Day 496: The sun rises on summer vacation…

Today I went, early in the morning, to have surgery done on my upper jaw, though it went well, they prescribed some medication (three bottles of pills) and I am left feeling slightly dizzy. The nausea which the papers that came with the bottles forewarned of.

Three months from now (after a few check-ups and minor procedures in between), I will be done. Until then, I am supposed to take it easy, that means, for me, summer vacation begins now.

There is a lot I want to do, learn Italian, and German too! Practice French some more, by reading more novels, try to get better at playing the piano or recorder. Reach my goals for weight loss, eat healthier, try to write more often, and read at least 100 books!

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Day 475: The day I changed my goals

Last month, after listening to the piece above, I changed my mind about playing the flute, which I had listed among my goals, since I began last year. I went through my list of goals and replaced “flute” with “recorder”. I still want to play the flute one day, but within the next few years, I prefer to focus on the recorder.

There are so many beautiful works written for this instrument.

Before I began researching baroque music, I used to love the sound of the flute in the compositions of Bach or Vivaldi, but now that I have researched more, I’ve found that the instrument I heard often wasn’t the flute, but the recorder. Yes, I am a little disappointed that I can’t start playing the flute right now. But I don’t think I am missing out, because the recorder has a rich repertoire as well.

Day 439: Happy Easter!

Easter was lovely, though all we did to celebrate was eat dinner and bake chocolate chip cookies.

Near the beginning of Lent, I decided to give up listening to recorded music, only music that I listened to live at a concert, or that I played myself on a keyboard would be permitted. It lasted for about 11 days, until I broke what I’ve heard others term a “music fast”. Though I am upset, I’ve decided to try it again. For the rest of the year, I am only allowing myself to listen to recorded music on weekends.

What I intend to do meanwhile, from Monday to Friday, is try playing my piano and recorder more often. When I’ve practiced both for at least 90 hours, I am going to try to take singing lessons again.

Day 412: Happy Leap Year!

I thought the image used by Google to celebrate leap year this year was really cute. The leaping bunnies remind me of plotbunnies.

Last Friday I went to the dentist at 8:30 AM to have my wisdom teeth removed. The extraction took nearly 1 1/2 hours. Finally it was over, and I went out to join my parents who had been waiting in the car. Then I took the only logical next step, with gauze crammed into my mouth and blood oozing through my lips, I went to the library!

I checked out 10 books, The Barbarous Years (concerning the 17th century settlement of New England), Washington: A Life, Ethan Allen: His Life and Times, Wishful Thinking, a fantasy novel, then a trilogy The Bar Code Tattoo, The Bar Code Rebellion, and The Bar Code Prophecy, I don’t know if it’s any good or not, but I hate waiting to finish the ending in case I like it. The last few were Spies, Patriots and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War, Dr. Benjamin Church, Spy: A Case of Espionage on the Eve of the American Revolution, and As If an Enemy’s Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution. I am hoping these books will help me with the historical fiction novel I’m writing.

Day 407: “There is nothing I enjoy more than a long evening at the…pianoforte.”

Yesterday I bought a recorder at Amazon, along with book of sheet music, and a CD of lovely tunes played upon the recorder to inspire me. I have always wanted to play the flute, and the recorder is quite similar in many ways.

Last year, within the last two weeks of December, I was working on my New Year’s resolutions, and one of them was to give up any films or television series I found morally troubling for an entire year. That meant no more films with pointless violence, or excessive profanity, or a casual attitude toward sexuality outside of marriage. Same thing for humor that could be called cruel, dehumanizing, nothing sexist or racist, although I usually try to avoid both anyway (racism being a problem mostly in really old films).

So that means no Castle, no Marie Antoinette, none of the films I love despite their flaws or the TV shows I sometimes watch with my parents. Yeah it’s going to be tough, yet I feel like a lot of us Christians lament the content in film and television without trying to do anything. What I am doing might not change things, but I feel like it’s a personal experiment I need to try for at least a year.

Last night I watched The Abduction Club, it’s a really a cute little comedy set in the 1780s in Ireland (and yes, it’s clean, as per the requirement for the year).

Goal 36: I finished copying all my French articles!

From the beginning October 2nd to January 4th, I wrote out an article in French by hand, taken in most cases from a major French news site, like Le Figaro, Slate, Le Monde, and in one case a blog post, I can’t say it miraculously tripled my fluency in French. But it has aided me in spelling, and did make me more aware of some current international events that were covered immediately by the French news, but not their American counterparts until a couple of days later, while the French news lagged by a day or so on covering some events in the U.S. of A!

Goal 364: I won NaNoWriMo!

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Guess who won NaNoWriMo? Yes I started three days late, and I temporarily changed my time-zone to finish and validate on time, but I did it! My story Night Bites: or the Perks of Being a Vampire might not be a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but I did manage to pull off several things I’d always wanted to do in a novel someday!

Things I managed to do in Night Bites that I have always wanted to:

  • No romance between any of the characters, despite the seductive vampiress or the caring long-time female friend.
  • Used the setting of a city where I have actually been, including referencing real life shops and restaurants.
  • Managed to make three of my leading characters Christians, and have it influence them, while only using two Bible verses!

Excerpt (where Theodore describes his friends trying to help him research):

Ashley started doing intensive research on Russia and the Baltic sea, she sent me images of centuries old portraits, asking me if any of them looked like the vampiress. Mike spent way too much time at conspiracy theory websites, looking for postings of the paranormal, eventually he branched out, looking through horror fiction for stuff that even remotely sounded like symptoms of vampirism. My browser history became a crazy mixture of sasquatch sightings, haute couture sales and news of the weird. We started assembling a database of all the information.

“What do we if anyone finds it?” I asked Ashley one day.

She rolled her eyes at me, “Says it’s for a fantasy novel we’re writing, best excuse ever.”

It’s really harrowing, but I would love to do it again next year, maybe in French!