Writer’s block: “Mental Leg Day”

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Writer’s Block:

Personally I believe that phrase is a giant misnomer.  Yes there are times when we as writers find it more difficult to come up with an interesting plot point or a witty turn of phrase but to think of these times as a block is to give them more power and more longevity than they need or deserve.

As a writer in the scifi and fantasy genre, I like to think of writing in terms of a super power.  To be honest if we even thought of it as a push up, my point would still work  All super heroes get to a point where they can’t use any more of their abilities without recharging.  Green Lantern for example can only use his ring for so long without having to go get his Lantern, say his words and recharge the battery (literally) on his ring.  The Rock can only do so many push ups before his arms grow sore and he must stop, get a protein shake and move onto legs or cardio.  Why should writing be any different.  It is after all just mental exercise.  And whether you are creating new worlds and bending space and time to your whim or simply exercising your mental thesaurus, it takes it’s toll on your brain.

Keep in mind your brain is doing a bajillion things while you create and explore the world of your characters including analyzing and chronicling YOUR world.  There comes a time in every writers creative process where they just have to stop. Your brain can’t fully flesh out the nuances of your imaginary world and perform all the vital functions it needs to in order to keep you alive and a aware of the real world.  This is when it’s time to go ‘Recharge Your Ring’.

Personally, what I do when I get to that point is two fold.  I take a couple of days away from whatever it is I am working on (currently book 3 Blood on the Throne) and I find other things to do.  I go for walks, I go to the movies,I get caught up on my favorite tv shows, I read other books, or whatever it is that makes me happy and relaxed.  The entire idea of the SMFTM Singles was born out of one of the breaks I took while writing Pandemonium Justified.  It was essentially my ‘Mental Leg Day’.

The burst of energy I received when I first started writing book 3 has fizzled at this point and I am maxed out.  The thing I want to stress is that it is important to know yourself and your process well enough to know when you have maxed out.  Otherwise, you risk hurting yourself (during physical exercise) or your characters and their world.  It’s ok for today to be Leg Day and it’s ok for today to be Cheat Day.  Your brain is a muscle, Treat it like one.  So for me today is ‘Mental Leg Day’ and like Winter in Westeros it lasts as long as it lasts and I am ok with that.  Hope you are too.

-Manny L. Birch

SMFTM Singles- Exit

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Exit

 

Ryan walked into the lunch room with Jade and Alice flanking her.  They made it about halfway before the music began to play through the loud speakers. 

 

          “Ugh another one, I’m gonna kill him.  He’s got all these kids thinking it’s cool to declare their feelings through song.  I’m not Mr. Shue, and this is not Glee.  I’m going to Haynes next period.  This is crazy,” Steve said to me as we sat together on lunch duty. 

 

          “She dealt with it already.  Students have to submit a written copy of the song, the music and schedule it three days in advance.  Haven’t you noticed they stopped happening during class time after the third incident,” I replied. 

 

          “…Action Figure Misses…”

 

          “Is Ryan about to sing?  Oh god what did my son do now? Johnny what did you do?”

 

          “I am my father’s son. PS. you don’t even go here,” Lee replied smiling.

 

         “…3 little words and you got me, but you couldn’t say it no not Johnny. Got them hoes looking at me sidepiece, no it’s time for you to go…” Ryan started singing with Jade and Alice dancing and providing minimal dance moves to go with it.

 

          “Oh.  Damn I guess it’s a break up,” Steve said. 

 

Ryan model walked over to where Keira was sitting with a few of her friends and continued to sing.

 

“…Look at me now, check your last chick, we don’t compare I’m not some side trick, and I’m done speaking on that bitch…” She said pointedly staring over at Keira before flipping her hair to face Lee again; Jade and Alice once again flanking her.  

 

Diva ran over to us with Salem trotting behind him. 

