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Preview: A Sort of Notebook

A Sort of Notebook

Waterfall's blog about writing • poetry • hiking • fitness • books • motherhood • George the Piano • etc.

Updated: 2018-02-14T20:07:06.131-05:00


52 Books in 52 Weeks: Another Challenge!


I've decided to participate in a second reading challenge this year: the 2018 Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge, hosted by ... wait for it ... Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks. I mean, what do I have to lose? I'm already planning to read at least 12 books, and I regularly read at least 50 in a year. The only difference this year is that I'll keep track of what I read. And, if I start getting lazy,

Book Review: The Maltese Falcon


The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett My rating: 3 of 5 stars I'm reading this as part of the 2018 Back to the Classics Challenge, hosted by Books and Chocolate. The Maltese Falcon was my choice for the classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction category. Crime novels are not my preferred genre, but I've always wanted to read The Maltese Falcon; published in 1930, it set the standard for the

All My Resolutions


Last year I made one New Year's resolution: To get back in touch with my musical self. After a year of guitar and voice lessons, I can definitely say that 2017 was the most musical year I've had in a while, though I didn't play much piano. But I can chalk that resolution up as a successful one. This year, I have several resolutions: To read the 12 books listed in my Back to the Classics

Looking Back on 2017


It's 2018! And now, for my sometime tradition of answering questions about the year, with my 2016 answers for comparison. So let's take a look back ... 1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year? 2017: Several really good things have happened this year; the move to Georgia comes to mind, but I think the single best was selling our Maggie Valley home. We bought it in

Back to the Classics Reading Challenge


This year's reading challenge will be Back to the Classics 2018, hosted by Books and Chocolate. It's been a long time since I've done one of these, so here goes ... The goal is to read one book in each of the following categories. Listed are the books that I'll tentatively be reading. In most cases, I'm planning to read something I've never read before. 1.  A 19th century classic: Dracula by

November 25 Entry


Life is flying past me! I've tried to blog more in the past year, with some success. I have a lot to write and (as usual) not much time for it, so I think one of my New Year's Resolutions is going to be to either journal or blog more, and Facebook less. We'll see what I end up doing. For now, though, I'm just posting my latest run distance/time and hoping I didn't push myself too hard this time

Mistletoe State Park


I visited Mistletoe State Park near Augusta, GA, recently, to look for a short trail for Anne's Girl Scout troop to hike one weekend. I took pictures with the intention of creating a scavenger hunt of things the girls could look for.

Waiting Patiently


I am waiting patiently for the day to come when I don't wake up in a panic, thinking of all the things that absolutely have to be done, and that aren't getting done. The cats are months late for their shots. I've been in Georgia for four months, and I still don't have a Georgia driver's license. That's because I need my birth certificate and my Social Security card, and I have no idea where

Dark Times, and a Waltz


So, this morning was the second morning in a row when, upon waking, my first thought was that I wanted to put a gun to my head. It was just a fleeting thought, but I know from experience that such thoughts can turn into not-so-fleeting thoughts of a similar nature. I have felt for a long time that I'm on the brink of some kind of a breakdown, and I think I may be there. I've started the cycle of

Perpetual Motion


This weekend I did a lot of writing to figure out why I'm having so much trouble making time for what should be my priorities outside of family: piano, writing, voice, guitar, exercise. Five big things that I can't seem to make time for. The title of this blog post, "Perpetual Motion," is a good description of my life these days. I want to stop, get off the ride, and spend some time alone where I

Guitar Fingering Hurts My Brain


As a pianist learning classical guitar, one of the challenges I've had to face is guitar fingering. I think I've written about this before, so I may be repeating myself, but guitar fingering drives me crazy! Here is the fingering I learned at age 6 and have known all my life: From thumb being 1 to pinky being 5, piano fingering is what makes sense. I don't have to think about piano fingering

Classical Guitar Update


I really shouldn't differentiate between "classical guitar practice" and "acoustic guitar practice" because classical is pretty much all I care about these days. Though, if you'd been watching my life for the past few weeks, you'd think I didn't care about music at all. I sliced the fingertip of my left hand while chopping vegetables a few weeks ago, and that took some time to heal. And then I



