Category Archives: Miss K

July’s Audio Books, Jimmy Kimmel and Writing

What an absolutely crazy month July was, let me just get that out of the way ha! Crazy in a very good way. I was successful in submitting my first polished fiction. You can read about that in my last post. I’m waiting to hear back on that. There’s a submissions page where I can go to check on it and it’s just listed as “in progress”. If I remember correctly, the call for submissions said selected authors should know by the end of July. I can’t double-check that since the page has been taken down. so I’m not sure what it means that it’s still listed as “in progress”. At least it’s not listed as “rejected”. ha!

Jayden and I went to LA to a live taping of Jimmy Kimmel life, which was awesome. the guests were Owen Wilson (awesome!), The Bachelorette and her fiance (whatevs) and Juanez, who my friend and I checked out on Apple Music on the road between Indio and LA. Very cool Latin music. He passed us just outside the green room and said my dog is beautiful. Yeah he is. His segment of the show was performed outside. I’m not going into too much detail about this trip on my blog because—

—the afternoon before the Kimmel show I got an email in response to something I submitted months ago that involves non-fiction writing. Paid non-fiction writing. paid! I’m currently working with the person who selected me as one of the new freelance writers and I might be writing about the LA trip so I’m keeping details under wraps for now. The writing thing is really starting to feel real now. It’s kinda nice to write something totally stress free on my own blog ha!

What else about life? I’ll be ramping up research for the Egyptian book I’m going to write for NaNoWriMo. I want to get it all mapped out but I need more information first. I’ve developed a few of the characters which was totally fun. I love developing characters. What else? Oh yes, I mentioned reading a book for a book club and I said I’d include it in with my book post, however I’m going to wait and write about that when I’m done with it. We’re halfway through the book. In fact I need to ask if we should start reading the next half. Ok, on to books!

*7.5 books this month*

62. “Between You and Me: Confessions of Comma Queen” by Mary Norris – narrated by Mary Norris

Finished July 31

One of the authors I follow on Twitter retweeted an article that referenced this book but I can’t remember who tweeted it or where the article was. blame my addled brain this month, which was more addled than normal. This book bloody rocked. That’s all I got. I don’t know if it would interest a person not into words and writing like me, but I just loved this book. Notes I jotted today when nearly finished with it:

Pencils, #1, oh the memories. The way of doing things before computers. the store with all the office supplies and how she loved it. Mom and I in the stationary isle forever, the smell, the possibility. Office Max? Heaven. Her talking about pencils and erasors is freaking awesome. Mom’s mechanical eraser, I had forgotten all about that. Our electric pencil sharpener, I can still picture it.

end notes.

the author narrated which is usually pretty bad. She didn’t do a terrible job though and hearing her dry humor from her own lips was pretty awesome. Jokes sped by like a guy driving his mid-life-crisis car on the highway, so if you aren’t paying attention, you’ll miss the kitchy custom license plate.

Mary Norris sounded like my old choir director’s voice after a lot of singing and shouting during rehearsals. It was comforting haha. I just freaking loved this book.

Twitter: @marynorristny

61. “In the Unlikely Event” by Judy Blume – narrated by Kathleen McInerney

Finished July 28

A book by Judy Blume for adults? yes please. Judy Bloom is part of my childhood so I was super excited to hear that she wrote a book for adults. I had no idea this book was historical fiction, that the three plane crashes which the story is centered around really happened. I try not to read publisher’s summaries of books unless I’m checking out a daily deal or something. I just read the summary for ‘Unlikely Event’ and I have to wonder if knowing about the historical aspect would have changed the way I felt about the book.

There were parts that were downright creepy and I thought, wow, Bloom has one creepy imagination. She added a paranormal element to the story that may or may not have been part of what really happened in Elizabeth, New Jersey in the early 1950’s. It was a sometimes entertaining read with semi-interesting characters going through a truly terrible time in their lives.

It was crazy to read about what it was like for girls and women in the fifties. I mean we all know what it was like back then but Bloom’s writing made it seem so real. I’d recommend if you like stories about people and want to see Judy Bloom write about sex and use swear words, ha! Though really, this book is more along the lines of young adult than adult in my opinion. It was also rather soap opera-y at times.

