So here I am. And I guess I should actually write something and give TypePad a proper go, although I'm really not impressed with it at all - clunky user interface (the Dashboard is AWFUL) and hugely ugly default theme - very glad to have found a couple of Vox-remnant themes available because most of the others weren't at all appealing.
And you'll have noticed that I'm foresaking the lack of capital letters that somehow became 'a thing' for my Vox blog. Ultimately it became a pain to write like that and I don't really know how or why it started. Maybe I just felt kind of low-key when I started the Vox blog, and then felt compelled to carry on.
But I'm not going to harp on about the whole Vox thing. As I type, I'm downloading the whole of my site with SiteSucker, so I can preserve not just the content but the way the site looked. The only problem with that is it still won't capture my neighbourhood-only posts, and it won't capture the messages I've received from friends on Vox over the years because it doesn't seem capable of logging in unless the site can't be viewed without a login. *sigh*
So I shall focus on the now. And the now is pretty darned confusing and chaotic.
- I'm off work again, and the timing couldn't have been better with 1 week until my parents turn up to stay for 3 months
- Parents are coming!
- Finally getting the flat sorted out - we moved in here in May. It's now late September and we're still living in a box-fort. The landlord finally took away his excess crappy furniture (Resolution: I will never, ever, ever live in a furnished house again) so now we at last have space to consider what we're going to do about the bookshelf situation.
- I've got a new piece being performed on the 28th, and it's quite a substantial piece too - probably the meatiest thing I've written in a number of years
- Working on Creative Pact, which I'm loving - it's been really great to be finally - after 3-4 years on the to-do list - pulling caitlinrowley.com together. I've only completely missed 1 day so far and the whole site is gradually coming together. Really need to do some hefty work on that today, actually...
- My book is about 1/3 (re)written. This is one of the things I want to get finished while I'm off work
- I've got exciting plans for exploring alternative revenue streams - the book, articles, trying to get the music to pay even just a tiny bit in some way - exploring new models for publishing, trying to get a CD recording off the ground and so on
- I'm about to (print out the forms and) apply for a composer workshop happening in Durham in January, focused on amateur string orchestra/quartet writing. I've been feeling a real need to push forward in my music. I can sit in a room and write stuff till the cows come home, but until I confront the fact that I need some serious feedback and prodding, I'm not really going to be able to move forward. And until I move forward with my music, I won't even be able to contemplate applying for Master's programmes. As this is a big thing on my unwritten 15-year plan, and without it I'm unlikely to take the PhD step, which is also on the unwritten plan, I'm feeling good about taking this first tiny step. Now I just have to cross fingers I get in.
- Looking forward to doing some serious baking and hopefully mastering a couple of different types of bread.
- Learning HTML 5 as part of my Creative Pact.
- Finances are more or less under control and being kept up to date after several months of total chaos
- The ankle which I sprained and bruised the bone of way back in November is finally starting to improve. I can walk now! And I've finally got to a point where it doesn't take all my energy just to get around
The less good, because there's always a less good:
- Scared witless about the composer workshop thing - it's exciting, but it's been so long since I've had any real feedback about my work that I'm scared it'll get a verdict of 'waste of time'. Also worried that I won't be able to prioritise well enough to work consistently at it while my parents are here. That I'll get distracted and feel guilty for spending time on my own stuff rather than with them. It's happened before, but I'm trying to be determined that it won't happen this time.
- Flat is all full of dust and it seems that the vacuum cleaner here is the worst in the world - suction like an asthmatic mouse. It doesn't pick up the dust, it just pushes it around. And the Roomba is poorly (vacuum medic coming to take him away today to fix him). I'm beginning to think I should just go out and buy a baby Dyson to ensure we can get the place clean, but that sort of expense isn't perhaps an ideal way to start several months off work.
- Exhausted as. Really just want to sleep for a couple of weeks, not be rushing round like the mad thing I've been this week. Still not 100% over the flu I brought back from the Edinburgh Festival and just generally with the stress and the not-sleeping and the flu, hibernation seems the most appealing option, but unfortunately not a viable one.
- Feeling a certain reluctance to approach the piano and start a new piece. I suspect this is mostly due to the exhaustion but it's a nasty niggly feeling. I want to write, I just don't want to start anything and have to think in such depth about something just yet.
So that's how the land lies right now. My New Year's resolutions are somewhat in tatters, but overall I've got a good feeling about the next few months. You know how sometimes when crap happens, it feels like it's for a good reason? And that even though things are awful, you feel guarded, looked after, and like doors are about to open all over the place? Yeah. Like that. It feels like, in spite of how awful being sent away from my job was (cos I loved that job) the timing was perfect. And it feels like a huge opportunity to really make some progress. At last this year - which was a closed book to me at the end of last year - I just couldn't get a feeling at all for how it was going to be - is opening up and starting to maybe tentatively bloom... Guess that means I should stop procrastinating with blog posts and go and code something, or write some music, or maybe just dust a little :-)