1. Market Street WiFi is available in their parking lot. When I wrote my post Sunrise for my 31 Days of Adventure, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of my workplace, the Texas grocery store Market Street. The plan was just to write it and then post later when I had WiFi. Unbeknownst to me, there is WiFi in the Market Street parking lot! Guys. I have to figure out a way to leverage this.
2. The discipline of writing every day
I spent my month of October writing a blog post every day for the Write 31 Days Challenge. Y'all. This was no joke. I was a little sporadic towards the end -- honestly, I was just trying to stay afloat of everything going on in my life. But I did it! I wrote a post for every day (as well as a couple of additional guest posts I did for other blogs -- many thanks to the sweet people who asked me to write)! This experience not only taught me how to write every day -- it also taught me that I really need to verbalize things in order to think about them. Writing helps me to know what I think or how I feel about something, and writing so much this past month has helped me to really be honest with myself about what's going on in my heart. I hope that it's a discipline I can keep up. I shouldn't say that -- I definitely plan to keep it up (just don't expect a blog post every day for a while).
I'm so excited with the way this series went. It's not always my best writing, but it's always honest. I'm pretty proud of it. If you're interested in reading my slowly-devolving insanity for the month of October, you can check it out at this link: 31 Days of Adventure.
3. How to make it through a week of VERY intense choir rehearsals
During the second full week of October, my delightful choir, the Texas Tech University Choir, performed Verdi's Requiem with The Lubbock Chorale and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. It was an incredible experience, and I loved every second of it. However, I spent every night for six days in rehearsal or concert settings, singing incredibly intense music at full voice. I had just experienced a week of vocal tiredness, and I had to learn very quickly how to save and preserve my voice during #VerdiWeek2015. I marked (sang down the octave/quietly), I mouthed, and when it came concert time, I sang with all the voice God has given me (and with good technique, thanks to the inerrant guidance of my teacher and coach). I am taking what I learned from this experience and using it in my day-to-day practice and choir rehearsals. If you're tired, just quit. It doesn't do anybody any good for you to be singing on a tired instrument. It's like running on a sprained ankle: it might work for now, but if you keep it up, you're just going to hurt yourself. It's a good practice for vocal longevity as a whole, and one I intend to keep up, because I want to sing for a long, long time.
4. October colors are the most beautiful.
October is my favorite month, because I love autumn. But this year I've noticed the gorgeous intensity of all the colors! I cannot believe how golden the sunshine is, how blue the sky is! I am simply infatuated with the richness and deep saturation of color and shade all around me. I never want it to end. I'm really loving the love for color that God is waking up in me, too. I don't think I've ever noticed color the way I have in the last year or so. I constantly find myself rhapsodizing about the colors around me. It's a whole new way to appreciate creation. I'm simply loving the way I get to witness God's beauty this month.
5. I really enjoy scholarly books.
I'm currently reading Peter Ackroyd's Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination. This book was introduced to me at CASI, where our brilliant Greg Martin lectured to us on the ways that the English landscape has inspired English music. Ever since his little intro to this book, I've wanted to read it. I finally got smart and found it in the Texas Tech Library. I'm starting to get into it now -- it's so fascinating! I feel a kinship with the English people. Their no-nonsense disposition combined with their melancholia reminds me a little of my own personality, and a lot of my main man, J.R.R. Tolkien. It tugs at my heartstrings and causes me to long for the Malvern hills. It makes me feel adventurous.
What about you? I would love to hear what you learned about this month! Tell me in the comments!