Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ear Infection Musical OMG-WAT

After my previous post, I had a lot of energy to really give everything my best! Last week, I worked out harder than I have in the past, practiced more piano, started really cracking down on my favorite piece, and even wrote up a list of songs I've worked on over the years and realized I have enough to make a CD!

On Tuesday, I felt a little dizzy, and kind of queasy. A lot, actually. But, I usually get sick when I start a new workout routine, so I told myself, "No! Just push through it!" Sadly, my symptoms got worse, until Friday when after a lot of blood and unbearable pain, I actually begged my husband to drag me away to the urgent care near to us, since it was the only place we could get an appointment right away (despite the hefty cost; ouch, crappy health insurance!) and it was almost immediately diagnosed as an ear infection, which I had also figured out by that point. I was prescribed antibiotics, and I went home somewhat relieved that, as the doctor said, "Your ear drum might pop, but it's okay because it will heal." =^00^= What a thing to say to someone who has just committed themselves more than ever to their music! AHHHHH!

It was my intention, at first, to push through the illness, but I couldn't hear. I kept falling over or feeling like I would throw up. For the first time ever, I had to miss belly dance class for a reason other than work! And, I was so worried that I wouldn't get my hearing back (and, more importantly, for things I heard to be back in tune and non-robotic) that I convinced myself that resting was the best thing. I still think that it was. I mean, even playing the piano physically hurt.

I still didn't want to lose time to make progress, though. I couldn't think to work on or upload stories, and I couldn't really practice music since it was literally painful, and making art . . . that takes a lot of focus for me. So, in my downtime, I decided to Google "aspiring songwriters" and see if I could find a guild to join like the cool Piano Technician's Guild or advice on how to proceed since I have a significant disadvantage at not being able to afford instruction (I need to save up $1400 just to get a computer that can record my songs on it) and am doing all of my work on my own at this point.

Well, you know how there's those people who really shouldn't research diseases online because they're paranoid and will assume that they have everything? That's basically me when it comes to music, apparently. Reading about the hundreds of types of copyrights and enforcers, various "constructive criticism guilds" that want lots of money to tell you things like "lyrics have to rhyme to be good" (NO! Some lyrics don't even need to make sense to be good!), and seeing the horribly done websites for the groups that do exist out here (I'm not a great web designer myself, but I do have standards) was enough to make me feel like I was spiraling out of control. I started worrying that I can't do this alone, that maybe I'm even worse than I think that I am, or that I won't be able to handle the business end of my affairs if I do manage to make some money sharing what I love. Why does the song writing community suck so bad? Am I looking in the wrong place?

Honestly, I don't have the talent, knowledge, or equipment to make fantastic videos. And, I don't have the technical know-how of some musicians, furthermore handicapped by the lack of equipment at this point in time (although, I have what I need to compose the songs, so it's only a matter of time and practice... I will be READY when the computer arrives!). Then I reminded myself that the Beatles couldn't even read music and touched us the way that they did. "I can do this. Calm down." :}

Thankfully, everything is sounding more and more normal every day, and going through that insanity early on was better than doing it later, which surely would have generated more panic. :} And, I did manage to get some things done!

First, I've updated the blog surroundings to be more useful and generate revenue. The comments are now also open (EEK) so that more people can post comments without my having to mediate each one before it shows up. Admittedly, I just wanted to avoid negative posts that lacked anything constructive altogether, but this was keeping people from posting most anything. I actually do want advice and thoughts from people, though I'm not sure how much I can keep up with it working full time and trying to take care of a crazy house and working on this stuff, but I will do my best.

I also updated my YouTube account in the hopes that I'll be able to make some videos in the future. I updated Patreon so that you can now be a patron for my work and get rewards for it! Yay! To learn more about how it works, watch the cool video below.

Also, I set up my Blurb account; that will most likely be the first thing to get hits, since uploading my stories that I've already written will be relatively easier. You can support my stories at my Patreon site too! :)

Higher registers still sound slightly out of tune in my hearing, and my cat Tatsu still sounds like a robot, but I'm making progress and am going to get back on the ball soon. More to come!! :) Even a crazy ear infection and scary things on the internet will not stop me! XD

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Just DO IT!!

