Author Archives: Melanie

Kick-a-roo Pony

From my writer’s notebook:

Teresa just uttered, “You’re in trouble now – you’ll be a butt-happy, foot-happy, kick-a-roo pony!”

Apparently, according to Teresa, horses dance around and kick up their feet when they fart.

Still no sure if I should be insulted.

Night Shift at the Photofinishing Lab

Right after college I had a job at a photofinishing lab on the night shift. My best friend there was a fellow about my age named Pat Louden – he was a history major which was why he worked the night shift at a photo lab. I was a cinema major, which was why I did.

We used to have philosophic conversations in the lunch room at about 2 AM. I once told him I felt like walking up one wall of the room, across the ceiling and down the other side. He looking up and very seriously proclaimed “Don’t trip over the pipe.”

Another time we were speaking of the visions that come in the night and he said, with gravity, “Dreams? I have dreams… (dramatic pause) Sometimes I wake up laughing.

Once, when he was laughing, he accidentally splattered me with saliva, and when I told him he responded, “I should have expectorated that…”When he would walk in I once said, “Ah – the pitter feet of little Pat.

Yes, those are just some of the memories of my nine to five job – nine at night until five in the morning

.Moving on. We’re walking, and we’re walking….From “A Tour of My Mind – The Oily Years”

Next Steps

Spent all last week updating my business websites so I could finish the last stage of my retirement and put them all on auto-pilot.

Some weren’t mobile compatible, some had menus that just went to raw feeds in various categories rather than to curated master pages listing top posts in that category with a link to the feed and to the search function.

I finished that job just before noon yesterday (Friday) and now on Saturday night I take stock of what I want to do next.

Teresa is playing cover music by a number of amazing modern bands – folks who have it nailed and play it with the same passion as the originals, ranging from Asian bands, Australian Bands, even Russian Bands – all just as good (if not better) than the originals.

She said to me the other day, you know, if you’re going to retire, you really ought to ask yourself. If you were starting out right now from scratch, what would you do, what would you build, how would you spend your time?

Tough question. The answer, of course, lies in being able to rip off the filter of preconception and to stare into the wild wind of truth. To do this, I’ve been inundating myself in hours and hours of new modern streaming movies and series, mostly epic sci-fi as I enjoyed as a kid.

Teresa said I need to get back to who I was – to what I used to love. Problem was, I don’t know that I ever really embraced those things back in the day when I was a child. I was always looking for the impact what I built and created and did might have, and that was more important to me than the thing itself. So though the projects I pursued did spring from my interests, they all became work efforts where the focus was not on what I was getting out of it but what I might accomplish.

And so, I can’t get back to what I never had.

But I can have it now, for the first time.

And that is what my next steps are all about: to look at what I have already built, mostly disorganized and unpolished (a raw fount of creativity), look deep into where I truly find meaning in life, and then bring that all together into a wave of renovation, reorganization, and re-creation.

Hence, I am here. Back to the personal web site I created as a storefront for everything I have ever made or conceived. I guess I was in love with what I’d spewed forth into the world – so in love I couldn’t stand the thought of it being lost to the world once I am gone, and at 68 that is often on my mind.

Perhaps at one time long ago I cared about fame and fortune, but that time is long passed. And here I find I want nothing more than to express the thoughts and visions I have and have had – to share them, whether they survive me or not, or perhaps even whether or not they are seen.

At least I said them. At least I was here. At least I lived before I died.


It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Middle of the Covid pandemic. Missing seeing my kids and grandkids, having seen them only a couple times in the past two years due to risk of exposure.

Also, re-evaluating how I wish to approach my art, my science and my life in general now that, at 68, I’m well in to the last act of days.

Conclusions arrived at:

No more doing anything I don’t really need to do that I don’t want to do, no matter how much sense it makes.

No more spending a lot of time posting on platforms that will barely outlive me, such as my own web sites and blogs like this one.

No more spending money to advertise my work so it gets exposure: your loss.

