Non-fascinating things I did today: finally finished editing the galleys for Strong Currents 2, the anthology put out by my RWA chapter. Co-editor Michael will be pleased, because when he flies back into Honolulu tonight, after 9 days on the East Coast, he won’t have to spend valuable catching-up-on-sleep time lighting a fire under my butt. 🙂
I also unpacked my Yamaha keyboard. It’s only been wrapped up for almost two years. Last night, whilst attending a meeting in the parish hall, I tinkled the ivories. Oh my GAWD! I sound awful. I have forgotten so much. Joanne, my lovely piano teacher in Deutschland, would be horrified if she knew the depths to which I have slipped (note: send card to Joanne, don’t mention piano playing). I have a piano, a beautiful antique thing from England, but it’s naturally out of tune after being shipped halfway around the world. Have I bothered to get it tuned yet? Of course not. And not because I keep forgetting (though that’s part of it) but because I don’t trust just anyone to tune it. It’s old and it can’t be tuned to concert pitch. I’m sure your garden variety piano tuner knows that, but I worry anyway.
So, for nearly two years, I’ve made excuses not to practice my piano playing. No wonder I stink. I stared at the music today and wondered what the heck some of those little bars and dots meant. I could feel the disappointment rising inside me, swelling into my throat and threatening me with tears of frustration.
And then, it clicked, that lovely Bach minuet I used to play so well. My fingers remembered what my mind did not. Still, it wasn’t as nice as it used to be.
Writing is the same, really. When you don’t practice it, you get rusty. You forget. Sentences that once would have flowed get bogged down in the mire. You have to fight your way out, clawing and scraping to get those words back, those fresh original words instead of the stock cliches that spring from your fingers to the page. It’s easy to get frustrated, to want to just plop your hiney in the mire and give up, or to put the music away and stash the keyboard in a corner.
The trick is not succumbing to that feeling.