1. it is fine to fall asleep upon your couch, if you are a snake.
2. when a snake purchases a couch, s/he must get delivery. Also they require assssssisssssstanccccce with their wallet.
3. Another song will come out today. Well, probably many will, but I mean another Psychotics song. For now, it’s going to be the only way that I participate in the contests unless the song faeries scream at me. It’s time for other things to happen; time to finish things from before that have been left undone. I feel okay about this, because I tend to feel odd if I’m not actively involved in a Thing making new material. Like I’m killing a practice routine.
3b. I came back in here because one of the things I’m doing is that I’ve changed two of my old contest songs I dislike and made them into one song that I like more. Right now, it plays well live. Soon, I’ll do a decent demo. It may go on part of The Project. Teaser: I’m calling it ‘If I Had One more Time To Panic.’
4. I’ve been stuck in troubling practice cycles before. Practicing is good, but I once gave myself tendinitis. I was never as good. When you hurt a part from working it too hard, those muscles and other moving parts don’t trust as much again.
Sometimes when I practice, I can hear my body thinking “yeah, right…” and I feel myself tense up.
5. I’d be a looser and less tense performer if I were a snake. But this would be irrelevant. Snakes don’t have hands.
Tag Archive: practice
1. it is fine to fall asleep upon your couch, if you are a snake.
when a person/peoples believe in you, it can be pretty powerful.
Validation goes a long way. Especially in these days of instant social gratification (“look at me! I have posted a photo of Gandalf saying something droll! And someone from the cast of Full House ‘liked’ it!!” (this never happened to me)).. you can grow rather lonely waiting for a project or idea to percolate without an “atta boy/girl/naked squirrel” applied at the right place/time.
This can cause havoc with your discipline. But you get to a point where it’s just not PROFESSIONAL anymore to need constant love and coddling from the folks who surround you in order to work. It is this that has finally made me realize The Thing. The Answer to The Big Question.
When is one a professional?
I used to think “when one gets paid.” After a while, this didn’t make a lot of sense to me. It didn’t make sense to me because people are constantly getting paid to do sub-par work. I have done some of my most ridiculous, unrecognized and informal sit-ins with names that would look nice on my résumé, and I didn’t stick around to pursue further work and schmooze time on further opportunities in some of those directions. I seriously don’t talk about the time I played once at a little show with such-and-such because they’d be all “who the hell is she?” And usually at the time I was being professional in other capacities that look spotty and ridiculous now; mostly getting poorly paid at gigs which don’t matter. But I learned a lot at every gig that didn’t matter – sometimes picking up really important skills that translated well. Usually learning something like “don’t do ThIs or That, it doesn’t work.”
I haven’t been consistently paid in a long time. When those days do come, I bet the source/s of income will look very different than I ever imagined they might. I’m going to have to get creative to succeed at being me, and make up being profitable at it; simply because I don’t think that way. I haven’t even gotten the foot out the door of “make really bad ass content available.” Moving out of Thinking time into Doing is scary, particularly when you shut the door because it’s time for your Validating Individuals who Love and Care to do Their Own Things and Not Your Drama. Then it is All You and Oh My God I need cake right now.
And so, what do I think, of Work?
I think I am producing content. I think that I’m busy. Perhaps I am working, even. But I don’t know if I’m getting the job done. I may have to write another job description, and fire my ass. Perhaps I will hire another Me.
I certainly feel like I work all the time. At the moment, most of the things that I do I think of as practice, to justify the unpaid nature of it all. But I have withdrawn a bit because I have things on the back burner that are not items for practice. I “haven’t had time” to do them. I’ve been distracted.
I think it might have something to do with validation, with belief. When I started doing these contests, for instance, they were a mixed blessing. They came with communities. And the communities both held you up and back. When you’re in a group of people, you start feeling like you should do things to fit the mold, even if it hasn’t been communicated that you should. That’s just crowd ethic, perhaps. It’s not law though.
Joining communities that do things recreationally that I’m trying to break into professionally, even if the lines are really blurry, is going to continue to confuse me. It’s silly not to keep it up since I think I’ve made some lifelong relationships; but it’s also dumb to let my whole life continue to be swallowed up by it all.
I played some songs I wrote in the early 2000s. Some even earlier. I was already doing well. I was writing with confidence. I had a style I owned. Lately, I write songs as though I listened to song reviews, tried to insert several other people’s concepts of how to write hooks, and then lost how I put stories down into words to sing against verses. And I need to take what I have been given and remember how I used to flow with it.
I love my work and lately, I haven’t as much. But I think it’s slowly starting to change back.
I keep Almost finding an audience, a niche. Then I pull back, last second, and settle into the warm womb of relationships. Collaboration. I don’t trust my own gut. I don’t sit in my own silence. I’ve always trusted what I had to say before. This fear is a new thing, brought on by too many surrounding voices. Too much need for approval and too much stimuli.
It’s been both good and bad. Mostly good.
I think it’s about balance. And the things that stick, you keep. Hopefully, the rest shakes off okay.
