Tag Archives: writing

Cello, crafting, and other updates

When I made my last post (August 8th, ouch) I was doing well and had some energy and… I hate medication changes.  My Trintellix dosage has been titrated to half of what it was, and I think maybe I need to go back up.

Today (technically yesterday, it’s 1:30am right now) I had my first cello lesson in a few weeks.  I hadn’t played since my last lesson.  Bad Switch, no cookie.  But it was good.  Toward the end we were doing a duet of the Jenny Lind Polka, and my conscious mind was just gone.  It was an odd feeling.  I had been lightheaded, and I just… see note, play note, no thinking.  It’s not like I was lost in the music, but rather the opposite; like autopilot.

Overall I’ve lost ground, and have to have tape for my fourth finger position again.  On the positive side, it helps me get into second position, although much to my amusement I did better at shifting once I stopped looking at my fingers.  Yay for having a good ear.  She decided that since pretty much every piece I’ve played in the Suzuki books lately has been bouncy, I get to do something more legato.  So I’m on the chorus from Handel’s “Judas Maccabaeus.”  I think I’m going to throw in some vibrato.  I haven’t practiced that in a while.

Oh, and last lesson we worked on the Peter Murphy song.  I need to finish it, still.

Crafting: I had started knitting an afghan for someone but changed my mind three balls in.  So I sent the yarn back and have been focusing on the green and black shirt.  It’s going to take a while: size six needles and a 54″ chest.  Yeah, it’s a long-haul kind of project.  Also doing some spinning.  Haven’t used the sewing machine in a couple of weeks.  Too much effort, given my emotional exhaustion.  Knitting is as easy as picking up needles. I keep my spinning wheel next to my chair in the living room, and it requires no other tools.  For sewing I have to clear the place settings off the dining table, get all the sewing gear out, make the thing(s) I want to make, pack all of it back up, and reset the table.  I understand now why people have “sewing rooms.”  I have three projects I want to do, two little ones (zippered change purses) and a big one (tote bag for my mom), and I think I can get all of it done fairly quickly if I can find the energy for setup and breakdown.  But when I spend a week trying (and failing) to get up the spoons to go to the grocery store, sewing is just too much.

Other stuff:

I’ve been disappearing into daydreams involuntarily, even more than usual.  Yesterday it was so intrusive that it was exhausting and I had to sleep just to shut my brain up for a while.  Ugh.  Hopefully I will improve soon.  I’m tired of not being able to focus on anything else.

I had signed up for a college class, like I said I would, but because of money issues I dropped it.  I’ll start putting extra in my savings account so I can try again in spring.

I’ve done the research I need for my novel, but see above re: spoons.

Okay, bedtime…

WOOP and getting my ass in gear

I was listening to episodes of NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast today while on a short (1.5 hour) road trip.  The first one I listened to on the drive back was about WOOP, a method of motivating yourself to accomplish goals.  The scientific name for it is “mental contrasting” — picturing a goal and figuring out how to attain it.  The thing that really got me was the third step: figuring out what obstacle is in yourself that is keeping you from accomplishing the thing.  Because then you can’t make excuses for not doing the thing.

So after I finished the episode, I thought about the novel I’m trying to write.  I already knew who the characters were, and some about the setting, but I’ve been struggling with the plot.  The obstacle, of course, was me vaguely hoping I’d figure out the story, and I needed to actively work on it.  So I opened up Evernote on my phone, turned on the speech-to-text thingy, and spent the drive either thinking or dictating notes.  The notes are hilarious in places because I wasn’t fixing the dictation errors.  So, like, “he gets caught” was recorded as “he guy Scott.”  But hey, I generally know what I was saying.

By the time I got home I had a general plot, and a rough staging of the opening chapter.  I sat down at my laptop, and by the time Mom called about dinner three hours later, I had 2200+ words written and am almost done with chapter two.  I didn’t edit much as I went, working on getting the story down first and foremost.  The only time I went back is to change, say, a skill a character had that I realized wouldn’t work out when I got to the next scene.

So yeah, I’m writing a thing.  I hope I can keep up the momentum.  I’m rather enjoying my characters right now, and I’d hate to leave them hanging…

(And special thanks to my younger sister, for getting me hooked on the podcast.  You rock, kiddo!)

First fiction writing in a decade

I just wrote a short story.  Only a few hundred, maybe a thousand words.  I did it longhand so I’m not sure exactly.  I’ll let it sit for a few days and then type it up.  I feel a bit odd.  At one point in my life — well, okay, from ages 4 to 22 — I wanted to be a writer.  And then I started dating a burned-out professional writer and he completely killed my desire to write professionally.  And then I had my breakdown at age 25, and since then every attempt at writing fiction has felt artificial.  It felt nice to write this, though.  Rather like getting on a bicycle for the first time in years, knowledge still there but rusty.  I have no desire to get it published.  I may not even share it with anyone except the Valkyrie.  But I wrote it, and it felt good, and that makes me happy.