I’m not a fan of this narrator. I read another book with dual narrators awhile back and she was one of them. I think she’d be great for children’s books. ‘Unlikely Event’ has many jewish characters and the narrator doesn’t even sound slightly Jewish when she says Jewish words. She’s also way too sugary sweet. This was a young adult book with a few adult situations and she sounds like a child trying to sound grown up.

@JudyBlume

60. “Paranoia: A Novel” by Joseph Finder – narrated by Scott Brick

finished July 21

This book took me a little longer than my usual reads since I was working on getting “That Meddling Dog” finished by deadline and also reading a book for a book club. I’ve decided to withdraw my campaign for president since it would cut into my writing, reading and baseball time.

“Paranoia” was not very believable unless I just don’t want to believe in corporate espionage. I mean I know it happens but I doubt it does to this extreme. None of the characters were likable and for the first few hours of the book I started wondering what I’d read next.

But then…

All of the sudden I was like yeah, that could happen, yeah, I’m rooting for this guy now, I dislike the people I’m supposed to dislike and mistrust the ones I’m supposed to mistrust. Right? When it was over I wasn’t ready to be done with the main characters. Now I think I’ll try and find the movie. they made a movie out of it right? This book was a daily deal and I think I remember Audible making it a daily deal because the movie was coming out or something. Really all I remember is that it was a Scott Brick narrated daily deal which means I get it no matter what it is.

Fun, entertaining, fast-paced read. *checks out Finder’s other books* Ooooh found another one narrated by Scott Brick. This is what I’m doing to help me get through a Rays game.

@joefinder

59. “Lexicon” by Max Barry – narrated by Heather Corrigan and Zach Appelman

finished July 14

Um, what? No really, what? What was this book about? I um, what? Can you please just click the above link and read the publisher’s summary? Because I don’t know what I read. I didn’t know what I was reading when I read it. What? It was good. the narration was good, especially Zach.

the book? Huh? Words. Yes. Words. Do I recommend? Huh? Action. Definitely action. Who what when where why? Huh? Whatevs.

Seriously though, there was something missing. I’m not sure what, but something was missing. There were also times of being completely lost that I did not enjoy, and edits I wanted to make. Beyond those things, it was an entertaining read.

@maxbarry

58. “The Long Goodbye” by Raymond Chandler – narrated by Ray Porter

Finished July 11

And I thought Michael Connelly was good. Wow. Raymond Chandler comes up in writerly circles as one to study so when this book came up as a daily deal, and narrated by Ray Porter, I snatched it up without a second thought.

I think I found the style of book to which Ray Porter isn’t quite well suited. Shocker, I know. I think someone like Scott Brick would have been a better Phillip Marlowe. Not to say Ray Porter was bad, that’s impossible. He’s just too current. He doesn’t have that noir sound. There is some Spanish though, which he’s really good at. So maybe that’s what got him the job.

Notes I jotted:

Comment to the writer, how’s the book coming?

*The writer in the book found this comment very annoying and I must say I agree with that sentiment, though when people don’t ask how the writing is coming, I feel like they don’t care, so there’s just no pleasing the writer.

“Maybe it’s the TV commercials. They make you hate everything they try to sell.

*This is me with radio commercials during game broadcasts. I am actively boycotting Subway as a result of their terrible commercials.

I loved this book. I’ll be reading more Chandler for sure.”

57. “Looking for Alaska” by John Green – narrated by Jeff Woodman

Finished July 8

I’m glad I watched a video (which is now unfortunately not available, sorry) of John Green talking about “Looking for Alaska” becoming a movie before I read the book, which Audible put up as a daily deal right around the time of the youtube video which I don’t think is a coincidence. Green says in the video that the book is very personal to him and when he sold the rights for the movie a decade ago, he had his misgivings but the money put his wife through college so yay and now he’s excited about the possibility of the movie because it has the same screenwriter as the movies for both “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Paper Towns”. I read both those books and watched the TFIOS movie which I thought was wonderful and which made me cry just as much as the book.

I’ll probably watch the Paper towns movie since it’s John Green though I didn’t have a strong response to the book which I read last year on my Florida trip.

