artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)

I enjoy some of the blog posts from Farnam Street but I was rather disappointed to see a blog post on "active mindset" entitled Yes, It’s All Your Fault: Active vs. Passive Mindsets.

The broader point, I think, stands: a failure to take responsibility for mishaps and circumstances, a failure to examine whether things could have been different, can lead to feeling out of control and helpless. The unspoken instruction is to take responsibility for your part in things, to cultivate an active mindset in the language you use about your day-to-day life, in order to learn from your mistakes, and presumably experience feelings of control and efficacy.

But, well. It really isn't my fault that my parents split up when I was very young, and that has had repercussions throughout my life. It really isn't my fault that the current political situation in the country in which I live is, er, a trashfire. Nor is it, in any sense, my "fault" that I was born into a situation where I received a good primary and secondary education, such that going to university was not thought of as unusual, despite this not being the case for millions of other people; it is not my "fault" that I am white and therefore have many privileges, or that I grew up with shoes that fit.

There are (at least) two ways that assuming bad things are your fault can go wrong, and neither of them are very helpful. One is where we try to take responsibility for things that are simply due to bad circumstances by chance. Taking responsibility for a train being late or missing is reasonable; blaming oneself for being late when a bad storm takes out the entire transport network for an entire day is less so. There are usually efficiency tradeoffs to be made when planning journeys: should I go up to Aberdeen a day early, spend money on an extra night in a hotel, in order to ensure that train problems won't interfere with my studies? This is the option I usually take; but it looks very different if I have to miss some paid work in order to do it. The longer the journey, the more things can go wrong and the more likely I will want some downtime to recover at the other end.

The second failure mode, and I think the more dangerous of the two I discuss here, is assuming the actions of bad actors to be your fault. This is very common with victims of domestic abuse, who may come to believe that their abuser is only lashing out at them because of their own inadequacies or failure to perform certain actions; that if they just try hard enough to be a better spouse or child or partner, the abuse will stop. In fact what will stop the abuse is leaving.

Similarly, believing that all or most the good things that happen to you are your own doing can also cause problems. I live in a major city and I don't get huge amounts of street harassment, despite walking around on my own a lot. Is this because I'm doing something right in the way I walk? Or is it because I'm six feet tall and people think twice about giving me any trouble? The latter seems more likely -- and this is nothing that I have chosen. Similarly, I don't often run up against anti-migrant prejudice, despite being a migrant. This isn't because I have integrated particularly well into British society: rather, it is because I already speak English very fluently (I did not choose my first tongue), and probably also because I am white. Let's be honest, here: the playing field isn't level. That's wrong, and it also isn't entirely my fault, but pretending that I have the same resources as a homeless woman of colour who isn't fluent in English is simply preposterous; such pretense would definitely make me part of the problem.

And just as it is dangerous to discount the actions of bad actors in your own misfortune, it is ungrateful to look at your own success without acknowledging the help you may have received along the way. I am a musician not just because of innate talent (I come from a family with musicians on both sides), and not just because of my own hard work, but also because of the patience of many, many teachers and mentors over the years, not to mention the support of friends and family at various times.

Rather than basking in success as if it's only your own doing, or beating yourself up verbally because a train was late or you made a mistake, I would suggest that a healthy active mindset would mean asking yourself: Is there anything I would do differently next time?

This lets you learn from your mistakes, get better at navigating random things that just go wrong, and increase your skill at dealing with bad actors. And it doesn't leave you thinking you're doing something right when you just chanced to be in the right place at the right time, or judging people less fortunate than yourself for not attaining the success that you have.

artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)

Long time no post. I've been meaning to post here more, and not quite managing.

I'm back in London this week, after nearly three weeks in Aberdeen during which I heard the Chapel Choir sing my Stations of the Cross, and visited with my parents who had come over to hear it, and then stayed on to give a presentation.

Now I'm pretty tired, and my next PhD-related thing is in early May: the meeting where I'll sit down with my supervisor and a pile of scores and we'll decide which ones belong in the portfolio and which ones don't. After that, I'll know whether I get to spend this summer frantically writing more music, or frantically writing a dissertation -- or maybe both...

