textualdeviance: (Default)
I really wish I could get rid of the Mean Girls who live inside my head. Problem is, there are just enough of them out there in the real world, and they are just rotten enough, that it takes a few dozen nice people to bandage every wound they've ever left me with, and that's left me incredibly gunshy of doing anything that might put me in their sights.

There are a lot of reasons why I often stop just short of true success in one area or another: getting bored, distracted with other stuff, not wanting to commit myself 100% to just one thing, etc. But probably the biggest one is that I'm desperately terrified of tall poppy syndrome. The higher I rise up a given ladder of success, the more salient I am. And the more salient I am, the more of a juicy target I make for people who consider any successful woman fair game for abuse.

Pardon the ego for a moment, but this isn't a matter of lack of confidence in my own skill. I know I'm good at what I do. Not world-class, and I'm always trying to improve, but I know I'm a better writer and singer than a significant percentage of people who already do those things professionally. Problem is that I'm not quite good enough to make it past the initial gauntlet of bile one has to pass through in order to start getting those paychecks, and I don't have any other advantages helping me along. Someone who is utterly mindblowing at this stuff can blast right through the first layer of hate and quickly earn herself enough of a posse to fend off the dogs (see: Adele.) And someone who already has other advantages, from a trust fund, to connections, to a pretty face, to being the pride and joy of a small town, can survive the onslaught long enough to get a toehold.

Me, though? I'm basically an army of one, and if I go riding out on the battlefield, proudly waving my banner around, I'm going to be an arrow-filled pincushion in about 10 seconds. I don't have the thermonuclear device of talent to strike fear in the hearts of the orcs, and I don't have shiny armor or a well-armed cavalry surrounding me, either.

If I wasn't so emotionally invested in my passions, I'd probably take the risk anyway. Truly, there's very little even the most determined orc can do to me at this point in my life to make things genuinely awful for me. They'd have to resort to actual criminal behavior to do that. But I have such dread of the idea of my work being torn to bits, even by people utterly unqualified to do so, who are motivated only by jealousy or a fear of competition, that I'm just not yet comfortable throwing it out there for them to piss on.

Obviously, there are some things I do put out there, but the confidence that leads me to do so--quality and knowing there's already a (small) army of support within that field--is what allows that. I can post fanfic and vids, and know that most people who are interested in the subject matter to begin with are probably going to like my stuff, and that anyone who doesn't is going to be in the minority. Likewise, I can do a bit of solo singing here and there, knowing that I'm generally supported by the rest of the group and a positively-predispositioned audience.

But I have no such reassurance for the other stuff, yet. I don't know for sure that higher-level music or writing folks are going to approve of my stuff. And because I've seen how easy it is for the snark brigade to lay waste to someone's work, I'm just not yet ready to go primetime with it. Maybe soon. I hope. I can see the light at the end of that tunnel, I think.

I just wish this fear didn't get in the way of me doing the work in the first place that will get me there. Getting past the voices of the mental mean girls to just sit down and write something, or hammer on sight-singing or vocalise work is a chore, and I wish it wasn't.
textualdeviance: (Andrew Whee!)
1. The first four chapters of my novel are now done, at least in rough draft version (they'll need some copy cleanup, but they're there, now.) In addition to the other chapters I've done here and there, this now makes 8 out of 20 chapters complete. Hellz, yes. \o/

2. This song. Is perfect.

textualdeviance: (groovy)
Thanks to my pal [livejournal.com profile] frogboy for pointing out this gorgeous, haunting song his wife wrote.



Link
textualdeviance: (Default)
Thanks to a post on [livejournal.com profile] grammar_whores, I finally realized why writing comes so naturally to me: It's because of my music training.

Musical notation is set up such that the performer knows exactly what sound, color, speed, etc., the composer wants just by looking at a sheet of paper. Translating all those little black dots and strange abbreviations into beautiful sounds relies upon knowing what each of them means. Sforzando is not the same thing as an accent, for instance. Nor is a ritard the same thing as a rallantando.

The same is true for writing, especially when writing dialogue. The words themselves, like notes, are the core of the piece, but without proper structure, spelling, grammar and punctuation, the effect gets lost. This is why proper use of commas, semi-colons, dashes and such is essential. Colorful adverbs and adjectives are not enough.

When I read, I hear the words in my head as if someone were reading them aloud. I just reread "The Hobbit" for the first time since seeing LOTR and goodness if I didn't hear Serena's voice every time Gandalf said something. The beauty of Tolkien's writing is that one can hear those things, and the beauty of Serena's acting is that he can translate that writing into spoken music.

