Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all the best, health and happiness for the new year!

I mentioned earlier this week that Glee has been something like "The Artist's Way" for me.  Of course, it's not Glee alone.  It's also the Huntsville Feminist Chorus that I sing with, and a book from my summer reading (Horning in: The Grown-Up's Guide to Making Music for Fun), and waking up and realizing that all the things I had been stressing over for the past 4-6 years are... no longer worries.  Well, our son will always be a concern, but he's also a blessing :)

I've been reflecting a lot these past few months.  The previous time I wrote fanfiction was about twenty years ago, in partnership with a high school friend.  Thankfully, that piece of writing is NOT posted to the internet to embarrass me now.  The manuscript is safely unread on a shelf in my living room.

I read books cover-to-cover.  Author's notes included.  Especially when the authors talk about the process of writing, getting published.  I think, at my first high school, I could envision a future in which I did both, engineering and writing.  Then everything changed.

There have been articles, recently, that talk about how science and engineering degrees are intense, that one of the reasons we're getting more English majors than Engineering majors is a sort of push-pull effect.  In the liberal arts and the humanities, it's easier to write yourself out of a corner.  The mathematics underlying scientific and engineering problems, however, are not so readily explained away.

One article I read talked about how grades are frequently higher in the liberal arts subjects, and lower in STEM subjects.  I know for a fact that mine were, in college.  There were days when I wondered whether I was in the right major, whether I was really doing what I wanted.  Whether all the work would turn out to be worth it.

Engineering degrees can be all-consuming.  Even my M.A. in Humanities was intense, but I did that part-time over and above my engineering day job.  An infant is all-consuming.  Worrying about and trying to visit a terminally ill mother AND grandmother are stressful and time-consuming.

And now... DS is old enough to sleep through the night, to have fun with, to play by himself some of the time.  Mom & Grandma are buried.  I put my second graduate degree (the M.S. in Engineering) on hold, and haven't decided yet whether to go back.  I'm finding that I have energy to do something else, something more.

I'm finding myself with time to read, time to watch television, time to think about stories and storylines, "How would ___ react to this?" and "What if _______ were to happen?"

It took me a few weeks to clue in to the fact that... my combination of experiences are unique, giving me a different perspective on life.  That no one else can write my stories.

I drafted fanfiction last week.  One full story, another begun.  They need editing, perhaps a beta reader, before I'm ready to post.  I'm just starting to figure out the fanfiction world, decide what platform I want to post on, what username to choose.  But by the end of January, I expect I'll get that first story posted.

My new years resolution is to be more consistent with my writing, both fiction and non-fiction.  To make time for writing on a regular basis.  And especially to get back into creative writing.

"I don't make my music for money, no, I make my music for me"  - Jimmy Buffett