19 Days to NaNoWriMo

I really need to do this writing earlier in the day than this. I’m training myself to write, all right, but I’m training myself to write late at night.

Wow. That all rhymed. That was *not* intentional.

So today I’m going to write about singing.

When I was, oh, nine or ten, my friend Leonora and I went Christmas caroling. Partly we did this to spread cheer, but mostly it was the profit motive. We had both seen our parents giving money to carolers, so why not?

Once we started singing, I realized that I really enjoyed it and I sounded pretty good to myself. I began to think of myself as a pretty good singer.

In junior high, we had a chorus. The choir director (what was her name? It was German and started with an H. That doesn’t limit it much, does it?) was very approachable and said nice things about my singing and she held after-school mini-voice lessons and after those, I always thought that my singing was slightly better than it had been before.

My freshman year of high school, I joined my church’s choir. That was a lot of fun and so I wanted to join the choir at my school, too. My folks refused to let me join the choir. They wanted me to play in the band so that I could do both of my musical things.

I auditioned for the spring musical, My Fair Lady. I totally didn’t get in, but the next day at school, the choir director took me aside and said that he hadn’t realized I could sing. He said that the sophomore choir was the chorus for the spring musical and so if I joined the choir my sophomore year, I would be guaranteed to be able to be on stage.

Of course, my folks refused. I mean, we ended up not having a spring musical my sophomore year anyhow, but still.

By the way, remembering that teacher telling me that he was surprised I could sing has carried me through a lot of subsequent setbacks.

My junior year, my folks finally relented and let me join the choir. Only, starting in junior year, you have to audition. And I was so effing nervous that I totally blew the audition. I also totally can’t type “audition.”

So, at this point, remembering how much more confident I was after those mini-lessons, I started campaigning for voice lessons. I told my mom that I wanted them because I didn’t have confidence in my ability to sing. You know what she said? “Voice lessons won’t help you sing on-key. Your grandmother took voice lessons and she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.”

Now, I ask you. Why would you say that to a child who just said that she lacked confidence in her ability to sing?

Eventually I prevailed upon my mom to at least let me try them and then we had trouble finding a voice teacher who had space for new students.

I gave up for then, but my mom implying that I couldn’t carry a tune still rankled.

Thomas joined the major choir at his college and said disparaging things about the choir that the women who failed to get into the concert choir ended up in because I knew that’s where I would have ended up because I was too nervous when singing to do as well as I should have. Thomas also assured me that far from being more confident, voice lessons would make me feel less confident. My confidence in my singing was so bad that I couldn’t imagine how voice lessons could possibly hurt.

So. When I was in college, I finally took the plunge. I contacted someone in the music department at my school and made an appointment to meet with one of the voice teachers. I successfully auditioned and was told that while I didn’t need voice lessons, I certainly had enough to work with and we sat down with our calendars and realized that we didn’t have any openings in our schedules that would work out.

But I did it. I auditioned and would actually have had voice lessons if my course schedule had permitted it.

Two epilogues here. I think I’m going to go in reverse chronological order.

First, when I did the 23 and Me, one of their reports is ability to match musical pitch and I’ve got a 50/50 chance of being able to match a pitch. And I know for a fact I can do that. I also can hit a pitch that I only hear in my head. Nine times out of ten.

Second, after I did the audition, the next time I went home, I said to my mom, “I know you don’t think I can sing, but I auditioned for voice lessons and she thinks I can sing.” She was surprised that I ever thought that she thought that I couldn’t sing, because she knew I could. She thought I sang really well. When I asked her, she had no idea why she’d tell me that voice lessons wouldn’t make me sing on-key because she’d never noticed me singing off-key.

I’m not really facepalming, more sort of resting my face on my hand with my fingers resting on my sinuses.

I’ve decided that I’m going to look further into Google ads. I really want to make this go professional and hopefully after this ramp-up to NaNoWriMo, I’ll be writing enough during NaNoWriMo to have a few months’ worth of posts already created.

I’m not going to stop the Gratuitous Amazon Links, though. But when I’m not feeling it, or I’m on a creating-new-posts binge and don’t want to ruin my groove, I’ll be able to skip it.

I’m not going to skip it for today, though, because working out the AdSense will be more involved than I can cope with tonight. This is going to be kind of frustrating, because the fourth and final book in this series is . . . somewhere and I can’t find it.

Today I’m starting on the Monster High series by Lisi Harrison. This was a sort of/kinda tie-in novel for the Monster High toy series, but it is set in a different reality closer to our own. In this reality, the monsters lived freely among the “normies” until the beginning of the era of the Universal Studios monster movies. Suddenly their friends, coworkers, and neighbors began to hate and fear them. The leaders in their community decided that Salem would be a good place to hide out, since the witches would be sympathetic, only due to a clerical error, they ended up in Salem, Oregon, rather than Salem, Massachusetts.

The first book in the series, focusing on Frankie Stein, the daughter of Frankenstein’s monster and a new character named Melody Carver (I am very upset that we never got a Melody Carver doll), is here: Monster High, by Lisi Harrison.

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