In the meantime, I am trying to step back a bit, and spend some time sorting out various things at home: the garden has had the lion's share of attention this week, and there is some tidying to do inside.

I don't post to the Book of Face much, but I'm very aware that "it's where people are" these days. As far as I'm concerned that's part of the problem: the more you use it, the more money Facebook gets from their advertisers, and that means that you, the user, are the product. I've never much liked that. But what with not spending much time on Twitter these days (having largely moved to Mastodon, where I am [personal profile] and also [personal profile] I am missing a lot of the people I used to share a running daily commentary with.

I think I might try posting here, and then linking to the posts from there.


Feb. 2nd, 2019 09:56 pm
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)

"A text in Latin shall be used", I read, of a choral composition competition.

It turns out they are a bit more picky than that:

Only texts by the following Latin Authors will be accepted: Ovidio (Publius Ovidius Naso), Orazio (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), Virgilio (Publius Vergilius Maro), Catullo (Gaius Valerius Catullus), Marziale (Marcus Valerius Martialis), Lucrezio (Titus Lucretius Carus).

Being more a Christian sacred composer than anything else, and lacking a Classics background, I'm utterly unfamiliar with most of these. I understand Catullus is rather rude.

I suspect the pronunciation varies considerably from church Latin, too, though probably not so much that I can't set it well.

I feel a bit like this is a veiled attempt to filter out people who aren't posh enough, or haven't had the "right" educational background. I dislike those kinds of barriers to participation.

So: does anyone have any suggestions for me from those authors? Any passages you'd particularly like to hear me set to music?


Feb. 2nd, 2019 12:09 am
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)

In case you missed it -- I had a piece performed in Canterbury Cathedral in January. There's a recording and so on at my "proper" blog.

Other than that? I've spent most of the last several weeks with my head down, working on my Stations of the Cross. Now that I've finished those, or at least in such form as they'll be sung in March, I am coming up for air and taking stock of what else needs doing:

  • I'm hideously behind on Cecilia's List and would like to get back on track Real Soon Now
  • I missed a bunch of competition deadlines but there are a few more in the pipeline that look pretty interesting
  • I need to compile my thesis portfolio thingummy (technical academic term, that) and write A Whole Bunch of words about it
  • I find myself considering what I will do with myself After The PhD in a different way than I did previously.

For the time being, things are a little bit quieter; and then the first two weeks of March are going to be very, very busy, and I'll only recover from that and then start gearing up for Holy Week and Easter, and I don't quite know what my schedule will be like after that. So I'm trying to use the next few weeks to focus on things that will make life easier for Future Me: getting back to Laundry Zero, getting adequate sleep, water and exercise, Tidying Up For Real, and all of that sort of thing.

I'm also very tempted to sign myself up for February Album-Writing Month or FAWM, because in the fullness of time I want to have one hymn for each of the 14 Stations of the Cross, too, and the FAWM goal is 14 'songs' in 28 days. It could be a pretty good fit.

An Event

Dec. 27th, 2018 10:03 am
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I have had my head down a fair amount over recent weeks, but I'm still having a piece premiered at Canterbury Cathedral, at Evensong on 2nd January at 5.30pm.

I might be convinced to visit a local hostelry afterward.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
poem, and PhD stuff )

I may have to delve into the census records to be sure, but I do now feel I have enough to be going on to start setting the text.

In Gaelic.


About that.

I don't think this will actually be a huge problem for the choir that is premiering the work: this performance is happening in Aberdeen, some members of the choir have definitely sung Gaelic before, and so on.

But I don't have the first idea of what I'm doing in setting it, and that's not so good. And it might give hiccoughs to future choirs.

I need:
-A guide to Scottish Gaelic pronunciation that I'm allowed to reproduce in the musical score, which I will eventually want to release under CC by-SA
-A recording of someone who speaks Scottish Gaelic reading this poem, slowly and clearly A friend will do this for me tonight, yay!
-very soon (I am already hideously behind on this project).
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I now offer one-year Gift Sponsorships in addition to my other support options.

