Saturday, May 02, 2015

Life in the Fast Lane

By Keith N Fisher

One of the popular songs from the nineteen-seventies, has become a favorite of mine, but for reasons you might not think of. When Joe Walsh joined the Eagles, they released a song called Life in the Fast Lane. It was on the Hotel California Album and it was intended to parody the Jet Set life, along with the people who get caught up in excess.

As you might’ve guessed, there are words and images drawn in the lyrics you might not want to subject yourself to. However, you can hear the song played here. For me, the chorus has become a mantra. It’s an expression of frustration. Like the song Mr. Rodgers sang at the beginning of his show, I sing the first line of the chorus below. It helps me when I get overwhelmed.

I won’t list all the lyrics, but here is the chorus:

Life in the fast lane (Can) surely make you lose your mind
Life in the fast lane
Life in the fast lane, everything all the time.
Life in the fast lane

I had to sing my mantra several times this week. I’ve been working through plot holes in my current work in progress and went on Facebook to get advice. Without going into details, I got lots of help and made a comment about a coincidence I set up in the scene we were talking about.

My good friend Tristi Pinkston inserted the comment that she thought it was too much of a coincidence. I admit, my pride was hurt, but having Tristi in my critique group, taught me to listen to her. I thought about it, and she was right. I couldn’t believe I’d worked so hard to insert that coincidence and messed up the scene. Nobody would believe the coincidence could ever happen, so I had to change several scenes.

Not only, did I shoot myself in the foot, I went to great lengths to load the gun. So there I was, singing my mantra and fixing the error, I mentioned my intentions to another friend. She didn’t like my solution, because of other problems. My mantra got louder. I began to wonder if the book would ever be written.

I spent that night thinking of a solution. I think it works. I hope you’ll like the story.

Last week, I talked about the Write Here in Ephraim Conference and how Rachel Ann Nunes spoke about believing in your self. She mentioned we should finish our books and I felt like she was preaching to the choir in my case. As you can see from the screen shot, I have many books written.

To quote last week’s (edited) post:

  . . . Later, in a candid conversation with a good friend, I lamented over all the self-pub books she has produced in such a short time. She pointed out that I ought to do the same. I agreed I should. Now I think of Rachel’s kick in the behind as a battle cry. I say to myself, “Finish what you started you idiot.” I write, but I don’t publish . . .

You might be interested to know I worked on that this week. I’m getting ducks in the row. I will send two manuscripts off next week. I have two trackers to remind me to follow up, and I’m editing as fast as I can. To paraphrase Mr. Rodgers: It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

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