Never Let Them See You Sweat?

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I tend to show, or wear, my vulnerability. Perhaps a bit too much. I don’t know if it makes me “real” or “honest” or if it just makes me weak and whiny. It’s probably some of the former but too much of the latter. But, I honestly don’t know. I do know it’s just me; it’s just really honest, weak and whiny me.

I have been working on an album. I think maybe three people, besides me, are excited about it. The thing is, if that’s all there is, has it been worth all the effort I have put into it? The blood, sweat and tears. The sacrifice of time with family, the hard graft to produce the thing myself (not only to write, sing and play the songs). I appreciate – very, very much – the three (or, perhaps five) people who might be really happy with getting my album. But, are those faithful few (precious though they are to me) enough to spend the money (that could go to food and clothes for the kids… and, don’t forget books – books are good) to get the album distributed?  I haven’t made up my mind. I tell you the truth, I’m very conflicted. I might just upload it and offer it as a free download to those faithful few.  Because…yeah, I’m sweating it. What if I upload my hours and hours of hard work and sacrifice – if I offer my pearls – and it simply gets trampled on?

Perhaps I wait. I was planning a release next month (November 2012). But, maybe not. The songs will wait. They are recorded, they are backed up… they aren’t going anywhere. And, although I was, in a sense, running out of time (because I’m not getting any younger and I won’t have my voice forever) I have these files, safely locked away. For myself, if no one else. Maybe next year?  Maybe never? Maybe to a select few? Maybe to the world and just see what happens?

I have learned a lot through the process of writing and producing this album. One, I have learned I do not want to be a producer. What a pain! Hats off to those of you who do production for a living. Two, I have learned that patience is key. And, if you have to re-record it a hundred+ times to get it right, then it is worth it when you do, finally, get it. Three, I have learned that I like my music for what it is and have come to terms with limitations as well as celebrating strengths. Four, I have become a better songwriter and am a better judge of what works and what doesn’t. Five, I may be confused over what to do with this album, but I am not in any doubt over its worth: I am proud of my accomplishment.

Music quietly fades out.

 

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Childhood Memories

As I was “lurking” on The Northlands – an online forum I visit (http://www.thenorthlands.net/forum/ ) – I noticed that one of the members had posted a thread entitled “What Were You Like?”, asking the other members to share what they were like as children and requesting that we share a favourite childhood memory. So, I stopped lurking and posted something that I now want to share as a blog post, as well.

When anyone asks me what my favourite childhood memory is, 9 times out of 10 this is what first comes to mind.  I decided to share what I posted on The Northlands as a post here because, well, I can… and, mostly because it is one of my all-time favourite personal stories: it was something that happened in my childhood that still touches and affects me to this day.

This is what I wrote in the thread:

 

My personality hasn’t changed much (if at all). I control negative aspects of it a bit better now… but, I was a miserable, moody, sarcastic, selfish, nearly constantly ill child who had a love for reading and an uncommon talent for singing. I am now… well…

But, one of my favourite memories from being a child is when a couple of wild ducks “adopted” me. I was six years old and very low because my mother was in the hospital. I had no friends and my grandparents – who normally took care of me when my mother was working or ill – were out of town; my oldest sister and her husband were looking after me at my grandparents’ house which was on a lake. I was depressed and scared and had little to distract me from the terror that my mother wasn’t going to recover. But these two ducks (a mated pair) just arrived one day. I named them Ducky (the female) and Lucky (the male). They would fly across the lake each day to come and visit me and “dance” with me in the backyard. It was rather magical. As I say, they were wild, but I could go outside and call them and they would come to me. I’d stand at the edge of the lake and shout, “DUCKY! LUCKY!”, and here they’d come, flying across the water to see me. They stayed around for years, and after the male died (or was killed), the female still came to visit me until she finally died. They were my daily companions and added a needed bit of joy and enchantment to a lonely childhood.

Oh, and if you wondered, my mother did fully recover and is still going strong. She will be 78 on the 21st of this month. I often think about Ducky and Lucky and the happiness they brought me…and the lessons they taught me. They taught me to look up, and to dance in the rain.