As what you actually get is a .pdf that you can print out or, alternately, e-mail to your recipient, you don't need to worry about last postage dates with this one.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I have a mailing list, "Passing Notes", which I attempt to post to monthly but generally don't get around to posting to. I currently use Mailchimp for it, and I think that's part of the problem: it turns writing a newsletter into an exercise in finding the right picture and messing about with formatting and so on, when really I just want to say "hey, this is what I've been up to this month!" to people who don't want to read my blog every day or every week or whatever. I was thinking of switching to Tinyletter and then they got taken over by Mailchimp anyway, and I'm just not sure what's involved in the conversion, and part of me thinks I really ought to be running my own mailserver and so on anyway and then it gets all tangled up with the thing where I am still using gmail and would like to move away from that. Augh.
cut for length, it gets interesting later, I promise )
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
Questions from

1. What plans did you have for this summer?
Finish the MPhil upgrade stuff, catch up on some non-PhD composing, two cathedral singing weeks, launch the Advance Music Recommendations feature for Cecilia's List, tidy the music room enough that I can work properly in there again.

2. Have you accomplished them or is it still a work in progress?
Some have happened, some are yet to happen, some are accomplished. The Advance Music Recommendations for December exist, but I still need to work on the ones for January. Neither of the cathedral singing weeks have started yet. Non-PhD composing is... not particularly caught up, nor is tidying the music room, but I really need to get the MPhil stuff out of the way first. That has a semi-deadline of next Friday, so I'm answering questions on the internet trying to focus on that to the exclusion of pretty much everything else for the next week. We'll see. It sure would be nice to get it off my plate so I can get back to my other work and even relax a bit during August.

3. What would make this summer much better for you?
More sleep. Himself and I have been getting up at 5am due to his new job; I've only this week rebelled and started sleeping in while he gets up. I liked having long mornings in which to get a lot done, but I simply need more rest than I was getting.

4. When did you go back to school from summer break when you were a kid?
Last Monday of August or first Monday of September, generally.

5. Is anyone else as shocked as I am that July and most of the summer is nearly over?
I'm not particularly shocked about it. I'd like more time to get things done, but I don't have the expectation I had as a child of summer being this long fantasy of freedom from school.

In the UK there seems to be less emphasis than I remember from Canada on July and August as being "school is out and everything is different" times. There are three (I think?) terms in the school year and each of them has a few days off at half term; and then the kids stay in school until... sometime well into July, anyway. I'm not sure they're out yet. From that point of view it feels as if summer has hardly begun.

Meanwhile, we've had fairly warm weather for this part of the world, and a substantial drought; so it feels more like summer to me than it often does. But most of my own summer activities happen in August, while I tend to think of June, July and August as a sort of summer quarter.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I've had some problems with people not really understanding that, if they use my CC by-SA music, they do actually have to allow recordings. It's a delicate topic, but the basic problem is that they see "free" and assume that it means "free, and we can make all the usual assumptions about the performance rights of the singers" when what I mean is "free, but only if you restrict the performance rights of the singers for the good of ease of spreading of the work". There are good reasons for some choirs wanting to respect the performance rights of their singers, so I want to make it clear that a) no, I mean it, you gotta let people record this stuff if you're using it for free and b) if you can't or don't want to do that, you can talk to me and I'll decide whether other terms are acceptable. (What it will boil down to is whether they're paying the singers already, in most cases.)

So I'm thinking a revised footer on the music itself, saying something like:

This music is licensed under CC by-SA v 4.0 (or wevs), which means that you can download it, sing it and record it for free, but conditions apply: you must allow others to freely share the results of your work. For further details see [page on my website]. For a .pdf of this work e-mail [me].

Then, in reasonably forbidding letters in the inside cover:

This work is licensed under [etc]. This means that YOU MAY: share this music online, photocopy it, perform it, or make arrangements or recordings -- so long as you make it clear who composed the music and words. All of this is free, and needs no explicit permission from the composer.

However, YOU MUST: allow absolutely anyone to make a recording of your performance, allow others to photocopy your arrangements of this music, and so on. YOU MUST NOT release recordings with DRM or make any attempt to hamper access to this music or any derivatives of it.

If your choir requires control of recordings, for example because of contractual agreements with your singers, please contact the composer [at my e-mail address] to discuss other terms which permit this.