When I was about 7 or maybe younger, I looked up to everyone to tell me what to do. I especially looked up to my creative elder brother, Michael, for advice on many things. Like any sibling would, though, he got tired of it. One day, I was pestering him with questions on how to do something, probably something music-related, and he simply turned me to me and said, "You just do it!" His advice, in retrospect, was probably more or less to get rid of me, or was out of wonderment that others could possibly not just know what to do since he himself was so humbly talented. Despite this, it's been some of the best advice I've ever gotten.

While many people sit and say, "I wish that . . ." I would wish, and then I would do what it took to make it happen. I believed in this philosophy passionately, and it has done pretty well by me! But, as I grew older and grew apart from people, especially after high school, I got discouraged. Was I really the person I thought I was? Was I as talented as everyone thought I was? Did I have the potential that everyone claimed? Or, were they just people with low self-esteem looking at me as a big fish in a tiny fish bowl situation? I've been relatively alone, so I really don't know the answers to these questions. The only people in my life are those who wouldn't want to crush my spirits entirely, especially since someone can come out of not being so talented and make something amazing of themselves if they really, really work at it! I found myself waiting again for someone to give me permission to follow my dreams. I didn't have permission when I started them, but once I got it . . . it's like I forgot how to function without it.

Today, I am taking a stand! I am going to fight against the lack of time that comes with having to have a full time job that isn't my dream career (though I honestly do enjoy it!) just to pay the bills! I am challenging the problems of not having the perfect equipment to do what I want to do! And, I am solidly starting to set goals for composing music and writing stories. And possibly drawing up some art, but that's more of an on-a-whim sort of thing.


It's actually very horrifying for me! I haven't had lessons for a long time, so I'm working off of what I learned growing up and continuously on my own. I haven't had anyone beg me to sing since I was 17, and my voice has most definitely changed, so I'm not sure what the response will be. On the other hand, telling stories on the fly has been met with a lot of positive feedback, and it's not even the stories I really put some work into, so I feel pretty encouraged on that end! Mostly, I guess I have the fear that I have something that means everything to me that I want to share, and I know there will be people that hate it. I know there are people who hate it right now, and it hasn't even manifested yet. That's not really the problem. I'm afraid no one out there will get it. Not even afraid that I can't make enough money to support it, though it's a nice dream to be able to be supported by what you love to do; I'm just afraid that I'll put these things out into the world and they won't be good enough to mean anything to anybody besides my family and close friends. Maybe not even to them! D:

But, that's not a good enough reason not to try anymore. So, I am DOING THIS!

Of course, this has been in the works for a long time, actually. I've been studying books on music production, created an account on bandcamp this past autumn in preparation for finishing songs to put up, and just created a Patreon account. Now, I'm looking at creating a Blurb account for my stories. The reason I haven't told anyone that I've done this, though, is that I have nothing to show for it and I didn't want to be a disappointment if I lost the courage to follow through and post something. I was holding off to have a song ready first to unveil or something, but that doesn't feel right to me right now. I feel like this is the time to put this out there, so I am.

As of today, I've also started putting together a list of songs that I've had for forever or really love and recently composed that I could put onto a CD of 11 or 12 songs. To my surprise, I already have 9 songs. Actually, tons more, but I don't want to share the others right now. Or maybe ever. :p So, yeah! All of this magic is floating around in my head, and I just need to get it out somehow! So, that's something I'm going to try and do! And, I'm going to have to accept that it will probably never sound as perfect and magical as it does in my imagination, but I'm going to go for it and I'll probably have to post one song at a time as I go on Bandcamp and then eventually maybe a whole CD! That's my goal, really, because I feel like music deserves a nice lyric book, and I'd love for my lyric book to be like Ace of Base's lyric book for their CD, "The Bridge." This was my favorite CD booklet because it included notes about what inspired their songs. I love that depth of sharing! I've wished that every piece of music I've gotten since would include stuff like that, and I've yet to see it! I thought for sure it would become commonplace, but alas. Perhaps it costs too much to print that much? I don't know, but it's a goal and I'm going to my best to make it reality.

Okay. So, before I sweat through my t-shirt in nervousness posting about this goal, which makes it so much more real because other people are going to read about it, here are the links to my currently-empty sites, if you're interested in eventually supporting me. :)



And, I haven't decided if I'm going to go ahead with Blurb yet. Does anyone have other recommendations for posting stories online similar to posting music on Bandcamp? Any recommendations are welcome!

Alright! Enough blogging! Time to start doing!

P.S. - My last blog about belly dancing and Roshana Nofret has been updated with some photos one of my friends took when she came to see the performance. :) Enjoy!