For someone who is supposed to be a free spirit, I've always been fascinated by cubicles. Yes, I'm talking about office cubicles--those little ceilingless structures that are the bane of office cogs everywhere. I love them. I love the idea of having a space cut off from everyone else. My own little space. While a room of my own is nice, all I really need is a cubicle. A spot in an unassuming



As I grow older, I become more and more aware of the importance of habits--and the struggle of establishing them. When I look back on the times of my life when I've been most productive, the major common thread I see is that of habit and, to a slightly lesser degree, structure. Even when my days weren't structured by work or school, I had my own structure, a structure dictated by habit. I think

Neglecting My Self


I am not in a good place. I'm getting mean. Bitchy. Yelling and throwing things. I'm sleeping better than I was, but I'm not sleeping well. I don't seem to be able to maintain an exercise schedule. I feel crowded, like I've woken up buried deep inside my mummy sleeping bag and I can't find my way out. It's a suffocating, panic-inducing, hopeless feeling. I'm angry all the time. Or at least a lot



Two weeks ago, my Aunt Joyce passed away. She was 94, but it was still a shock. I always thought she'd live to be at least 100. She played a big role in my life as I was growing up, but I hadn't seen her much since moving away 14 years ago. The last time I saw her alive was last Thanksgiving. I figured we'd see her again this Thanksgiving. But instead, I traveled to Louisiana last week for her

Time for a Music Update: Piano


With the move last month (or was it two months ago?), my musical life had a bit of an interruption. But now that I've been here for eight weeks, I've fallen into more of a routine. I've also started working out in the mornings (5:30 a.m.), so it's been a challenge to wake up, work out, and still make time for music practice before the rest of my family rises and shines. Oh, and I have a music

Time for a Music Update: Guitar


This post is part of a group of posts, the first of which is my piano update. Now it's time for guitar. I need to divide this post into two parts: classical guitar and acoustic guitar. Classical Guitar When I told my guitar teacher I was moving, he said, "No problem, we can do online lessons." I wasn't so sure about online lessons, but I said I was willing to try. They've been OK. Definitely

The View from My Window


The buses are doing their practice runs. School starts next week.



This is going to be a long, rambling post--not unusual for me, I guess. I started writing in my journal this morning and couldn't get rid of the urge to shut the notebook and open the laptop. For some reason, I feel compelled to write everything here instead of privately. I'm not even sure what I'm going to write, and how much the published version will resemble the messy draft. But here goes ...

Update on My Musical New Year’s Resolution


Have you been wondering, oh three faithful readers, how the musical pursuits are going? No? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway! George the Piano My piano project for this year is a somewhat attainable one—meaning I have the ability, but I’m not sure if I’ll have the time. (Right now, I practice maybe an hour or two a week, usually on Friday nights.) What I want to do is learn a handful (or more

A (Mostly) Musical Day


My 2017 New Year's resolution was to reclaim my musical self, and I've been doing a pretty good job of it so far. It's a struggle and a challenge to practice every day, but I'm managing to do it. Guitar: This morning, I woke up at 6:00 a.m. and practiced guitar for over three hours! Anne was at a sleepover and Dan had to leave early for an out-of-town convention, so I had the whole house to

Getting There


Today I got a little emotional at my voice lesson. I have some chest congestion going on and my voice wasn't up to par, but that wasn't the problem. The problem was that I felt hopeless. Hopeless that I would ever be able to sing in a voice that didn't make people cringe. That's my big fear. That my voice is going to make people cringe or roll their eyes or shake their heads and smirk. That I'm

The Runs


Folks, how the mighty have fallen. I was once a buff forty-something, and now I'm getting flabbier by the day. I've had so much trouble motivating myself to exercise. This is partly because I've gotten out of the habit after a year of not being able to walk/run without pain, but I've also gotten lazy. L-A-Z-Y. So, in an attempt to guilt myself into exercising more, I'm going to post my workouts

Voice Lessons, Or Lessons in Humility


I've never been a singer. I've always loved to sing (who doesn't?), but I've never sung loud enough for people to hear, save for a few (mostly drunken) occasions. I never want to make people cringe at my off-key gusto. I don't do karaoke. I've always known I couldn't sing, and for some reason I couldn't bear the thought of other people hearing me, laughing at me, ridiculing me, or even just