textualdeviance: (Default)
Haven't done one of these in a while!

Digest version, for those in tl;dr mode: I wrote another book, our adoption process marches on, I have yet to get an offer for a W2-earning job and I'm dying for a proper vacation.

The long version:

I wrote a book! Now, bring on the revision/publishing angst. )

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I wrote another book. A while ago. And am also angsting about it. )

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On to other things which are just as fraught with Social Bullshit angst, but a different kind, at least.

Adoption process update )

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Not going back to chorus )

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Still unemployed. Now slightly annoyed by that. )

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I just need my own private jet so I can go whereever I want. )

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Other than all that, life goes on. Still playing video games, hanging out in various fan circles, grousing about politics, getting annoyed at the cats, blah blah. Getting things together for spring back-yard mucking, too. Slightly angsty and irritated at the world for big meta stuff, but otherwise in good nick.
textualdeviance: (trapped)
OK, so I don't really fancy myself at that level. Hardly. But I think I've nailed down why I'm dreading tomorrow's preview show, and why I'm glad this chorus term is almost over: I am seriously musically/creatively frustrated, and it's driving me up the damned wall.

I don't mean this to be an indictment of the group--there's nothing wrong with it, for what it is. But ... I really, really, really need to be singing more hardcore stuff. The one challenging piece we're doing is being slaughtered because it's beyond most of the folks in the group, and everything else is pop songs and Kirby Fucking Shaw arrangements of hoary old standards. Fun for a casual singer, definitely, but for me, it's just jaw-achingly tiresome.

Add in all the other issues I'm having with it--being surrounded by 200 chatty women, for instance--and it's all coming up to be an exercise in ennervation. What I wanted from this group--reminding myself what it feels like to sing--happened in the first three weeks I was in rehearsals. I stuck with it this long, thinking it would get better, but it just didn't. I'm completely behind the idea of the group--it obviously fills a niche both in a political and social sense for most of the people in it--but it's just not giving me anything I need. Instead, it's only reminding me of what I wish I was really doing. Which is very, very depressing.

I know this probably sounds impossibly snobby. I get that I'm hardly some elite diva. But imagine any other occupation in which one has a fair amount of skill and ~20 years' experience, and then imagine being stuck in a job that's journeyman level, at best. There's no shame in being a journeyman, for those who are legitimately at that level, but it's hardly soul-satisfying for someone who is years beyond it.

I'm not haughtily declaring that I'm too awesome to hang with the unwashed masses. I'm just saying that singing is so incredibly important to my emotional well-being that not being able to cut loose and do it the way I've spent half my life training to do feels like a massive case of creative blue balls. I would rather not sing at all than sit around in rehearsals while everyone else is getting drilled on rhythms when I've been off book for a month.

All of this, of course, is compounded by being frustrated in my other passions, too. The journalism thing is a bust, for various reasons (and I can't even seem to get a job right now.) I'm stymied on the novel writing for a reason I can't nail down. My fandom stuff is kind of blowing up. The adoption stuff is a bone-achingly slow and bureaucratic process. And I can't even get my damned cat to stop harassing his feline housemates. Argh.

If I thought it would do me any good, I'd hop in my car right now and just take off for god knows where. But, as a wise person once said: no matter where you go, there you are. I'd only be taking my frustrations with me.

I will most likely do these concerts, out of my own sense of duty and professionalism. But I'm not going to enjoy them the way I ought to be enjoying performing. And I can't describe how much that breaks my heart.
Feb. 9th, 2012 01:42 pm

Blah

textualdeviance: (XKCD Complicated)
Have errands to do today. Have zero motivation. Got plenty of sleep, though, for the first time in a week or so. Might be my body's still recovering from the deficit, and is telling me to rethefucklax.

Our first concert for this chorus term is coming up Sunday (two more to follow next weekend.) I don't think I've ever been less excited about a performance. There's really nothing wrong with it, save the fact that there's one very difficult piece we've yet to sing all the way through without the damn director stopping us for some reason or other. The music's decent. I just ... I dunno. I just can't work up any excitement about being on stage, and I'm not sure why. I love performing. I love singing. But something about this show is just blah for me. I'd rather sleep and play video games this weekend.