There were many similarities between “Paper Towns” and “Looking for Alaska” I think. I enjoyed ‘Alaska’ more, so I sure hope they make a movie of it for sure. And I just used the word sure twice. Oops.

Oh here, have some famous last words.

Twitter: @JohnGreen

56. “The Wrath and the Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh – narrated by Ariana Delawari

Finished July 7

I follow an author on Twitter named Lauren DeStefano. (@LaurenDeStefano) I haven’t yet read her books, but follow her because I think she’s hilarious. One of my favorite authors, Samantha Shannon, (@Say_Shannon) retweeted her at some point and that’s how I began following her. Lauren DeStefano did not write ‘Wrath’, she just forced all her followers to read it. No really, she did. She tweeted about it non-stop and when I looked it up and found it on Audible, the publisher’s summary intrigued me so I put it on my wish list. I bought it as a reward when I finished writing my piece of short fiction. I swear, it did not inspire the Egyptian novel I’m planning to write for NaNoWriMo this November haha. The setting is similar, but that’s about it. I couldn’t help smiling though, when parts of ‘Wrath’ made me think about the novel I’m developing.

If you enjoy young adult fiction, I highly recommend this book. It has everything from ancient royalty to teen marriage, to sword fights to curses and oh yes, a love triangle full of “YA hotness”.

The narrator is good, though I thought she had a rather harsh, serious tone to her voice, even during light hearted moments. She wasn’t whiny though, which can really ruin YA teen angst.

I hope there’s a sequel! I’ll read some Lauren DeStefano now as a thank you for the recommendation.

Twitter: @rahdieh

55. “The Winds of War” (winds of War book 1) by Herman Wouk – narrated by Kevin Pariseau

finished July 5

This book was split evenly between June and July. I’ve noticed I’m starting to prefer books in the fifteen hour range. These forty-five hour books can get tedious and book two in this series is even longer. Oy vey.

There were many times I almost took a break and moved on to something else. I’m not a fan of how this novel was written. Some chapters began with long excerpts from a fictional book written by a German who one of the narrators of ‘winds’, Pug, translates. The point of these excerpts is to sort of summarize what happened historically that is about to happen to the fictional characters. These chapters were tedious though, and for me, interrupted the flow of the narrative. ‘winds’ follows one family through World War II and just when something gets interesting with one branch of the family, we’re suddenly stuck with the fictional German book. It’s distracting.

There are also sudden changes in the style of the writing. Wouk gets all poetic and artful out of the blue, following the rise of the sun as it touches “our heroes”, or however he puts it. It’s such a sudden change in style, I found it jarring. I’m writing this on July 2, before I’ve finished the book and at this point, I’m just counting down for it to end. Parts of it are really fun but it’s just too long and my mind wanders often. I crave a good fast paced mystery.

Ok, finished this book last night. I had already written the above since I was going to include this book in last month’s post but changed my mind. There’s a second book but I need a break and it’s even longer than this one was. I’m not sure I can handle another one. So often it just felt like nothing was happening, and I wanted to urge it on like a song being played at too slow a tempo. I can’t say I recommend this book. There are so many excellent historical fiction novels around the second world war.

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Filed under 2015 Monthly Audio Book Lists, accomplishment, apple Inc, Audio books, fellowship, gratitude, Jayden, Miss K, mom, music, twitter me this, writing

Rain scheduled for tomorrow

I’m still laughing about how I said rain is scheduled for Monday in the car after the concert last night haha!

Rain is forecast for tomorrow. High of 60 with showers. Lovely walking weather for my home visit, don’t you think? At first I was worried Don would cancel, but then I remembered all the stories of people training at school in the rain, so I don’t think a little rain will stop him. I’m glad this is happening after the concert in case I catch cold ;).

Today has been a little lazy. I slept like a rock after the show, and B got up and went out of town with the guys from work to watch the last regular season football games and a popular sports bar that you need reservations for. He’ll be home shortly, and he’s bringing me In and Out yummm!

