The process:

Last night, I texted a friend. He texted me back – but his words are arranged in a way that make me smile. So, I think about it, and that idea bounces around in my head for 20 hours.

Boom! That’d be a damn good song hook. Let’s go see what evolves:

To the piano I go. I compose by singing into a cassette recorder. I write lyrics and notes and scribbles and chicken scratches that only I can decipher, in a spiral notebook. The notes and shortcuts are in a language only I can understand. (And I’m getting in real trouble now, because as I age, my handwriting only gets worse. When I can’t read my own writing…then where will I be? LOL)

The song, slowly, evolves. Now, keep in mind – this one has only been in my head for about 20 hours. As it’s pouring out into the notepaper/cassette recorder – it’s mostly happening live. This isn’t stuff that I’ve thought about for days or months, and working to get it …just so. It’s new! fresh! unthoughtof!

It’s a shuffle. Dance-able. Makes you grin. Makes you smile. The hook and theme is universal – if an old flame is standing (in a bar) before you and asking you to take them back – do you do it? Especially when that person was the one who dumped you last time?

We’ve all been there, right?

What makes a song connect to people? Universal themes of life?

So, yeah. Now a song exists, one that didn’t exist an hour ago.


And I was the one who got to ‘hold the pen’. I was the one that the universe gave this song to.

This was the 405th time that has happened. #405 in my catalog. When I was working on the musical (code name P/P) I knew I had gone over 400. When I hit 200, I said we’d have a party. We didn’t. When I hit 300, I said we’d have a cake. We didn’t.

Well, damn, 400 deserves something. A cake! Confetti. Balloons! But alas…#400 came and went in February, in a rush of composing and a huge catapult of creative energy.

So, where are we now?

It’s August 1. In 8 months, I have completed 8 major projects. When I finished P/P which was #7, I was sooo depleted. I am still not “recovered” or “replenished”. So, what do I do? Not 5 hours went by, and I thought up another project. So, 17 days – on that one, and it was done, and oh boy, was I in trouble. I had used up my energy. I had used up my creative wellspring. More than that, I had used up ALL my insides. I have never ‘pushed’ myself to that limit before. 8 projects in 8 months.

I finally google: “How to replenish Chi”

The answer: sleep, rest, eat well, drink lots of water, don’t poison yourself with processed food or negative energy. The bottom line: TIME!

Time fixes my sprained foot. Time replenishes Chi.

Well…yeah. I knew that. It’s the answer to everything: take care of yourself. Drink lots of fluids. Eat right. Be positive. Sleep. Rest. Breathe.

For every action – there is an equal and opposite reaction: Extreme creativity – and its opposite: existing as a lump of clay, unable to get out of your chair and cook your own dinner.

No, it’s not that bad. (Who am I kidding? Yes, I DO have days like that.)

To live life at this extreme…

I am amazed when someone says they are bored. How can you be bored with so much life out there – waiting to be experienced?

So, we are about three weeks into me – trying to not “drive it” so hard, and rest.

I’ve done a lot of “lay on the sofa and watch sci-fi” (my chosen downtime). But…like last weekend, when the opportunity arose – I got it together and went to the movie audition. And today…when there is an idea – grab it with both hands and RUN WITH IT.

So, what if –  I’m now sitting in my LazyBoy, with a quilt over my stomach, to quell the ‘wobblies’ of having expelled too much creative energy?

I think I existed 4 days without this “hole in my gut”. But, now, here we are – back at the extreme again.

It’s worth it. The toll to the human. The toll on the psyche. No matter what this whole process does to the human, does to the body, does to the soul…it’s worth it.

Because song #405 now exists.


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