 

“Yes! I love when I’m here for these things.  I wish high school was like this,” Diva commented. “I wonder if Sabrina is going to respond.  I know he didn’t know because when the music started he was like ‘I wonder who is singing’.  Hair flip to the rest of them hoes. Ha . Amazing!”

 

“…You ain’t no Prince to me…” She continued.

 

“Yeah he is going to respond to that.” Salem added.

 

“…To all my girls that done dealt wit some dumb ish. Tell that Figure take his ass through the exit. Let that boy know you onto the next hit,

 

Flick him off girl straight to the exit, to the next bitch, to the exit,

 

Where ever he go let ‘em know you ain’t wit it…” Jade glared at Ford every time she pointed at the exit.

 

          “Not gonna lie this song is kinda hot though,” Diva replied.

 

          “…Here baby you might need this tissue, now that you only get to touch you.  Thought you loved me but I guess it’s not true…”

 

“D’oh,” Diva chimed in. 

 

“And there it is.  Guess that’s why she’s mad,” Steve replied.

 

“I thought he loved her too,” I replied.

 

“Thank God he doesn’t James.  My father would either come himself or call your brother to come collect Johnny until College.  That or make him a Cherub,”  Steve shuddered at that. 

 

“Cupids have too many words.   Y’all always turning somebody into something,” Diva replied.

 

“…Not me not now Johnny, I’m not your next casualty…” Ryan sang moving to stand in front of Lee.

 

“…Tell that Figure take his ass through the exit…” Lee tapped Ford and Nicky and got up and started to walk away. 

 

“He’s actually going to let it go?” Salem asked surprised.

 

“No, he’s going to dance.  He got up for room,” Steve replied resigned.

 

They got about 5 feet before they all tuned around and Lee shook his head.  The boys started to bounce to the beat.    

 

“…Oh my, she tried one two punch me. But I got good Kung Fu honey, so no marks on this guy, like a fitted in NY I’m still fly…”

 

“I hate him.  And I’m stealing that line,” Diva responded laughing.

 

“…You opened the door for the next chick, So go head and use it cus this here my…”  He circled his finger in the air indicating the school itself.   

 

“…I gave you a chance baby, but look at this trick,” 

 

“What song is this originally?” Salem asked.

 

“You’ll have to ask my son when he is done,” Steve replied.

 

“…But she’ll be back soon. I know you’ll come back for this heh. But for now there go the exit, XoXo Your Prince…” His signature fitted hat with the Prince emblem and similar ones for Ford and Nicky appeared on their heads.  Ford’s bearing the Kanji for the verb ford on it; Nicky’s bearing his mother’s tribal symbol.

 

“…So all my dudes who done dealt with this dumb ish.  Let her know you the wrong man mess with. Take that noise over there to the next kid. If you wanna, go ahead and use that exit..”

 

“Damn, he did love her.  But it looks like he got her to break up with him, so maybe I don’t have to send my son back to Virginia or Cali by himself.”

 

          “Why would you send him away?”

 

          “Little boy Cupids who fall in love with pretty girls who love them back make new little boy Cupids.”

 

          “I thought y’all had like super control over that.  Isn’t that the Cupid man claim to fame?  Sleep with me baby no kids no bugs,” Diva chirped.

 

“Our claim to fame is we are just better at it than everyone else.  But there is a learning curve to everything,” Steve replied.

 

“Damn.” Salem noted.

 

          “Yeah,” I agreed.

 

“…But keep my number baby you know you gonna need it. Let me know girl cus about to visit that trick. Yeah that one, I throw daggers just like you did…”

 

“Is he really just making this up on the spot?”  Diva asked. “I feel like this is that episode of Futurama.”

 

“What?”

 

“Never mind, I’ll Youtube it for you later.”

 

“…I see the next chick, and the next chick, one them’ll probably follow through that exit.  There’s the exit, here’s where you fit, let me know if she should sit where you sit. Tell me baby are you gonna make your exit?..”  Lee finished. 

 

“Damn, dad might need a call after all.  Hope she’s as bitchy as the boys say she is.  Cus a bruised enough ego could keep her away,” Steve said.

