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