March 8th, 2007

phil ochs troubador

Kris Kristofferson continues to thwart me.

It's these damned E7s.

In other news, still no appreciable lack of suck on my Bmaj. I have in fact commenced to cheat, and just not strum the bottom two strings, but I really need to suck it up and practice the barre. Alas, wah, don't wanna.

I might get the truck back today or tomorrow, if I am lucky, which would mean I could hit the gym over the weekend, which would be good, because weights would help my shoulder and I want to go a few rounds with the heavy bag. Also, if I don't start working out again pronto I'm going to start dropping muscle mass, and we hate that.

And I am supposed to write my column for the next Subterranean this week. I should do my Storytellersunplugged column too, before I have to write the novella. And the short story.

Of course, I got bupkiss.

There is nothing left in the barrel but marmite, folks.

Suddenly, I'm in the position of turning down work because I just don't have time to do it. This is, I have to say, not a problem I ever expected to have. It is a nice problem to have: I'm not complaining. It's just requiring some careful prioritizing.

Theoretically, I suppose, I could find time to do more than I do. But I suspect that quality would start dropping, and I don't want to be That Guy. I mean, I am willing to work my ass off. I do pretty much work my ass off.

But I need an hour a day at the gym and an hour a day on the guitar, and time to read (research) and keep up with the online community and see friends. And I need to refill the well, lest I start writing the same book over and over and over and over.... and deadlines and unfinished work make me very anxious, frankly, so I have a tendency to work until things are done. Which means that I never stop working, and....

Also, I'm terrified that if I just started throwing schlock at the wall, it would sell better than the stuff I put my heart and soul into, and there's no way out of that situation except on the end of a gun. 

So if I seem to be dropping a lot of email correspondences and failing to return a lot of phone calls lately, I'm sorry. It's mental energy I just do not currently have. It's not that I don't like people, but I'm really a terrible introvert, and I find communication with anybody who's not a close friend incredibly tiring.

Maybe I'll finish reading Watership Down today.

At least it's archery night. That's something non brain-strainy to look forward to.

Meanwhile, back to getting my ass kicked by Mr. Kristofferson.
criminal minds reid yes i'm a genius

autodidacticism for fun and profit

So, not too long ago, I outed myself here as learning-disabled (I was diagnosed with discalculia when I was 21, after many many awful years trying to brute force my way through math with varying levels of success.) Since one of my projects for adulthood is patching the holes in a formal education that could best be described as spotty (like most of my family, I'm pretty much self-educated: though I did spend four years in college, it didn't go well, for a variety of reasons such as lack of support, lack of emotional maturity, and Unresolved Personal Issues), I just bought an algebra workbook and self-teaching guide. 

The guitar study is also part of this process. Once upon a time, I was something of a promising young polymath. And then there were ten fifteen twenty Bad Years, and I feel like--other than the last five years of writing--I've overall wasted myself. Oddly enough, apparently a side effect of more or less finally having my shit together is the urge to do more with my life than I have been. (I've also been thinking of seeing what it would take to renew my long long lapsed CT domestic violence crisis counselor cert, and seeing if Interval House would take me back as a volunteer a couple of days a month, but I'm not sure if I'm emotionally ready for that yet.)

(Not that writing science ficion and fantasy is easy, mind you. But it is focused.) And I am bloody well going to get them back. What's the point in being allegedly multi-gifted if all you do with it is sit on your ass and eat bonbons?

This sudden urge to OMG LEARN THINGS again also tells me something I suspected, which is that I'm reaching a point with my writing where it's no longer productive to bend my entire will upon it, but rather that I need to practice my art mindfully and follow where it takes me. Which means, well, I need something else to sic the brain squirrels on.

Besides, if I keep doing the same stuff over and over again, I am going to keep writing the same stuff over and over again, and that is so not on.

So. I will be attempting to teach myself algebra, and if that works we'll see how we do with geometry, trig, and--I shudder even to name it--calc.*** And when I mentioned it to leahbobet, she double-dog dared me to blog about it.*

Ahem.

We'll see how this goes. The eventual goal is to get far enough into calc to make more sense of astrophysics and geology than I currently can, but don't expect those results next month.****

Eventually, I'm also going to have to sign up for those language classes I keep talking about.**


*the "bearmalion" tag is her fault.
**A conversational French refresher, dammit, and I do want to learn Russian. I've become monolingual through disuse, and it annoys me.
***because if you aren't growing, you're being cut back.
****this also may mean less fucking around on the internets, which can only be good for me in the long run.
lion in winter broken because you're bri

You ever get the feeling the universe is trying to tell you something?

...or maybe you're just ready to hear it?

Dear Universe:

Why is everybody and their uncle suddenly blogging about how fear of failure is the enemy of art?

All right, all right.

I'm listening.

Except I haven't figured out what you think I'm scared of yet.

Love, Bear