This is already with some editing advice from when I wrote about this before in a locked post, but other suggestions are welcome here.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
Based on a "power hour" structure I saw elsewhere online:

  • At the top of the hour, check-in, and detail what you plan to work on and what the next steps you can do today are.

  • At ten past the hour, start doing the work.

  • At the top of the hour, check-in, say what worked and what was hard, and what you plan to do next. This is also a good time to stretch, rehydrate, and visit the loo.

  • Repeat for up to three hours.

  • At the end, debrief for ten minutes and take a break.

So, for example, this afternoon on Mastodon I used this structure:

2.00-2.10pm BST: check in, say what you're hoping to do and what the next steps are that you can take
2.10-3.00pm: do things
3.00-3.10pm BST: check in, say whether you did the things, what's going well, what's hard?
3.10-4.00pm: do things!
4.00-4.10pm: check in
4.10-5.00pm: do things
5.00-5.10pm: final check-in and debrief

I'm currently planning to do this a lot more often, using the hashtag #FocusTime. Like, probably three hours every morning and three hours every afternoon. I'll stick to BST/GMT because that's where I live. I'll stick to Mastodon because Twitter is too full and Mastodon seems to have better hashtag muting (and if that doesn't work, I can pretty easily set up another account on some other instance and people who are interested can follow me there and those who aren't don't have to.)

But that's not optimal timing for everyone, and there are lots of days where I have appointments that won't let me host. So, if you think it would be helpful for you, please host your own #FocusTime session. You could do it in an IRC channel, or on Mastodon, or what have you.

I do have some requests:

1) Please try to stick to the top of the hour as a start time, unless you're in a weird half-hour-difference timezone, so that if there are overlapping sessions hosted by different people in the same online space, they don't get out of sync and super distracting for those of us who are only following the one hashtag in order to remind ourselves to get back to work.

2) Please don't do this anywhere that people can't easily mute or ignore it, that's just obnoxious.

3) During the check-ins, try to be kind and encouraging to yourself and others.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
It's been a while since I posted a general update here. That's fair enough, given it's a sort of scratchpad, but it doesn't do much for building community on this platform, which is something I do actually want to do.

I've been to Jerusalem with a choir that premiered one of my pieces by the River Jordan, which went well. We spent a lot of the trip in occupied Palestine, wishing I'd been able to bring more spending money to buy olive wood carvings or Hebron glass because the people there need all the help they can get.

I've been up to Aberdeen, and walked along the sea front on a day when there was snow, and took over fourteen hours to get home again (it's usually seven and a half, maybe eight and a half if you count getting home from the station once I'm in London) because there were so many sections where we were on a single track due to snow drifts. If I'd known, I could have loaned Network Rail a second snow shovel.

I'm feeling behind on most things, and my chronic health crap is playing up a bit, but when I look back, I have been getting more done the last few weeks than I managed in, say, January. It still doesn't feel like enough, though, which only contributes to the sense of overwhelm.

I am not much further ahead with the MPhil upgrade stuff, and that's potentially a problem. I think what's happening at this stage is that my supervisor would like me to do some more work on it before scheduling a date, and I'm finding it hard to engage with without a firm timeline of proper external deadlines. We had been thinking of doing it in February. Or March. Or April. Now it might be May.

For now, though? I have another supervision on Monday, and a day of travel before then. I'm going to try and tie up some loose ends on existing pieces, as well as compose something short for an assignment. And attempt to make some kind of meaningful dent in the laundry pile, which is still ridiculous. This coming trip is a short one, I'm back to London on Wednesday; and then off to Aberdeen a week later for a much longer trip, one which I hope will offer me a chance to get my teeth into the Whittington responses and actually writing the upgrade paper. I'm staying there for Holy Week and Easter Day and Easter Monday, then beloved and I are off to York for a few days of reconnecting, which I am looking forward to very much indeed.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I'm behind on admin in several areas. This is not exactly unusual for me -- I struggle to stay on top of admin at the best of times -- but I did have two stressful deadlines within a week of each other, and met them both, and as a result a bunch of other stuff has fallen by the wayside.

