Wednesday April 25th, 2012

The exercise:

Write about: harmony.

I know it's petty, but seeing the Bruins also get knocked out in the first round (tonight, in overtime, at home no less!) makes the Canucks early exit easier to bear.

Got some more planting in the greenhouse done this morning, which is either the last of it or very near to it. Now it's time to catch up with the potting up and work on transplanting out to the garden.


After such a long, dull, trying day at work, it feels especially good to be here tonight. To let the music soothe me, allow it to slip the worries from my shoulders and take them elsewhere. Not my problems anymore, at least not right now.

And right now is all that matters.

Just a few moments more and perfection will arrive. I can be patient. I know from experience that the wait is always worth it. This cannot be rushed.

Ah, there she is. My sweet little Harmony.

Excellent, she's chosen the cheerleader outfit for tonight - my favorite.


Cathryn Leigh said...

You would! Don't make me tell my hubby about your sentiment and I was saying how the two of you could commiserate together. :P *giggles* Of course we rooted for the Bruins despite living in Capital's territory - after all we grew up during the years when New England never had a chance in any sport. Just wish we weren’t in California when the Red Sox finally won. *grins*

But anyway On to the writing. :}


Her name is like a melody,
Sweetness put to a tune.

Through the years I’ve nurtured her,
Yet still she became a prune.

@Marc - funny someone said they had a lot of ones today at work, though myhubby tells me that thing work funny up there in Canada with your loonies and toonies. *grins*
(Yes, I know exactly the type of establishement your man is at *snickers*)

morganna said...

Happy in this place
Alive to the
Moving to the beat
Open to the sound
Nodding along
Yes, I love this band!

Greg said...

@Cathryn: only four lines to tell a life story! And in a very amusing way too :)

@Morgana: The line-shape of the poem is great for this, it moves the reader's head along with the beat you're hearing. The last line falls a little flat on my ears, it just seems a little bit too long. But it's a great poem nonetheless.

@Marc: I'm back! And it seems I missed the Canucks disappointing you, for which I am sorry. I hope a year is long enough to get over it, ready for their next attempt :)
Sounds like the farm work is ramping up beautifully then! Aren't we due a retrospective of your first year on the farm sometime soon? (Like, a couple of months ago soon? ;-))
The last line of your piece today turns it unexpectedly seedy, so much so I had to re-read it. You definitely threw me there!

For eighteen years the monks of Reblochon Chapel, a modest-sized monastery built on the ruins of a much-older, less-Christian, church, had chanted together in perfect harmony. Their voices raised like a single mighty call, they praised God and all his works three times a day. They gathered in the tiny sanctum, which barely accommodated all nine of them but which had wonderful acoustics, and they sang hymns a cappella and recited prayers in beautiful synchrony. Tourists came by from time to time and made donations to support the monastery after they were moved to tears by the audio mastery.
Then Patrick joined.
He couldn't sing, he was constantly out of tune. The eldest monk, David, immediately took him aside and explained that he would have to learn to harmonise before he could join in exalting God with the other monks. Patrick looked confused.
"Is this not the voice that God gave me?" he asked patiently. "Would God want me to praise him with another's voice?"
"Yes," said David flatly. "You sound like a scalded cat trying to play the bagpipes."
"Perhaps," said Patrick, "this is a trial for you from God? Perhaps he wishes you to take me and my voice and incorporate us into your choir and so praise him with your cleverness."
"No," said David. "That smacks of the facility with words that the serpent has. And, God does not test the faithful, he tests those wanting in faith so that they may be brought closer to him."
"Maybe," said Patrick, determined to win the argument, "maybe–"
"No," said David, holding up a hand. "You talk too much."
And so the monks pulled Patrick's tongue out with hot tongs in front of the tourists, who shuddered with horror and gave the most generous donations the monastery had ever seen. And if there is a moral here, I advise you not to heed it.

Krystin Scott said...

A writing exercise - 197 words in five minutes and and practically no punctuation.


Todays writing prompt at DWP is harmony I have not really been able to come up with very much Using harmony as a name was already done so that was out Harmony has also been done as a poem I tried a scene but that didn't turn out well I tried clustering and word association Neither of them were fruitful. Now that I am trying to come up with another idea I can not think of anything so I decided to try another method of combating writers block instead. I went searching on the internet for ideas when I stumbled upon Dr. Wickeds write or die web app. It was here that I came up with an idea. I set the timer for 500 words in five minutes and sighed and pressed write. So here I am writing about harmony or not writing about harmony at all in the weirdest form imaginable. Stopping and stumbling is no good the kamakazie mode erases the words i ve already typed I have to be fast and get them all on paper. My time is almost up. Harmony in 3,2, 1, done!

Anonymous said...


"Okay, I want a two-part harmony on this number, ladies, you know what to do…" and with this, the musical director handed it over to the choristers. Each expert singers in their own right, they blended as a group to add up to more than the sum of their parts, as it were. One might be mistaken thinking they were angels, such was the feeling they evoked in the listener.
This was a live recording, so there could really be no stuff-ups. Well, there could, in theory, but it would an expensive mistake to do re-takes today.
Signed, sealed, delivered, (hey, not a bad name for an album), their work here was done. The album would go to first pressing tomorrow after minor edits to delete scratches and unwanted pauses, and, hopefully, the world would become their oyster if it hit the bigtime…
Sissy dreamed of it now as she walked to the bus station. She often daydreamed of success – sales, live concert tours, silver, gold, platinum, pink Cadillacs and holiday houses in Tuscany or maybe even Bali… It didn’t pay to get your hopes up too much in the biz but, hey, you had to think positive, right?
Dream on, girl, dream on.
Unless you had connections to reality TV or networked with major evangelical groups these days, your fate was virtually sealed – to home production, market stalls and busking.
Dream on.

