When I was a young girl I took piano lessons. I really liked the piano until I was assigned “The Blue Danube.” By that time, I was sight-reading popular music and improvising some of my own touches, and the Blue Danube seemed so boring.

I wasn’t engaged in either its rhythm or its tune. I practiced it the first week and figured I had it nailed (as they say today). However, at the next lesson I made a minor mistake and was told to do it another week without even a chance to correct it. I never practiced it again, and weeks went by as I was stuck with the same piece.

During those weeks I realised the teacher had 2 new students. They were brothers. One had the half-hour before my lesson, and the other the half-hour following mine. The teacher started my lesson late by 5 minutes, as I sat in the hall and watched the clock. At first I was happy to be dismissed 5 minutes early, still stuck on the Blue Danube. Then it dawned on me I was having a 20 minute lesson and Mom was paying full price. I told her.

As a result, Mom asked our church organist to take me on as a student, explaining my fading interest in piano lessons. She suggested I might enjoy the organ, then she warned me I would have to start at the very beginning with scales! Playing scales with my feet? I was enraptured. Playing scales had never been so exciting. Two manuals (keyboards) for my hands and one for my feet. Using stops to change tones? I had oboes and violins and trumpets – oh bliss! A whole orchestra was mine in that pipe organ.

That was a life lesson well learned. It’s deadly boring to repeat the same activity over and over, but it’s bliss when a repeat is reinvented. In writing this is so true. I get a lift of pleasure creating a story in the first place, but then the boost from rewriting takes the pleasure even higher.

As I follow my four steps:

  1. Write
  2. Rewrite
  3. Edit
  4. Polish

I never find a stale moment in the whole process. No Blue Danubes!

At this time I am rewriting stories I wrote in the 1990’s. I am able to expand and change them with no word count restrictions and I am in bliss once again. Luckily there are 40 of them to do, so I’m happy.

p.s. I was a church organist for several years, but life took its turns and I relinquished that pleasure. I still play piano for pleasure.

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