I forgeited going to Gamma’s like usual on Sundays so I could rest up and finish preparing for the home visit tomorrow. I cleaned my bathroom in stages. It really needed it, so I’m glad to have had an excuse. I talked with a friend from Saavi who I haven’t seen since Halloween, so it was good to catch up with him. I’ve mentioned him here before, my friend S who was the third to the trio with Miss A.
. Her son left some things for me and S at Saavi, some assistive stuff that Miss A had, that her son wanted S and me to have. So we’re trying to figure out when we can both be at Saavi, but it’s going to need to wait until after the holidays. I so miss him since we haven’t seen each other in awhile. It was nice to talk about Miss A with him. He was really sorry he missed the concert and thought I was mad at him. I wouldn’t be mad at anyone for that. Well, I might have been mad at B if he hadn’t gone 😉

I emailed Miss K the link to the post that turned out to be all about her. And now I’m nervous about how she’ll react hehe. Why is it that expressing sentiment is so hard?

It’s weird. We’re not doing much for the holidays, but everything feels all crazy anyway. I guess because I’m busy and don’t know what will happen with the home visit tomorrow. I even feel like I haven’t been blogging nearly as much. Especially just opening a post to write about whatever comes to me, kinda like I’m doing here.

Anyway, I’m kinda looking forward to January. Get through the holiday hubbub and back to regular life. I’ve got a birthday coming up. December 30. I’ll be 31. Wow. Pretty big deal for someone who thought she’d never make it to 30 😉

K, there are typos, but I just don’t feel like editing tee hee!

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Filed under Gamma, holiday, Miss K, pooch preparation, random stuff, She loved her salad dressing, weather

The Concert

Oh what a night!

L picked me up at 5:20 and I was so glad to be underway. It helped the nerves a little, since I was all dressed and ready to go. We wore white tops and black bottoms. I put some more pineapple juice with water in my water bottle for some added throat protection hehe.

We arrived at the church a little before 6 and found our places. There were pews reserved for the choirs, and we had figured out where to sit so we could line up on stage easily. The rest of our choir showed up and Miss K was working with the little ones. Oh my goodness they were so cute! The first choir was first through third graders. Then the second choir were fourth and fifth graders. They were all so cute. She didn’t work with us at all. We all warmed up just after 6 and then we sat around talking.

The doors were gonna open at 6:45 so L and I ran to the bathroom at about 6:35. We had to walk through the church lobby and holy cow it was full of people. As we were coming out, I heard my name and it was my second cousin, who found me on Facebook. He drove in from out of town just for the concert! I couldn’t stay and chat, so we went back in.

The doors opened and all the women were exclaiming about all the people walking in. Before we knew it, Miss K was asking the choirs to relinquish their seats for the crowd. They had never had such a big crowd! I knew I couldn’t stand the whole time, so I sat right on the end of the pew for the first three choirs.

they were so cute! Miss K really worked miracles with those kids. I’ve never heard children’s choirs sound that good!

About halfway through the third choir, we all went and lined up in the lobby. They were singing 12 Days of Christmas. Miss K separated the crowd into 12 and those groups had to get up and sing their number. Georgie saw me going into the lobby so she got up and went to tell me she was there and give me a hug. I was getting really nervous. One of the women said we should sing along to warm up again, so we sang 12 days in the lobby to warm up.

Finally it was our turn to get up on stage. It went very smoothly. I had told L to lay my cane down back behind us. We sang the first song, Chestnuts, and sounded great!

The dreaded Sleighbells was next. I had woken up with that song in my head. Miss K said something to the crowd about how hard the song was and we all laughed nervously.

About a third of the way into the song, I felt like I was going to pass out. It was really weird, because I felt everything, the sudden sweating, the metallic taste in my mouth, but I had never experienced that blind before, so I didn’t get the weird vision like I used to. I told myself to relax my knees but they already were. Meanwhile I’m singing my heart out to Sleighbells. I wasn’t going to let a dizzy spell stop me; I had worked way to hard on that darned song hehe! I reached over and grabbed L’s arm. After the song I said I needed my cane back. It’s not a support cane, but something about having it calms me down.

We changed things a little. Snowfall was next, and we originally weren’t in groupings for this song, but Miss K said to do groupings, so I got to sit on a stool. As the opening notes were played, I thought to myself, “this is for JayNoi”. I remembered! 😉

It sounded great! Then it was time for Uncle John. The other hard song. We got back into choral position for this one. That one went really well. We got a little messed up on the first set of wah sah wah sah’s but then after that it went great. Everyone cut at just the right time and it sounded great in that church!