I was hoping, today, to get caught up on Cecilia's List music recommendations, and make headway into the data entry backlog. I was hoping to transcribe some hymns I've written recently, and get them online, so I can get paid. I was hoping to write rough drafts of some proper blog posts, and an issue of Passing Notes, and some e-mails that are now getting overdue enough it may not be worth sending them. I was hoping to tidy up a bit.

That was way too many things to hope for.

I did manage some errands, and one Cecilia's List post (scheduled for Saturday), and my brain has decided that what it absolutely, positively must do at the moment is compose a Nunc dimittis for SSA. (Or maybe it's unison trebles and organ accompanient. I can't tell yet.)

I think it's because it's Candlemas tomorrow.

But the main problem with a Nunc dimittis is that I then, realistically, will need to write a Magnificat to go with it, and I already have way too much composing on my to-do list as well.

I suppose it's a better problem to have than the problems I would had I missed the orchestral deadline or the tax return filing deadline.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I am thinking about writing some music in toki pona, a constructed language designed to be easy to learn, and positive. So I put out a call for poetry...

Some people on Mastodon seemed enthusiastic about the idea, too.

more details )
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
It is Wednesday, and here we are.

A breath for Wednesday. A breath for taking time out to reflect on the week so far, and the days ahead.


I wrote two hymn tunes and harmonised one of them; I wrote a very short SATB a cappella piece for Lent 1, which might be performed then. I continued convalescing. I did some composing on the piece that was the Deadline of Doom, and I'm in with a chance at gettng it done in time. I tried a different weekly spread layout in my bulletjournal, though I'm not sure yet whether I actually like it. I did some laundry and some admin (not all of it) and some batch cooking.

The Hard

The bug I had last week took a lot out of me, and I'm slower to recover physical and mental stamina than I would like. A breath for patience.

I haven't planned all of my travel to and from Aberdeen for this term, and I'm feeling rather disconnected from my course as a result. This does not combine particularly well with nebulous deadlines: I end up swtching between being scared of my work and feeling almost like it isn't really me that does it. A breath for orientation. A breath for clarity.

I still feel quite overwhelmed: by the number of commitments I have, by the number of physical objects I have, by the complexity of life in general. A breath for One Thing At A Time.

I'm feeling quite resistant to working on Cecilia's List at the moment, largely because of aforementioned overwhelm.

I haven't been sleeping enough and that's making everything else feel harder.

The Good

I saw some of my favourite people today, and had a good long catch-up in reasonably quiet surroundings, and tried hot milk with beetroot and ginger (as pink as you'd expect, and actually rather nice).

I figured out that I need to do warm-ups for composing, the way I would for practising an instrument, and so far that seems to be going pretty well.

I've been assigned my collaboration partner for the next A Whale's Lantern project, which could be quite fun.

I've accepted that my bit of the Elysium project (aka the Beethoven project) is probably not going to be Great Art or even My Best Work, but it will still be good enough, and that's okay. A breath for sufficiency.

A piece I started writing last year for a competition and didn't finish before the deadline is something that I could submit for the same competition this year, and I'm looking forward to working on that piece again.


Whale's Lantern
Cecilia's List
Travel planning
Overdue e-mails
MPhil upgrade stuff
Income tax return


Keep going with trying to re-establish a routine
Composing every weekday
Bed before midnight way more often
One thing at a time

How are you?

What have you done? What are your quests? What is hard in your life? What is good? What is your PLN (or plan)? What is your favourite room?
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I really need more congregational hymnody, with music composed by women, for Cecilia's List.

I've been sent suggestions of plenty of worship songs, but many of those I've been sent aren't suitable for congregational hymnody any more than Stanford in C is. Too much rhythmic complexity, too much focus on specialist performers who rehearse, too much melodic complexity.

Ways to fix this:
1) buy or borrow more hymnals, particularly those published in the last ten years or so, and go through them to find the hymns with music composed by women. This is something I am going to be doing, but it's kindof a longer-term thing, and I haven't even made a start yet, partly because I haven't quite allocated enough time to do that and add new composers every week and make music recommendations for every Sunday. But this will improve with time.

2) Find women composers who have written hymn tunes and add their work in the normal way to the database etc -- I'm working on this.

