Inspiration in the most unexpected places

I have a day job.

It’s not something super fancy or anything to be proud of, but I make a decent salary, have benefits, and get a few vacation and sick days here and there. It’s pretty comfy.

The problem with my day job is that it’s taking time away from writing (and taking my sanity, bit by bit, with every inane phone call I get from a woman in Minnesota who can’t find her phone’s power on button). This is where it gets a little bit interesting.

Last week, I started taking phone calls for a new area of my company. We do cell phone service and domain name registration – I’m more well versed in the phone side of things, and am still learning how to deal with domain names and email issues. A man called in yesterday trying to get his email started on his Mac, which immediately gave me two problems as a) I’m still learning about email and b) I can’t stand Macs and as a result have no idea how their OS works. (It seems a very strange oversight to me not to have a “home” type launcher or a more accurate search bar.)

This gentleman was on the phone with me for over an hour. We slowly got email to work on his tablet, then his laptop, but at last glance we were still trying to work out getting email onto his desktop. He took the time while we were waiting for downloads or updates to ask a bit about me, and I soon revealed that I’d rather be working in music, and that I’ve started writing songs as a gateway to that ideal. He was very impressed (though he has no proof of whether or not I have any talent!) and regaled me with stories of his Californian friends who knew people who knew people. Apparently the Beach Boys liked to rent out rooms in peoples’ mansions for $20,000 a week and fill them with sand. Whatever gets you going creatively, I guess.

This gentleman and I struggled to get his email working (Safari couldn’t open it, so we downloaded FireFox) to no avail. He sympathised with the difficulty of starting any creative endeavour. “You’re not Elton John,” he said (and I laughed a little as my sister’s nickname for me is, in fact, Kiki Dee), “you can’t write a song in an instant. Candle in the Wind was written in 5 minutes on the back of a napkin. Don’t worry about that. You’re not competing with Elton John. One day, you will be, but by then you’ll be able to write a song in 5 minutes, too. Until then, don’t worry about it.”

I told him I want to write an EP by the end of the year. “How many songs does that entail?” he asked me. “About 8-12.” “Well that’s perfect!” he said, “just write one song a month. That’s all you need. Don’t worry about writing any more than that; even if you have some songs you don’t like, you’ll still have the songs you aimed for.” I couldn’t deny this.

I’ve been worrying lately that I’m not writing enough, or well enough, or fast enough. This anonymous gentleman from California – a lawyer who couldn’t open his email – reassured me that I don’t have to be at that level right now. Baby steps. If you look at a mountaintop right away you’ll miss the basic steps that get you there. I’ll get there.

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New Year’s Resolution(s)

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve been here…

My new year’s resolution has been to write music. This has been somewhat of a challenge, since I’ve never before in my life written anything other than essays and lab reports (and the occasional blog), but  it’s going decently well. I’ve found that the less happy I am, the better my writing gets (so I’m well on my way to becoming Adele Swift), so it’s been a weird year so far.

Second new year’s resolution, that I just made like 5 minutes ago, is to start blogging again. Hooray! (screams nobody)

I’m in the middle of training right now (I work for hover.com) so as part of training I have purchased my very own website! There’s no hosting just yet, so it’s just a blank page of redirections (www.katiepearsonmusic.com) but it’ll be a thing soon. Promise.

I guess that’s my third new year’s resolution.

Goals of an amateur songwriter

It’s a new goal of mine to write one of those songs where like, five months after it’s released, everybody goes “THAT’S what it’s about?!?” But not in a “Pumped-Up Kicks is about gang violence?!” way, more like a “Gwen Stefani wrote a song about getting her wisdom teeth out?!” way. Silliness, in other words. No idea what I’m going to write yet, though. Maybe a thoughtful ballad about going to the laundromat because I don’t want to give my landlord another $3 just to do a load of laundry. Or an up-tempo, feel-good groove about how my rats constantly fight over food and keep me awake at night.

You know, something random.