After that it was time to pass the hat, to help us pay for the church. We found out on Tuesday that several of us would crowd around the piano and sing like we were just chillin at a party while the others went and passed the hats. The women were given cards with the songs and the first one we sang was Silver Bells. I don’t know this song very well, so I sang what I knew and smiled and moved my mouth for the rest lol! Then we sang Winter Wonderland, and I knew that one.

L was putting my boa on and I was like, “Merry Christmas Darling is next, not santa Baby” but everyone was putting on their stuff. I was not wearing a boa for my solo lol!

We got back to the groupings and L positioned me in front of the stool and I took off the boa. Someone handed L the mic and she handed it to me.

Oh yeah, after the hat passing, a woman came up and said, “Your Grandma asked me to tell you she and your Uncle are here”. I knew my uncle was gonna go. Grandma kept telling me all week she got a ride from someone in the neighborhood, but I could tell she was fibbing hehe.

So I’m standing there in front of my stool with the mic, and the opening notes played. All nerves were gone. I wasn’t shaking. My stomach wasn’t turning. I knew all those people were there, but I couldn’t see them hahaha!!!

I nailed it! No cracking, nothing. I was so happy! It sounded fab!

After my solo, I sat on the stool and finished the song with the mic hanging at my side. I gave it to L after, and we put our boas on for Santa Baby.

That song went great too! You could tell everyone was really loosened up at that point, and it was awesome.

For the last song, the choir spread out around the whole church. L took me down the steps and we stood up front. It’s a beautiful song. All unison, it’s called “In this very room”. It’s such a pretty song, all about how there’s enough love and joy in this very room to chase away any gloom. Lovely. One of our singers couldn’t be there, because her mom got deathly ill, so she had asked Miss K to dedicate that song to her mom. The last note hung in the air and there was silence and then loud applause. As the applause died down I could hear sniffing. Hehe! When you make an audience cry, you’ve done a good job.

Suddenly my uncle was there hugging me tight and I could hear tears in his voice. He wisked me to Grandma and she hugged me and there were tears in her voice. I think she hugged me like 5 times haha! Then my cousin who I’d met on FB was there hugging me, then Georgie and Kevin and one of my dearest friends who I wasn’t expecting and my other friend Sarah and Georgie’s boyfriend and Finally B. they were all yelling about how great I was and Kevin said he was in tears haha! Then the old piano player from the old choir with Miss K was there, and one of the mom’s of a girl from way back then.

It was hugs all around, and then Miss K was there. She said who she was and gave me a hug and I said thank you and she said thank you and I could just feel this moment, I can’t explain it. Unspoken. I’m tearing up as I write this. She is just so incredible.

I stood around talking to everyone for a bit and L and I had contemplated going to eat with everyone after, but I was covered in sweat and needed my water and hadn’t sat down in over an hour except for the stools so B and I slowly said goodby to everyone and made our way outside. the cool night air felt absolutely wonderful!

We ran back into my Grandma and cousin and uncle in the parking lot and talked some more and then I finally got to sit in the car. Ah, sweet relief!

We drove home and rehashed the concert and got stuck in the crowds from the winter lights neighborhood. I said something about rain being scheduled on Monday and B said, someone scheduled rain? Hahha!! I was so brain numb by that point.

We got home and I talked about Miss K. I guess I had never talked about her much to him. He didn’t realize I had been in her choirs before. I think he just forgot really lol.

He hugged me tight as I was going in to lay down and sid he was so proud, and how great it was to see me in my element.

Law and Order SVU was on tv, my favorite show hehe. I lay down smiling, thinking about how wonderful the night was. Eventually I drifted off to sleep.

I slept like a freakin rock haha! When I woke up I was in a ton of pain. I felt hungover. Funny how I can still feel hungover with no booze lol. I think it was probably from all the nerves, excitement, getting hot, almost passing out, and not drinking enough water before we sang.

I’m feeling much better now after going through a ton of emails and having my coffee. today I’ve gotta clean my bathroom to get ready for the home visit tomorrow!

I don’t know if anyone recorded the concert. I’m praying someone did. As soon as I know, I’ll let you know.

