Under trees I walk
Merrily I step into autumn
Never too cold or warm – it always pleases me
Under trees I walk
Merrily I step into autumn
Never too cold or warm – it always pleases me
This week’s writing prompts are – A blacksmith – An Attic – Princess – Bus – A death
Learning the recorder and how to read music is working out pretty well for me, I have only been learning this for two week today and already I can play the first four lines of Clair De Lune with few mistakes and a shaky and squeaky Ode to Joy! It’s especially impressive as I have been trying to practise with a stuffed up nose this week.
I am going to try to set up a YouTube or Patreon video about my musical progresses as well as other things too, but mostly about the music. I haven’t really thought what to do yet, but I am working on it. I am hoping to do this for the New Year but I will say I make no promises regarding this.
The prompts for the week are – Glass – Harmonica – Giant – Knolls – A birth
Always a pleasure
That art is freedom, it is pure bliss!
I am tentatively venturing into the world of acrostic poetry. Something I don’t have much confidence for, but I would like to explore it a bit more.
For those who are not in the know, acrostic poetry takes a form that is like this;
Elizabeth it is in vain you say
“Love not”—thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L. E. L.
Zantippe’s talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breathe it less gently forth—and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love—was cured of all beside—
His folly—pride—and passion—for he died.
As you can see a poetic line (I am not very good with jargon) starts with the first letter of a word in each sentence. This was written by Edgar Allan Poe and it is called ELIZABETH.
It should flow well into each other, each line and remain within the subject matter which is the word you are working from.
There are many poetry competitions in the UK which specialise on only acrostic entries and most of those competitions offer prizes of £150 for the win – I have never taken the plunge to enter any creative writing competitions, but I am hoping to change this someday.
You will see a new category on my blog soon purely for acrostic poetry.
I also wanted to mention today in this post that I am no longer doing the Sunday word counts as I find it sometimes demoralising – especially when I don’t reach my 10k goal, for some reason or another making my failure public seem all the more worse.
This week’s prompts are – Blacksmith – Phoenix – City – An Illness – Snow
Interesting prompts giving me a lot of ideas for a large story, possibly another novel, not something I really need at the moment considering the back log of ideas I have but there you go!
Blackness descends all around me
Clothing me in the shadows of darkness
How dark can it get?
Darker than dark
I am hidden from the world
Hidden within the prison of a dark pearl
They keep me safe, but blind, concealed alone
Clasped within the hands of the damned
I am at their mercy
For at any time, the pearl can drop and break
As can my soul
When shall I at last wake?
Sunday word count time!
Unfortunately I hit “The Wall of Shame” again with this amount of words done towards a novel this week.
Well at least it is better than last weeks!
Here is how it is broken down.
25th August – 1564 words – not bad considering the week before I hardly wrote a thing per day.
26th August – 867 words – quite low about two pages.
27th August – 2919 words – excellent, I should have more days like this!
28th August – 832 words – hmm, low again.
29th August – 879 words – I am not happy with the way the novel is going if I have to be honest – which I do!
30th August – 835 words – low again, getting bored with this particular novel, so I probably may be like this for some time until this draft is complete then start again for the 6th attempt!
31st August – nothing – well I was getting bored and sometimes it’s best to step away if this happens for a small while and then get back to it at a later date. But I had other ideas I was working on, so this day and the other low days really should have been filled up doing the other novels, not just concentrating on just this one and thinking about my new musical instrument all day!
So the summary is this, quite low word count with quite low quality writing for much of the week!
My excuses are;
There are no excuses for such poor quality word counts and writing other than the fact that I was bored with the one particular story I was working towards! So, I should have moved onto another story that I am writing which captivates me better – which I did not do!
A new musical instrument entered the house on the 28th August and I fell in love with it. I have never seriously learned an instrument before and this is one where I intend to seriously learn it – I have done approximately fourteen hours of self-taught (via YouTube) lessons since, this averages to three hours per day; plus I am trying to learn music theory and notation, something which I have never done before, trying to learn the names of the notes I am playing and how to read music so that I can eventually write music!
