Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I like to stand in front of the speaker so I can feel the music. It's loud so I hold my hands over my ears. This time it's crowded in front of the stage because people are dancing in their fancy clothes. Tonight is New Year's eve. The people go around and around and they sing the words of the song and even though you can't hear them you can see their mouths moving the words.

My back is against the speaker. I close my eyes. The people are laughing and I can hear the fiddle and Peggy singing and feet stepping and the smell of the people and the perfume is all there. I feel the speaker on my back like my heartbeat.

I stand there against the monitor with my hands over my ears and my eyes closed, smiling. No one knows where I am. I'm like a balloon going into the clouds.

Then the band stops and I open my eyes and the people stop and they all turn to face the stage and I see all their faces smooshed together like that, hands slapping and Tom says into the microphone: "We're Back In The Saddle, thank you and goodnight!" Which makes the people clap louder and whistle and yell. Now comes a sound like someone beating down the door. Where is the sound? I think that I should find my Daddy now. I don't see him. He is not dancing. He is not at the sound guy. I see all the feet stomping together. The crowd is like one big horse with a lot of feet. I don't know if they see me, I am only half of the size of them.

There is a room behind the stage at The Great American Music Hall where I took a nap during the sound check and I think maybe Daddy is there. I run up the stairs onto the stage where there is a big curtain that goes all the way up and I have my hands on the curtain and I'm trying to find a way to open it when the band starts coming back out from the curtain.

Tom puts a hand on my head when he passes by me. He walks to the mic and he starts the song Alligator Man. This is my favorite song! Tom is dancing the alligator dance and he looks at me and I dance with him because I know this one. I kick my feet like he kicks his feet and I spin and spin and he plays his fiddle and he is singing and dancing and the light is very bright here until the song ends and Daddy comes out on the stage and picks me up and puts me on his shoulder and the crowd cheers even more then and their faces look very small up here, they are half of my size now, maybe less.

EXERCISE: Imagine a crowded, overwhelming scene (a rock concert, a political rally, the mall, an accident, a big city emergency room, a theme park, a Wall Street trading floor, etc.). Use sensory details to convey this particular experience. Don't TELL how your character feels about this scene; instead, use significant details to suggest his emotional state. When writing your scene, consider reasons your character has an atypical response: for example, a paramedic who is either energized or bored by an accident scene.


  1. I wonder if you remember another time when you had on headsets when I had taken you to the studiio where I was dating the producer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers? Ihad you on my lap with headphones on as he was recording American Girl, and I thought you were asleep and I went to take the headphones off and you grabbed them and put them back on and snuggled even closer and had the most serene smile on your face. just wondered if you remembered? mommy

  2. P.S. I love the picture of you, was it taken when you Peg and Kerry took that cross country triP? It has your essence completely. mommmy