Tag Archives: Success

Politics

I didn’t vote. Many of you will be incredulously wondering “Why?” For me it was a matter of conscience. I did not feel that either candidate deserved my support. Of course no one is perfect. Everyone has some “dirt” on them. However, it seems to me that Mrs. Clinton is far too untrustworthy, and Mr. Trump has said far too many offensive, and quite frankly, disturbing things about far too many people, and I for one, believe that language matters.

What has been more disturbing to me, however, is how this election has affected relationships. Long-lasting friendships have fallen apart because of a presidential race. The fallout has even reached my fourth graders. Truthfully, I don’t know much about Hillary Clinton outside of what I’ve seen on TV, but I thought she gave a really great speech today and accepted her defeat honorably. I can honestly say I’m proud of her for that.

What I would love to see is the rest of society doing the same. I don’t like Trump, but the fact of the matter is, he’s my president. That isn’t going to change now for at least four years, so whether you’ve been a life-long Democrat, young progressive, Independent like myself, Republican, or anything else, it’s time to face facts. It’s time to band together. Our president is not our country. We are our country, and we make America what it is. Quite frankly, I don’t like the party system. It makes politics exactly that: politics. It takes the focus away from real people and real issues and narrows in on the superfluous competition. It becomes a question of who will win and who will lose, rather than, what can be done to make our country better.

What will make our country better? The short answer is: love. The longer answer is uncertain. It’s really up to us. Among other things, we certainly need to be kinder on the internet. We need to pay attention and learn what it means to be good Samaritans; we need to really see people. We need to recognize the significance and effects of language. We need to forgive. We need to be ready to speak and fight for what we believe in, and be kind while doing it. We need to learn how to take a hit. We need to learn how to graciously and quietly accept defeat. We need to laugh. We need to accept that jokes are meant to be taken as jokes. We need to celebrate. We need to read. We need to have fun. We need to stand behind our president and support our government when they make good decisions and be ready to fight when they don’t. We need to recognize, love, and use our freedom.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

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Follow Through

On Saturday I was having some issues with my epilepsy, which took a little while to fix, and then I went to a writer’s group, specifically for science fiction writer’s. They meet once per month in Newton MA, which is about half an hour from where I live. I was the youngest person there by 20 years, and the oldest person there could have been my grandfather. They seemed like a really cool group of people. The age difference didn’t bother me. I just found it kind of amusing. We met in a little cafe, and it was noisy, so next month we’re potentially going to meet at my house. It was nice to have a good, stimulating conversation about a genre that I enjoy and care so much about. I’ve really missed this because I haven’t been in school since this past spring. It was also kind of intimidating because, being so much older than me, these people have read so much more than me and their heads are full of so much awesome stuff. It was so nice, though, because they’re weren’t condescending at all. I think they’ll be great mentors.

I’ve been talking to a lot of people about my book lately. It just has seemed to come up a lot in conversation. Sometimes I feel awkward telling people that I just graduated and am now writing a science fiction novel because it doesn’t sound like a real job. It’s often difficult to treat it like a job. It’s not always fun, but it’s also very flexible in terms of when I work and for how long, and what I do while I’m working. Sometimes I research technology, sometimes I research politics, sometimes I spend an hour on Google maps just plotting out where specifically things are happening and how those things will affect my story, sometimes I just work on notes, sometimes I work on the timeline of events, sometimes I write a whole chapter in one go.

The more I talk about writing this story, the more interested people seem to be. Sometimes I find it difficult to just sit down and write, but lately I’ve felt more excited, partly because people want me to finish it so they can read it. I know it certainly won’t be for everyone. It’s a science fiction novel, which in the literary world is often disregarded as nothing more than entertainment. I’m trying very hard to make this story important and intellectually stimulating. I want it to matter. It takes place in a post post-apocalyptic society, which means the world has already fallen apart, but now people have started to figure things out, and they’re rebuilding. I’m using this environment to explore a few different ideas. One aspect of my story is essentially a thought experiment about what happens to war when the military becomes automated (i.e. what happens if we have robot, or in this case, super-clone soldiers). Another thing I’m trying to do is expose some stigmas and unfair ideas and policies surrounding people with disabilities. Thirdly, I’m taking a look at what the world might be like in the absence of any religion or sense of a spiritual existence. Obviously I’m a little or a lot bias, but I’m trying to let my characters take the lead, and they’re turning into some very interesting people.

