Cracking the WIP!

Indiana Jones
“Indiana Jones” by IlmagatPSCS2

Another Saturday afternoon taking care of household business—this time, four new tires and a front-end alignment. I can’t effectively write on my work-in-progress here, but I can tell you what it’s like to pull a story out of my…head.

Luckily, Tire Kingdom has wi-fi, so consider this a lazy-day brain-doodle. Simply hit play and read along (it may take a few seconds to buffer):


Cracking the WIP!

(Writin’, writin’, writin’…writin’, writin’, writin’…)

Keep writin’, writin’, writin’,
Though the fish are bitin’,
Keep them thoughts a’heightened
All night!
The pain in your lumbar,
Is hell-bent for slumber.
Wish your tale was cut and dry.

Thinkin’, thinkin’, thinkin’,
Put aside your drinkin’,
Keep them brain cells clinkin’
All night!
And don’t desensitize ’em,
Be pensive an’ surprise ’em
Then you will be living the life.

Move it there, edit that,
Edit that, move it there.
Move it there, edit that
All night (all night).
Cut ’em out, write ’em in,
Write ’em in, cut ’em out,
Cut ’em out, write ’em in
All night!

Here’s all the things it’s missin’:
A hero who don’t listen,
Handmaidens who won’t stand and defy!
“And why the hell’s a zombie
There eating someone’s Mommy?
This tale’s not a horror!” I decry.
Your scattered mind’s all a’flitter,
The whole world is sure to be atwitter,
Atwitter about the masterpiece you scribed.

Double check, triple check, cut that out, cut that out, double check, triple check. NO! It’s crap!
Double check, triple check, cut that out, cut that out, double check, triple check. There! At last it’s done!

(OH NO!)
Revise, revise, revise,
Send it out to fresh eyes
Who do their darnedest to

It’s almost done,
The battle almost won
And you’ll ride the publication high.
A New York Times Bestseller!
You’re sure one lucky feller!
All because you stayed up to write!

Movie lights, Hollywood,
Hollywood, movie lights,
Movie lights, Hollywood.
Yeah, right. (That’s right.)
Kill the Bird, Save the Cat,
Coin a word, wave a hat,
Cut ’em out, write ’em in
All night!

Kill the Bird,
Save the Cat,
Coin a word,
Wave a hat,
Cut ’em out,
Write ’em in
All night!
(Let the cat eat the bird and be done!)

Have a great day!




ML Swift is a writer of Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult fiction, although he dabbles in many genres.

An Alzheimer’s caregiver for the past ten years, he has published several articles on The Alzheimer’s Reading Room, the largest online website catering to that community, and plans to write a novel about his experience in caregiving.

He resides in Florida with his dogs, Rameses and Buster, attempting to reclaim his side of the bed.

Music: “Rawhide – Theme (Instrumental)” from The Alamo – Dimitri Tiomkin – The Essential Film Music Collection by The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Released: 2004. Track 9 of 15. Genre: Soundtracks.


50 thoughts on “Cracking the WIP!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Alex. I tried to show “the process” as best I could with the perimeters of the song. Good to see you…I’ve been taking it easy lately. Much other stuff happening.

  1. Swifty,

    Like Big Joe said, it has a cowboy feel to it. Makes me think of Blazing Saddles I say we should give em the old number six.

    What’s that you say? “That’s where we going into town a whipping and a whooping scaring every living thing within a inch of its life.”

    But since I am in Memphis tonight doing some training and it seems like most of the band is here, I feel like taking the suggestion from the Blues Brothers. We need to find Erica and get the band back together.

    I imagine it would go like this:

    “Hey Erica, we’re getting the band back to together. We need to raise 5,000 dollars for the penguin.” Rob said.

    “Forget it. No way!” Erica said before closing the door.

    “We’re on a mission from God.” Julie replied blocking the door from closing.

    “We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline.” Joe offered.

    “What are you doing here?” Erica demanded.

    “You said that you would visit the Penguin when you got out of the pen.” Swift said.

    “I lied.” Erica responded.

    “You can’t lie to a Nun. She is being hassled by Illinois Nazis.” Swifty retorted.

    “I hate Illinois Nazis. I is 24,000 miles to Chicago, we have half a tank of gas, a full pack of cigarettes, it is dark and we are wearing sunglasses. Hit it!” Erica said walking out the door.

    1. Swifty,

      Now that is good fun/ What a great movie, I am going to have to netflix it soon.

      Love this exchange. “Hey man, the lights are off.”

      “Think they blew a fuse?”

      “Naw, man. Those lights are off on purpose.”

      That is a great example of character writing.