Settled on posting my entire archive to YouTube so it will be around practically forever (since they put ads on all my content.

Facebook looked good for a while, but though your personal page remains when you die, the independent pages you create from that personal page stop being listed in their search engine if you aren’t regularly posting. So what’s the point? Besides – who searches for anything on Facebook anyway?

No, the only long-term solution that costs nothing and (so far) has been “permanent” is YouTube. But that takes some clever thinking to figure out how to put still picture, and books up there. Basically, I need to narrate my books as audio books and turn that into video with just the book cover as the image. Doing that now with the book I co-wrote with Chris: Dramatica – A new Theory of Story

Hopefully I’ll get all my other books protected and backed up to YouTube the same way.

So, writing here is no longer an attempt to share my wares, but has become a release – a place to share what’s going on now and to vent about life in general.

I’ll be coming back more often now, but not to create a master archive of my work – just to trade in words that have no lasting impact and serve only to satisfy my need to dump stuff out of my head so there’s room for new stuff.

That is all.

New Poem | Love Letter

Love Letter

I don’t like the after taste of these two beers.
I don’t like the ringing that is always in my ears.

I don’t like my slippers that have given up their cush.
I don’t like the spiders that lurk inside my bush.

I don’t like the numbness that’s creeping down my toes.
But I guess I like you well enough, I s’pose.

–Melanie Anne Phillips

New Poem | Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein

Whenever I read poetry
my thoughts begin to rhyme.
This isn’t just occasion’ly:
it happens all the time.

I cannot eat, I cannot sleep
until I’ve penned a verse.
I hoped it might get better
but it seems it’s getting worse.

–Melanie Anne Phillips

(Written using a Shel Silverstein book as my table,
after reading a few of his poems.)

New Poem | Progress Report

Progress Report

The pearl has lost its luster
The peach has lost its blush
The leader’s lost his army
The artist’s lost his brush

The poor man’s met his maker
The rich man’s found the Lord
The dying man has repented
So the saved man can report

That all is well in Personville;
It functions as it should
To lead us down to evil
And progress there is good.

–Melanie Anne Phillips

Why the blog?

One of the reasons I’m keeping my journal as a blog this time around, rather than as word document to be published later, is that I seem to thrive on the immediacy of it – the momentary excitement of an idea that drives me.

Knowing, previously, that my writings would have to wait what seemed like an interminable time in order to be made available to others was a real motivation killer.

So, I went to my Facebook account and spent several years throwing myself into posting and curating all the wonderful things I wanted to share. But as we learned in the video I included in my previous post – NOTHING! Not a like, not a share, not an included link clicked – NOTHING!

I tried, I really did. I wasn’t craving an audience or a following. I just wanted to know that of the friends and followers I did have, the art and insights I developed were meaningful.

But, as it turns out, most folks just want to hear about your cat and your grandkids and see the funny meme you reposted. Nobody wants to consider your original music, your artistic photographs, your philosophic epiphanies – NOBODY!

So, the more they resisted, the more I persisted. The less they commented, the more I posted until even family and friends had enough, blocked my notifications and just dropped by my page from time to time to add a polite like or noncommittal comment.

In truth, I drove them out. I have the never-ending rush of ideas within me, often to the point I feel as if I’ll explode. And only by writing a song, a poem, posting a new photograph or explaining a new insight can I avoid the endless screaming of the Muse. (“Tell me, Clarice, is the Muse still screaming?”)

So here I’ve come, a place where no one else goes: my blog. And in it I shall post my endless journal of experiences, concepts, and creations – I will cleanse myself of the debris of past inspiration to make room for the next batch and send it down the pike as quickly as I can before I am smothered by my own thoughts.

Here’s some music I composed and recorded some twenty-odd years ago but never got the mix right on it. Just went back to the original elements and nailed it (within the limits that my tawdry tracks could, in their insufficient original form be nailed, even with a good mix).

Posted under my musical performer name of Tarnished Karma: