Friday, December 21, 2012

All Done

I think I did well on my first recital considering I've only been playing for 2 months. I was shaking so badly I could hardly keep my bow moving, but I only messed up ONCE! Once! And I didn't panic, I just went to a place where I knew I could play and went from there. I was pretty relieved when I was done, If You Could Hie to Kolob isn't easy. Phew.
I tried to talk myself out of talking by thinking why am I so scared? These people aren't going to EAT me, but my arm didn't believe me, it wanted to run.
Anyway, so I'm being called off to make candy houses. So Merry Christmas, and good cheer because this will probably be my last post until the Christmas Holidays are over and it's back to school in January. :( Rats
Oh well. So Happy New Year too, just in case :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Amazing how we fret over things that we know nothing about turning it from a few drops of rainwater into a tsunami because we're so worried.
Last night was the group lesson (or dress rehearsal for the recital tonight) and I spent the entire day fretting about it, getting to the point that while I was practicing, I kept freaking out at myself for messing up on the notes of every song.
I really didn't need to do that, it was fine, it was actually fun, which is a big improvement because I really don't like social gatherings, I've spent too much time as being eccentric and not accepted by other people. This time however, it was okay because we were all musicians, and to be a musician, you have to be at least a little eccentric. :)
I played my song pretty well, only messing up once, I thought that if I messed up, I'd have a heart attack and die right there on the floor, but no, I just went to a place I knew I could play from and it went okay. I was still pretty shaky, and I don't remember anyone clapping because I was so desperate to sit down again. Whew, quite the workout, who knew having bad nerves could be a workout program! (We're going to see that on the Biggest Loser next!)
I'm not worried about the recital anymore, amazing right? I spent the entire week WORRYING my head off and after the group lesson, I'm not worried anymore, mainly because I saw that it's okay to make mistakes. You just restart and keep playing (you also smile and pretend like you PLANNED to do that) it's not like this is Broadway, or the Trans Siberian Orchestra. (I'm just glad I'm not playing in front of Lindsey Stirling, I admire her to death, but if I played in front of her, BAM, she'd be trying to revive me after I passed out cold without even picking up my violin)
Yeah, I have to fess up, 64 days worth of playing hasn't made me professional. But I guess it's kind of impressive that I'm playing in a recital after two months. Guess I should stop selling myself short.
Now we just need to see how I do in the recital. Just thinking about it, and my hands are all shaky again. Oh boy.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Recital on Wednesday. I'm nervous. What if I mess up? What if I totally forget every note? What if everyone stares at me wondering why I played such a simple piece. I'll be skunked by the other students who can play operas! I'm still in Suzuki book 1, as in BEGINNER! Wannabe. Loser. End of story.
Why do I even bother TRYING anymore?

Friday, December 14, 2012


I am getting kind of sick of Suzuki book 1.
It's actually this little thing inside me that is screaming, "I'm SICK of being a novice!"
While I was at violin lessons on Wednesday, Amy's other student (Angel, I think) came in while I was squeaking out 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' worse than a dying duck with something stuck down its throat.
I was totally humiliated, I know, I know. I'm still a beginner, but that didn't stop me from feeling stupid because I couldn't get my fingers to cooperate.
I've been stuck as a novice, (that's equestrian talk for someone who isn't very good) for a long time in a lot of things because I didn't have the money to take more lessons. Riding lessons was a complete disaster, how exactly are you supposed to learn when you bounce from barn to barn over and over again?
It's the solemn truth, since I was 10, I've bounced from Dimple Dell (I think that's the barn name) to Vista Farms, to some one's backyard, St. Jude Equestrian Center, Daniel's Training Center, and then Horse Lover's Haven. I had to switch because the riding instructor either quit on me, or stopped taking my calls, that's why I took up the violin, horses just weren't working for me. I wanted to improve as a rider, but the moment I started getting better, things changed, I had to swap barns, this year after the last riding instructor bailed out, I lost my will to keep fighting.
And here I am again, a beginner. You know that person to the side, the wannabe that everyone finds SOOO annoying. I want to improve, but I'm always worried that there's something I'm doing wrong, yes I tool piano lessons for about two years (not in a row, I quit, then went back, quit again...) but there is still so much about music that I just don't know and I feel stupid whenever I say, "I don't know," but I suppose that's better than lying right?
Sheesh, wouldn't life be easier if we could just be instantly perfect at anything we picked up?
And in the meantime, I'm getting kind of frustrated with this blog. No one is reading it (Except for you, so thank you!!!! Big hug through the computer screen!) I set this blog up in an attempt to get people's attention and I'm feeling quite put up with it. Will I forever be a loser that no one wants to associate with, even by reading my blog? Do I ooze toxic waste that I can't see that keeps people from wanting to come close to me? Or is there something else wrong with me? I've ALWAYS been a loser. I've ALWAYS been that girl in the corner that people wish would just vanish so they wouldn't have to breathe the same air as me and no matter WHAT I do, I can't change it. What friends I do make only need me for about five seconds before hurling me over their shoulder (that's what I call a tissue paper friend, they blow their nose of worries on you and then throw you away covered in their trash)
Yeah. I'm ranting. I'm really fed up with this unchangeable loser quality I have. I don't know why, I'm not boring, (I think) I'm just different and no one can handle my eccentric ways.
In the meantime, I've started picking up on something one of my characters says. He's a Flynn Rider and Captain Jack Sparrow type so he's got personality and says, "bloody" a lot (not followed by a swear word, I don't swear, it's crude and no one is impressed by swearers) and I've started saying bloody too. Oops. Influenced by someone who isn't real, but isn't that how life goes for authors? We're crazy because we have a LOT of imaginary friends!
This is a song that pretty much says how I feel. I'm pretty miffed (and happy at the same time, how exactly does THAT work?) and the snowman desktop background I have is actually kind of creepy. Those coal eyes see too much. *Shivers*

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

End of the world...NOT

I.E. the for said end of the world. Or not, turns out some bloke miscalculated and it's going to end on the 21. What's up with that? I don't know why they moved the date, much more convenient? I'm not overly worried, I mean the fact that they can't decide what day it's actually going to end proves that it is NOT going to end. Forget zombies crawling out of the grave (wraiths are so much cooler anyway!) forget a gigantic piece of outer space waste hitting us.
It isn't going to happen.
Though if it were, I think that today would be cooler, I mean seriously! 12/12/12 looks a LOT more awesome than 12/21/12, that date kind of hurts your eyes because it's so messed around.
Anyway, I've discovered the art of playing the violin with emotion. I'm not perfect, and after I've been playing for a while, I get this grouchy robotic way of moving and I play WAY too fast! But I've been trying to do what Lindsey Stirling does, she looks so incredibly happy while playing, so I've tried smiling while I play, even the painful songs, like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which I have been playing since the beginning of October. It makes them less painful, even enjoyable.
Here's how, I just think about thinks I associate the song with and go from there. One way is by using the words that I think to keep the rhythm, like pineapple. I HATED that tune until I started thinking about pineapple, I used to hate pineapple until I tried it fresh and voila, I'd eat an entire pineapple by myself if I could. I started thinking about my favorite memory with pineapples, when I went camping with my grandparents earlier this year, it makes me happy and kind sad, so I play it like that.
And as far as my books go, whoa. Even though I've written Twisted 3 times already (drafting :p) things that have taken place in this draft have taken me off guard, like Allie getting held for ransom and King Wallace (aka King Walrus) actually trying to use a dangerous character's power for himself.
Seriously didn't see THAT coming.
Anyway, so check out the video below, one of my favorites of Lindsey Stirling's (not so fond of her new vid, her clothes are kind of awkward, but the playing is excellent! And I liked the pink wig)
Just watch her face, she looks so happy while playing. That's what I'm trying to do. It's actually really hard!
While you're at it, go check out her YouTube channel, she totally rocks! My inspiration to play the violin is her happy playing. I hope I get as good as she is someday (in like 20 years maybe)
Unless the link doesn't work, it should get you to her YouTube page

Monday, December 10, 2012


What up? Me, I'm not overly happy. It's been like this chronic grouchiness that's been plaguing me and I am severely annoyed with myself, what is so wrong with being happy? Not sure, but my mind doesn't seem to want to agree with me when I say, "I'm happy!" it turns around and says. "Oh no you're not!"
Seriously annoying.
I've also been disappointed by the only person who is famous that I've ever admired. Isn't it so true, no matter how much you admire someone, you'll always be disappointed by them? I just wish this hadn't of happened, I really liked her.
So with that over with, I've discovered that not EVERYONE is overly thrilled with me taking up the violin. My brother probably wants to take it and smash it over my head. I hope not, my violin is my outtake on anger, and I need it. I'm not about to quit, I just don't have any exciting news concerning my violin, I need a new song to play that I can memorize quickly and not have to move my hands, I don't know much about 2nd 3rd or 4th position.
As for my story, my goal is to get it to an editor in January. I'm sick of rewriting, I'm on the 4th draft and by now, I'm just holding my breath and trying to get it done before my brain explodes all over the keyboard. I'm kind of scared though, what if the editor doesn't like it? Or sends it back with a Post-It note that reads, "failed effort" or something cruel like that in the ever-dooming red ink?
I think I'd just die.
I've been working on Twisted since March 8, 2011 (yes I kept note of this, I wish I had for my other books, The Kelpie's Grim all I can say is that I started it somewhere near my birthday 3 years ago) and I don't want to have wasted 2 years of my life on something that wasn't going to work. Plus, this book has really defined me, I love it and I hate it all at the same time. Right now I kind of wish I'd never discovered that I can write and that I love it, that way I wouldn't have to worry about all of this stuff.
Ranting moment?
Here goes.
I'm worried that I'm missing something in the plot. I don't know what the heck I'm going to do with Allie (a character in Twisted) I seriously do NOT know what to do with certain characters that just popped in about 30 pages ago. I'm worried that if I try, I'll fail and I hate failing, I feel so stupid. That's the reason I positively REFUSE to go take my driver's test or the GED test. I'll fail miserably and feel like a complete idiot afterwards.
That's why I like my books and my violin (Squishy!) they're not being graded and I know my whole future doesn't revolve around them.
Maybe I'll just take Trax everywhere, but I'm not sure how that would work. After nearly being hit by them at least 3 times, I don't really like them. Reasonably.
That's all I have to say now. I'm really struggling with changes going on, I need something new to play on my violin, and I'm sick of rewriting. How many times must a person rewrite before the book is perfect?
Dramatic sigh.
Reasonably depressed Twisted Violinist out.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Back to Editing

I'm back to editing Twisted. It's taken a strange turn for the weird. Centaurs in the Dreamway Mountains. Never saw that one coming, but they certainly add to the element of magic, and I had to realize that even though a wraith puts claim on the Dreamway Mountains, they're not going to be completely devoid of life.
Why is this important? Oh no reason. I'm just saying, it's really weird, but has helped me move the book along a bit more, (and it will help in future books) I also decided that the dragoness, Tenor is powerful enough that she can assume a human avatar whenever she wants, but hates doing so because she thinks that humans are stupid. (sorry it's just the way it is) the reason I changed my mind is because I was reading the 4th book in Fablehaven (great series by the way!) and I read the part when Nafia comes to our group of heroes as Nyssa. I wanted more interactions with the human Nafia, but was disappointed when the interactions only lasted for 3 pages, (give or take) so I decided to slap a little of that into my book.
Ooh, I also discovered that I can play the He's a Pirate really well (the first 2 pages) that is ignoring all the rests and stuff, but I'll put them in. I also managed to sound out a song in my violin book (algretto!), and I was pretty happy while playing yesterday even though on Wednesday, I was so miffed at everything, I wanted to scream. It was a very rocky lesson that caused this, first I forgot my books, (stupid mistake! Ugh! I had them RIGHT there but totally spaced because I was in a hurry) and then I couldn't play a song right, long story short, by the time I put my violin away on Wednesday, I wanted to cry and quit. I was also pretty angry at me. I couldn't seem to SHUT UP! I said some REALLY stupid brainless things to a girl I wanted to become friends with, (nothing mean, just brainless, which is almost worse) and I'm dreading going back to that class and having to face her. The tears and urge to quit were running high on Wednesday!
Thankfully I did neither, mascara tears are never pretty and neither are the headaches that frustrated sobs bring! Thursday was much better and my hour of practice flew by on graceful wings.
That's all I have to write now, celebrating my 5th blog post. Amazing right? I actually made it to 5 posts!
Anyway, so here's a quick glossary of what I'm talking about
The Dreamway Mountains: the mountains in the middle of the Four Kingdoms where my partial antagonist exists
The Four Kingdoms: The home of my characters
Tenor: A Silverwing dragoness
Nafia: Brandon Mull's dragon Fablehaven
Nyssa: Nafia's human's form
Algretto: 6th (ish) song in the Suzuki book 1
Oh, and I'm taking suggestions for characters (any character from any book or movie) to dress up as and play their...theme song? for on the violin. I need something because I'm getting bored with normal music covers, so suggest away!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lucky Break

So the recital date has been moved to the 19th with a group lesson (my first ever) on the 18th.
I'm relieved, more time to practice, and slightly annoyed, more time to fret! But I've learned how to switch strings without that squeaky guitar sounding switch, (don't get me wrong, it sounds great on a guitar, not on a violin) so my play sounds better. I've also learned how to hold out a note without it sound all gaspy.
My E string is still out of whack, it sounds horrible, but I'm playing it anyway, I want to learn how to play "He's a Pirate" from Pirates of the Carribean and I need my E string to do so. So tough out squeaky E.
That's about all I have to say, except for the 30 day challenge, I'm running out of steam, it's only chapter 12 and I got bored enough that I switched back to the Best Thing (the story involving cancer) so I wouldn't have to write it anymore. I know, wimpy, but one of the main characters, I don't LIKE having her as a main, she's usually a side and it's better that way because she's a wraith and kind of unsympathetic, (I mean as a character) and so I'm having issues with her.
Long sigh.
I think that I should just FINISH the Best Thing so I can stop THINKING about it all the time. I left it smack in the middle of the book because I thought Twisted needed immediate attention. Oops. Big mistake. Since I didn't bother to finish it, I've started working with it, and it's really began to distract me from Twisted and doing all this italics is starting to drive me just as NUTS!
So, I guess (at least for now in this moment of frustration) I'm stopping my 30 day challenge to finish the Best Thing this may or may not change, but I DON'T like leaving a book unfinished, it comes with being an author, if I leave it unfinished, I start to tinker with it, and once I start tinkering with it, I can't get it out of my brain! The Best Thing was supposed to be a break from Twisted (actually it's a modernized version of a prequle in Twisted) not something to yank me FROM Twisted. So I'm going to finish it and put it DEEP into my computer so I can't stare at it anymore.
Sorry if the captalizing is driving you CRAZY, I don't feel like doing italics. :) Just one of those days you know?
Anyway, that's how my day is going, (I'm also not doing math because of this blog, can't help it, math makes me feel like the dumbest person alive) I'm frustrated because my brain won't shut up about my stories, I want to write a certain one, but that other one won't leave my head. So I'm going to do the really risky thing of restarting the Best Thing (it's always advised not to do this, but authors are all about breaking rules right?) writing all the way through and somehow or another keeping it under 350 pages, and then finishing it. 350 pages is easy for me at 1 1/2 chapters every day, that'll only take me 3ish weeks to finish. (Which by the way is also a NaNoWriMo book, of 50,000 words, which I finished in 11 days, and yes I'm bragging:))
So yeah. There goes from here. 30 day challenge has switched to a different book, or at least discontinued until I can get my act together and write it, I'll just start up on the 5 of whatever month (Febraury) and write from there.
Also for you Lord of the Rings fans, I found the most AWESOME ringwraith movie ever. It cheered me up so much I'm still laughing 3 days later, I'm kind of a wraith nerd since my books deal with a lot of wraiths, and ringwraiths are the only things I've found that at least kind of resemble mine (actually ringwraiths inspired mine)
So here's a link to that movie and don't worry! It's safe! No swearing, no gore! Just wraiths and their odd sense of humor. ("I hope you drown in a magical river of....horses!")
And I'm celebrating my 4th blog post! Yay. Cake for everyone! (Just kidding, I can't shove it through the computer screen to you. Kind of messy, have you ever tried cleaning cake out of your keyboard? About as easy as cleaning exploded brains. (I.E. Spilling Ink a very nice book on how to write))
And now I'm rambling and have started 2 sentences with and, but I don't feel like being gramically correct, (Huked on Fonics, didn't wurk fo me) I will try on my next posts, but this is kind of like a journal, and I'm NEVER gramically correct in my journal. I have to be everywhere else, especially in my books.
So I will try to find a solution for my odd writing problem. I'm actually thinking a nice break would be great. I have been writing non-stop since the beginning of the year and I may have hardwired my brain. So to prevent myself from spontaniously bursting into flame, I suppose a nice break is in store. One of my only since the start of 2012 (actually I can only remember one whole week where I took it off from writing an official book, otherwise it was just 1 or 2 days, then I got bored)
Yeah now I'm REALLY rambling.
I'm shutting up now. :)
Twisted Violinist out.
The vid below is my recent one, which is dedicated to Regine Stokke, the link to the Amazon page listing her book is on YouTube. Check it out, she's amazing! (or you could just click that)
So really, Twisted Violinst out!
(And hardwired, every time I close my eyes I see keyboards and black and white words flashing across a computer screen. ASDFGHJKL: :p zoning out....cake!)

Monday, December 3, 2012

30 Day Challenge

Guess what, it's December 3rd
Now this is normally happy news because there's only 22 days left until Christmas, but on the twist side, bad news because it means there's only 28 days left until the end of the year.
Why is this so important? Well, in November (can't say when) I discovered some startling news, Twisted (the book series, not just the book) has 4 books instead of my previously thought 3.
I discovered this while thinking way too hard about a couple of characters whose endings just didn't seem right. Of course there are no rainbows (my books never have rainbows in the endings, or glitter, yuck, talking about a fritzy ending!) but the ending seemed a little too harsh, and didn't leave any room for redemption (as startled as I was to think this)
So anyway, just to continue along with what I wanted to do, write a book series in a year, I did, partly, but that was only because I didn't realize that there was a 4th book. So, in essence I'm a little behind, so I'm giving myself a 30 day challenge to finish it. I'm on chapter 9 now, (and I just turned a very sick dragon named Tenor into a human, just to peak your interest) and am sincerely hoping to finish this thing up before the end of 2012.
9 chapters down possibly 31 left to go. Oh boy, this rush should be pretty interesting.
So that's all the news with my book (I guess BOOKS since there's more than one of them) now to my violin (Squishy!) I have a new video coming, it's dedicated to Regine Stokke, who inspired me to start this blog. I read the book they made of her blog after she passed away on December 3rd 2009, I think more people should read her story that should get you to the page on Amazon, what you do from there is up to you.
I haven't done much with my violin, beyond practice it, my E string keeps going a little flat, which is extremely annoying because it sounds horrible and now I'm playing all my songs in G, D, and A major just to avoid playing them in E, but my fingers haven't bruised which is nice, but my pointer left finger still feels REALLY weird because of the callous (that word is NOT spelled right, just as a prediction) that's forming there.
And just so we get clear, I'm still not overly cool with playing in front of a lot of people, but I managed to do it in front of a camera (in the first take!) so hopefully that'll help with my twisting in the stomach nerves.
10 days until the recital, yikes! But at least I know what I'm playing (If You Could Hie to Kolob, from the LDS hymn book) and I've practiced it enough that I could probably 'air violin' it if I really wanted to.
Hopefully I'll get more experience of playing in front of a lot of people before the recital so I don't end up doing something like this, "Um...this is my song. What's it called? Um, see if you recognize it! Um...I guess I'll play now. But hold on, I uhhh...I think I should go backstage now." i.e. totally embarrassing!
That's all for this current moment in time, and I'm celebrating my first official 3rd post! Yay me! (I think, I may have gotten up to three posts on a different blog, but no more than that, this one looks more promising!)
That's all. :)
Twisted Violinist out!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Okay, so by now you should know I haven't been playing the violin for so long, but I'm actually improving pretty fast. Yesterday was my 8th (I think) lesson and I'm starting on vibrato.
I don't know what the norm is for beginner violinists, so I'm not sure if this is out of the ordinary to be starting so soon on vibrato, but still, I feel really cool even if all I'm doing is rubbing my finger back and forth on the A string.
I also had a nice little victory yesterday, usually I avoided playing on my G string because it sounded so scratchy, but I started playing on it a bit more yesterday and discovered I actually like it. I also learned that if you play a song in the sequence of notes on any string, it'll sound the same. There's probably a name for this, but since I'm completely new to music and music theory, I have no idea what it is!
I'm really happy that I got to drop Aunt Rhody yesterday. I've been playing that song since FOREVER, (okay 3 weeks, but it felt like forever) I don't actually mind it THAT much, I just wanted to move on. Now I'm playing May Song or Song of May, something like that out of Susuki book 1 (not the actual name, but something like that)
I played for so long yesterday that my fingertips started bruising, 2nd time that's happened the first time was on the 14th of November and I found it kind of disturbing because I couldn't figure out what was going on and since I was doing research for a story dealing with blood cancers and bruising is one of the symptoms of them, I had a kind of freakout session, but it faded, so everything was cool. This time however the bruising faded on all of my fingers except for my left pointer finger, that finger actually has not feeling in the tip after about an hour worth practicing everyday. It feels REALLY weird, especially when I touch velcro, (the rough part) normal or not, I have no idea.
Yeah, so the side effects of practicing for so long have some lovely pros and cons.
Pros, I'm getting better, Amy Miller, my violin teacher says I'm starting to get the artistic flow of my right arm, I never was that jerky to begin with, but it makes me happy to hear, I feel really cool when I hit the notes right, and I'm better able to read music.
Cons, my arms start to ACHE after playing for so long, and then my legs start to hurt so I feel like I just did a full body workout just by playing the violin for an hour. My fingertips on my left hand are loosing feeling in the tips, they hurt, and they bruise.
Personally I think that the pros outweigh the cons, I've never done anything (beyond write my books) that made me feel so totally awesome, since I have problems with self-worth, it feels REALLY great to be able to feel beautiful and awesome.
Things coming up
December 13, my first recital, I'm really nervous for it, I've never played in front of so many people before!
For you, pretty soon I'll be posting character sketches (are they called that?) so you can get to know my characters in my books so you'll know what the heck I'm doing when I start dressing up as them and playing the song that best fits them, (see I figured it out!)
So yeah, that's my 2nd post, first time I've ever posted a second post on a blog I set up so I feel really accomplished already.
Any tips on playing in front of a lot of people without throwing up backstage, missing notes, or passing out cold on the stage? I could really use a few tips, I'm a nervous shaking mess just thinking about it.
That's all :)
Twisted Violinist out.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Intro to the Twisted Violinist