3) Write some myself. This is by far the easiest thing to do, but I don't want CL to end up being too heavily skewed toward my own music, for various reasons.

So for my own composing of hymns I'm trying to be systematic, but only a bit systematic: I'm looking at the major dates and trying to make sure I have those covered, especially if they're festivals without as much strong hymnody. And Pentecost has come up as something without a huge number of really good hymn tunes extant. I mean, there's the Veni creator Spiritus plainchant, and there's DOWN AMPNEY for Come down, O Love divine, and O thou who camest from above if you fancy some Wesley, and... well, NEH has a bunch of really nondescript things, including a few that aren't public domain. There's an absolutely cracking one in the 1971 (I think?) Canadian hymnal I grew up with (which was a joint venture between the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada (which was formed of Methodists, Presbyterians, and a bunch of others in 1925), when they were talking about merging), In thy Pentecostal splendour (sorry, no text of the words at the link) which I grew up singing to EBENEZER -- but the writer of the text was born in 1916 and probably lived a zillion years, so that's not generally available except where people have broken copyright to put it online.

Well. I can't do better than Veni creator, I mean really. And the words to In thy pentecostal splendour aren't in the public domain and I'm not chasing after the author's estate to get permission to write a new tune for them. O thou who camest from above has the emphasis on the wrong syllable enough that it will just annoy me as a text, I mean really, and there are at least two good tunes already.

That leaves Come down, O Love divine which is usually sung to DOWN AMPNEY, which is absolutely one of the classic "can't touch this" tunes by Vaughan Williams. The timing does take a bit of getting used to, but... well. It's a strong tune, and well known, and there's almost no point trying to write something better. It has particular resonance for me, too, because I remember singing it at C's ordination to the priesthood; I'd turned up slightly too late to get a good seat so was behind a pillar, but during the third verse we managed to make eye contact and now I can't sing that third verse without thinking of her. (Let holy charity / mine outward vesture be...)

But the funny thing is that when you actually look at DOWN AMPNEY it's... technically a bit meh. I mean, it keeps having the downbeat on a bit of the words that is not meant to be stressed, so you get:

COME down, O Love divine,
SEEK thou this soul of mine,
And visit it with thine own ardour glowing.
O Comforter, draw near,
WITHin my heart appear,
And kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

And it continues like that, with those stresses, for four verses, including things like "AND so the yearning strong". RVW pulls it off because the melody itself is very strong and simple, and because the lines are balanced well enough that the strong emphasis feels okay: all the lines have rhythmic augmentation at the end.

There is a problem where people who can't count long notes play it on the organ and stuff up the ends of lines and nobody knows when to start the next one, but the organ is the loudest thing in the building so you just have to follow the person who is Doing It Rong no matter how Rong they are. As the first note of every line is also longer than the others and it's a fairly stately pace to begin with, this is usually a minor, rather than a major, annoyance. And the people who do this either don't know they do it, or have an entire congregation who don't notice that it happens because they do it the same way every time, so it's not like anyone would go "hey, something that only has two note values instead of four in it!" if I were to write something that doesn't have this problem. Plus, 66 11 D is not the most common of metres to set in the first place.

So. I'm not sure if I'm going to set this or not. I wouldn't mind setting it as an anthem; that's a different animal altogether. But I don't know whether setting words that already have such a strong and well-known tune as a hymn is a complete waste of time, or a breath of fresh air.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
It is Wednesday, and here we are.

A breath for Wednesday. I forgot it was Wednesday, and failed at my strike from the birbsite and the book of face. That said, I use the birbsite less and less, these days.


I sang some more cathedral services, and wrote some music, and visited father-in-law, and got some kind of gastric bug. Oops.

The Hard

Gastric bug. Not fun. Composing, to a deadline, with a gastric bug, and broken central heating. Finding out on the day of the deadline I'd been aiming for (and was hopelessly going to miss, and was in a spiral of being ever more stressed about it) that the deadline was actually a good two weeks later. Housemate getting the gastric bug, when we only have one loo in the house.

The Good

Deadline is two weeks later, which means I can attack this project a bit more sensibly now I have some idea what I'm doing.

Gastric bug is, I hope, clearing up.