Spose I may be in a depressive episode. Wouldn't surprise me. I've been on and off the edge of one since about September. Crashed hard in early December and then bounced back a little last month. Might also have some sort of quiet creeping crud weighing me down. Either way, I'm a slug right now, and it's frustrating, because there's stuff I wanna do. Which, of course, makes it all worse.

So, yeah. Blah.
textualdeviance: (Default)
This past weekend's retreat thingy proved a few things to me:

1. I'm not a lesbian.
I am most definitely sexually and romantically attracted to many women, of many different kinds (oh, am I) and I love my female friends, but where a lesbian might feel comfortable and energized at being in an estrogen-dominant environment, I find it awkward and draining. When I found myself gravitating to the handful of (queer) guys there, I knew something was off.

I think the reason for this really boils down to my gender stuff. I've tried really hard to find a model of womanness that feels right to me (and of course there are many; there's no one right way to be a woman) but I've just never landed on that. I can relate to other women in many ways--common interests/experiences/humanity--but I don't have that automatic sense of identification many women do with each other. It never feels "native" to me, if that makes any sense. Still don't feel male enough to transition, but I definitely identify more with men. So, yeah. Always feel slightly out-of-place when I'm surrounded by women.

2. I think I've got all I'm going to get out of this group.
Much as I've enjoyed getting back up to speed on singing, I think it's time for me to move on. Which I always knew I'd do, of course. What with the adoption thing and wanting to do more-complex music, I knew I wouldn't be here forever. Just kind of surprised it only took me one term to make up for the four years of being away from singing. Guess the riding-a-bike thing is true of riding my instrument, so to speak. I do still have some work to do on getting my sight-singing up to speed before I go auditioning for one of the next-tier groups (and they're not auditioning until summer anyway) but I think that's prolly best done with a coach. And since I'm not getting anything else out of this group, and I'm starting to dread rehearsals and the upcoming concerts (much less the summer choral festival), I think it's time I shifted gears to something else. I don't ever want to go another four years without singing again, but I also need to do the kind of singing, and be in the kind of group, that really feeds my soul. And this just isn't it. Nothing wrong with the group--just not for me, is all.

3. Bandwidth limitations suck
Got submitted for another work gig. Three positions with this one (it's a startup team) and one is an interesting schedule. The contract also only goes through June, which would be good. I really don't want to work right now. I would much rather spend my days writing, among other things. But we could definitely use the money, just to have on hand for any unforeseen adoption expenses and such. And I can always quit if I don't like it. Of course, I may not even get an interview, considering the last three submissions didn't come to anything, either. Can't decide which is more irritating: facing having to do the office grind again, or realizing I'm actually having trouble finding a job, which is slightly scary.

If I do start working, though, there's really no way I can give any more energy to this chorus. I'm feeling pulled apart enough as it is with just the adoption prep getting in the way of writing time/focus. If I'm doing the paycheck thing, I'm going to be in big trouble if I'm trying to do chorus, too.
textualdeviance: (Recommended for the Internet)
So, if you've not kept up with my tl;dr rant and babble lately (and I wouldn't blame you), here's a condensed version of what's been going on in my life the last couple of months!

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The biggest thing, of course, is that we've got at least a rough plan for getting the adoption going. We've been sorting through agencies, and have found at least one that may be right for us. We have our first intro seminar dealio with them next Tuesday. Assuming that goes well (and it may or may not) we'll get going on the home study stuff soon after. That process will take a couple months, but we'll probably be on the waitlist sometime in January. Then? No clue how long it might take. Could be a long wait, though, since we're going to be pickier than some, and have a few not-so-attractive things as potential adoptive parents. Still more-than-slightly terrified, especially about getting cleared medically, but I'm crossing my fingers.

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The other big thing is that I'm singing again! I bit the bullet and joined up with SWC. Only a few rehearsals so far, but god, it feels good to be back. It's been ~4 years since I did any serious singing, and getting back into it is making me wonder why I ever stopped. (Well, I know why--time, burnout, scheduling fail, etc. Still.) I've been needing to feed my soul, and music is its preferred meal, so. Yeah. :) First concert's in February. We'll see what I do after that--will prolly depend on adoption stuff.

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Also still writing like a demon, though it's been ages since I did any fanfic. (Kind of fading interest a bit on the primary fandom. More on that in a bit.) Since I'm not working again yet, I decided to take advantage of the downtime and do NaNoWriMo this year. If you're over there, you can find me with this handle. I seem to be going well on my project so far--have topped 9,000 words in just four days, which is well ahead of their suggested pace. Helps that I put together a decent chapter outline for it in the middle of this, too.

