Where everybody knows your name

Writing 101, Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You
You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!

Years ago, when my daughter was about nine, I stumbled upon a little pub. It was Sunday evening and I was taking her back to my ex after her weekend visit with me. I had noticed it on the way there so on my way back I thought I would step in and have a beer or two. I had for years loved craft brews so I thought maybe… just maybe they would have something good.

Turns out this little place has about 150 different beers, about a dozen or so on tap. Just my luck huh. Annnnd… It also happened to be the open mic. Beer and live acoustic music. Double luck!

I don’t really remember specifics about that night but I do remember I had planned to only stay for a couple of beers… maybe an hour or so. I stayed past midnight listening to those really terrible, amateur open mic-ers but despite the fact that they may have been terrible, I thought they were amazing and courageous and cool and most importantly… having fun making music.

You see 17 years earlier I had been a music major but a lack of discipline, a loss of my scholarship and a general apathetic attitude found me leaving the department and music altogether. There were a number of reasons but mostly it just didn’t feel right anymore. It was work… hard work. I didn’t like trying so hard at music. It wasn’t fun anymore.

But this! This ‘open mic’ thing. This looked fun. It felt right. This I could do.


If I knew how to play an instrument, could actually sing worth a damn, wasn’t terrified outta my gourd to get up on that little stage in front of all two dozen of the people who weren’t really paying attention. Continue reading

three favorite songs

Writing 101, Day Three: Commit to a Writing Practice
Today, celebrate three songs that are significant to you. For your twist, write for fifteen minutes without stopping — and build a writing habit.

Ugh… I’m a couple days behind on the Writing 101 assignments. I’m going to skip #2 and try to catch up here with #3. Above is the assignment. Below starts my post.

Music has been such an important part of my life, in creating, playing and listening to it, that it’s nearly impossible to pick from the hundreds only three that are significant to me.

I mean I immediately thing of “Blinded By the Light”… the Manfred Mann version that was popular in the late 70s. It was my fourth year of playing Little League baseball and I was on a winning team. It was the last game of the season and winning would propel us into the playoffs. We did win and at the moment the game was over a car (I assume with teenagers) drove by our baseball field with the windows down blaring that song. I don’t know why that holds such a strong memory for me but the chorus of that song just happened to be playing during the three or four seconds it took that car to roll past.

But how can I included that as one of three really significant songs in my almost 50 years of living. I mean I’ve been fortunate enough to live during some of the best years in rock and pop music history.

Not to mention that I grew up listening to what is now considered “old school” country: Merle, The Possum, Charlie Pride, Tammy Wynette, “Waylon and Willie and the boys” : )

And as I got into middle school, I began to Continue reading

Day 1 – Writing 101: Building a blogging habit

So I’m attempting another one of The Daily Post’s Blogging University courses and this time we’re focusing on writing. It’s Writing 101: Building a blogging habit. The first assignment was to write a sort of stream of consciousness post for 20 minutes. This seems really odd to me and my story seems to meander a little bit but here’s my effort.

A post about my neighborhood.


In three months I will have lived in my neighborhood for 17 years. My dad was telling me that most people, at least those in their late 20s and early 30s, only stay in a house they’re buying for about six to seven years, then upgrade and that trend stalls or stops around age 60 or so.

I am closer to sixty than I am 30 and although Mrs aBoyNamedSue and I have plans to move, that won’t be for at least two to three years… that’s if we’re lucky. I will have lived in this house for 20 years.

I’ve seen a lot of folks come and go but there have only been a handful of my neighbors that I’ve really gotten to know. A few years ago, the family right n Continue reading