I was telling my dad about all of this earlier today and he told me that I just need to follow through, and that I often seem to have trouble with that. I start a project and then when things get too complicated I chicken out. I don’t feel like that’s entirely fair. He was referring to my musical endeavors, which have, at least for the time being, been put on hold. I’ve thought it through and a successful musical career doesn’t seem manageable. It’s not like I haven’t tried, but for one thing, it’s a colossal investment, which is something I presently can’t afford. Secondly, I can’t get gigs. I’ve tried. I really have. I’m just tired of being ignored in that department, so for the time being, I give up. Thirdly, I don’t think I can reasonably do it, physically. Say, theoretically, I became successful enough to go on tour. Right now I get tired after playing for an hour, so if I were to play longer shows, I would have to physically prepare for that, but beyond that, I can’t be having epilepsy symptoms in the middle of a song. It has occasionally happened at open mics, and it sucks. That kind of stuff would be way more manageable at book signings or what have you, assuming my book does well enough. Fourth, I already have connections in the literary world that I don’t have in the musical world, and I know more about publishing, etc. Lastly, I don’t want music to be work. I love it too much, I know I’m good at it, and I just want to share it; I don’t care if I get paid. I don’t want to treat it like a business because I want it to stay pure, kind of like this blog.

I will follow through with my story. I have thought it through and in so many ways it seems like a much more reasonable option, and it seems like I have a much better chance at getting noticed. I have until the end of next summer to finish it, which should be plenty of time. I know, at least basically, how the rest of the story is going to play out, and the later parts are going to be a lot of fun to write. I even have ideas for possible sequels. Even if this doesn’t do great in terms of payoff, it cost me nothing to make, and I will still consider it a success because this will be the best thing I’ve ever written when I’m done with it. It will need a lot of revision because I’m a perfectionist, but that just means it’s going to be great.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Random Life Update

The past few weeks have been interesting. I recently met two pen pals (email buddies), both by the name of Jonathan. They’re rather different in terms of personality, but they’re both very nice. I also started working on my novel again yesterday. I’ve been lazy over the summer, and I don’t entirely regret it, but it’s time to get back to work. I have excellent plans for my story, and it’ll be good to get that moving. It’s just been hard with friends and family taking up so much of my time. Everyone is starting to go back to school and work, though, which means I’ll be able to as well. It’s been good, though. I like my humans. Lastly, I’ve made the decision to learn how to play violin. I’ve had songwriter’s block, and I think learning a new instrument will help with that.

I tried learning a few years ago, but I didn’t have the time to practice at that point. Now I should have plenty of time. I’m excited because it will be hard. I’m excited to take on a challenge. I’m going to buy the instrument soon, and I’m going to ask for a month of lessons for Christmas. I like trying to teach myself things, but I do think I’ll need some instruction in this case. My family is going to kill me. I’m going to be so annoying for a while. While it’s nice out I might practice outside and annoy the neighbors instead. I think a good place to start will be to pick some songs that have simple melodies and try learning those on my own, then when I start lessons I can get more into real technique.

I’ll be starting CCD again soon. I hope I get my little cousin’s class. I’ll call on him all the time. It’ll be great. I’ll also be starting my writer’s workshop this month. They meet once a month in Newton, which is about an hour away for me. It’ll be a lot of fun, though. Speaking of which, I accidentally made a friend the other day. We happened to have gone to the same high school, happened to have graduated the same year, and happen to both be writing fantasy/science fiction stories. Funny how that stuff works.

I spent this past weekend job hunting. I didn’t really get anywhere, so I’m going to put that on hold. Working on a novel is just a horrifyingly huge task, but I need stick with it. It took two years to complete my album. I feel like that was a different kind of project, though. At least I’m not investing huge amounts of money into writing a story. The album wasn’t exactly a huge success. Surprisingly, I don’t care. Over time I’ve realized that I’m not really cut out for the music business. When I was a kid I wanted to be a rock star. I guess my dream has changed. My dream now is just to make love in the world. It’s a much less concrete goal, to be sure, but it’s also an adventure. I’m excited for the coming year. Beyond that, I have no idea what the future will bring. Normally that would scare me, but at the moment, it’s exciting.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Not An Option

I hung out with my cousin for a while today because he got out of school early. I came up to my room a couple hours ago after he left, intending to play video games, but I ended up doing some research on getting gigs and selling music online– since I’ll have to figure that out eventually anyway. I know; sign of the apocalypse; Katie was productive just because. I did pester a few venues already this week, so I’m just waiting to hear back from them. I only found one new open mic, but I just don’t think there are a whole lot around here. I figure what I’ll do is just ask people where else they play next time I do my usuals. I do have a few tentative open mic dates planned, so if they work out I’ll let you guys know. Check my music page soon.

I also pestered Ken’s friend because I hadn’t heard back from him. I’m becoming less shy as a result of this music thing. I’m having to learn to be more of a pest. I’m sick of not hearing back from people. I’ve decided that failure simply isn’t an option. I’m going to do this, and I’m going to do it right. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot I can do at the moment except wait. I’ll do a little more research into selling music online, but my cousin is working on building me a website, and I need to finish my album anyway. My next recording session will hopefully be either next Tuesday or Friday.

