It’s been a while

It’s been a while since I have written a blog about my personal life. I’m happy to say that I am doing well. A few things have changed. I am now working full time at Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelters…I am enjoying that and giving a lot of my time to that. Working at an animal shelter is a lot of work but it’s very rewarding and the fact is I like to stay busy.

As for music I finished “Long From Home” this year for the piano. I’m actually quite excited by how it turned out. I can only hope that I continue to improve with my lessons from Brent Milam who teaches at Georgia State University. I take private lessons (currently on Zoom) and it’s great because he lets me work at my own pace AND he keeps challenging me more and more. I recently started a new solo cello piece and I hope it turns out amazing AND that I can get connected with an awesome cello player to at least do a video recording of it for my YouTube channel.

I’m pretty happy in Georgia. I may be enjoying myself more now than ever. I’m happy how far I have come with my battle with Bipolar I Disorder. I’m taking much better care and sticking to a plan that includes medications that work for me. I struggle from time to time but I am in a much better place now thanks for my doctors and therapists I have worked with since 2013. If you are looking for a good organization that supports people with mental illness try giving a donation or do some research into NAMI.

As for good reads that I have been enjoying there is a little book called “How to Be Interesting” by Jessica Hagy. It’s a very light read but gets me thinking outside the box a little. I am also reading a book I picked up randomly at CVS called “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” by Amy Morin…it’s quite the interesting read and I love books that promote growth. I’m always looking for something to reach out and change the way I think about the world. The next book I’m going to take a whack at is “The War on Normal People” by Andrew Yang. Ever since he ran for president this year I have found that some of the stuff he stands up could make the world a drastically better place. He also has the concern for homelessness that I share. It’s not a problem I think can not be fixed.

Thank you for reading! I hope that you enjoy your day!

-J.P. Dennis

I just came up with a super great idea and so I’m going to write it down in my blog.  What if after I finish writing my next all piano album I concentrate on writing themes that are 30 seconds or less.  Themes for movie, film, TV, or radio.  Basically, I could showcase my talent of writing melodies.  I could have different categories and I could catalog them on my website.  (Such categories could include:  Fantasy, Scary, Romantic, Comedy, etc.)  Each theme could have a YouTube video which I link to the website.  I could also include some themes from my pieces I have already written.  This could be an exciting project.

I’d love for someone to take a theme I wrote and expand it into a score.  (Not that I could not do this myself down the road.)

What do you think?

Persistance is Key

Apparently, persistence is key.  It’s even more important then talent according to this new book I am reading called “Grit” by Angela Duckworth.

It gets me thinking about my own life.  The importance of practice as a musician.  My practice time has suffered for a long time but that is slowly changing this month as I already have more practice time in then I did last month.  I am keeping track of my time at the piano with a stopwatch and a little calendar to record my practice time on.  The first few months of using said calendar I maybe locked in 2 hours of practice total for the month.  That’s pretty bad for someone whose “passion is music”.

I’m going to make it though.  I believe that I have some grit as the book calls it and I’m determined to finish this piece of music…hopefully by the end of the year.

Wish me luck!

My Goals for the Future

It’s my hope that I can finish composing Luminescence (the newest composition that is under construction) and also one other piece on piano.  If I can do that then I can put together recordings of most of my piano scores for an all piano album.  I’d like to call it:  Escape!  A Piano Fantasy

I want it to have 10 tracks.  I want it on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, etc.

Thankfully I am feeling more motivated to compose.  I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I was feeling a bit “dried up” and “unmotivated”.  I’m feeling a little different now but still scared to proceed.  A little anxiety always tells me “your not going to be able to come up with anything new today” or even “you don’t feel like playing today.”  These are things I have to battle.

Music is my life…you can ask anyone at my work.  I carry my Beats pill around the shelter listening and sharing music all day.  I go to concerts.  I play saxophone in the GSU Perimeter College Wind Ensemble and I also sing in the GSU Perimeter Chorus.  I just started the chorus this semester and I think that it is helping me feel more inspired musically.  I want all of these things to inspire my work as a composer.

