Anyone Can Play Guitar

I wake and slumber to the same anxiety.

“Anyone can write a book, except for me.”

I write till the pencils are nubs and my calluses kindle. Closing the deal on my novel shows my neuroses.

“Anyone can write a book, but few create literature. “

Then, listening to a song by a band I love, I realize where I get my narrow opinion.

A musician sat with me on the hood of a blue Pontiac Firebird sharing Southern Comfort, warm. He strummed a six-string and muttered drunken truth.

“Anyone can play guitar, but it takes a hero to make music.”

***blogger’s note****

I’m up late working on The Ballad of Helene Troy and llistening to Radiohead’s first album, Pablo Honey. I clicked on my friend Velvet’s 100 word challenge for “KINDLE” and shared some of my crazy with you.

Here’s a great, underrated, brilliant rock song called Anyone Can Play Guitar from my second favorite band, Radiohead. The lyrics are perfect.

Hate To Say I Told You So

She admired New York bathed in evening orange. A lighted Greek Theater marquee read, “Tonight, Helene Troy.” Her phone vibrated. She pressed ignore and smiled.

“Relax, I’ll get there when I get there.”

****blogger’s note****

This is my response to the Trifect Writing Challenge : give the last 33 words of your work in progress’ closing line. This is the last words of my novel, The Ballad of Helene Troy, coming soon.

Today’s song is a play on the beginning of the book. It’s also a great rock song from The Hives. Here’s Hate To Say I Told You So.


Last time with Helene Troy:

The manager ran to the door of the loft and threw his back against it, preventing Mara from leaving. None of the three women would look at each other. Mara turned away from the manager, cursing.

“Girls, This high school drama shit’s gotta stop. I have neither the time nor the patience for it. In each of your hands is $750 and a reminder of the contract you signed with me to open for The Golden Apples for three more shows. With last night’s buzz, I’ll make it ten shows and we’ll work out the details of me managing the band after that.”

Helene stepped to Sadie, clasped right hands and whispered.

“Sade, I love you. Ride this out with me. We can do this together.”

Before Sadie could respond, Mara walked to within a few inches of the manager’s face.

“There is no band. Go rep that bitch. Put her in rubber dresses, get her an MTV reality show, I don’t care, just get out of my fucking way!”

Running his small hands through his sweaty, thin black hair, he opened the door. Mara left angry, her heavy boots stamping down the concrete stairs.

Sadie mouthed “come on Leney”. They caught up with Mara in the alley next to the Soho loft. Helene leaned against the graffiti-covered brick wall while Mara lit a cigarette. Sadie crossed her arms, raised her tiny ginger eyebrows and nodded her head for Helene to speak.

“The manager can’t hear us, Mara. Say whatever you want and I’ll deal with it..”

Mara took a long drag on her Marlboro light and exhaled the smoke through her flared nostrils.

“You don’t want the band and Matador Records doesn’t want the band. So, I’ll play the Apples shows then I’m joining Superfluous Force.”

Helene shook her head in disgust at Mara playing with their rival.

“Fine and fuck you, Mara.”

She pulled her hair into a ponytail, grabbed Sadie’s hand and walked the two of them back inside.

****blogger’s note****

This is a new story episode of my novel work in progress, The Ballad of Helene Troy. You can find the rest of the story, so far, here: It is also a 333 word response to Trifecta Writing’s “Alley” prompt 

Today’s song more for the rockin’ aspect than lyrical. The Vines’ Ride fits Helene and Sadie here, plus, it was playing in my car earlier. Here’s The Vines, turn it up, loud.

House of Cards

I brought my passion to work this morning. I like my job, at times, I’m quite fond of it; but I’m in lust over the stack of notebooks in the corner of my cubicle. My girlfriend, this novel I’ve written, is distracting me.

My wife approves of my mistress. In fact, she’s been pushing me to be more involved with her. I first crossed a line, or I should say a “t”, 11 months ago, today. In early December, we celebrated our star crossed relationship when I wrote her climax.

On breaks, when ideas strike, and maybe even trips to the bathroom, the novel and I will dalliance. She isn’t the first other woman of words with whom I’ve slept.

Fifteen years ago, I wrote a story with a similar theme – a man finds out he’s not who he thought he was – but I couldn’t consumate the relationship. In fact, in December 1996, after months of writing, I wrote a sentence that now drives me.

“By the end of 1997 you will finish your book and be a writer.”

The reasons why are moot. By the spring of the following year, I broke my resolution. There was an argument. There was a garbage can. There was a break up. The novel was history.

That episode is influencing my current state. It’s the engine that’s revving me to finish this book. What’s also happening now, is maturity, undeniable support from my wife, and, well, excuse my bravado, this novel is pretty damn good.

There are times when I want to quit. The process of fine tuning something so personal is how insanity should be defined. I’ve had to be talked off the ledge of deletion more than once. There are times when I wonder why I’m even doing this.

I thought about the broken promise to myself from 15 years earlier, yesterday, as I sat in a hospital awaiting word on a relative’s health condition. When good news arrived, I relaxed a bit and thought about what was important in achieving my goal.

I’m staring at these notebooks as if they were a house of cards. I hope I don’t pick the wrong one.

I’m lucky to have a wife that lets me have a girlfriend. These crazy robots aren’t going to publish themselves.

****blogger’s note***

This is my personal response to Write On Edge’s:  RemembeRED – Unfulfilled

Champagne Flute

In the morning, the bubbling glasses of champagne were flat and warm, scattered around without exuberant laughter and anticipation of the New Year filling the room with hope.

Welcoming in the new year brings resolutions and goals to the forefront of people’s minds; resolutions are written in secret or shouted from rooftops or proclaimed pointless.

Whether or not you’re clutching a scribbled copy of something you wrote at 11:55 p.m. on December 31st, it seems likely that, at some point, you set a goal for yourself that wasn’t realized in exactly the way you expected.

This week we’d like you to write a memoir piece about an unfulfilled goal or a broken resolution, beginning with the words, “I knew what I wanted”.

The word limit is 400 words.

 Today’s song is from the great Radiohead. It’s about an affair. It doesn’t end well. Hope mine has a better fate. Here’s House of Cards.