Anonymous said...

Marc- Very sneaky at the end. It took me a minute to place the cheerleader outfit into a setting that made sense.

Greg- I'd forgotten about your incredibly creative cast of diabolical characters. So glad to read that Dr. Septopus survived against the zoo animals. (Yes! It's been that long since I've written here.)

From a distance, it is a beautiful dance. Assemblé. Pointe. Tendu. Arabesque. Relevé. They are awed by the shapes, the control, the speed and power of it all. Emboite. Glissade. The melodious praise seduces me. It makes me forget that it is all an illusion. And so, I wake up the next morning renewed and ready to perform it again, but only at a distance. Penche. En face. One day, perhaps, if I believe as strongly as the others, I too can believe that my life is harmonious. That he didn’t leave me ravaged and desolate like the path of a tornado. Promenade. Pas marché.

Anonymous said...

Greg, that was quite the scene you painted! I will take great care not to heed the moral, which I assume could be one of several things.

Well, mine started out with the intention of slyly slipping Harmony in somewhere but I finished and realized it hadn't happened. Oh well.

The boxes did not move. The tremendous weight of them reached inside and held her where she stood. When a toe finally managed to nudge the corner of the nearest one, she felt the resistance deep in her stomach. A stifling shroud wending it's away around her.

At least they were well organized. Her father had always been very systematic about the house, passing his habits on to her. She supposed that was a big reason all her moves were effortless and un-stressful. The stacks of identical apple boxes, gleaned one by one from the back dock of the food service hall, fit together perfectly and she was sure the insides matched. If she could get farther than this next time, the task would doubtless be quite simple.

The tiny dust motes, alive and frenzied when the attic door first opened, had settled back quietly on their familiar homes. Suddenly, the stuffy air, sultry with the heat of July, was too much and she rushed over to throw open the window. The slight breeze that drifted in was still hot but refreshing in comparison. Settling against the bench, she stared down at the landscape of her childhood and again the stream of emotions and memories rose, so vast they didn't feel part of her at all. She stood quickly, no, maybe tomorrow. A long bike ride across to the lake was all she could handle today.

Marc said...

Cathryn - hey, you guys got the trophy last year. Time to give some other city a turn!

Love those first two lines.

Morganna - ha, wasn't expecting that last line! Nice one :)

Greg - hurray! I hope your time away was pleasant?

A farm retrospective, hey? Perhaps, perhaps.

Oh my, how I've missed reading your work. That was a fine piece to return with :D

Krystin - ah yes, Write or Die. Friend to NaNoWriMo competitors the world over :)

Not sure I could handle the stress of kamikaze mode!

Writebite - great character piece. Some clever word play in there too :)

Anon - it was difficult not to give it away too early, but I'm glad to see I managed it :)

Mmm, very poetic. Some definite intrigue going on here, would love to see more.

H.N. - haha, too sly for your own good? :)

Very poignant scene, with great little details. Nicely done.

Iron Bess said...

I was busy loading and unloading boxes in my basement yesterday and somehow missed out on my writing. Here is my catch up.

Sandy pulled the old pickup over onto the shoulder just before the crest of the hill and sat staring out the bug encrusted windshield and drumming on the steering wheel. Beside her one on the floor, and one on the seat, were two grubby old duffle bags crammed so full that the seams were barely holding together. Besides the pickup that was everything she possessed in the world. Forty years of life was sitting here in this truck, not exactly something to be proud of.

Staring at the hill top in front of the truck she knew that Harmony was only two klicks away. Even now having come so far she didn’t know if she could do it. She was well aware of the saying, “you can never go home again,” and she was pretty sure it was true. Her parents had died almost twenty years ago in a boating accident leaving the house and business to her and her older sister Rand. She had been a freshman in university and was told in no uncertain terms that she had to stay and make something of herself. Rand was not going to be the one who would be responsible for ending the dreams of the first person in the Sampson family to go to college. Rand had been there four years later when Sandy graduated with honours.

“Honours,” Sandy snorted in the dark. “What the fuck was I thinking?” Exactly what kind of job was I thinking I could get with a degree in medieval French literature? Even having spent two years in Paris, and other than waitressing, hadn’t been able to get work. On the flip side, Rand, who had just barely finished high school had turned the family business around in four years and was making a large enough profit to open another store in Hope, forty miles away. Now she had sixteen stores and was considering expanding across the border.

“Sandy I really need you. I can’t do this on my own,” Rand had said on the phone two weeks earlier. After twelve years of marriage, Jerome, had come out of the closet last month and buggered off with the cute intern he had hired in the spring. “Buggered,” Sandy laughed. That’s a good one. So here she was, twenty years later, paying back her debt. “Okay, Harmony, here I come.”

Marc said...

Iron Bess - glad you managed to escape your basement to rejoin us :)

Great character scene. So many details and back story to really bring her to life. Great stuff!