Thanks to everyone for helping me through all the nerves yesterday hehe. And L, if you read this, thank you so so so much for all your help during all the rehearsals and the concert! You are truly a wonderful friend!!!

I’ll be emailing the post I wrote about Miss K to her. So if she stumbles onto this one, thank you again Miss K! I had such a wonderful time last night, and it is such a joy to sing under your direction again! I can’t wait till March!

I just talked to Grandma before posting this, and she said she had such a wonderful time. She told me about this little boy in the children’s choir. Every time Miss K turned around, he started goofing off and dancing around, and then as soon as Miss K faced the choir again, he was as good as gold haha!! Grandma had a wonderful time and said I sounded beautiful. I’m looking forward to talking with l in a bit too. Ok, think I can finally post this.

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Filed under accomplishment, Choir, coffeeholic, fellowship, Gamma, Miss K, misty eyes, music, quirky words, spoons, white cane

Nervous McNervousen

I woke up this morning before 7am thinking “through the town and by the river cold winds blow and then we shiver birds are winging singing teaming joining in the song”. Apparently my brain was working on choir songs before I woke up. I went to bed to watch the 6th Harry Potter movie, which B got me for an early Christmas present. I really didn’t think I’d last through the whole movie, but I did, so I didn’t sleep till after midnight, and woke up before 7. Oh boy.

I’m nervous. I think I had the jitters a little in the past, but not like this. We had 2 months to rehearse these songs. 2 months. And in my old choir with Miss K, I think we had like 5 months. Also back then we had a mandatory rehearsal the week prior to the concert, where all the choirs came together. Then, the day of the big show at the music hall, we arrived at 1pm with all our costumes and make up packed up. We loaded into the dressing rooms, and then it was blocking and rehearsing until 5pm. We had dinner break until 6pm, came back, got dressed and made up, and the show started. See how much rehearsing that was?

tonight we arrive at 6pm, warm up, and sit down. We don’t go on until after the other 3 choirs. We don’t get to warm up again. My solo is after 4 songs. I won’t have time to lubricate my throat. What if I have to pe before we go on? What if I can’t, and then I have to pee the whole time we’re singing? What if my voice cracks like it did on Tuesday? I’ve got friends coming to the show. What if I’m terrible? What if the choir is terrible? What if we totally embarass ourselves? What if I trip and fall? What if I forget the words to my solo?

Ok, had to voice those fears. I was screwing around on a new commenting system this morning so it kept my mind busy. Now it’s all flooding in. I think I better crochet to Harry Potter again.

I’ll be drinking my pineapple juice and eating Pringles today. Pineapple juice and salt are great for preparing a throat to sing.

I have to have a Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger before the show. I realized this the other day. We always went to Carls Jr. on dinner break for the big show and I always had that. So I told B and he’s getting that for me sometime after 4. L is picking me up at 5:20. I can’t eat in my clothes because I have to wear white and I always spill on white.

Ok. I feel better. I think. I think I’ll go crochet now. I’ll let you all know how it went tomorrow.

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Filed under Choir, crochet, Miss K, rambles, silly girl

Who got the solo?

Man, my post yesterday sure was pissy. I was in a mood, thats for sure. Anyway, things improved, I talked to a friend online and then another on the phone, and emotionally felt better. I was still a little phlegmy from being sick, but nothing too bad, and the sneezing has stayed away.

I got ready for choir and L picked me up at 7 and we went to rehearsal. Its getting down to the wire, only 2 real rehearsals left, as the last one before the concert will be at the actual venue, and we’ll be doing staging and placement. So we got set to working really hard pretty quickly. We warmed up and the director told us we’d run through the songs and work on problem areas, and then get up on the steps and do some placement, and run through the whole show.

We might be cutting Snowfall, which is too bad because its really pretty and I think its pretty easy. But Uncle John and Sleighbells are 2 somewhat difficult songs, and we keep spending a lot of time on them.