Haven't done more agent shopping for the other novel, but I think I want to give it another edit and maybe a bit of expansion before I do. Have been letting it sit for a few months now, and fresh eyes wouldn't be a bad thing before I go dropping it on someone else.

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Khaleesi seems to be settling in fairly well. She's still shy of Otter, because he's an asshole and he's almost twice her size, but she gives him (well-earned) smacks on the nose pretty regularly. She's also basically a perfect cat. She's friendly, sweet, has perfect litterbox habits, etc. About her only flaw is that she scratches a lot. But she also responds well when she's scolded for it. Still considering whether we add another kitty--perhaps one more young one to take Otter's focus, so poor Penny doesn't get any harassment at all--but that may be a while yet.

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Have been diversifying my fandom interests, now that Primeval is on ice for at least the near future. A little burned out on it, to be honest. Still think the cast is adorable (though there's some behind-the-scenes stuff that has me a bit uncomfortable) and still keeping up with our fan groups, but I'm just spending more time on other stuff. Particularly, I've been dipping my toes into Game of Thrones/ASoIaF. Just finished the most recent book in the series, so I can finally go hunting fandom for it without risk of spoilers. Sadly, a lot of the fandom I've found so far seems heavily oriented toward dimwit fangirls. Which is kind of creepy, considering they're way too immature for this subject matter. Ah, well.

Elsewise, I'm watching Sanctuary, Fringe, Downton Abbey, Criminal Minds and a few other things here and there. Looking forward to more Leverage coming soon, too.

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My mandatory contract break is up, now, and my agency has pinged me about new possible assignments. I'm not sure I want to work again right away, though. We could use the extra money, but it's not critical, and I figure someone else needs that job more than we do right now. I may want to work again while we're in the adoption queue, but for now, I'd rather spend that time writing, catching up on sleep and watching the birdies in my back yard (of which there have been TONS this year.) I may change my mind if there's a really awesome assignment up, though.

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Also, I want to spend more time socializing. We had a way fun Halloween party, and I'm dying to do more of that. Not that I don't love my long-distance/online friends, but meatspace socializing really boosts me, and I need more of it than I get right now.

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Bed, however, is my main goal at the mo. Especially because Khaleesi just dropped an atom bomb in the litter box. Ugh. Night.
textualdeviance: (XKCD Complicated)
Back from week two of rehearsal. And it again went very well. Really enjoying singing again, and I like most of the stuff we're doing, too.

Have decided: the one and only time I feel like a woman (and like it) is when I'm singing. Yes, I can sing lower parts, and were I to transition, I'm sure I'd adapt to baritone or something, but there's just something about singing soprano that feels right in my very bones. It feels like this is what my body was intended for. Reproduction? Secondary sex characteristics? W'ev. My larynx is the heart and soul of whatever femininity my body has.

I'm not very in touch with my body both for gender reasons and because it's so broken in so many ways. I sometimes envy athletes and dancers the relationship they have with their physical selves. But I do have this one thing, and it's huge for me. Far more huge than I think I realized until I got back into it after having abandoned it for so long.

I still consider myself a writer, more than anything else, but that's largely a mental thing, and an expression of creativity from a genesis level. My emotional and spiritual side--and physical, it would seem--are still rooted in the strange and wonderful noises that I can make come out of my mouth.

Oh, voice. I'm so sorry I forgot about you.
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textualdeviance: (Button Monkey)
I feel like a fraud most of the time. The things I can do--writing, singing, etc.--are so easy for me that I figure I must not actually have any skill at them. I feel like what I can do is simple enough that any idiot can do it, so I'm definitely nothing special.

I'm also, however, horribly envious of people who can do things I definitely can't--drawing, dancing, etc.--and I figure those things must require considerably more skill and effort than what I do.

In other words, I assume that if I can do something it must be universally easy, and if I can't do something, then it must be universally difficult.

I probably should get over this, not just because I'm shortchanging my own skills (not to mention the real effort that went into developing them), but because it sometimes leads me to think that people who can't do what I can do so easily must be kind of pathetic. (What, you mean you can't hand-construct a basic web page? What's wrong with you?!)

But how do you know if you're actually good? )

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