This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This Challenge of 2019 will be the 10th! Since this is kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme will be a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Roller Coaster Ride (#AtoZChallenge)



Another oft-used metaphor for the life journey is roller coaster.  So many amusement park metaphors lend themselves well to a life.  A merry-go-round can be a bit repetitious, a life going in circles, stuck in a rut.  But a roller coaster!  All the thrills and changes just like a life lived and savored...

     

Virtual re-creation of The Cyclone at Puritas Springs near Cleveland, Ohio




#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter R












            In the fifties when I was still a child and living in Cleveland Ohio, my parents would sometimes take us to an old amusement park in nearby Rocky River.  Puritas Springs had been there for decades.  The wooden roller coaster called The Cyclone was a featured attraction.  The ride was an ominous sight to a five year old, with the clanking chain drive sound and the smell of the grease on the track impacting the experience deep into my memory.

          I never rode that particular roller coaster, but I've thought about it often.  As many in recent generations have done, my life has taken on a metaphorical role as the roller coaster that I never stop riding until the day I die.  All the ups and downs and the circuitous changes of the course we all take in life are easily likened to a roller coaster.  It's a metaphor that has become a cliche.

          But it does work, which is why so often we return to that reliable old standard metaphor of the roller coaster of life.

           As I have mentioned in previous posts in 2018, during the April Challenge last year a song came to me that I wrote down and eventually even recorded a few rough versions that I featured in a Battle of the Bands post.  Once again this year I trudged into April with little enthusiasm for A to Z or much else for that matter only to get another rush of inspiration to write another song during this Challenge of 2019.

           Actually, I usually come up with several songs each day that I think on for a little bit before I file it away into the inner recesses of memory.  I don't think those songs are ever forgotten, but just put on hold until ideas and words come to turn that dormant song into a project leading to completion.  Then, sometimes, a song idea will grab me and stay with me for many days until it's part of my mental music library and committed on paper until I can find a use for it.

            So what song have I written this April?  What is the name of this new song that is obsessing me?  It's not a totally unique title or concept, but I think that's okay.  It's my song and I think it could sound pretty good with the right recording.  If you didn't guess already, my new A to Z April inspired song is called "Roller Coaster Ride."   I'm still coming up with additional lyrics, but I've got a melody solidly in my brain.

             I don't know if I'll get another Battle of the Bands post from the song, but this is another lurch forward on that open road leading to my dream.  This is me--the dreamer riding on a crazy roller coaster ride of life.

           Do any particular times or circumstances inspire more creativity with you than others?   What is the best roller coaster you've ridden on or heard of?   Did your parents take you to amusement parks when you were a child? 

         




41 comments:

  1. I'm a huge roller coaster fan. I don't have a favourite because any and all roller coasters I've been on has been a favourite! The last roller coaster I went on was in the Universal Studios in Singapore, I think it was the Battlestar Galactica roller coaster which was fairly hair-raising :)

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    1. Amelia, I used to enjoy coasters a great deal. I don't know that I'd still like them. Maybe a relatively tame one.

      Lee

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  2. It may be a cliche as a metaphor but it is also a disconcertingly accurate approximation of life's ride.

    A-Z does spark off a whole lot of other writing -poems, stories, blogging themes...Some get completed, some fizzle out, and other's get into the following year's challenge.

    All the best for the song writing.

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    1. Nilanjana, a roller coaster is one of the more accurate descriptive life metaphors that I can think of.

      Lee

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  3. Life is certainly a roller coaster Lee. I can well relate to that especially these past 6 months.
    Hope yours continue to "Go Up".

    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, hope we are all heading "upward".

      Lee

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  4. Most roller coasters don't last long. I love the thrill of the ride but they typically end before I even get started and that is a true disappointment. Like an addict I want more but I suppose the best one was when it went upside down. Jackie's Bookbytes Letter R

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    1. Jackie, I'm still partial to the old-style wooden coasters, but adding the loops and twists to coasters certainly was a game-changer.

      Lee

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  5. Great metaphor! Unfortunately, I was the little kid afraid of the merry-go-round ... never mind the roller coaster. Only when I left home did I climb aboard … and sometimes regretted having done so.

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    1. Metaphorically speaking, this is! :)

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    2. Myra, I was probably 9 or 10 when I rode my first roller coaster and then I was hooked.

      Lee

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  6. Cedar Point, Conneaut, Kings Island and Youngstown's own Idora Park were my favorite roller coaster spots.

    I used to live in Youngstown when you lived in Cleveland...wow. Maybe I'm stalking you and I don't know it.

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    1. Cherdo, I've read about the Cedar Point coasters but have never actually been inside that park--just stood outside the gates and then moved on. The others I don't know. I did ride a coaster at King's Dominion many years ago and even had a tee-shirt illustrating the coaster.

      I was in Cleveland for the first 7 years of my life. So long ago...

      Lee

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  7. The best I've been on is at Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi. It's also the world's fastest so it's pretty hair-raising! My personal roller coaster has slowed to a crawl in recent years!

    My A-Z of Children's Stories

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    1. Keith, Don't know if my heart, back, and neck would do well on a big roller coaster like that. And I certainly wouldn't have much hair to raise.

