Smile like you mean it

I’m broke, but I’m happy. I’m poor, but I’m kind. I’m not short, but I’m not particularly healthy either. For a few weeks now I’ve been living on a prayer and trying my hardest to keep the faith as I am not ready to go down in a blaze of glory just yet. I ain’t got a fever, or a permanent disease but it’s gonna take more than my doctor to prescribe a remedy… which is why I’ve been struggling to be a regular working class man. I had two weeks off work (though it was no summer holiday) while I got my head checked (and various other bits and bobs… remember kids, just because it feels good, doesn’t make it right) but so far, I have no answers. Hells bells, I even told the witch doctor, but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. All my life I’ve been healthy but these days it feels a little like I’m on a long road to ruin, but you know what, I’m a paperback writer! As my wife says, I always make something from nothing and I’m happy to report that I’m already on the mend. For a while now, though, I haven’t been able to do anything. I can’t dance, I can’t talk. The only thing about me is the way that I walk. I think it’s been one week since you looked at me. Ain’t that a kick in the head! But I’m nothing if not Mr Brightside. I rested up, asked the doctor to give me the news, and got by with a little help from my friends.

I went back to the old 9 to 5… and I feel fine.

Then it all changed… again.


Somebody told me all these things that I’d done – specifically, the zombie book I wrote – was no good. Because, Mr Writer, you can’t legally reproduce song lyrics! Honestly, it was like a kiss with a fist! That book is FULL of lyrics. So much so, I might as well try to rewrite the stars. It’s not as though it’s a simple book about a girl or anything. It’s a full on zombie-ghost-hybrid novel and each chapter is the title of a song. Each one can stand on its own two feet and be so vain as to think that song is about it, because it is!

(that was a stretch wasn’t it)

I’m gutted.

Disturbed even.

A true heartbreaker. You were gonna go far, kid!

But the show must go on! Rock and roll dreams come through and I thrive under pressure. Now that I feel fine, it looks like I’ve got a lot of editing to do. Don’t stop me now!

There is the argument, of course, that instead of going through changes, what I got could be a real firestarter, but I don’t want to be caught by the fuzz. Because here’s the thing, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you.

So, how do you edit a full novel completely embedded with song lyrics in order to take all those song lyrics out and not fall foul of the copyright gods and yet still maintain the essence of the story while writing a sarcastic, song-lyric-laden blog post in the car in the pouring rain while waiting for your daughter to finish her drama class?

A kind of magic!

I just wish I had a Pina Colada.

Thanks for reading… how many references did you pick up?

Published by A.B. Finlayson

I write stuff

I'm always keen for a natter...