My husband and I recently returned from a lovely week in Paris. One afternoon, after spending the day walking and sightseeing, we stopped at a little pub near the Place de L’Odéon. The beer was refreshing, but what really captured my interest was the entertainment. Just outside, two men (pictured above) were performing reggae with voice and accordion. That’s right – accordion!
I, too, could have joined in, had only I been willing to try something new way back in 7th grade. I was a shy child and my mother worried that I would struggle to make friends. I was about to start school at an enormous junior high in the U.S after four years attending a much smaller school in Paris, France.
You can imagine my mother’s delight when her wonderful, full-of-life friend, Leona, offered to help me break in by teaching me to play the accordion. Just think, my mother reasoned, after a few lessons, I could soon be the “it girl”, pulling out my accordion at all those junior high get-togethers.
I shuddered at the idea and flatly refused the offer. So, alas, I will never know how my life might have differed had I taken up the accordion. It would certainly have taken the role of “class mom” or “visiting school author” to a whole new level.
I’m better at trying new things now – especially when it comes to writing. After all, it’s when we stretch ourselves by writing a scene from a new angle, or trying a new genre, or experimenting with point of view, that our writing grows. And that growth is what makes the writing process so exciting, at least for me. I may not play the accordion (yet), but this week I plan to stretch myself by working on a new story that unfolds backwards. I’ve never done that before, but, oom-pah-pah, it sure sounds fun… almost as fun as playing the accordion!
Happy writing, all!
8 thoughts on “PLAYING THE ACCORDION: Thoughts on Trying New Things”
Can’t wait for that accordian concert!
I’m intrigued about starting a story back-to-front. Good luck with it! And looking forward to your next accordion concert. Oom-pah!
I love that your mother thought the accordion would make you the It-Girl. For various reasons it is the least “It” instrument of them all. (We were merciless imitating the facial expressions of our elementary school music teacher as she made her accordion huff ‘n puff to accompany our singing. Our school could not afford a piano back then…)
No doubt the Paris street musicians maneuvered this instrument with more panache.
Laura, no matter how hard we try (and I avoid it as much as possible), we will always have some “woulda coulda shoulda” things in our lives. Sure, the accordian would’ve been fun, but not a biggie to regret, right? Every time I hear the mention of an accordian, I think of a favorite cousin who played the piano and accordian. Fun memories and I was always impressed (still am) with his diversified talents and amazing sense of humor 🙂 Here’s to things unfolding backwards! That’s a great way to wipe out “woulda coulda shouldas,” I think! lol Certainly—that’s what time travel is for!
Also, as an aside, I’m trying to make a conscious decision on cutting back for a while on how much time I spend on reading/commenting on blogs I love and follow, ’cause if I don’t, my own blogs will never be launched *sigh* I’m not disappearing…just fading for a bit with occasional apparitional appearances. I figure if I actually TELL everyone I’m doing this (that is, if you notice lol)—I actually WILL!
Please let me know when your new blog launches. =)
Oh, thank you, Laura 🙂 I’ll be DMing about it on Twitter, plus anyone who’s following by email will automatically know ’cause the first “real” post will notify 🙂 I’m STILL not focusing on it ’cause now I’m working on submissions post-NJSCBWI conference! lol
Sounds like a fun way to write a book and hey, it’s never too late to learn the accordian!
Hooray for trying new things! So important, especially in a creative field. And don’t worry…you can still play air accordion! 🙂