Last night I had a holy-crap-I-suck moment. We were picking up my brother and my dad from Boston University because my brother was going to a presentation about how to deal with their admissions office or something. We went to dinner and then my mom and I went to Barnes and Noble to get coffee and look at books. On the way back to the car we walked right past a homeless guy and every time I do that I feel guilty. I feel guilty a lot just because my life is easy. It really bothers me that children die of hunger and stupid jerks blow things up and kill people. My two goals this summer were/are to figure out how to succeed in music and save the world. I decided that I need to worry about music first because if I’m going to get anything done, it’s going to be through music.

If anyone has any pointers on where to go/what to do, comments would be awesome!

Thanks,

Katie

Fear Of Failure

Failure is a very scary thing– not just failing in itself, but the prospect of it; the possibility that in fact, I can fail. I keep telling myself over and over that I can make it as a musician or I can make it as a writer, but I know that there is a very large possibility that I won’t. I think it’s this fear, however that stops me from getting ahead. I played at the Sad Cafe the other night and a guy who was playing after me came over while I was getting coffee to say that he really liked my set. I thanked him and said that whenever I play somewhere I feel like there are at least a few people who are infinitely more talented. He said he had the same problem.

There’s a line in a Bright Eyes song that says “I could have been a famous singer if I had someone else’s voice.” I definitely feel like that sometimes. I often feel that although my music matches my lyrics and my voice very well, and although people really seem to like it, I feel that I could be a lot better at both. This summer I decided I’m going to teach myself “Resolution” by Andy Timmons (see “Sneaky-Sneaky”) to at least get better at the guitar part of it. There’s not much I can do about my voice.

Today I’m just going to fight down my fear, bite the bullet and do some research. I know of a couple places I can pester already, and I’m going to look for a few more. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

P.S. Please “Like” my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KatieRoseCurtisMusic?fref=ts

Thanks! ❤

The Meandering Hat

I just checked my stats for this blog as I do every so often, and I discovered that I have 43 people following my wordy shenanigans! That’s just so cool! When I started this blog I wasn’t sure I’d get anyone to read it let alone follow it! I’m still not exactly sure why people are following me. I’m not sure what people like to read and what kind of posts get the most attention, but evidently people like my stories and my philosophical banter, so I guess I’ll just keep rambling!

The hope is that this blog might be helpful or somehow inspiring. I probably don’t achieve that as often as I would like, but the fact that you guys are following makes me think I might have few little gold nuggets somewhere mixed in with the poop.

I sincerely want to say thank you to you guys for reading, and I want to thank God for the success that I’ve had because He puts the words in my head when I don’t know what to write. If you have any advice for me from any perspective at all, please comment.

Thanks,

Katie

Loser

Loser by Beck

This song has nothing to do with anything…

Sometimes I feel like a bit of a loser. I know I lack the ambition that many artists have to carry them to success. I know many artists–of any kind will sit and work on their projects for hours and days and weeks almost non-stop. I know I want to be a writer. I have a goal. I want to be published. I also know I don’t work as hard as I could towards that goal. It’s partly because I get distracted by my friends and my other artsy hobbies, but it’s partly because I’m perfectly content to do nothing and just play stupid games on my phone or watch movies or read fantasy stories. Part of my problem is that I hate doing research and I kind of suck at it. Part of the problem is that I’ve been awfully lucky. I’ve had some success just given to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very thankful for that. Part of the problem might be that I doubt myself a little. I see people who are much more talented and successful than myself all over the place and I wonder if I’ll ever even make it.

I’ve decided to stop playing video games for a while; quit cold turkey. I think I was getting a little addicted to Minecraft. I’ve also decided I have to do at least one artsy thing every day. I meant to be a lot more productive over break than I have been, and I regret wasting the time that I did. I’m going back to school on the 16th. I haven’t checked my grades from last semester. I feel like I probably got at least B’s in most of my classes, but I really just kind of don’t want to know. They’ll send them in the mail eventually anyway. I think I made a mistake with the courses I chose last semester. It was A LOT of work. I think I planned much better for the coming semester. I’ll have to try and make a new friend though because my friend Lydia is finishing college in Italy and then going straight to France to work. All my high school friends will of course go back to college.

Well, I’m determined to work on my novel for a few hours tonight. I think I’ve almost figured out how it’s going to end. I haven’t actually written a whole lot yet, but I’ve been planning it out for weeks now. Once it’s finished I WILL get it published. I’m not going to put a ton of work into this without doing something with it! I don’t care if I get super popular. I just want to be able to support myself.