      Lee

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  8. I don't do roller coasters. We weren't much for amusement parks when I was a kid. I remember asking my parents if we could go to Riverview. They said "no" in a way that told me that I had better not ask again. By the time I was old enough to go on my own, it was shut down.

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    1. John, we used to go to amusement parks somewhat frequently I would guess in comparison to other people I know, but it was never as much as I wanted. Now it's all too expensive and I'm much more comfortable and relaxed just staying at home. I've got a roller coaster video I can watch if I want an idea of the experience.

      Lee

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  9. Your song sounds great Arlee not that we've heard it but I know it'll be great. You could write to kiffness@gmail.com who is someone I know who lives in Cape Town and is a musician and composer ..

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    1. Susan, I've watched some of the Kiffness videos that you've linked to and they're good. Right now I'm looking for a nearby collaborator. For the present I just want to get some rough draft performances to use for my next step.

      Lee

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  10. OH BOY, Have I come to the right place... my friend when I was little my mom & dad took me to Riverview! Need I say more. Of course I was too little for roller coasters for there, but we did go into the big Aladdin fun house where there was a bunch of screen doors & some opened & some didn't. lol Now I married a roller coaster nutcase! ~snicker~! We've been too Island of Adventure when it first opened (next door to Universal studios) & the best coaster there was the HULK! Plus we've been to Kings Island, Adventureland close to our home (IL) Indiana Beach (Indiana), but best of all CEDAR POINT! When I was going on the coasters I'll have to say the Millennium was the best. Me I like water rides, but Dave he's a coaster nut! hahaha Okay this was fun! HAPPY EASTER my friend and have a great weekend.

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    1. Dolly, there was a time in the eighties when I was on the road and we would seek out every amusement park along the way and ride the roller coasters. I was much younger then. I haven't been to an amusement park to ride on rides for many years.

      Lee

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  11. I think the Rock n Roll Rollercoaster is my fave

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    1. Mike, that's a good name for a coaster ride.

      Lee

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  12. Your video is the closest I have come to an actual roller coaster ride. "Not too bad," she said, from the darkened floor of the hall closet.
    My inspiration for a new project usually comes from the odd sentence in a novel or movie or overheard conversation.
    http://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com/2019/04/rainy-day-in-ghent.html

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    1. Gail, those virtual coaster re-creations give a pretty accurate view of what you experience visually on the ride.

      lee

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  13. I went on a roller coaster in Hong Kong called The Dragon when I was a kid. At the time it was said to be the 2nd scariest roller coaster in the world. And yeah... It was terrifying.

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    1. Kate, "The Dragon" is a good roller coaster name.

      Lee

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  14. I love roller coasters! Best ones I've ever ridden are Apollo's Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Manta in Sea World Orlando.

    The virtual ride was fun. About the only way I can experience any wooden coaster these days. They are just too rough on my back.

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    1. L.Diane, I know you like roller coasters. In the 70's I rode a roller coaster at Busch Gardens that I think was called "The Beast". I don't think it's there anymore.

      Lee

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  15. Hopefully this will bloom into another BOTB, last one was really fun. I wish that music was my talent. Lyrics maybe, but not the music itself, sadly.

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    1. CW, I've got some musical talent, but not enough to pull off getting a good recording of any of my songs. Lyrics I can do.

      Lee

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  16. I don't do roller coasters. Ever.

    We took our kids to amusement parks (Kings Island was great) but the only thing my parents took me to was a county fair.

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    1. Patricia, it's been a long time since I've been on a coaster--about 20 years if memory serves me correctly. I worked a lot of county fairs with my family.

      Lee

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  17. thank you for stopping by1 love roller coasters even at almost 52 haven't found one yet that I do not like

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    1. Gators, I've always liked roller coasters, but now I'm a bit afraid to take the jolts and shocks involved.

      Lee

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  18. I'm not a great roller coaster person. Life is enough of one for me! I go for the milder types if I do them, and that is thrill enough...

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    1. Lisa, my preference for a ride these days would be something like a miniature train ride through a nicely landscaped area--slow and relaxing.

      Lee

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  19. I love rollercoasters!! Not the old rickety wooden ones, though, I like the newer fangled ones.

    As for creative periods... I get a boost of creativity in late fall as well as the beginning of a new year. Wish I could harness that throughout the year.

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    1. Trudy, wooden roller coasters are scary, but I used to like them.

      It would be nice to spread those creative times to all the times.

      Lee

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  20. I loved the wooden Blue Streak at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Because of my notoriously weak stomach, I don't trust myself to ride anything with an angle much sharper than about 45 degrees, and nothing that flips people upside-down. I also need to be in the middle of the coaster, where gravity doesn't pull on riders as strongly as in the front and back.

    My little brother has become obsessed with roller coasters. He, his unstable married girlfriend, her creepy husband, and her daughter from her first marriage are constantly going to amusement parks, though my brother had zero interest in either coasters in particular or amusement parks in general till he fell in with these people.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, Cedar Point is an outstanding park from what I've heard, but it's unlikely that I'll ever go there. Not sure that I'll ever ride any more coasters either.

      Lee

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Lee