Wow. It’s been a while. I mean it’s not entirely surprising. Life’s been full – at the same time as it’s been the same as always. But November was pretty much all taken up with writing my book – first draft finished but not edited. Dear lord is it not edited – and my short story. First fiction I’ve published online since a terrible start to a terrible story back in, what, the late 90s? That’s here, by the way. I’m quite proud of it. There’s things I’d change – every single pass, every read, I’d fiddle with stuff. There’s more that I could do, but I’ve decided to let it go.
People don’t seem to hate it, which is nice.
I’m back to editing the book. That’s a slog, which is why I’m writing this.
That’s not true. I’m writing this because I decided to log in to post Chapter 1 of an Audiobook version of Glow, Worm – by Alyson Greaves. I’m not going to promise to keep recording it, but it was fun to do this one and it didn’t take quite as long as I though it would. I’d like to get better at soundscape stuff. I know audiobooks don’t generally have a lot of soundscape, but the few I’ve listened to have a bit, sometimes, and part of it is that I’ve been using just the freesound stuff. Nikki’s happy for me to use TE stuff (but then I’d feel the need to credit TE. Which is fine, but also…I feel weird about promoting my work on the back of someone else’s).
Anyhow. So I logged in and realised that I never did my year in review thing (which, ha. I’ve not done that reliably for years anyway), and I’ve not updated you on my awesome ongoing life events, that you all care so deeply, deeply about. Well, anyway. So. What have I been up to? Well, there’s been slow progress on the garage. I’ve been clearing it with the theory that I have about four-hundred-billion projects that I want to get on with in there, but it’s hard to do that when you can’t actually get to any of the workbenches because they’re all covered in shite. However, it turns out that I still at a fundamental level neither like organising, nor do I feel particularly good at it. But I’ve been plodding along, giving an hour or two here or there. Another couple of hours might see it sorted to a point where I can get some projects done and out and get back to working on RebeccaMog. Which I really should do. I should really be doing the garage today, or working on the house, but in my defence, it’s freaking cold outside (there was ice on my car at lunch time) [please insert other excuses here].
I have been intermittently working on the house. I really need to cut some more trim – I’m so close now that it’s painful to think about. The bathroom is the worst, it’s missing a bunch of trim around the tile edges, and the interior door trim, and the window trim. But honestly? It’s probably two – three days worth of work to get it all cut and oiled and up. (Although there’s a solid week inbetween of letting it dry). I also need to actually cut and attach the skirting board in the two bedrooms. That’s trickier because there’s furniture in both bedrooms, and that… is going to be more of a pain. But since they’re oiled and ready and just need cutting to length and attaching to the damn wall, I really should get on it.
Once that’s done the main thing is the doors. We really should have some doors.
The main thing that’s been taking our time has been adoption stuff. We eventually signed up with an agency and that means that we’ve been spending a lot of time filling in adoption related paperwork. It’s long and – while not complicated – takes a lot of thinking about it. And doing that and creating our profile book took a long time, and occupied a lot of the space that I notionally allocate as free time. Between that and my writing, oh and my singing, I’ve been fairly full up.
Singing has been fun, hearing my range expand has been wild – I’ve gained, like, an octave plus since I started singing (a chunk at the top and a bit at the bottom). Hilariously, I discovered a ‘boy’ voice which I don’t think is my actual voice from pretransition, because I don’t think I ever really did chest resonance. People always thought I was my (female) flatmates on the phone (or my mum / sister when I was home). Most of my vocal therapy was focussed on getting me to have some intonation. But yeah, it is theoretically available – funnily enough though I was trying to do it today for recording Glow, Worm and could I do it (even after vocal warmups)? Hell no. Wouldn’t happen at all. So feh. Trans-girl-doing-boy-voice it is. Also, apparently I’m crap at breathing. I’m better now than I used to be, and it’s really noticable, but I’m not great a breathing still – and trying to remember to breathe before singing a line rhather than discovering mid-way-through that I have run out of breath is a whole thing.
I’m also now singing with a group. As in, a people-with-instruments-and-lots-of-practice-and-skills-expectation-I-might-eventually-perform-in-front-of-people which is fucking terrifying, if I do say so myself. But last week I actually put some welly into it and sang in front of them (all it took was Sarah telling me to shout at Erik), and lo, I was off. Fuck if it’s scary though. And trying to develop some kind of faith in my body, and my voice, and my abilities? Not something that I’ve got a lot of successful past experience with.
Still, I’m having fun. And Kathryn got me a little mini-synth for Xmas, which is awesome fun. Had a play with that this afternoon, which was fun. I feel like I need a sequencer to get the most out of it, and then I want to play with the BBC Micro / Music 5000. And then, and then. I really need to just be wealthy, it would make “not working and just doing the stuff I want to do” a feasible option.
In other, other news, I got approval for FFS. I don’t think I’ve talked much on here about this, but it slowly dawned on me that other people look at themselves in the mirror. They don’t necessarily love what they see, but they can deal, and they feel like the person in the mirror is them. That’s never really been the case with me. There are bits of my face I’m fine with, but some of my face I’m really not. To the point that doing makeup, I’d focus on the eyelids, or the lashes, or whatever I was doing. Same with lipstick. I would then glance at, like, my whole face for a moment to check it looked “okay” as a whole look – and actually, with makeup on it was much more tolerable. The faceblindness meant that away from a mirror it wasn’t so bad, although in my head my face feels suuper angular. I can’t picture it, but I can’t picture anyone’s faces. It’s always kinda aggravating, because I ask my brain what someone looks like and it just produces this fuzzy blob. Me, them, anyway… so to an extent I think that’s what made it somewhat tolerable. But this year I realised that fuck me, that’s more dysphoria. That’s a discomfort with myself. And those discussions I had early on with my shrink about it – they’re still fucking relevant now. 20 years later.
Genius that I am.
Anyhow, I realised that I could, in fact, get something done about it. And that’s my plan this year. I had my consultation just prior to Christmas, saw a psrhink in December, and the surgery was approved by insurance this year. So.
Apparently, also, in the list of “things I should have known but didn’t get fixed”, when my endo back in England advised me that I might want to see an ENT specialist about my nose, I should have listened because the FFS surgeon said that my nasal structure is why I find it hard to breathe through my nose. I’d always attributed it to allergies, but no. Apparently I have ‘hypertrophic turbinates’ and a deviated septum. Both those things are fixable. So that’s also on my list for the year. If I wanted nasal work as part of my FFS then he’d do it, apparently, but in my case, I don’t. So apparently I get to have that separately. Yay.
Anyhow, so that’s the big kinda catch-all update. I now have paperwork to go fill in, so I should, uh, do that.