1. No more drama.
2. Today the computer gets cleaned.
3. Today I’m finishing the B section of the Rach.
4. I do get to eat that taco. That’s a given though.
5. I do need more coffee. And some air.
6. This house needs picking up
7. I am leaving town this weekend
8. I don’t have a lot of flowery or funny things to say.
1. The Internet sure can get to you if you don’t step out and go play a pretty grand piano – or get some fresh air.
2. I think I’ve got my eyes on a gig I want.
3. I don’t usually want to go to places, but it IS like me to fall in love with pianos.
5. It’s not too far-fetched to think I could teach myself to play more interesting parts. I think the key is doing more with less. Duality Cupcake went really well last time I played it.
6. Got a couple really late things I’m working on tomorrow; and will be thru the weekend.
7. I’ve scraped the dirt off my schedule and hopefully my routine/lack thereof so I should be getting stuff done now.
I highly recommend this activity; just ditching your dead-end pursuits. There’s some battles that ain’t worth the fight. The one for your sanity though, is always worth both fight and/or retreat.
8. one more bed-thought? Cake. Not a good idea for dinner with my Tea-With-Creatures. Tummy hurts!! (Kombucha. A fungus among’us ): and I’m supposed to be the princess of dessert and all that! Guess I should know better.
9. Both the songs I played Monday were dessert songs! And I coulda played one more. Later I showed Heather one of BLT & my songs we cowrote for the Psychotics thing and she caught my cake reference
Maybe I’m not done with food metaphors yet. Not if I want restaurant gigs, at least
There’s a new contest. You’ll hear more about this because I’m really excited.
There’s been some talk lately, in my life. I was thinking about stopping contests. Like maybe they weren’t good for me. I went through this a while ago, with piano practicing.
I practice a lot. A LOT of superfluous piano. I do a LOT of “superfluous” things that don’t really “do me any good.” I do a lot of “time wasting” things. And I kind of cast about, adrift.
This has been about a year of that.
And yet, I’ve had more growth and more happiness in the last year or so that I ever would have believed possible.
I’ve also been more ALONE than I would have believed possible – even in community.
And by alone, I don’t mean lonely. I mean alone as in, get it together, girl. I mean alone as in pushed to the front of the stage out of costume. Naked, sometimes. Totally in the wrong kind of show. I’m not that sort of performer.
And I do need to get it together. Make some hard realizations.
I’m having a BAD night. My head is spinning. I’m out of control.
I’m in a nightmare place and I feel like I have demons in my skull. I usually don’t blog at these times. I usually go it alone. Or, rather, I talk to one of the 4-5 people I have. Sometimes my husband. He’s one. Then I have about 3-4 people I go down a list. They’re there for good reasons. I picked them out for specific reasons. They have their roles. I talk to these people about how/why it’s all falling apart for me. They listen. Or tell me what to do, sometimes. It’s not an ACTIVE telling me what to do. Or maybe, sometimes it is.
I don’t know. These things fluctuate.
Today there is so much about this that is physical. It’s all been physical, so much leading up to this point. My body has not been cooperating with me. I don’t want to slow it down. I know I need to though. I wanted to stay up and make videos. I’m not going to. I’m going to force myself to go to sleep. Maybe. It’s still up in the air.
I need to figure out a way to take more CONSISTENT care of myself while still reaping the benefits of the good things that are happening to me right now. There are such positives to what is happening to me right now.
I wish I could figure out a way to explain that I SO want what is happening to me right now – want to keep it, want to embrace it, want to find a way to WORK with it and figure out how to fit it into my schedule and routine … but that I need to tweak things so that it works with my body a little better. I wish I could just turn the whole thing a little to the right or left so that it all gelled a little bit better. That way, it all would be like it was tailor made for me. Maybe like an exercise routine or something that I picked out. Or a diet that wasn’t a diet. Like something that is hard, yes, but very welcome and worth the difficulties and growing pains.
I guess life is not a buffet of our choosing.
It’s a shame, because I’ve been pretty accomadating thus far toward this process. I feel that it should accomodate me!
Hi, I’m Denise, and it’s time for another one.
I’m not making light of people with addictions to substances, first of all. This is my disclaimer.
I don’t talk about my problems. This may come as a shock and a surprise, because I can be quite the little whiner. I’m not going to get into root problems today either. I do want to say something though.
I am a perfectionist. I’m a practice addict. I will go-and-go-and-go-and-go until I drop.
Until I’m dead.
I don’t know what it’s like not to work.
I will work until I’m dead. It’s not about the money, because I rarely, if ever, make anything substantial. It’s about a calling. It’s about being professional, getting things done, contributing to society. If we need money at a particular time, I go out and hustle for it so I can continue working. I don’t know if that makes any sense. I work, all the time. All of it is done so that I can KEEP working. I don’t really know any hobbies or pasttimes. It all feeds into the art, for me.
So it’s easy to OVERwork.
There are some tragedies behind this that make me not as good at the work as I want to be. Right now there are some things that are all globbed together that are making certain facts come into play. I won’t talk about the reasons, but here are the facts.
