Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's Up With Me This Wednesday

It's Wednesday again, and this post is coming a little late. Sorry about that. First, let me check in with my writing goals:

- 1 review so far
- More of Contracted written
- Still haven't transferred those pages from longhand to computer
- Still need to start that Prologue edit.

What I'm reading

I'm finishing up After the Snow, and I'm about halfway through The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm. I also got the Nook book of Mrs. Cavendish's Home for Boys and Girls. Sometimes there are those books that you need to stay up all night reading. That was one of them. Also I was afraid that I would have nightmares if I didn't finish it (I may have nightmares anyway). 

I'm pretty sure it confirmed every suspicion I had as a child that there was a Great Adult Conspiracy and that Santa was really an evil taskmaster and if you weren't perfect and good, he would take you away and force you to work in his toy factory. (I at one point believed that his "elves" were stolen children who were forever frozen at that age, and who had been kidnapped for being "bad.") Not that Santa features in the book at all -- but if you read it, you'll know what I mean.

Sometimes there are also those books that seem to come into your life at a divinely appointed moment, because they help you with something that you couldn't have foreseen until you cracked that first page. I believe the ebook sale may still be going on over at the author's website. I strongly advise lovers of MG, horror, humor, and good writing to check it out. 

What I'm writing

I'm still working on Contracted, writing these blogposts, and writing my Examiner reviews. I'm thinking of adding a "My Writing" page to the blog, with links to my writing on this blog and outside. I've also started a "Saturday Sharing" series of posts, where I post excerpts of my writing. Hmm. We'll see how long that lasts.

What else I've been up to

I just came back from The Vacation From Hell (hence my late post). One of these seems to happen at least once a year.

I have also tried to up my standards on my cello practicing. I need to get rid of the defeatist attitude. No matter how many times I "learn" and perform a piece, I'll never be finished with it. So why try? You see where that line of reasoning leads. Nope, nope, nope. I have a senior recital, a Bach prelude, and a Chopin sonata to do.

What inspires me right now

Frankly? Not much. I'm in one of my I Hate the World and Everything In It But My Cat moods. However, this video managed to cheer me up/redeem my faith in humanity a bit.


  1. Oooh, you play cello, cool! I'm new to the violin and sometimes I get sooooooo frustrated but I can't give in because I absolutely love it. I want perfection, but then I have to remind myself that 8 months of playing do not equal mastery of an instrument... unless you're some kind of genius :P Hang in there! Keep playing ^_^

    Have a great week!

    1. Don't give up! :) It can be frustrating at times, but really rewarding. And even geniuses need to master the technical/physical skills of playing an instrument. Recently, a weird technique flaw that I have never ever had a problem with before has cropped up! So annoying. But we just have to keep working.

      You have a great week too and enjoy playing your violin! :)

  2. I have had a few of those I Hate the World moments. Hang in there. Sometimes it's very hard to see where all the practice or writing is going-especially when the writing is HARD, but I just try to remind myself to enjoy it as I go. And that usually works. Okay, sometimes. Hang in there! And I hope this week is much better!

    1. Yeah, I'm pretty sure we've all been there at some point or other. The most frustrating times are when all the things that don't normally go well are going great, and everything that DOES normally go well-ish sucks. That's sort of what's happening right now. BUT I have a cat to cuddle, so I'm good. Haha. Cats are very therapeutic.

  3. Great review of MCHFB&G-- I haven't read it, but it sounds really interesting! I am so impressed that you can play a musical instrument. That's amazing-- and something like the cello, to boot-- which is a beautiful one. Good for you for always challenging yourself to improve. That's amazing!

    1. 'Mrs. Cavendish' is sitting firmly on my mental "Favorites" shelf. :) And I do love to play the cello. The sonata I am working on is gorgeous.

  4. I think you have the makings of a novel in your evil Santa theory, Laura. You should write that one some time. :)

    My oldest daughter wants to take up the 'cello. A friend at church has let her borrow a 'cello--she now looking for a teacher. I play a few instruments, and I can pick out some tunes on her 'cello, but it's not pretty, so I'm no help to her. Making a pretty sound will take hours and hours of practice. She really needs a cellist to at least get her started and show her the basics. All that to say, I understand the time and effort it has taken for you to be good enough to perform with the 'cello. Keep it up, and all the best to you with your recitals. As you practice, just remember my daughter would give her right arm to be as good as you. Though giving her right arm would kind of defeat the point because she wouldn't be able to play... But you get my point! :D

    1. I can see it now -- ESCAPE FROM SANTALAND!!! Hahaha. It has crossed my mind...

      If there are any music shops in your area, you could ask them if they know a good teacher. The school band/orchestra conductor might know someone as well. :) I hope she finds a good teacher she likes!

      Also, I'm sure you meant well, and...I do see your point. I just don't necessarily like your point. And I may be misinterpreting what you meant, but allow me to get on my soapbox for a minute. For me, it's not really about being good. I'm already good. For me, it's about trying to rediscover that love of music that made me want to practice and get good in the first place. For your daughter, comparing herself to someone who has had nearly 11 years of experience would probably be discouraging and self-destructive. I'm not saying she shouldn't look up to Yo-Yo Ma or Jacqueline DuPre or anything. I mean, I do. I'm saying that it can be damaging if you measure your improvement against others' experience, rather than measuring your improvement against yourself. If that makes sense.

      Some people thrive on competition. I had a teacher who did that...but to her, every piece she heard lost any value except for how "good" it was technically. Technique is important, but...she couldn't even *enjoy* music anymore. In a gorgeous performance, the only thing that she would remember would be that one out-of-tune note. Everything was about, "this is good" or "this is not good enough."

      Personally, I would give my right arm to be able to love music like I used to, even if not having a right arm meant I couldn't play it anymore. I would love to love music again like the kid scratching blissfully (and terribly) at his violin. Once you make it all about being good, you're never good enough to be satisfied, and you make yourself miserable. I speak from experience.

      Thanks, though, for your comment. Mine ran a waaaaaaay long. Sorry about that. It's just something I feel strongly about.

  5. Mrs. Cavendish's Home for Boys and Girls sounds really good. I'll have to get around to reading it! I'm trying to read more MG lately since my current WIP is a MG. Good luck with your goals this week and I hope you get over your bad mood soon! I love that Kids React video!

    1. :) That video is very encouraging. I have hope yet for the future...

      If you're looking for a good MG read, you should definitely pick it up! And good luck with your MG WIP. :)


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