Still Alive!

(touch wood) (no particular reason for that part, other than I’m feeling particularly fatalistic lately)

Hello out there, internetland!

I’ve been putting off blogging, for much the same reason that old friends fall out of touch – after a while I just felt so guilty about not updating, I wanted to hide from it, and I didn’t know what to say about my absence, or why anyone should care, etc., vicious cycle, blah blah blah.

The problem I guess I’m having is figuring out what I have of value to contribute. For the past six months or so, I’ve suffered a burnout of blogs and writing advice, and really reading in general. So the idea of trying to regurgitate something “useful” here felt really fake and pointless. But, there must be a blog, and the blog must go on. So for the lack of anything else, I’m just going to give a quick rundown of what’s been shakin’.

  • Placenta Piano –Did you know that by day I am a piano technician? I’m pretty good at it, although I suck at being self-employed and managing myself. Over the winter, I took on this restringing/refurbishing project:placentapiano2

placentapiano

(that green shit on the strings is corrosion and rust)

(that green shit on the strings is corrosion and rust)

What was all that funk on those strings and soundboard, you ask?

What was all that funk on those strings and soundboard, you ask?

I actually thought it was animal urine the whole time I was doing this job.

I actually thought it was animal urine the whole time I was doing this job.

Until I completed the job, when I was informed the previous owner's cat had given birth in the thing.

Until I completed the job, when I was informed the previous owner’s cat had given birth in the thing.

Don’t even ask me how placenta is supposed to be any worse than the assumption I’d been working under, that some animal had been living in and peeing in this poor instrument, but there it is. I will don a gas mask and latex gloves and use cheap vodka to scrub cat placenta out of a piano before replacing the parts I can replace.

It’s physically hard work, as well as very detailed and tedious. But that’s what I did this winter.

Usually I just tune and do regulation and minor repairs. I don’t have the shop space or winch for doing complete rebuilds (which require carefully removing the huge and heavy cast-iron plate, among other things). But I will do just about everything else to a piano.

  • I’ve gotten myself pretty heavily into a new game, and that game is Ingress. With all the driving I do for tuning, it’s an ideal new hobby. And I’ve become pleasantly (to my concerned husband) social with it. For an introvert like me, that’s pretty impressive. And my dog loves the footwork and exploring we’ve been doing. I highly recommend checking it out, if you haven’t already. Enlightened all the way!
  • My current extra-curricular is a small community theatre project involving writing vocal arrangements, musical directing, and accompanying. It keeps me playing and not just tuning.

So, that’s about all the non-writerly stuff going on. As far as authorly pursuits, I’d admittedly gotten really stalled out for several months. What can I say – for much the same reason I suck at being my own boss as a piano technician, I’m pretty lousy at self-discipline where everything else is concerned, too. I would really, really love to find whatever magic button or potion that would make me suddenly just “DO” it. There’s no whining or excuses, there. Whether it’s ADD or just personality type, it’s simply something I have to work my way with and around.

I’ve learned that reading really is essential to keep me writing, and for some reason I just could not get into anything book-wise for several months. Maybe after writing and reading about writing and editing, it became impossible to shut off the editor/critic enough to just enjoy the read. I’ve forced my way back into it out of need. No writer is perfect, even my heroes. And there’s always the ever-constant fact that some of the best selling books out there are complete drivel. Not saying that to fluff my own ego, or even for the whole, “if FSoG can make it, I should be able to.” But because it’s the story that matters, and success is frequently just a piss in the wind anyway.

Finally, I’ve decided to very soon start publishing chapters of a serial idea I’ve had for years. It will just be an indulgence, because the idea is just too soapy for any kind of well-formed book. But, it’ll be free and a regular or semi-regular installment that maybe someone out there will enjoy while I get these book projects completed and submitted to agents/publishers, and/or self-published.

So, there it is, the broken silence of my blog. And now I can get back to my regularly scheduled programming. Because I have tons of links and videos to share, too.

Hope you’ve all been well!

XOX,

Christine

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