The two aren't that different, I suppose. It's just a different set of notation.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Someone just posted this to the SLGC list and I had to repost. Both hilarious and extremely well-done.

textualdeviance: (Cascadia)
So, I went to chorus rehearsal last night for the first time in a couple of years. My recent history with the chorus has been sporadic, for various reasons, but I really do want to get back to singing--that being half of my "dream career state." It felt good--albeit a bit exhausting, because I wasn't singing right.

But there were also some very interesting announcements.
Like a phoenix in the immolation phase )

Even though most of the folks at rehearsal last night were people I either didn't know at all or only know a little bit, it was still like coming home. There's a certain sort of energy in the group that has always drawn me to it, and I was definitely reminded of why I spent so many years involved in it in the first place. I'm dearly hoping that this effort is successful--for what it's worth, I have a good feeling about it--because the community needs this group, and it would be a damned shame to lose it.

So, consider this a call to all chorus alumni, friends and family on my flist: I know many of you just don't have time or energy for meetings or rehearsals, but if you can't sing or actively participate in the brainstorming sessions, please consider lending your ideas and energy in whatever way you can. I think there's some amazing potential here for the group to come back stronger than ever, but for that to happen, it will need its family to rally around it. I certainly plan to, within whatever limitations I have to put up with, and I hope the rest of y'all will, too.
textualdeviance: (avatar2)
I've been pulling some late nights in recent days. Not sure why, just on my nightowl cycle, I suppose.

I used most of tonight to put together a music mix for the party, and sort of just threw in a little bit of everything--mostly upbeat stuff from my entire collection. Or at least the part of it that's been ripped. I still have a bunch of vinyl I need to rip (pardon me while I covet a USB turntable...)

The whole shebang ended up at about three days' worth of music. Ack! Ah, well. It'll make for a good road trip mix, too.

It was definitely a walk down memory lane, though. I got too busy to finish that life soundtrack meme of several months ago, and this brought back some of the '90s part of that I hadn't yet gotten to. One of my biggest music consumer jags was in the middle of that decade, and there were so many major things that happened to me around then. I never really got into grunge, per se, but a lot of the crunchier pop--Super Deluxe, Eve 6, Garbage, Veruca Salt, etc.--ended up in my collection. That was also the time I was really neck-deep in my voice studies, so perhaps I needed it as a respite. :) I have some really incredible memories for some of this stuff, though. Lots of the early stages of meeting and dating M, for instance. Things were chaotic, in a zillion different ways, but in a way, those few years really were the foundation of who I am today, so the music from that time is kind of essential to my current self concept.
textualdeviance: (80's hair)
Taking a break from studying for my jazz final, and had to continue this meme, since it's been dogging my head. And really, while I enjoy listening to Art Tatum and Louis Armstrong, I need to hear something else for a little while.

1986-89 )

Okay, that's it for now. 1990s coming up this weekend.

I'll also probably add more stuff to these entries once I get home next week and dig through my singles (which I really need to digitize at some point; some of them are out of print and damned hard to find.)
textualdeviance: (80's hair)
Holy crap, this soundtrack meme is eating up chunks of time today. But I'm loving the nostalgia high. Given how much of my musical life happened in the 80s, I'll need to do this decade in two posts.

1980-1985 )

Okay. Need a break. More later!

ETA: Just added a few more, now that I've started recalling things better... 1986-89 coming up shortly.
Mar. 14th, 2007 11:03 am

Meme

textualdeviance: (80's hair)
Saw this meme posted on a mb. It kinda picks up where the birth year meme left off.

The Soundtrack of Your Life
-Pick the one or two songs that best represent each year of your life.
-Link to or embed vids, if available.
-Include a note about what this song reminds you of, or highlights from that year.


I'm only embedding a few, because this is going to be long enough as it is. I'm also breaking it into chunks.

1971-1979 )
textualdeviance: (80's hair)
Some random quote on a comm reminded me of this song (and video.)



TFF was one of the seminal bands that influenced my musical and cultural development in the early 80s. Their first two albums (along with those of Berlin, Duran Duran, 'til tuesday and Missing Persons) were on heavy rotation on my lame little record player. I remember having a giant crush on Roland (though, looking back, I think Curt's actually cuter) and getting a huge jones for his dancing--especially that in this video. I seem to recall that every clubqueer I ran into within a few years of that did similar kinds of things, usually in a haze of clove smoke.

I suppose most younger folks probably only know this song because of its remake for the "Donnie Darko" soundtrack, but the original, imho, is still better. I highly recommend listening to the whole album--it's all really divine, moody stuff.

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