This weekend was one of many events and thoughts, some dance related, some not—many of which I will share here. Today’s installment of Natural Opposite comes to my readers like the changing seasons: in four parts.
To start out, on Saturday, my partner-in-crime and I went to another Symphoria concert, this time a visual as well as auditory spectacle. Five extraordinarily talented circus performers joined the orchestra for night of juggling, aerial silks, hoop rolling, strap-flying, and of course lush musical accompaniment for the whole shebang. A collection of things I appreciate:
- Despite not being dancers and generally not pretending to be dancers, the performers did still time their feats to music.
- The sheer strength, flexibility, and power those five people demonstrated. Holy tomato—I feel like such a weakling due to my inability to hold myself up, stiff like a board, while 30 feet in the air.
- The trumpet section waving merrily “bye!” at their conductor as he was recruited to participating in a magic trick.
The small professional orchestra here in this place where I live seems to be on a upward-flying trajectory in patronage and vision, and I’m pleased. Good art is good life.
So I like to read. Excluding my college years, I read somewhere in the vicinity of 40-50 books per year. I try to read broadly, but I inevitably slant toward sci fi and fantasy. I have also done a fair amount of editing and reviewing, for wanna-be authors and already published authors and self-published authors. And recently, I’ve moved up the chain to receiving books direct from publishers for reviewing. This is all an explanation as to why, soon, I will be doing book reviewing on here, in addition to all the dance-y stuff you have come to expect from me. First installment Friday!
What can I say? I do a lot of things. And speaking of which:
Soooooo I’m writing a book. Or more specifically, I’ve written a book, and am now editing it into something I’m actually happy with, in a process that feels more like playing whack-a-mole than tappity-tap-tapping out the next Great American Novel.
These are not words I type lightly. Just six months ago, the idea of announcing this to the internet void or really, to a single person beyond my parents, fiancé, and a couple old friends would have shocked me into a cold sweat and stammering the ritual apology of insecure artists.
I want my story to exist so badly it hurts—partially because I want people to read it and enjoy it, and partially because I want physical validation of this world that lives in my head. I want to hold it in my hands and be able to say ‘this, this is real. These pages and these words and the people who live there—they are real.’ Maybe I’m deluded, maybe I just read too much Inkheart as a kid.
Let’s get the facts out in the open right away—I’m not a published author, aside from a poem here and there in school literary magazines. I have no professional training in writing, again aside from non-fiction and creative writing classes I took in both high school and college, as well as all the free-lance editing I’ve done. But I have been writing and rewriting diligently since I was a young teenager. Maybe that means I’m doomed to hopelessly slog through the unending, onion-esque layers of text problems. Or maybe it means I have a manuscript that is rooted in the fantastical imagination of childhood, but has grown up, like its author, to a greater understanding of love, heroism, politics, and responsibility.
So anyway. I try. If anyone wants to beta-read an unusual fantasy manuscript, message me and we’ll talk.
To end on a lighter note, I had the joy of DJing a benefit dance Sunday night for USA Dance Syracuse. I really like DJing—there’s something slightly giddy and wonderful about inflicting my taste in music on other people. I have *opinions* on social dance music, and I love to share them, as well as challenging myself to never play the same set list twice. My main observation was this: when you have a microphone and half-decent delivery, people take you a lot more seriously than if you are just some fedora-wearing kid crouching behind a laptop. I would like to thank the hours of “Welcome to Night Vale” and other YouTubers for the lessons in presenting. If only my voice could achieve a resonant bass. Alas I am saddled with an alto due to biology.
Such is the way of things.
Have a lovely day, dear readers. May your dreams of creation manifest outside the confines of your skull.