I have always had this desire in my life and it was never as strong as it is now.
I thought if I don’t learn to read and write music now, then I probably never will and so I decided that never is NEVER going to happen!
I write a lot of poetry, but I also write a lot of songs, the songs I rarely post on my blog and my brain has always taunted me with music that should go with the songs – it is getting torturous lately, to say the least, so this is why I have to learn music professionally.
I have always been like this with music, so it is astounding why my brain has to literally send me loopy in order to get me started on taking music more seriously. I suppose I always used my left hand disability as an excuse? “I can’t because my left hand, what if they want me to demonstrate the music”? Whine, whine, and whine!
I started to practise by ear only when I was very small on my grandmother’s piano around the same time I started to learn to read and write – so music has been with me for a very long time, if not longer than writing!
I am excited by learning musical notation because I have learned that each musical instrument has the same basis and therefore once I learn where the notes are for each instrument I have previously played I could in fact learn the same tunes on every instrument. I don’t know musical jargon yet, but I am getting there!
The types of music that are in my head vary in genre from mostly classical, jazz and rock but especially classical! I hear so often these days that “classical music has no future” and I really want to stick my middle finger up at people who say that! I believe it does and if anything it is hearing this regularly which has spurred on my insanity to prove them bloody wrong!
In fact I am under exaggerating here, I am practically getting psychotic about showing people they are wrong about classical music becoming a dying force in the world.
I do have some music still available from my old floppy disks from 2000 that I composed by ear on Cubase with my keyboard, I don’t know if my computer or modern technology can upload it here on the blog successfully, but I think I will try!
I think I will upload my storm music. Or try.
Unfortunately it doesn’t work here, sorry – I tried. MP3 floppy 20yrs old, don’t know how to convert that, can anyone comment below if they know how – please?
Also and I don’t mean to pick on the poor chap, but Henry doesn’t go back to school until the 3rd of September, so perhaps my writing will improve from then onwards? If it doesn’t then I am a rotten mother who uses her kid as an excuse, which I think I am that anyway! Talking of which Henry been trying to get me to become music teacher for him, despite it being the lame leading the lame at the moment, lol. He hasn’t the patience to learn for more than 15 to 30 minutes a day like I do. He is too addicted to Robot Wars, Ryan’s toy review and now WWE wrestling!
I wanted to say that the writing I am clocking up every week is purely towards novels I am working on, it is not research notes, synopsises, plans, blog posts, daily pages like 750words.com or anything else that I might be working on – so I don’t have lazy writer syndrome, if you are interested in seeing just how much I do write per day, let me know in the comments below and I will give you an entire summary of all my work in just one week and one week only!
Anyway, those are my excuses for this week and I am sticking to them!
I apologise for not posting my word prompts before noon, I got a little too excited today with a delivery I had of a new musical instrument I am attempting to play – something I can hear on bad days and doesn’t require difficult fingering for my left hand – a recorder.
I have always been musically inclined, since a small child I would visit my grandmother and play on her piano in her dining room whilst she prepared lunch, we often visited her on Sundays, usually just my dad and I. I would play all the notes and eventually started to learn some tunes by ear. I never learned to read music even now I have never learned to read and understand music fully or professionally or with professional help.
The piano was my first attempt at music, always perfect righthandedly and terrible with my left hand due to my disability. When I was around seven years old my dad talked mum into buying me a keyboard so I can practise at home whenever I liked and ever since my house has never been without a keyboard in it. I have never personally owned a piano and I never learned to use a pianos foot pedals or learn the proper terminologies for anything regarding music, except for one word I learned listening to classic FM radio as a teenager = Adagio means to play slowly.
