Monday, May 30, 2005

Decisions, decisions

A continual life-long problem for me has been keeping my interests on one or just a few things. Instead, I try to do a million at once, and often succeed at none. When I am able to make myself do one thing day in and day out, it has good results - for instance, successfully completing a true 26.2 mile marathon. But that is often the exception. So here are the things I want to do in the tiny little time called the summer break:

1) Write a complete novel and start sending query letters to agents. The novel is essentially about a woman running an underground railroad in a sort of fantasy setting.
2) Form a band, including teaching myself to play bass, so that I can be the bottom anchor for said band. The band has serious Polynesian style rhythm underneath a type of power-pop guitar.
3) Write a web site called Tonal Research, which gathers information about various ways pitch is used by the brain - so this is linguistics, music cognition, auditory scene analysis, audiology, etc.
4) Learn the French language well enough to pass a test in October.
5) Work at least 30 hours helping to keep a roof over my family's head.
6) Write a publishable article on intonational groupings in English rhetoric.
7) Do the research to help design a music/lang experiment that I am assisting a couple profs on in the fall.
8) Breathe.

So which do I do? Even I realize I cannot do them all. Sigh....

3 comments:

Killer Llama said...

If you have to choose, I would advise number 8.... but more on each choice:

1) Write a complete novel and start sending query letters to agents. The novel is essentially about a woman running an underground railroad in a sort of fantasy setting.

I imagine if you want to do this in one summer, you'd have to do nothing else. Keep this as a long-term side project; work on it when you can.

2) Form a band, including teaching myself to play bass, so that I can be the bottom anchor for said band. The band has serious Polynesian style rhythm underneath a type of power-pop guitar.

Easy enough... take an evening each week to get together and jam. Let the good times roll! Just don't harbor any delusions of becoming famous... like writing a novel, that kind of creativity requires a full-time committment.

3) Write a web site called Tonal Research, which gathers information about various ways pitch is used by the brain - so this is linguistics, music cognition, auditory scene analysis, audiology, etc.

Get a copy of MS-Publisher and put together something quick and dirty. This is something I think you can achieve in the summer while also doing other things. Building a website isn't that difficult once you get into it. But why do you need a website? You hope to inform the public, or acquire feedback from peers? What would be the point?

4) Learn the French language well enough to pass a test in October.

Bwhahahaha... oh, your serious? Depends on the test, right? Do you have to become conversant, or just good enough to get by? Again, one of those full-time tasks.

5) Work at least 30 hours helping to keep a roof over my family's head.

Everything comes down to this, right? Number one. So you work 30 hours, that gives you maybe enough time to really concentrate on two other side projects - assuming you don't spend much time just goofing off, like I do. French and the website? French and the artical?

6) Write a publishable article on intonational groupings in English rhetoric.

Sounds fun, and feasible...

7) Do the research to help design a music/lang experiment that I am assisting a couple profs on in the fall.

Another part time, very feasible project.

8) Breathe.

Ok, this is number one. The family thing is second.

I say work, do the research, play in a band once a week, and then choose one or two other projects to get serious about.

But then what do I know... I'll spend my extra time in a pool hall :)

Anonymous said...

i agree with killer llama.

sr said...

Tom is not the only one reading your blog-- so am I, his oldest sister.
And while I do not (unfortunately) have the time ya'll do to expound on your political frustrations--I could not agree more. In fact (as my brother can atest) I am a the most left-leaning flaming liberal I know.
So keep it up!