Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Why yes, I dream of having a writing retreat some day. Somewhere. Somehow. I’ve been dreaming about it for years.

I used to think it was difficult to impossible to get away when the kids were in school. There were always gymnastics/dance performance/big tests/band performance/etc. that required both parents. I did manage to get away for a couple of writing seminars or a long weekend alone. For those, I just booked a room at the Sheraton in nearby Portsmouth NH where I could go down for a meal if I needed a break or order room service for minimal interruption. Or go out and wander around the downtown if I was temporarily stuck.

I always thought it would be easier after the kids left home and we retired. No obligations, no kids to take priority, no…

No money.

Well, not exactly no money. But not a lot, either. And would I rather spend it on a week away somewhere to write, or on going to visit the kids and the pending grandbaby? If I have to choose between a week-long canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness with spouse, or a week in a cabin alone with my thoughts and my notebook? What about two weeks in China? Writing is important, but it’s chugging along. Do I really need a retreat? Do I even want it?

Even though the answer has been no so far, I still dream of spending weeks or months in Italy soaking up the sun and alternating painting, writing, and hiking or biking. Maybe a villa in Umbria, maybe an apartment in Rome. But I know myself well enough to know that I’d most likely spend all the time doing things, seeing art galleries, finding new trattorias and gelato stands, going to concerts, and generally being more of a tourist than a writer.

Which makes me think that the way things are working out is just fine 🙂

Today’s post was inspired by the prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour!.

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okay, here’s a hard thing

When I was growing up, we didn’t have much . Lots of love and support but not much in the way of money or material things. My grandfather used to buy up houses at tax sales and refurbish them to resell. One of the houses had an old upright player piano still sitting in the living room and Grandpa and Grandma brought it back to their house. They never had it tuned or anything but that didn’t matter; when we visited on Sunday, I’d play for hours. I had always loved the music on the radio but until then I never dreamed that people really played music on instruments that made sounds.

Not much later than that, I heard a classical piano concerto for the first time. And from then on that’s what I wanted. The only thing I wanted. To learn to play like that and be a classical pianist.

Except for the harsh reality that there wasn’t enough money for piano lessons, and there wasn’t enough talent behind my desire to sustain the dream. I sang in the choir — the one that didn’t require tryouts — and even there I was one of the worst. Much later, when I could afford it, I took piano lessons. Lasted a couple of years before I stopped, because as I said, the talent just isn’t there. And no, this isn’t a matter of not trying enough.

But the love goes on. Music keeps me going through the darkest times and gives rhythm to the joy. It’s the one constant I’ve always had in my life — more constant than the words, more complex, more…true. More real. Whether it’s a Bach organ piece, or Golden Earring rocking out to Bullet Hits the Bone, or good old Texas swing with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, or a good jazz combo on New Year’s eve, its heartbeat is more real even than the blood in my veins.

I think without it I really would die. Only I always have it. In my head, in my voice.

I think this is why Nicky is the most real character I ever created — because he embodies the love.

I think this has something to do with the thing I’m waiting for and the direction I have been refusing to see.

I’m not sure what you do with music when you have no talent, but love counts for something.

Doesn’t it?

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This is so what I needed to hear today. I could write a million novels and still not begin to explain the million ways this music makes me feel:

Another really good version, from k.d. lang:

Jon Bon Jovi’s version isn’t bad either

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John Harbison, Sixth symphony

Boston area peeps–if you have a chance to see the BSO’s premier performances of John Harbison’s new symphony this weekend, go! We saw it last night and it was wonderful.  Even Meil, who’s not that fond of Harbisom, liked it.

You’ll also get a really fine performance of Beethoven’s first piano concerto by Leif Ove Andsnes.

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