I was then upgraded to a more professional style keyboard aged seventeen as a birthday present, this had digitisation to it (I think that’s what people call it), where I could hook up the keyboard to the internet and download new songs to learn, because this particular keyboard had a function where it taught you how to place your hands and how to keep time. When I was about nineteen my brother gave me an old copy of Cubase that a friend of his owned and I learned I could compose music by using this, without ever knowing how to actually write the music. I had saved the music I composed onto an MP3 floppy disk and I still have it to this day and the keyboard too actually! Unfortunately that Cubase I had is years out of date and I have never been able to finance a replacement, so until I can replace Cubase, my composing days are over!
Pianos and keyboards were never my only dip into the music world; I have in fact learned to play a paper and comb, some notes on a harmonica, belly dancing cymbals, some tunes on my dad’s bugle, an xylophone at a day centre for children when I was around thirteen, some notes on a guitar but again my left hand failed me and I never did get around to replacing my guitar with a left handed version, I also played quite well an accordion, but my parents sold it at a car boot sale once, they claimed they were having a hard time and I never did get it back, I was doing better on that than the keyboard and I had rather of given up the keyboard instead. The fact I did better with an accordion stands to reason as it was a right handed instrument and the fingers I needed on my left hand could do the job properly.
I haven’t played music for nearly six years because I was ill, but also because the house got a little too crowded and messy and I couldn’t set up my keyboard in a permanent position anymore; afraid it would get damaged I had it boxed up and stored safely under the bed in the spare room and I feel that a neglected and unplayed musical instrument is sacrilege.
Funnily enough my depression started around the same time I boxed up the keyboard. I came to this realisation a few days ago but I knew my left hand is worse these days and I can’t improve my left handed playing at all now. I nearly got into a deeper form of depression with this realisation but then I watched a YouTube video to stop the negative thoughts in their tracks, I stumbled across a TedTalk by a woman named Barbara Sher and the title of the video was “Isolation is the dream-killer”; I have been thinking so much about how isolated I am despite my battle to escape from it because of the struggles I had with certain people in my life a few years ago. I thought maybe loneliness was one of the main reasons I am depressed, how can I be sure it is missing a musical instrument?
Well anyway, here is a link to see the video for yourselves – https://youtu.be/H2rG4Dg6xyI
She put out a question that I had to think about for myself and that is “What is your dream and what are your obstacle/obstacles”?
My first thought I don’t exactly remember, but I do remember that I had several dreams I have that are still unaccomplished and most of the those dreams boil down to financial insecurity where I have to think twice about buying a bottle of Pepsi and of course, isolation.
I browsed a book by my bedside, I think it was called “The Little Book of Wonder” and the lady who had written it said that you have to remain curious throughout your life, if you don’t know something, don’t shrug and think that it doesn’t matter and it isn’t important, if you had that question in your head, go and find the answer as it might lead you into an entirely different path in life.
So I absorbed those words and thought about stuff and then I browsed more YouTube videos and I found a doctor of psychology called Guy Winch in another TedTalk; He said that loneliness can knock significant number of years off our life and cause us to become ill, it can affect our immune system greatly because our emotional wellbeing determines whether we are healthy or not. This explained a lot to me, because since living in my own home with my husband and having a baby I have ironically became more isolated than I ever was before I left my parents’ house (ironic because my main form of abuse and neglect was social isolation growing up, even as an adult it was very coercive and controlling the relationship between my mother and I). But because I had a baby and fell ill just a few weeks shy from his third birthday, I became drastically isolated after being free from true isolation for nearly three years! In fact for the first eight months of my illness I couldn’t get out of bed to go and talk to a doctor about what was wrong!
It was around this time I decided to never talk to my parents again too, so the only guaranteed socialising I could have done when I became sick, I cut off. I was getting five or more phone calls per day from my mum and once a week visits that lasted six hours a time, to having no phone calls with anyone and only annual visits from my adult nephews, to then having just the annual visits ONLY for the next six years.
That isn’t good for anybody!
So I had a long hard look at my life and realised that depression and loneliness is killing me, literally. It must be, because around six years ago I was diagnosed with a handful of different types of auto-immunity diseases and recently doctors are suspecting MS and/or neurological problems as well.
