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Four Punk Rock Prompts from Mindela Ruby

Four Punk Rock Prompts from Mindela Ruby

Mosh_front_FBThis week’s writing prompt comes from Mindela Ruby, author of the new novel Mosh It Up (Pen-L), about a sexually compulsive punk rock riot girl with good intentions.

Music stirs the psyche in complicated ways. A symphonic Mahler mind-blower or a Descendents punk love tune can each mainline to our primordial gut. Writing about music, however, is no snap. Cite famous lyrics, and you’ll need to acquire and pay for re-use permissions. More importantly, how can language capture ineffable qualities of sound? Let’s rise from our desk chairs and jeté or mosh it up to inspiring chord progressions to prompt our writing.

  • Lose yourself to music. Sing, hum, blast in your headset a much-loved song and gyrate your limbs to its syncopation. Catch your breath and free-write every emotion and sensation you feel.

  • Briefly invoke a stress or aggravation previously kept at bay; assume the fetal position on the floor. Then play soothing music (if a device is handy) or rehearse a selection in your mind. Describe the tempo, tone, instrumentation, melody, and crescendos of this euphonious refuge and how each impacts your physical being.
  • Look to the sky and recall a first rush of love or paralyzing loss or other forceful memory. What music do you associate with that time? Write about how this musical theme triggers memory. How does it store your memory? How does it define the memory?
  • Your life is an independent film. What’s the soundtrack?
Amy McDaniel

About The Author

Amy McDaniel

Amy McDaniel teaches high school and runs 421 Atlanta, a very small press that publishes poetry and short prose. She is the author of two chapbooks, both with the words "Adult Lessons" in the title, and her writing has been published widely online and in print. She is the editor of Real Pants.

Real Pants

Good hair, crooked gait

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