Dinner party

My sister recently issued a hypothetical question (she loves to do that) involving which 5 celebrities or historical figures, living or dead, you would invite to a dinner party. Not only must they be interesting to you, but they must have common topics on which to speak and must be able to get along with each other… for example, inviting Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill could either be fantastic (because of their quips and witticisms) or terrifying (if it turned out they wore similar cravats or failed to greet each other with the proper panache).

It’s taken me awhile to come up with my celebrity dinner party, but here goes:

1. Jon Stewart. Because if conversation gets out of hand he can mediate and direct to a better, more common ground. I’d also ask a lot of questions about the guests he’s hosted over the years. Also he is teh sexc.

2. Damian Kulash. Not just because of my overwhelming crush on him coupled with crippling hero worship, but because he is a genuine brilliant soul. Also artistic. Also gorgeous. But he has to have shaggy hair if he’s allowed at my party.

3. Ellen DeGeneres. Why I tend to be aiming toward talk show hosts here is unknown, but as with Stewart, DeGeneres has wit, charm, a sense of humour, and the ability to steer conversation. She also has a broad range of knowledge which would lead to interesting conversations.

4. Oscar Wilde (sans Winnie). His prose is among the most haunting, his wit also razor-sharp, his imagination boundless. I can only imagine the clever put-downs he’d give me over my cooking. Scratch that, this is a catered affair.

5. David Sedaris. I will make him recite his “Six to Eight Black Men” in honour of the season, and we will bond over being short and having lots of siblings.

This would be the best party ever.

Edited to add: If there were any more space at the table, or one of the guests couldn’t make it, Betty White would be next on the list. Because she’s a strong woman, embraces her age instead of fighting it, has a career that keeps picking up speed, and she’s a total baller.

Molto grazie!

Thanks to my friend Judy (www.judyphamwrites.com) for the shout-out on her blog. Here’s a plug in return!

Thanks also for inspiring me to get my words out there, too. After all, developing a vernacular is half the battle in figuring out what to do with your seemingly useless incipient English degree.

Gracias, amiga!

THIS IS A BLOG (a what?) A BLOG (a what??) A BLOG (ohh, a blog!)

So. Here we go.
 
I used to blog a lot… when I was fifteen. In fact, I still do many things I did when I was fifteen – play the piano, sing, shoot archery, slack off, wear pants, knit, adore the Muppets, listen to No Doubt, ponder the existence of an alternate dimension and paradoxes (paradice?) of the space-time continuum… I still do act like a fifteen year old in many ways. I’m not saying how long ago fifteen was, but it was more than five years and less than ten and I still don’t have a real job.
 
Actually I act more like a fifteen year old boy. But with better hygiene.
Fact is, I’ve neglected blogging for so long that I’m not sure I’m in tiptop form anymore. I haven’t even written in ages. Most of my previous blogs were stream-of-consciousness, or a pathetic attempt at ADD humour, but again, I’m trying to DE-fifteenyearold myself. Sort of. (Fifteenyearold is a legit compound word, just ask Joyce. Beeteedubs.)
So it is with much trepidation that I tentatively open an actual, for-real blog on an actual, for-real blog site. No more Myspace, no more MSN Live Profile bloggywhatever; this is a clean start on a HELLA CONFUSING site. This post itself, right here right now, is mostly archival. As I write it, it becomes part of the past, and will be read in the future. You are currently reading what I wrote and what will be read at another time, possibly. If anyone cares. Zen.
 
When I’m SUPER FAMOUS for being EXTREMELY AWKWARD AT DANCING and being a GOOD TIME GLOCKENSPIEL SLASH TAMBO PLAYER AND LOVER all my legions of adoring fans will scan all the way back through my blog to see just exactly what I am like. And this post will hopefully throw them off the scent. Because exactly what I am like is shamefully close to what I was like when I was fifteen. Only now I have student debts, and more reasons to be self-deprecating.So, till next time, which might’ve been last time if you’re reading this in reverse chronological order, I bid thee turrah.

xx