How Josie Got Stuck In Her Rut

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As I have progressed on my serial short story, “Stuck in a Rut,” whose fourth part I wrote on Tuesday, I’ve mentioned that it is based on a song I wrote by the same name. Apparently I wrote it in late 2010. I wrote it and another song, “The Paved Road,” on the same day, mainly because I was snowed in at the time and couldn’t get to, yes, the paved road.

The video below was probably produced right after I wrote “Stuck in a Rut” the song. Almost every song I write gets “streamlined” over time, and when I watched this video this morning, it struck me how the lyrics have evolved slightly. That happens sometimes when I go back to the original lyric files and see how they’ve changed in small ways, most often to make the syllables all fall in line better.

The song just created images of the two main characters, Josie Swenson and Tripp Fallaw, but that image really began when I was sitting in a booth, eating supper at a sports bar that’s no longer in business. I never spoke to the two real people, a beautiful young woman and an apparent boyfriend of whom I was less impressed. Just watching them interact for a few minutes (probably because I hadn’t remembered to bring a book and the hot wings weren’t ready yet), gave the idea for a song about a good girl gone bad for a cute guy.

The evolving short story contradicts the song in some ways. The song refers to the boy (who became Tripp in the short story) having “hair bunched up in a ponytail” but the boy at the bar didn’t have one. I don’t remember why I wrote that line, probably because it fit the verse it was in. Anyway, the character in the short story is true to the real person in the bar, though, to the best of my knowledge, he neither played golf, took bets, nor sold drugs. The whole point of the song and the story is that I wouldn’t be surprised.

Here’s a video of what may have been the first time I played the song in front of an audience, on February 15, 2011.

I hope the fiction pleases you. I’m trying to offer it in manageable chunks. I like writing short stories, but I’m deeply immersed in a novel, so I thought chipping away at them on my blog occasionally might be beneficial to me and enjoyable for you. Meanwhile, I hope you will consider my novels, The Audacity of Dope (2011) and The Intangibles (2013), both of which are available in both book and Kindle form.


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