I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but my daughter plays the accordion. Yes, really. Out here where I live, they have an actual accordion festival every year. Yes. Really. We spent Sunday at the festival. It was kind of nerve-wracking. See, we got there kind of early, but there was already no parking. To complicate matter, we had to go in two cars, because my oldest wanted to bring his girlfriend, which caused an overflow situation. So, not only do we have to find parking, we have to find parking for two cars that is relatively close together. And here's where it gets complicated. I didn't bring my keys to the car I wasn't driving. However, I'm usually the one with the keys and the one that makes sure the car is locked.
About the time we get to gate to get into the festival, I say to my wife, "You locked the car, right?" This is important, because my daughter's accordion is in the car. She has to play it a bit later, but we didn't want to have to carry it around with us for hours ahead of time. My wife turns to me and says, "I thought you locked it." I'm like, "I don't have my keys with me..." So there is the mad dash back to the car to make sure it's locked. It wasn't. In a panic, I pull the door open, and, sure enough, there's another accordion in the back seat with my daughter's.
My daughter really does play the accordion, and there really is an accordion festival. We even really had to take two cars and had a hard time finding parking because of it.
Let me explain about my daughter. She chose the accordion. She was 7. She started playing in January of this year and is her teacher's star pupil. Her teacher has been teaching accordion for decades and says she has never seen a more driven student than my daughter. We're very proud of her. My daughter, that is, not her teacher. She played in front of a local grocery store last Friday after school for an hour as a promotion for the accordion festival and made over $30 in tips doing it. Needless to say, she was very excited by that.
Anyway... the main thing I like about the fact that she chose the accordion is that she chose the accordion. How many kids do that? Choose to play the accordion? I mean, most kids don't choose to play any musical instrument, but, when they do, it's almost always something typical. Mainstream. The violin. Piano. The guitar (it's always the guitar (my oldest plays the guitar)). Oh, or the drums. The bane of the parent. In fact, I've known kids that chose to play the drums specifically to torment their parents. But my daughter chose something unique, and I like that. It's a show of her personality and her individuality.
In a copycat society, and we are a copycat society, I tend to be for things that stand out. People that have the courage to choose their own path and walk it. What comes to mind is that bit in Holy Grail where Arthur says, "We're all individuals," and the guy from the crowd yells back "Not me! I'm not!" We all want to believe that we are, oh, so unique, and, I believe, we could be, but we spend so much of our time just following the crowd. Doing what we're supposed to do. It's disturbing. It's disturbing that people voluntarily give up the things that make them unique in favor of fitting in. Especially when they continue to go on about how unique they are. At this point, the guy saying "not me" is the one that's most individual!
So, yes... I like, no, love, that my daughter chose to play the accordion. And I also love that she is good at it. I mean, she's really good at it. Amazingly so, actually.
To apply all of this to writing, I think more of us should choose to write accordions. There are so many guitar books out there already. And piano books. They're all the same. You don't even have to be good at it because the belief is that people will by piano books and guitar books, so they just keep getting published. The problem with that is that you have to be, like, the Eric Clapton of guitar books to stand out. And, you know, if that's what you want to be, then you should go for it, but it would be nice to have some options. What I'm saying is don't do it just because everyone else is doing it. Find that thing that you like, that thing that you choose, and go for that. Don't just do the thing that everyone else is doing because everyone else is doing and because you think someone will publish you because of it.
In other news, there's this blogfest going on... maybe, you've heard of it? It's Rachael Harrie's third writers' platform building campaign. The link. If you're writer, go check it out. Unless you came from there, in which case you know all about it. In any case, there's a lot of opportunity to meet new people there, so you should drop by and read what it's about and how to get involved. If you're a writer. Because, you know, if you're not, you have no reason to care. Unless you're looking for something good to read, in which case, you might find something interesting by one of the participants.
Speaking of reading, check out my The House on the Corner tab (or click the link). I have the cover posted, now. Thanks to Rusty Webb for that excellent bit of art work! Hopefully, the new edition of House will be ready to go by the end of the week, or, at least, by Monday. We'll see...
Oh, and speaking of Rusty, make sure you check out his short story "A Dead God's Wrath." I'm about halfway through it, and it's quite good. It's only $0.99, so you can't really go wrong! I'll post a review once I've finished it and had time to write something up. So far, though, it was well worth the buck.