The Double Dog Dare

Few people know this outside of my immediate family, who rarely speak of it, but I love messing with the lyrics to perfectly good songs.

This usually manifests with spontaneous alternate words to nursery rhymes and kid’s songs, like the Pumpkin Carols I’ve mentioned and a couple of personalized things,* plus basic variations on  Go to sleep, go to sleep, let your cries sto-op, go to sleep, please go to sleep, ‘cause your Mom’s about to drop set to Brahm’s Lullaby.

I also do one holiday song a year for my department at the library,** but they don’t know it’s a habit.

The rest I write and tuck away, hoping that one day in the middle of a concert Weird Al Yankovic will  sprain a vocal chord and develop temporary aphasia and the worried theater manager will come on stage and ask, “Is there a demented lyricist in the house?”  And I will stand and say, “Why, yes!  I’m a demented lyricist!  And I brought my bassoon!”

Oh, yes.  I have dreams.

So a week or so ago, one of the few people*** who know my shameful secret asked me why I always “mess about with old, stodgy stuff nobody knows anymore”^ and dared me to write new lyrics to a something released in the last five years.  On the topic of her choice.

Being an incredibly huge nerd, as well as one of my dearest friends^^ she chose Star Wars.

And then she double-dog dared me to post it on my blog.  Or she’d teach her firstborn child—due in six months—to call me Auntie Weenie.

Auntie.  Weenie.  This from a woman who was once scared of matzoh.

Honey, it is so on.

(With my deepest apologies to Katy Perry and George Lucas)

This was never the way I planned
To celebrate the Alliance
I got so brave, drink in hand
Wanted to show my defiance
It’s not what I’m used to
Just wanna try you on
I’m curious—but I’ll swear you to silence.

I kissed a Wookie–I liked it, the tickle of his furry mustache.
I kissed a Wookie to try it–I hope that Han don’t mind it.
It felt so wrong, it felt so right, won’t be flying a Solo tonight
I kissed a walking carpet.
I liked it.

I love how you howl my name
Your volume flatters
You’re my experimental game
Just rebel nature.
Not what a princess does
Not how Senators behave (Ha!)
My senses get confused
Don’t ever shave . . .

I kissed a Wookie–I liked it, the tickle of his furry mustache.
I kissed a Wookie to try it–I hope that Han don’t mind it.
It felt so wrong, it felt so right, won’t be flying a Solo tonight
I kissed a walking carpet.
I liked it.

Wookies are so debonair, that howl, that hair, so kissable
Hard to resist, so pet-able, too good to deny it
Ain’t no big deal, he’s a co-pilot.

I kissed a Wookie–I liked it, the tickle of his furry mustache.
I kissed a Wookie to try it–I hope that Han don’t mind it.
It felt so wrong, it felt so right, won’t be flying a Solo tonight
I kissed a walking carpet.

I liked it.

Okay, Siobhan, now get your rear to the States—you owe me dinner.   And all of these nice people an apology.


*Do you see that baby in the window?
The one with the curly, curly hair?
That’s my Sunny-baby in the window—
I’d miss her if she wasn’t there.
(to How Much is That Doggie, etc.)

**“Patrons We have Heard on High” and “I want a Genealogy for Christmas.”  This year, I’m thinking, “I had a Little Patron, who turned my hair all gray.”

***Before I confessed online. Gotta stop doing that.

^It’s called covering my rear, honey.  And if the ‘eighties are old, stodgy stuff, then what precisely does that make us?

^^If you suspect this isn’t an oxymoron, you’d be right.  If you suspect that most of my friends glory in shoving me of out my Comfort Zone, you’d also be right. I’m very lucky.


A Method to the Madness. I Hope.

I had no trouble opening my eyes this morning and facing the day, which surprised me so much I forgot to write my weekly post carping on how horrible Mondays are.

I’ve even been humming along to the tune in my head all day, only realizing an hour or two ago what the song was, where it came from, and that it was entirely inappropriate for work.*  And even then, I just added a grin and kept on humming.

Why all the happy?  I’ve finally made a difficult and scary decision about my WIP, which encompasses over 60,000 words and several months.  And I feel free and relieved for the first time in one and a half of those months.

No, I’m not quitting.

Quitting, while embarrassing and heartbreaking, isn’t scary. And I love this story.  I love the premise, the people, the places, the things . . the other things . . .  I even have a good idea of how it will end.

And that’s the scary part.  Because I’ve decided to stop writing new material for a week.   Maybe more.

I’ve decided, against everything I’ve said previously on this blog . . . to go back.  And edit.

Some of you may be shrugging at this point, but I’ve always believed that moving forward in a first draft is essential and that going back is a horrible mistake.  Get it done, then edit.  Don’t stop to tie your shoes, don’t pass go, don’t risk losing momentum or this one will become another abandoned shipwreck.

Thou shalt finish the damned book and sort it out later.

But . . .  I’m starting to think that, just maybe, it isn’t actually a Rule—maybe it’s a method.  An excellent method, one that’s helped me immeasurably in the past . . . but perhaps not the right method at this point for this manuscript.

See, the new material I’ve been writing for the past month . . . isn’t right.

Not first-drafts-always-stink not right—I’m used to that.  Hoo boy, yeah.

Not, hey-this-is-turning-out-to-be-a-different-story not right—which is really less of a not-right than a who-knew.  Sometimes the elephant is a giraffe, and I’m fine with that.

Not even a whoops-where-did-that-gun-come-from-everyone-just-fell-into-a-plot-hole not right.

What I’m struggling against is a complete burial of the main plot wrongness.  A character motivation wrongness.  A hollow-story wrongness.

I’ve lost my way somewhere.

There.  I said it.

Writing more material isn’t going to help—it’s only going to make the pile deeper.  And quitting is unthinkable—this is the book I want to write.

Except I don’t seem to be writing it.

So the plan is to re-read what I have, do a retroactive outline of what needs to happen and compare it to what’s there now, maybe  get the time line straightened out, work on character motivations, take out or revise the scenes that don’t support the story, and at the very least insert pages that say, “Put in a scene about X  here” and “Murder Dana – hit and run outside clinic?”**

I could be mistaken, but I’m thinking that however much time it takes to set this story right again will be time well spent.   Generating stacks of useless—if brilliantly and beautifully written***—pages probably isn’t.


*Someone who knows perfectly well how susceptible I am to earworms sent me a vid of very specific clips of David Tennant’s work set to Pink’s Oh, My God. Even REM’s Stand hasn’t been able to knock that one loose.   My revenge will be terrible.

** And thank you Kate Haggard over at Churck Wendig’s place for the idea.

***I said “if.”