1. Since February, I’ve started to kinda suck.
2. When I say suck, I mean according to my normal skill level.
3. I don’t think like I used to. I’m not as quick. The people who are very close to me know this, and they know that I am talking about musically. They see that I am not as sharp or fast as I used to be. I’m talking about my husband, and people I allow into my circle to be close to me.
4. I’m not reading books anymore. I mean, like … EVER. It’s been almost a year. I don’t have my music organized, and I live in a thick black fog.
5. I don’t play stupid games on my iPhone. I stare into space.
6. I’ve started blogging, Tweeting, checking email (this one’s REALLY bad), and
7. I have become addicted to songwriting contests for their serial due-date value and to making videos.
8. I am not performing live in a consistent fashion. I’m not calling out or pursuing shows at all.
9. I get sick a lot.
10. I’m back in the agoraphobic phase.
11. I’m not eating right.
12. I’m sleeping less that 4-5 hours a night, on average.
13. I’m making ill informed decisions about all kinds of things. They may be the correct decisions, but I’m making them in a haphazard, ill-researched fashion. Not like me.
14. I’ve stopped hanging out with my Austin people. Any of them.
15. I live in a cave.
16. We don’t really even go to brunch anymore.
17. I don’t practice much downstairs (this is veryvery bad)
18. I am addicted to pianoteq
19. I chat WAAAAAYYYY too much. It doesn’t matter than I’m doing other stuff. I’m in my cave. It doesn’t matter.
20. I never go to the humidor anymore. OR RUTA MAYA. This is terrible.
21. Perhaps the biggest doozy of all:
I’m not making organized lists, my desktop is disorganized, and MY LYRICS FOLDERS are not neatly splayed out in organized folders where everything is right there at my fingertips.
One thing I am doing is recording. Lots and lots of recording. Badly. Recording and keeping up with lots and lots of people who seem to be able to do this fast-paced online living in their sleep even when they are falling apart.
I am neither cool, smooth, or zippy. So I’m jealous all the time. It sucks. And jealousy is ugly.
I’m not this way and that is okay. I’ve learned some valuable things. Hey, I’m blogging about this now, aren’t I?
1. Today is one of those days where I need to learn to leave well enough the hell alone. But I am a Pusher Of It. An Overstater of Facts. A Overapplyer of Icing. A ladel-ler of Gravy. So it’s time to eat dinner before I start over-applying effects to things that need to sit and mellow. Because I do tend to go overboard.
2. Quote of the day: “okay … the harpsichord’s a little hard to CONTROL …”
3. Random selection from ‘Book of Curious Lists’ which my Aunt Mary Ellen gave me as a gift and which will be a sublist
TRUSTWORTHY NAMES FOR A CAMEL
I can’t really think of any more. Those are all my good camel names.
4. Practicing is not great today. I’m not at the point where I’m doing what I think of as “applied, focused practice.” But I did make a video for my friend Heather from TMA. It’s a REALLY stupid video though. While I was looking at the stupid video, I found other stupid videos on my camera. They distracted me from other stuff I really need to get cracking on. I wonder why I am SO easily distracted!
5. I really need to get cleaned up and out of here!
6. I think I’m in a bit of a weird mix-y-upp-y depression, but I’m not real sure.
7. I’ve been reading about Nur Ein. But the deadline is in a couple of days and I have other more important things I have to hit. And I have to hit them WELL. Which is why I’m going to get a sandwich. Sandwiches provide perspective. Paricularly if they are made from cheese and cucumbers and tomatoes and they come with salsa and chips and you get a kombucha tea as well. YUMMMMM. Garden District I LOVE IT!!!!!
8. I need to get more Ramen for my house so that I neverever have to leave not even for tacos. Of course, if I buy some avocados and cheese and beans and rice and I could probably stay here. And a tomato or something too. and cilantro. Of course tortillas as well …
9. The other list was about taxidermy, but I chose camels, because it is Wednesday. Maybe tomorrow can be ‘Taxidermy Thursday.’
10. I’m thinking about starting a webcast. Like a talk-show thing. Like in the early evenings. I’m not sure though. I may tape it. I’d definately play new songs. It would make me write a song every week. Maybe more than one. I would probably write a song FOR the cast. And I’d have guests on the show, I think.
1. life is not explained in 140 character snippets, and I need to remember this. this and related things
2. the little twisty feeling at the bottom of my spine that signals me that strangeness is lurking someplace behind a hidden door is not built on complete idiocy.
3. i need to make more videos, but only because *I* want to.
5. PRACTICE, because I’ve lost it.
6. The etude is not coming back on its own.
7. The sightreading skilset is not a magic gift from the fairies.
8. I am not beautiful, special, magical, and fabulous either. I have to practice and work and push through to get my point across. I have to polish what I got and package what I sell. I’m scrappy, more than anything.
9. When you are getting together a contingency plan for something you know is going to happen, that’s not a contingency plan, that’s just – the plan.
10. Change the plan. Call it a program.
11. my email is a mess.
12. organzing my computer again is helpful.