Central heating is fixed.


So much admin backlog, always
So much laundry.
CL stuff.
Beethoven project.
Declutter clothing
Declutter books
Attempt resumption of some kind of routine, but gently


For the rest of this evening, composing is where it's at. Then tomorrow is the start of resumption of routine building: a walk, some composing and some CL stuff, and I'll see how I'm feeling. Gently does it

How are you?

What have you done? What are your quests? What is hard in your life? What is good? What is your PLN (or plan)?
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
It is Wednesday, and here we are.

A breath for Wednesday.


I figured out some things, and made it to Chichester, and have at least started the Beethoven project, and did enough Cecilia's List stuff that I don't need to do any until next week.

The Hard

I'm feeling very lonely in my work life at the moment, and this is making hard things feel harder and more struggle-y.

I have, so far, failed to reset my body clock to something earlier. (That said, I'm yawning now...)

The Good

I may have figured out a better way of making sure I actually spend time composing. We'll see. I sang some short solos today and basically nailed them.


Beethoven project, Whittington responses, more CL stuff, MPhil upgrade stuff, church commissions 1&2, Passing Notes, pack to go home from Chichester, post-Christmas tidying, clothing decluttering


Keep working on Beethoven project while I'm in Chichester (tomorrow) and Winchester (Friday). Visit father-in-law on Saturday. LGQ Epiphany party on Sunday. Batch cooking on Monday. CL stuff on Tuesday.

How are you?

What have you done? What are your quests? What is hard in your life? What is good? What is your PLN (or plan)? Going anywhere interesting anytime soon?
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
It is Wednesday, and here we are.

A breath for Wednesday. A breath for ths particular Wednesday: the secular is world shrugging its shoulders and returning to a sort of pseudo-normality before one last gasp of festivities on New Year's Eve, while in my faith tradition it is the Third Day of Christmas.


It's been a while since I checked in. I did some things:

  • I set up PayPal subscriptions so people can subscribe via my website instead of using Patreon, if they so wish, in response to the recent Patreon shenanigans.

  • I continued with Cecilia's List stuff

  • I entered two composing competitions, one of them late (oops, but in this case it will still be of use)

  • I sorted out stuff for the trip to Chichester next week. I'll need to pack, and I haven't figured out the exact way I'll handle the trains or acquiring food on New Year's Day, but otherwise I'm good and those are both things I can figure out nearer the time.

  • Cooked a lot

  • Sang a lot

  • Boxing Day Cheese gathering

  • Experimenting with Liberapay
  • Did some higher-level reflection on what I am for and what I need now and in future, and what those things mean for what I need to do next.

  • Made and otherwise acquired Christmas presents

The Hard

It feels pretty weird to me to not be doing huge amounts of church work in the run-up to Christmas, still. I'm... not exhausted, but I feel like I should be.

There are so many people who are homeless or in precarious housing, and we have so much, and yet I'm aware of how fragile that is, too.

Long-term planning has so many unknowns.

I miss beloved spouse when he's down the spreadsheet mines all day. I would like to keep Christmas properly for the full twelve days, at least, and I find this a challenge when the rest of the world is back at work today.

The Good

I had a quiet Christmas with my beloved spouse, and a sociable Boxing Day, and for now there is a sense of abundance.


  • Beethoven project

  • Whttington Responses

  • Cecilia's List stuff

  • MPhil Upgrade Stuff

  • Church Commission 1

  • Church Commission 2

  • Passing Notes

  • Bulletjournal

  • post-Christmas tidying

  • Go to Chichester


We go to Chichester on Friday, so there... isn't much time, really.

Today needs to be for bulletjournalling, I think, including a big Task Prioritization session, so that I have a better idea of what I'm doing the rest of the week. That means my plan is basically to make a plan, but... yeah. I need to do that.

How are you?

What have you done? What are your quests? What is hard in your life? What is good? What is your PLN (or plan)? What is your favourite tree, if you have one?
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I wrote a thing about Patreon fee structure changes, please do add comments there.

I did wonder if 5% was going to be enough, long-term, to keep Patreon going, or whether they were going to encounter scale problems. Turns out it's the latter.


artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)

March 2019

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