Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Picture This: Gone

It was loud enough to hear, but not so loud that you called the police. Unless you were overly sensitive.

You're not overly-sensitive, are you?

I was once. Well, maybe a bunch of times. Probably most of the time. But, I got over it.

I'm working on getting over it. I've started to get over it.

The conga drums are gone. I hardly ever played them. I did cart them from Warminster to Colorado and they did survive the fire and they did live for a time in William's basement, where we occasionally (but not often enough) used them. It wasn't a salsa band. We didn't play any salsa. We ate salsa at the Mexican restaurant where we played in Louisville. But we didn't bring the conga drums for that. Guess that was a miss, eh?

I missed a lot. I'm missing a lot. I'm missing those drums. I'm missing Colorado. I'm missing William. I'm missing...old what's her name.

I'll never forget old what's her name.

She would not marry me. She married someone else. I miss the potential of marrying her. I miss the potential of using those conga drums to start a rhythm that is irresistible. No luck with that.

William is a fine guitar play and he was an even better friend. Colorado. Seems like the distant past now, and I'm still fundamentally alone.

But I've got my guitar. And my bass. The bass is in a case. The guitar is in my hands.

The future is in our hands...the past? Gone.

Picture This:

1. Find a random image
2. Write for five minutes only, inspired by that image.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Picture This: No Flowers For Her

You can't go wrong with flowers, right? Isn't that the universal way to show that you care, to show how sensitive you are, to rekindle the flames of love?

Maybe. But I don't recommend sending flowers to more than one person at the same time. Not on Valentine's Day anyway. Imagine that? Yep, I've done it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again (because I do think that it's true) the truth will always bubble to the top. If you send two people flowers, at least one of them is going to find out about it. Especially if you tell her.

Why would I tell her? Because the truth always bubbles to the top.

Why would I tell her? Maybe I've got a romantic squash wish. Set up the romance, and then find creative ways to squash it. Like sending flowers to more than one person on Valentine's Day.

Not a good idea.

The truth didn't come out at first. It took months. But when it did it was about as popular as a burp during meditation. A fart during yoga. A laugh during a funeral. Not good, not cool.

But the truth comes out.

I fixed it, though. I found someone else completely who doesn't even like flowers. No flowers for her. It does not impress her, it does not please her, she'd rather not have them in the house. So, no chance of sending her the wrong flowers.

But what do I do when she's mad?

-- doug smith

Picture This:

1. Find a random image
2. Write for five minutes only, inspired by that image.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Creative Surprise!

Say open to possibilities -- the ones that surprise you may please you the most.

-- doug smith

Friday, November 1, 2019

Picture This: Renewable History

The course title looked so interesting that she could not resist. Renewable History. What if she COULD go back in time? What would she change? What would she fix?

Would she go right for the really big stuff (President Kennedy don't go to Dallas!) or simply fix the relationships she'd messed up. And, oh, she'd messed up a few.

Maybe it was her attention span. She'd stay interested. She get passionate. She'd be all about the all over of everything connected with her partner and then...and then her partner would do something so annoying she just couldn't believe it. A misplaced fart. A dirty toothbrush. A wet toilet seat. A scratch on the car.  That was the picture. She could never picture herself staying with anyone forever, even though she always said that she would.

Isn't that what they wanted to hear?

Like that dinner at that Mexican restaurant in Louisville. She liked it really spicy. Her partner was a spice wimp. He couldn't take the tears. Wasn't that always the case? He couldn't take the tears.

She could take the tears. She could let it rip. She could tear up a relationship like it was nobody's business -- and wasn't it just HER business anyway?

Five minutes, she thought. Five more minute of this and I'm out of here.

Renewable History. Hmm. She thought. Maybe Tennis 101 is a better choice...

-- doug smith


1. Pick a random image
2. Write, inspired by that image, for five minutes and then stop.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Creativity Prescription

A useful question: what would be an even more creative way to make this better?

Remember, everything can always be improved. Creativity is your best prescription.

-- doug smith

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Picture This: The Other Side of The Wall

She stood staring in the mirror. How did she get here? What was that sound coming from inside the wall? And why were the paper towels under the paper towels?

She moved the paper towels. She turned off the faucet. No make-up to fix and her hair was fine pulled up in a pony tale. Now, about that noise.

Ever try to hear what noise is coming from the wall when someone in the room keeps flushing the toilet? She'd need to leave the room. She'd need to be on the other side of that wall. She left the room.

The sound of her footsteps clicks down the hall. The toilet flushes again.

From the other side of the wall she can hear a very tiny voice whisper, "The paper towels were not yours to move..."

She does not hear the disturbing sound from inside the wall. She does hear the toilet flush. Again.

"Enough of this," she sighs. "Time to get to work."

-- doug smith

Picture This:

1. Find a random image (truly random, do not select the picture.)
2. Write for 5 minutes with that picture as your inspiration. Stop.

Inspiration from Steppenwolf

I found this while looking for something else and it reminded me of how much of an influence this wild piece of improvised music had on me when I was young. It goes all the way back to 1967, and legend has it that the improvisation was necessitated by the late arrival of the lead singer, John Kaye.

I remember listening to it over and over as a kid in high school. It (or a similar recording) was featured on a double live Steppenwolf album. I love the subtle build and the almost spooky transition into the song "The Pusher." This still sounds great to me, and the early improvisations have influenced my own musical improvisation.

Check it out.