"Finding the Fun Again" is an ironic topic this week.
Since my fellow writers here are going to surely post about writing, I will take a wee diversion and post about something that is, while not writing words, is also creative. I'm talking about writing music.
Let me take you back in time. I once owned a Baldwin upright piano. It was a heavyweight of my childhood, pun intended, and when I became an adult...it was mine. It came with me when I left home. Being one to rearrange a room on a whim, it moved it here and there with effort. Always, I played. I scribbled notes on paper wishing I had to skills to play all the things I heard in my head.
That piano was sold, a bit of cash was added to the amount gained and I suddenly owned an awesome keyboard with 16 track built in recording and midi orchestra at my fingertips. And so my journey as a scorewriter began.
Sadly, the music I labored over, stored on a 3in floppy (it had a built in disc drive) was not able to be removed and put into something more...shareable. Technology had other plans for me. I tried Cakewalk. No. It was not appropriately named. My cd dreams were back-burnered.
Fast forward seven years.
New computer. New software. New gadget go-between hooked the computer to the keyboard. At last, I could get the music off of the disc. But it was one track at a time. If I didn't hit play and record pefectlly then the notes did not line up. Each had to be moved individually. And when I wanted to hit play back to hear if they were aligned...well the program offered only one synthesized voice, impossible to differentiate the tracks.
The task was again back-burnered. Hope was hard to come by, but I had my 3 in disc. I had my keyboard. My music lived, but like a houseplant...only for me and anyone who visited (and happened to give a shit about my music) to enjoy.
Fast forward ANOTHER seven years.
I received a new computer last fall. I recieved Pro Tools for Christmas. A second keyboard became my birthday present. Then the East West subscription was purchased. Piece by piece, the new dream kit was assembled. On Tuesday of last week, after nearly a month of "this-is-not-my-normal-computer-area" tech hell, my persistent and wonderful husband got Pro Tools and East West talking to each other.
Wednesday went like this:
7:15 am bus ran; I'm home alone. Chores ensue.
8:30 am coffee in hand I go to office to begin
At some point I began to feel hungry, pulled a granola bar from my desk drawer (don't judge me) and ate it.
My phone reminded me at 2:30 to open the garage so the kid arriving soon on the bus could get inside...but it was a snowday. I ignored the chime and worked on.
I looked at the clock. 5:30 pm.
I looked at my coffee mug. It was half full.
I'd spent 9 hours working on music and it had passed like a flash. I hadn't even thought of what I'd make for dinner... Saving the work, shutting it off, I rushed downstairs gulping my coffee...only to find my husband in the kitchen, home already. Usually, I have dinner waiting for us. I apologized. He shushed me and held up a bag...a bag that had Jeni's on the side of it. (As in Jeni's splendid ice cream.)
A new door has opened and I've rediscovered a joy I used to know, a joy that for too long has slumbered. Before me is a challenge, not only to master this new program (it is SOOO amazing and complex and I've only gleefully scratched the surface), but to hone my skills and exceed.
There will be a CD, my first, available with the release of my novel, Jovienne, in May. It will be the score for the book. My music is alive. Themes for my characters grew and overlaped and merged as when I wrote this score years ago when the music was an exercise to shape the vision in my mind of this story that I was writing. And the melodies are growing in the light of these new capabilities.
I have breathed the deep breath of someone who has created and waited.
My score is steps -- minutes, not years -- away from shareable.
To me, fun is the act of creation and the act of refining that creation. To be here, now, on the cusp of sharing it with you...it is an act of persistence, of clinging to a dream that embodies me, that had embodied me for so long that it is part of the core of who I am.
You, whoever you are, never give up on your dreams, never give up on your self, never give up on working toward that goal that lives inside your soul.
Its true. There is nothing like the joy that overwhelms you when you're touching that goal. I danced in my kitchen eating ice cream for dinner and giggling with the one person who means so much, who believes in me and did all he could to give me this moment, all for the joy of sharing it with me.