Sleighbells is still the bane of my existance, but its getting better. The final phrase is sung really fast and we just weren’t getting it, and I was getting so frustrated trying to figure out the beat and the words. So we actually spoke it out, breaking id down, and slowly sped it up until we could speak it. Its “jing a ling a ling a ring, jing jing. Hey! I could not get it. I kept whispering it under my breath and then L said, “Think of it like this, you need 2 lings to get a ring” and it clicked. Phew. But that song takes a lot outta me, even just sitting down. If we pull it off, it’ll be a miracle. But the director is incredible, and she works wonders. I just hope we don’t cut Snowfall.

I think we finally cleared up the trouble spot in Uncle John. The song was written for SATB, or Soprano alto tenor base. So there was one spot where the altos were supposed to sing a pretty high note, and it wasn’t gonna fly. So the director kinda rearranged it and it cleared up the problem spots pretty well. Now we’ve just gotta work on singing the words really crisp and clear, or the point of the song will be lost. All this in 2 weeks, yikes!

While we were still sitting, she said, ok, Christmas Song. This is one of the songs I auditioned for, the one where if sung as written goes all high Beyonce style, so I had modified to stay low. She announced the soloist and under study and I was neither. Ok. Thats not the one I really wanted anyway. We didn’t sing through it because no one said they had problems.

Eventually we got up on the steps, and she hadn’t mentioned the other 2 solos, Santa Baby, which I didn’t try for, and Merry Christmas Darling, the one I really wanted. We got placed and I’m on the very top row, which is nice because I’m on a big flat spot. After sleighbells, I stepped back and my butt hit something and I said, oh something’s behind me. L said, yeah, the alter. I was like, God will forgive me if I lean on it. I was dizzy. Still recovering from being sick, and a lot of work on the songs.

We went through A Christmas song and the soloist sang. Then we got to Merry Christmas Darling. She still hadn’t said who was singing the solo, and the solo is right at the beginning of the song.

So as an afterthought, she’s like, oh the solo!

I’m holding my breath. I had wanted to shout out, what about Merry Christmas Darling! earlier in the night, but didn’t want to sound too eager.

Time froze, who was gonna sing it? The other girl who I thought did really well on all 3 songs hadn’t gotten A Christmas Song or Santa Baby and I just knew I had lost Merry Christmas Darling to her.

My knees went weak. I waited with bated breath, heart racing, thinking I had done well, but so had she.

I told myself not to lock my knees. This all happened in the span of like 5 seconds mind you.

So she announced the soloist for Merry Christmas Darling…

Hmmm, do you want to know?

Sighted people can just glance down, but sorry screen reader users lol!

Gotta go line by line now. You know me and my suspenseful self…

Really want to know?

By now you should have guessed…

Would I be this silly if I hadn’t gotten it?

Yep! I got it! Wow! The song I wanted! And the main soloist, not the understudy!

So I find out like 20 seconds before I have to sing it. The piano intro is played and its time for me to sing. It came out well, except for one note that cracked, and after I was done I went like “bleajghick” and giggled lol.

After that we spread out to sing our last song, the new one we got last week. Its super easy. L and I will remain up there because of where we stand, so we’ll be like front and center for that song, with all the other women spread out in the aisles. We went through that song and afterwards the director came up to me, told me I’m amazing and gave me a hug. I said thank you for giving me the solo, and she said, “I didn’t give it to you, you earned it.” And laughing she said, “I didn’t just give the blind girl the solo” hahaha. The director’s best friend, and the nurse who went on all our tours said, “You must have had a pretty good voice teacher growing up.” I said, “Yeah, I was in this little choir with a pretty good director.” Of course I was joking about the choir I grew up in, with the same director.

I owe so much to that woman. I joined her choir when I was in fourth grade. I moved through the beginning choir and into the intermediate choir in fifth grade, and didn’t audition for the advanced choir, because I was too scared to go on tour while I would only be in sixth grade.

After the spring concert in 5th grade in the intermediate choir, we got tapes of the concert, and mine ended up blank. So over the summer, Mom and I went to the director’s house to pick up a tape, and she told me she wanted me to audition right then and there for the advanced choir. This was highly unusual. She asked why I hadn’t auditioned before, and I told her I was scared to go on tour. She assured me and Mom that the next tour would be to southern California and we would be going on a tour bus, so there wouldn’t even be any flying.

So I auditioned that day in her house, and made advanced choir, and went to California the next April, while I was in sixth grade. We sold candy to raise the money, and then I got on that bus, leaving my family behind, for ten days.