This is my attempt to FINALLY do two things I love at the same time, (no it does not require painting while driving,'ll get a ticket) I've tried at least a MILLION times to set up blogs, YouTube channels, but always failed because I got bored pretty quickly, and if you're not having fun while doing something, (okay this settles for hobbies, not school) why do it?
So let me just introduce myself, my name is Tayla Durham, and I am an author, a violinist, and an artist and I have been an author and artist WAY longer than I've been a violinist, but I love my violin, so yeah.
This is my blog, (obviously) and in this blog, and YouTube channel, (for now it's Fantasyfandreamer) I'm going to try to combine two things I love doing, writing books and playing the violin. I don't think there will be any crazy videos of me trying to write and play the violin at the same time because frankly, I've tried, and it doesn't work, (you get rosin all over the keys) so I'll be doing it in other ways.
Mainly, for this current time, I'm just going to keep you updated on my progress on learning to play the violin. I've only been playing for about 60 days, so I'm not very great, but at least I haven't driven my family out into the streets with their hands over their ears screaming in misery. So hopefully you'll stick around with me as I TRY to progress.
I'll say more in my movie, so go check it out, and if you came from YouTube, you don't need to watch it again :)
Anyway, an explanation behind my blog name, Twisted is the name of my book that I have been working on for nearly 2 years now, and it is going to be published some time next year. I'm totally passionate about it, and so I'm going to combine both my story and violin playing and you will be able to see how successfully, (or unsuccessfully) this work out.
So until then,
Twisted Violinist out :)