 

“Can’t you just be a normal dad and I don’t know police him more?” Diva asked.

 

“Come on, be real. When you were 17, you didn’t know how to plan your day around your parents so you could get some?  This kid is a FBI trained telepath.  He can spot any of us coming before we thought about going.  And she is no slouch herself.  Women don’t get put on the ‘lists’ if they aren’t powerful enough or special enough to handle the power.  That girl is not just on the list she is number 1 on the list.  Think about what it would take to make her a better candidate than not only every girl in here but every girl between 14 and 21 in the country.  So no, policing will not work.  It’s separation or Cherubing,” Steve concluded grimly.

 

“What exactly is a Cherub?” Salem asked. 

 

“Basically, your sex drive gets killed for a few years.  The guy or girl, usually guy, loses the urge to have sex,” Steve started.

 

“Yeah we got that part, is that-?” Diva cut in.

 

“A good time to cut me off? No.  Cherubs become really really intense at something. Some of them get damn near witchy concerning one aspect of their abilities.  Some become great artists or scholars-”

 

“Were you Cherubbed Steve?” I asked teasing.

 

“No, we are Dragons, my brothers and I are naturally inclined to academia and scholarly pursuits.  But it’s not all good.  Occasionally Cherubs don’t survive the un-Cherubing process, let me finish the statement before you ask the question.  Damn do I know your mother?  Are you my fault? Cus you act way too much like my son,” Steve said holding his hand up to halt Diva’s question. “If they choose an interest that doesn’t have a physical component to it, than when all that pent up sexual energy is allowed to flow again, they can spontaneously combust.  I heard one guy grew like 5 feet and turned green before he died. His grandmother had Cherubbed him as a boy and then got Alzheimer’s and forgot to undue it.  He stayed that way until she died when he was damn near 30. It was like ‘Roid rage times a million.”

 

“So what would happen to Lee if he got Cherubbed?”

 

“Most likely he would discover the secrets of the universe, solve the world hunger issue, cure cancer, then undo the Cherubbing himself, just in time to graduate high school.  Or he could turn into a serial killer.  Who knows.”

 

“Are you serious?”

 

“Pent up sexual energy in someone that smart; Serial killer actually seems more likely to me,” Salem responded.

 

“Which is why I suggested sending him back to Virginia with you guys.  I’d rather not see him than see him become like Elise.”

 

“But she wasn’t a Cupid.”

 

“But she is a serial killer.”

 

“Damn, better tell Big Poppa we may be heading back home,” Diva said turning to Salem.

 

“Yeah, I liked it here too.”   

Exit by Sonyae Elise of Platinum Hit

-Manny L. Birch 

mannybirch.wix.com/manny-l-birch

 

 

Full Song -EXIT

Ok here it is my second whole song pretty fun to write.  Orignal Exit by Sonyae Elise from the show Platinum Hits. Here is a link to the YouTube video.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlPlbyF5Y4UImage

Exit

Verse 1

…3 little words and you got me,

But you couldn’t say it no not Johnny,

Got them hoes looking at me sidepiece,

 No it’s time for you to Go.

 oh

Section 2

Look at me now check your last chick,

We don’t compare I’m not some side trick,

 And I’m done speaking on that bitch,

Hair flip to the rest of them hoes.

Bridge

You ain’t no Prince to me,

Baby boy I am the queen,

 Get me twisted again,

 That we won’t see JB.

Chorus

To all my girls that done dealt wit some dumb ish,

Tell that Figure take his ass through the exit.

Let that boy know you onto the next hit,

Flick him off girl straight to the exit,

To the next bitch, to the exit,

Where ever he go let ‘em know you ain’t wit it.

To the exit, to the next bitch,

Take yo ass boy right through that exit. 

 Verse 2

Here baby you might need this tissue

Now that you only get to touch you,

Thought you loved me but I guess it’s not true

It’s time for you to go.

