And the Beat Goes On: Day 3 of the Writing 101 Blog Challenge

writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2Prompt for June 4.

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

Today’s twist: You’ll commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today — and moving forward — are up to you, but we recommend a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.


Almost anything Carly Simon. Her is creative, energetic, and full of surprises. Here is one of my favorites, but with Carly, I swear I could just choose something at random, and it would be somewhere on my favorites list. All it takes is a playlist filled with Carly Simon to get my motivation going.

If I really want inspiration, I can go to almost anything by Playing for Change. I love how this organization has gathered musicians from around the world and created track after track of amazing music. The musicians, singers, and dancers on these videos often come from several countries around the world. I enjoy watching the text on the videos as the various musicians and groups are introduced. It is great fun just to see what far reaches of the world have been included in a specific song. Not only does this music motivate me, it actually elevates my mood. I can tell because I almost always catch myself smiling whenever I’m listening to their music. Here’s one of my favorites.

You might think that Careless Whisper by George Michael is an odd song in terms of motivational value. It’s a funny story involving an Italian style restaurant near my first Taiwan apartment, a proprietor who is as crazy as I am (and who has taught herself English), and a collection of CDs of all kinds of English music. I discovered this place after being in Taiwan for a couple of months. One day, I ventured the two-block walk to check it out for myself.

Going to a new restaurant in a foreign country is always an adventures. Will they have an English menu? If not, will they have a picture menu? Will someone be around who know enough English to help me? You get the idea. Well, it was the best thing I could have done, leading to an ongoing friendship with Yvonne. For the next 14 months, while I lived in that first apartment, I visited the shop two or even three times a week. In addition to the great food, I loved the music she played there. My first Christmas in Taiwan was easier to spend away from home because I could go have my dinner, grade papers, and listen to Christmas music.

I don’t know when it started, but Yvonne and I began singing along with some of the songs. Whitney Houston’s I will Always Love You is one that comes to mind. We’d get all theatrical about it and act like two crazy women–ok, maybe it wasn’t an act. But we had lots of fun. Not long after that, we starting doing some dancing. Careless Whisper by George Michael became “our song.” We danced and sang, even if the restaurant was full of customers (it was a small restaurant with a seating capacity of around 30, but still).

Yvonne, George Michael, and this restaurant bring out a part of me that is usually hidden inside, and I love the way I feel when I’m dancing in Yvonne’s restaurant. Something else has happened as well. Now, whenever I hear that song, in whatever context, I’m always transported to a little restaurant in Taiwan where I’m singing and dancing and acting crazy. It inspires me to be myself and to remember the good times with friends I’ve made here in Taiwan.


As for the twist, I’m using the blog as a means of focusing on the daily practice of writing. It doesn’t mean that a blog post will result every day. But at least I’m writing and thinking about future writing ideas. I’m also working on new ideas for my writing classes–a nice mix of writing and exploration about writing, without having to stop to read and comment on essays.  🙂


This post is part of the WordPress Writing 101 Blogging Challenge:

4 comments on “And the Beat Goes On: Day 3 of the Writing 101 Blog Challenge

    • Thanks, Cindy! Sorry for the delay. I always appreciate you stopping
      by, even when I’m a little behind on things. I’m hopeful that life is
      now on the upswing. Hope things are going well with you. I always love
      your perspective on the parts of the world on which you focus your
      lens! 🙂

    • You would have liked what happened last weekend then. We went there to
      meet a couple friends for dinner, and Yvonne and I were in rare form.
      Music from the 70s and 80s. Bread, Carpenters, and others. We sang
      snippets. Like every time she came over to our table, she and I would
      pick up on whatever song was playing. Then was a small dance
      intermission. We had a great time, and everyone else seemed quite
      entertained as well. 🙂

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