One thing I have always been frightened of is Motor-Neurone disease, it runs rife on my dad’s side of the family and my dad’s family as a whole are very close within family, extensive family (we still talk to our cousins four times removed) but don’t socialise much outside of family and church friends or salvation army duties.
I wondered if illness due to isolation or loneliness could be genetic on my father’s side.
Anyway, Dr Guy Winch’s video can be found here – https://youtu.be/F2hc2FLOdhI
Worrying about being isolated, too sick to socialise and the expense of joining college or a social club (because I have to rely on public transport), I asked some questions to the universe. I asked the universe what you want me to do? What do I have to do to change things being there are more obstacles for me than anyone else I know? I got no answers.
Then I asked the universe that if my life was supposed to be to help motivate others, or be as creative as I can be in all creative interests I have then send me money somehow – if my life isn’t meant to be like this, then make something else happen to blatantly show me what it is I was made to do!
So, knowing that money doesn’t just fall onto the doorstep when you implore the universe to give it to you – I tried to make receiving it easy. I decided to (and this is no exaggeration) I decided to take a risk, I had just £15 left for my own personal treats (not the families, my own, I get around £40 a month just for me it is Paul’s rule that I treat myself each month) – I took that £15 and I spent it on 888ladies.com and I won £200, for me that is like winning 5k, I was so happy it paid off my overdraft and I could have a little to spend on a new bra and some new trousers as my clothes are getting too big on me lately. But I thought that doesn’t change anything; it just helps my current situation without improving it so I took another risk – I said the universe, if I am supposed to learn a musical instrument and buy art supplies I will need this again or a bit more please. So I rolled the slots again and I instantly won another £250 that is enough I thought, that is enough to get some art supplies and buy a cheap instrument – but I didn’t know what instrument to get?
This made me very happy and I decided to “Be Curious” as the book said earlier that night.
I asked myself some questions.
What does all these musical instruments I hear on the BBC Proms sound like as solo instruments? I didn’t know a majority of them singularly. So I again, went onto YouTube and I searched through every musical instrument I could think of to find solo samples.
I made a list of my favourite sounds.
An apprehension engine
There were others but I don’t remember them.
Then I asked…
What musical instrument can I learn that has limited mobility to the hand?
Perhaps go back to the accordion and this time learn to read music?
A recorder doesn’t require the left pinkie to play.
A xylophone – crystallaphone or a glockenspiel
I then thought about the types of classical music I love the most and I know that I love folk, medieval and baroque above all others!
So I decided on the recorder first and foremost and eventually the glockenspiel.
So I bought this recorder for me and Henry (because whenever I do something new Henry nags us to get him the same so he can share practise time with me, which is sweet and expensive sometimes)!
It was pretty cheap £16.37 each from Amazon.co.uk
It is a Yamaha YRS302BIII Soprano, plastic. When I had decided it would be the recorder I discovered a wonderful lady on YouTube called Sarah Jeffrey who teaches you practically everything about being a recorder player, she is very enthusiastic and passionate about the instrument and makes learning about it fun!
She can be found here, this is the first lesson https://youtu.be/-d6uVjIEkMY
Until I found her videos I never knew how many different types of recorders there are and that they can all be played the same way, because they are the same instrument. Different woods and plastic and lengths can make different sounds. A true and passionate recorder player will have a large collection of different recorders to choose from. I am getting a baroque alto before Christmas as I am taking to this instrument remarkably and yes, I am trying to learn how to read music now.
I have practised for three hours today and I am very tired now. I know it is likely I will have two months a year off from practise because I am prone to very nasty chest infections in the winter that usually always lead to pneumonia for some reason.
So, there you have it. The reason behind why I was late today.
Let me know in the comments below whether or not you are also musically inclined and share with me what you play and what you are passionate about, I would love to know!
I'm on a life changing journey to 40. There will be ups, there will be downs. I'm like a roller coaster but with more agoraphobia.
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