D’oh

Section 2

Look at me and now look at your last chick,

We don’t compare I’m not some side trick,

I hope you happy going back to that bitch,

Take you Action Figure ass to the exit.

Bridge

You ain’t no Prince to me

Baby boy I am the Queen

Not me not now Johnny

I’m not your next casualty

Chorus

To all my girls that done dealt wit some dumb ish,

Tell that Figure take his ass through the exit.

Let that boy know you onto the next hit,

 Flick him off girl straight to the exit,

To the next bitch, to the exit,

Where ever he go let em know you ain’t wit it.

To the exit, to the next bitch,

Take yo ass boy right through that exit. 

Rap(guy response)

Oh My, she tried one two punch me,

But I got good Kung Fu honey,

So no marks on this guy,

 Like a fitted in NY I’m still fly,

And I know I got you mad cus I ain’t cry a bit,

But come on you knew what this is,

You opened the door for the next chick,

So go head and use it cus this here my 

Guy Bridge

I gave you a chance baby,

But look at this trick,

She just went and played herself

Ain’t that some ish

But she’ll be back soon

I know you’ll come back for this heh,

But for now there go the exit, XoXo Your Prince

Guy Chorus

So all my dudes who done dealt with this dumb ish

Let her know you the wrong man mess with

Take that noise over there to the next kid

If you wanna, go ahead and use that exit,

This my house you wanna go you gotta leave it

But keep my number baby you know you gonna need it.

Let me know girl cus about to visit that trick.

Yeah that one, I throw daggers just like you did

I see the next chick, and the next chick, one them’ll probably follow through that exit

There’s the exit, here’s where you fit, let me know if she should sit where you sit.

Tell me baby are you gonna make your exit?

-Manny L Birch.  

Mannybirch.wix.com/manny-l-birch

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CKF7E0M

Summer Session

So I realized last night that I hadn’t posted on here in quite a while.  I haven’t actually gone back to check the dates but I know I have lost some of the consistency that I once had when uploading to this blog.  Part of that is a result of life happening.  My semester just wrapped and obviously the rigors of College and grad school take their toll on your work load and stress levels.  I published Pandemonium Justified (book 2 in the Songs My Father Taught Me saga) at the end of April, which as a small independent publisher, May has been pretty intensely busy for me. I have also started and completed about a third of Blood on the Throne (book 3).  Add to that, there is a large scale construction project very near my home that has been wreaking havoc on my sinuses.  When you mix all that up, you get a man on the verge of crazy. lol.

 I am going to stop there because if I continue down that path I will get truly side tracked and forget the main impetus(got to organically use that in a sentence awesome!) behind this post; being  that I haven’t forgotten about this blog and intend to return to it pretty hard core now that I no longer have to worry about writing papers as well as books.

With that said, anyone who has read Pandemonium Justified or even this blog will by now know that I started re writing songs for my characters to quote.  I had originally just been writing the bits and pieces that I needed for the moment in time that my characters were actually singing them; attempting to make the material more relevant to the story but I have decided recently to go a bit further. One example is the Prologue for Pandemonium Justified, which is set to the music of Tamar Braxton’s Love and War.  That was the first song I completed in this style and the real spring board out of the slump I had fallen into while writing Pandemonium Justified.

Another example already posted on this blog is part of the SMFTM Single Beamers, Benz, or Bentley. After writing that Single I realized that I really wanted to write the rest of the song.  I wanted to know how it went and some of my friends and other readers agreed that it was something they wanted to see.  I haven’t completed that song yet, rap is a little more difficult than other forms so I am working my way up,  

This time I decided to write the entire song before I wrote the single, even though I had the single already taking shape in my head.  So I will be posting both on here later today.  I am unsure if I am allowed to post the actual Youtube video for this song but I will post a link to the video, so you can hear the original. So go team Awesome Sauce.  

-Manny L. Birch

mannybirch.wix.com/manny-l-birch

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CKF7E0M