We slept in a church hall and sang in a festival and went to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. It was so awesome!

She gave me the courage as a sixth grader to leave my family and go on an adventure, and I went on 4 more adventures with her in the advanced choir, before I graduated choir in my sophomore year to focus on my junior and senior year of high school.

I remember on one of the tours, I broke away from the group to call home at a non-designated time. The director got really mad and took the phone from me and told my mom to “cut the apron strings”. I don’t remember how old I was, but I know it was one of the later tours. My Mom and I were so angry at the time, but looking back, I totally understand it. I needed to experience being “out there” on my own, in this safe group of people.

This director taught me poise and stage presence at a very early age, she taught us how to be respectful young women when we sang in the churches that put us up. We always stayed in non-denominational churches, because there were so many faiths of girls, or no faith at all. She, being the devout Mormon had only one request of us. “Oh my” and “God” were never to be in a sentance together. That was her only request. I still use that rule. She never pushed religion on us. We sang at the Sunday service as payment for staying in the church, and that was it.

She taught me about confidence, she trained my voice. That choir saved me, helped me feel a part of, helped me have a purpose, and I know it had a lot to do with the reason my drinking didn’t start any earlier than it did.

She kept in contact with me over the years, and actually thought I was dead at one point, when she had lost touch with me. When I showed up at a concert unexpectedly, She cried and threw her arms around me, so happy to see me.

She always told me she would be here for me, whatever I needed.

I sang in her retirement concert when I was just under thirty days sober. It was such an honor to sing for her, at her 20 retirement. One of the songs was called “Motherless Child” and I remember her giving me a knowing look at the concert, when we sang that song.

When she found out I had MS back in 06, she called me to see if I was ok. I assured her I was, told her I was over a year sober, and she asked if I had God in my life. I told her I had found a power greater than myself, that I didn’t go to church, but I had faith in something, not knowing what it was, and it was getting me through this diagnosis. She accepted that with no qualms, and was so happy for me.

Then, 3 years later, she offered me a place in her new choir, blind, not knowing how we’d figure it out. She assured me that it wasn’t a strict choir, that some women need to sit for the concert, that it would be fine, we’d figure it out.

So thanks to L, I joined the choir. And the director thought I’m good enough to grant me the solo.

All the techniques she taught me all those years ago came right back. I sit up ttall in my seat to allow for diaphragm work. When she’s working on parts with another voice, I slouch back, but as soon as I hear ok everyone, I snap up at attention ready to sing. L said last night when the director said ok seconds, I snapped into position and the director saw me and said I meant sopranos, and I relaxed again lol!

I didn’t even mean to go into writing about this magnificent woman in this post, but my feelings overwhelmed me after writing about the solo, and it just kinda happened.

When I think about the past, and all my contempt towards religion, I think about her faith. Her undaunted faith, a faith she never ever pushed. And now that I’ve found my own undefined faith in something bigger than me, I think about those few persons of faith from all those years ago, who planted a seed in me,a see that would one day save my life, when I needed to rely on something other than myself, to pull me out of the gutter and go on living. And this woman gets a lot of credit for that.

She not only helped me find my voice, she helped develop me into the woman I would some day become, a woman I love, a woman I am proud of, a woman who can confidently audition for a solo, not the timid voiced little girl I used to be.

Haha I was just thinking she deserves her own label, and what would that be? I have to make it something to do with Mickey Mouse, because in choir we knew, if she was wearing the Mickey Mouse shirt, she meant business, and we best be on our best behavior. Hmmm, I’ll need to think about this label 🙂

I love you Miss K, and oh here come the water works. I made it through this whole post without crying until now 🙂

Ok, I really don’t know what to label her as. We never called her Miss K, but you know how I am about trying not to use names. I’m thinking about either Miss K or Miss Mickey hehe. Hmmm. I want to tell her all these things, but would I find the words in person or on the phone? Maybe I’ll send her a link to this post. Yeah. I think I’ll do that. After the concert when she’s got time to relax.

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Filed under accomplishment, Choir, faith, gratitude, Miss K, misty eyes, mom, NaBloPoMo 2009, quirky words, silly girl, sobriety