Friday, December 11, 2009

2 Talents, or 5?

The other day, Boundless blog asked what our talents were and are we wasting them? Ouch. Yes. I'm a writer, a pianist and singer-though I don't compose, an expert seamstress, and fledgling illustrator. Do I really do those things? Not really. I don't belong to the church choir because they have a glut of women, and this is probably my ego talking, but nobody in the choir reads music and I think I would be frustrated pretty quickly. There’s no way this isn’t going to sound proud, but I am certainly more advanced technically, and I know from experience I would have a hard time being patient when I've had so many years of musical training and it comes so easily to me. I've also seen many times when an average church choir gets one person who's had training and has a fantastic voice (not talking about myself here in respect to the voice. My voice is pleasant, but it's not remarkable). That person tends to have all the music built around them, whether it was their intention or not. They end up singing everything and will either get burned out or develop an inflated view of their talent, and it crowds out the dedicated, so-so people who are trying to serve.

I do miss singing very badly. I loved getting into a really technically difficult piece and mastering it. Our college Chorale director was always very exacting and pulled feats of beauty out of us we didn’t know we were capable of. If the dust ever settles (ha), I’d love to audition for the annual Messiah performance at the Citadel. I would probably have an advantage since I already know it well; the only difficulty is my voice. It’s smoky, and ill-suited to the baroque choral music I love so much. I have a strong suspicion that the college director only kept me around because he liked me and knew I’d turn in a solid performance with perfect rehearsal attendance-and those are good reasons-but probably not good enough for a professional orchestra director.

As far as writing goes, I wrote prolifically in high school and college, and then tapered off since I got married. I find the Muse doesn't visit much when I'm happy, since my genius, like a dung beetle, always fed on big juicy piles of angst. I have a novelette to finish. I started it in high school and never really had any good inspiration for it. It was supposed to cap off a trilogy, and I never could get that into it. The first two were much more fun. My college roommate and I started a story about a tribe of Celtic-ish women warriors that got bogged down in the middle and ground to a halt when we both graduated. Could finish that, but I have a strong suspicion I (we?) was only writing it to keep my mind off my lack of dating prospects at the time.

Am I sewing? I should be. I want to be, but I'm not. In our new house, I finally have the space to spread my work out. I have a half dozen projects in planning stages or unfinished, and a big stack of mending and alterations. But there's always something to cook or clean, and by the time I'm done with my chores, I'm too tired to do much of anything.

Am I drawing? I need to be. I signed an illustration contract in October and haven't accomplished much. Right around Thanksgiving I discovered I have an overactive thyroid that's sucking all the energy out of me. After work, it's all I can do to throw a load of wash in, fix a quick stir fry, and collapse on the couch. I must push through the fatigue and make myself draw, however, because my author is counting on me.

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