchronicity, the White Stripes thinking about my doorbell ringing and it actually happening, the ringing I mean. Some guy in a shaggy green coat, like a rug with buttons, doing a jig, a two-step on my front step. I saw him through the stained glass window, in the clear part, above the Celtic cross.
Of course, the White Stripes were playing on my itunes. A very odd story started to pour out of my flaming noggin' - the tunes shuffled and I followed along. At the end of it I liked what I had written, yes it was strange, but it was something, a story, not just rambling.
I put it away for a couple of days and then brought it back out into the light - I try to put stories away for a while, usually longer than a couple days. To my surprise, it wasn't utter drivel, in fact I liked it quite a bit. I worked on it, tweaking here and there, but tried to maintain the spark, the freshness. Then I sent it off to see if anyone else might like it.
I was delighted when I received an email from the U.K. based magazine 3:AM. It's known for an edgy style and as their tagline say, "Whatever it is, we're against it". They liked the piece and wanted to publish it in an upcoming issue.
I need to light my head on fire more often.
And here's a bonus 2017 addition the incredible White Stripes video for My Doorbell!