Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Okay, I lied. It wasn't the drugs. I was just looking for a catchy blog title in the style of Misery.

It looks like I am going to blog in the style of all of you before this is said and done. Look out. You could be next. Today, I am going to blog a la Misery minus the fashion and the models. Actually, that really makes it look NOT like her blog at all. Well, I will tackle lots of different subjects.

Here is a video I posted on writing a novel quite a while ago. I have quite a few new followers, so it may be new to you. It blew my mind when I watched it. I was in the process of writing a novel (not my first) and I finally understood why I never actually completed one. The video is short but enlightening. Remember to turn off the idiot box music player at the bottom of the page.

To update you on my own novel writing: I finally hunkered down and wrote The End. It was sad news people when I watched that video and understood that I had written about 18 chapters and had yet to write The End. I immediately stopped writing and started thinking about The End. Big Trouble in Robin Land. I had written myself into corners I didn't like. I tried several times to work within these restrictions. Finally, I said screw it and wrote The End that I wanted. Yeah, that meant major rewriting all through the novel. I am almost done connecting the middle to The End. However, I have hit a stage of "not wanting to write for the last few days." Not good.

I have backdoored my way through blogger all the way down the line. People: I don't understand how to use this site and I pretty much luck up every time I find anything. That is no lie. Well, I backed into a writer's site. A published writer. Did you know that published writer's follow other writers? They also follow literary agents and sites that tell you how to write a good query letter? It felt like hitting the mother lode. Or is that mother load? I think I was right the first time. Who cares? You know what I mean. The downside of this was TMI (too much information). As in brain overload. I think I short circuited myself. And that might be the cause of the blockage.

Yesterday, I read this blog. It is short and worth reading. Derek Molata, out of the goodness of his heart, gives three tips he has found that work in overcoming the dreaded writer's block. (Yeah, he is someone worth following.)

Now, about my Music Theory class. I did really well in the written part of the class. It is somewhat mathematical and you can study for that. If I remember this right (it was a long time ago, folks), most of the time you were given the note that the sopranos would sing (top note in the treble clef) and the bass note (the low note in the bass clef) and given the key you were working with, you had to fill in the rest of the chord (the alto and tenor notes). That wasn't so bad. Now, for those poor souls that I mentioned that didn't read music but could play anything, all of it was torture. It had to be. I didn't hear the complaining, but there were four guys in a band and they were good. I think one of them could read music. I honestly don't know how they got through that class without throwing things.

For me, it was the listening portion of that class that had me crying in my room every Wednesday and Friday. The teacher was actually very cool ~ the best one of the bunch, but that part of the class was torture. He would give you the key. Play a note on the piano and try to get you to hear the next note. Somebody shoot me. That turned into starting with one note and him playing bars of music. You had to get the notes right and the values of the notes right. You got the key and the starting note and then three bars of notes. So, if you miss the first note played after the given note.... well, you're screwed.

I graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA. I made As. I expected to make As. Anything less than As was unacceptable. Not to my parents. To me. The first three months on those listening tests I made straight Fs. Thus, the crying. Every week. I don't remember when the Fs turned into Ds, but it didn't stop the crying. Ds are not that much better than Fs. My attitude about that class turned into, "I hate Music Theory." Once you cross that line, you are destined to fail. I promise you that. Once you hate it, it hates you right back. I took voice lessons. I stopped practicing. That did nothing to improve my voice. I didn't care.

The guy that taught rhythm first semester worked with us on the piano the second semester. By then, I was already more than halfway out the door. I remember a specific day when we were all plugged in to our pianos. We all had headphones on so that we could hear him, and he wore headphones so that he could tune in specifically to hear our "electric" piano and/or our voices. I can't remember what he asked me to play, but I had not practiced whatever it was. I laughed at him. Yes, I did. I laughed at my professor. I believe I followed it up with a "You're kidding, right?" He wasn't kidding. After listening to me hatchet my way through whatever scale it was he wanted me to play, he stopped me mid-way and agreed that I was not competent at that. I think I smirked and nodded. We had to have been close to the end of second semester. I had to have known that Music Theory and I were about to part ways. It is amazing how free you are to be an asshat when you know you are about to kiss something goodbye.

As for me and the listening portion of Music Theory, I finished with test scores of Cs. Fs to Cs. I think that I got a B in the class overall. I could have done worse because my Listening grade should have brought my average lower than that. I talked to my professor after the grades came out and asked how I did so well considering that I really averaged a "D" in his portion of the class. He said that he graded on improvement. He thought that moving from straight Fs to Cs showed a great deal of improvement. It was Fs for a long time. He respected the fact that I didn't give up.

We spend so much time looking for truth. So much time traveling up and down the emotional scale. Some people actually don't travel that far at all. Depression to anger and back. Depression to anger and back. We wonder why there isn't a book or books to explain things. Something to help us get on track. Well, there are. We just don't read them. Or, if we do read them, we don't utilize the knowledge that we have. We are somewhat perverse like that. Our world operates on The Law of Attraction. It isn't unfair. It treats everyone the same. You get what you think about. No exceptions. You can only attract to you that which vibrates in harmony with you. If you are depressed, you will attract other depressed people. Like attracts like. If you say, "Well, I think about money all of the time and I still don't have any. What's up with that?" Well, you're thinking about the lack of money. And you are still getting it. The lack, that is. You will have to turn off the idiot box music player again if you checked out Derek Molata's blog and my idiot box music is back on.

I can't say that I have managed to take this law and use it for my full benefit. I haven't. However, I believe in its truth, so I keep shooting at it. It's not like Music Theory where I can just opt out and change majors. It's life. I know from experience that I get better with practice. I had a professor that taught me that even that is about more than just a grade. It's about not giving up.


  1. I think, just like your Music Theory class (lord, which I would have flunked) that it is all about the effort you put in. I'm not always the biggest fan of talking about The Law of Attraction because I think some people interpret it as, "If bad things are happening to me it's my fault" and then they get trapped in a cycle of guilt. But I do think you hit the nail right on the head when you write that the more you practice and the harder you try, the better results you will see in your own life.

    Great post. :)

  2. I think my sister's music theory class was worse than that :) But as far as I'm concerned - for me all music classes were quite terrible because I don't seem to have ANY ability to hear. I mean, I'm not deaf. But from a point of view of a musician - I am deaf. I can read notes, but I cannot hear whether I sing them properly. Which was why most usually I wasn't singing them properly in my music school. How I graduated is beyond me :)

    AND - haha, the title rocks :) And - Meg Cabot? I just love her. I mean - and this is going to sound very ignorant - I've never actually read anything by her except for one short story. But I DO read her Internet diary. And she's so funny. And also, congratulations, because even though there's no fashion (I managed to write a post without fashion today ,too!) and no Brazilian male models (ah!), this post was just as random as I tend to write. You're absolutely awesome by the way.

  3. I think you need to work on tying things together a bit better if you are going to write in the style of Misery. Misery jumps from one subject to the next in a strangely fluid way.

  4. Hello! Thanks for all the info here!
    I am going to go watch the video's and look at that site right now!!

  5. I just joined Misery so I am no expert. but to write like Misery you need to stop being so american...think dark Balkan thoughts. I agree with Bathwater...Misery is quite enigmatic, too, isn't she? like a mystery-coated misery.

  6. As always, excellent post! Different from your normal posts, but excellent none the less!!!


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