    1. Denise!

      What a pleasant surprise to come in and see you here. Thanks for dropping by (and you’re welcome anytime). Glad my ramblings roped your funny bone.

  2. You? A ham? I dunno, Mike, I just don’t see it…


    This was great. The melody has just the right manic tone to it, too. So glad to see this post – I miss you when you don’t blog! NO guilt, though. You are totally allowed to take time off, especially if you post awesome stuff like this when you come back!!!

    1. And since I was born in Lynchburg, that makes me a Virginia Ham.

      Really been super busy…planning to write a post soon of what’s been happening.

      And yeah, the music’s escalation was perfect for the frenzied way we get. 🙂

    1. (Dang thing posted before I was ready!)
      Anyhow, people don’t realize how hard it is to get poetry to rhyme to begin with, and making it all make sense and be funny on top of that is SO impressive! Thanks so much for putting a big smile on my face!! 😀

      1. Lexa…you’ve left me dumbstruck. So dumbstruck, I almost spelled it dubstuk. Thank you for the kind words and super compliment—they meant the world. Glad you liked it. 😀

  3. Hahahaha… Swift, your enthusiasm is contagious… 🙂

    This was pretty much AWESOME.

    And I want to thank you for your kind words today. They certainly mean a lot and I’m so glad to call you a friend. Thank you. 🙂


    Dude, that was great! It really warranted the all caps and extra exclamation points. And the “dude” too. I loved it.

    Oh, and I think the glowy blog header looks great!

  5. Hey dude,

    Yes, finally, I’ve arrived with one of my eagerly anticipated comments. Yay!

    Such prose, you knows
    The words do flows
    Kinda like Dr. Seuss
    On the loose
    Editing blues
    We do not choose
    He cries
    No surprise
    Well done, you
    This be true

    Gary, Gary
    How very scary 🙂

    1. I knew I could count on you for good verse, Gary! Thanks for coming by…and I noticed they’re removing the spikes in UK. See? It’s folks like you…if each of us do our own little part, we can move mountains.

  6. Men’s household chores are so different than women’s. However, I often pick places for car service based on their WIFi connection. 🙂

    Lovely poem. It’s right up there with Keats, but much more appropriate for tires and writing while waiting.

    1. Ahhhh….Keats. Such a Bright Star! And I, nothing but High Beams.

      This is one of my all-time favorites:

      WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be
      Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
      Before high pil`d books, in charact’ry,
      Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
      When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
      Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
      And feel that I may never live to trace
      Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
      And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
      That I shall never look upon thee more,
      Never have relish in the faery power
      Of unreflecting love;—then on the shore
      Of the wide world I stand alone, and think,
      Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

      Thanks for coming by, Lee.

  7. And then there is this thing called life
    That mixes in some ugly strife
    And what can we do but fight and fight?!
    So with keypad we get to it
    And write all the way through it
    Whether it’s a hit or putrid sh….I mean, alright!
    Weeee juuuuust keeeepp ooonnnn….
    Writing, writing, writing
    And fighting, fighting, fighting
    And know that with cocoa, we’ll hold tight.
    Cuz all we write will be alright
    And we’ll conquer all sorts of plight
    And day will come after the night
    I love you, Mike
    T’wil be alright.
    I’ll end this now
    Much more to write.
    Get loads of sleep.
    I’ll say goodnight.

  8. This brought sunshine to my day last week when I first read and listened to the audio. I’ve been meaning to get back over here to leave a comment about it, but have been swamped and let it slip my mind. This post is truly confirmation of your creative talents. You have a gift, Mike Swift, why aren’t you showing it to the world? I’ve been a fan of your work (and your humor) since the first day I happened upon your blog a few years ago. What the hell are you waiting for? Go into the world and let your light shine.

    This post is hilarious and genius! Thanks for shining your light on me. 🙂

    1. Well hey, Dee! Good to see you as always. Looks like we’ve both had full plates.

      To be honest, and I’m working on a post about this, but Mom’s passing did a pretty big number on me and I shut down as much as I could possibly get away with, without closing off totally. I was uninspired. I hurt and had to lick wounds. I really didn’t want to participate in life, but had to. “They” say that writers work through these painful moments by writing, and in the past I did, but with this, I couldn’t. I didn’t even have the enthusiasm or strength or wherewithal to raise my hands to the keyboard.

      But time does indeed heal deep wounds. That’s not to say I’m over things, but am able to think and focus again. There were many other difficulties that played into the past year which didn’t help matters, but now that my intense grief period is over, they are easier to address, too.

      The world will see my “light.” Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

Leave a Reply to Julie Luek Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s