Composing music is my definite chief aim.  I enjoy the work and what I come up with.  I enjoy sharing that work with my family and friends…and maybe someday it will get shared with the world.  But the most important thing is the act of composing itself and enjoying that process.

I do have a few things that are bothering me…these are things I don’t feel comfortable sharing with everyone but I have a feeling they will all work out for the best.  I have to trust that I will make good decisions and make the decisions that will aid me in my quest to compose beautiful music.

Big Decisions

I have some big decisions coming up.  Unfortunately, I am not going to share them with everyone quite yet but I am trying to make some good choices for myself.  Sometimes when I know that things are going to change I feel somewhat depressed and unsure of myself.  I’m unsure what to do.  (Different scenarios run through my head.)

Sometimes I ask Eric to help me make decisions and he will say, “it’s up to you” and also “there is no wrong choice.”  That may be true but I still want to do what is right for me.  I guess sometimes I even wish someone like Eric would make the decision for me.  I guess I just need to take responsibility.

That’s all I wanted to say for this post.  Wish me luck!

Loss of Interest

Unfortunately, I have appeared to have lost my interest in playing piano and composing music.  This is something that I have done since I was 15.  I have taken breaks from composing before but it seems like I am just not getting anything done musically.

I used to practice for an hour or two everyday.  I was absorbed in my work.  I was passionate.  It’s not that case anymore…I have to “make myself” play through my compositions every once in a while so I don’t forget them…not that I could forget them since I’ve played them thousands of times.

I really like my most recent composition Luminescence.  It was coming along fine for a while but it’s been months since I’ve written a since note.  So, I hate to say it but I’m not going to force myself to play…I’m only going to play when I feel like playing.

So, I read a lot of self-help books.  I am all about setting goals and having a definite chief aim and all of that but unfortunately I’ve lost of my passionate for my #1 goal which was to be a composer.

Being a composer is actually a very difficult and challenging goal.  It’s certainly not something out of my realm of possibility, but it’s just not something I feel driven to do right now.  (And I feel terrible about it!)

Eric thinks I need to explore my other interests…which I am trying to do.  But I’m not really ready to call it quits on the music.  I’m also not willing to put the time into it right now since I don’t enjoy it like I once did.  Maybe it’s a phase.  Maybe it’s something entirely different.

Either way I did enjoy playing piano for my boss and co-workers for a little fundraiser I put on for Furkids.  (Raised $400!)  So, my piano is not going entirely unused.  Maybe I’m a little too hard on myself but I do feel unmotivated and not as interested in composing right now…but I’m hoping that it will come back to me cause it’s something I really have enjoyed in the past.

Wish me luck!

It’s Been a While

Well, I decided to finally log back into my old personal blog and do a post.  It’s been since 2012 since I’ve written anything!  Wow, how time flies!

I have quite an interesting life.  I now have lived in Atlanta, GA since 2013.  I went a time without working…but now I have a job that I’ve had since October of 2015.  I work for Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelters…at the cat shelter.  I’m a kennel tech and yes I shovel cat poop with a litter scoop among other things.  I actually really enjoy my job!  I get a lot of exercise and I stay very busy.  I also work with a lot of great people and animals!

What can I say?  I’m a cat person.

I hope that as I write this new personal blog that it will inspire me to write more of my articles of Hubpages where I actually make a little money off of the ads and I get scored on my penmanship.  But honestly I love writing on my personal blog because there are no rules and I can write about what I like.  Not sure if anyone wants to read that but I have to say it doesn’t matter…I’ve been told having a personal blog can be therapeutic.

So, since the last time I blogged I got married!  (That’s good!  Real good!). My husband Eric is very wonderful.  He shows me the world in a different way and treats me pretty darn good.  He supports my various projects which is nice…including the fact that I am going back to school this fall!  (Yay!). I’ll be attending Georgia State University Perimeter College!  (Sweet!). I will only be taking one class so that I can ease my way back into things.  I’ve done college before and somehow I seem to overdo it, but hopefully not this time.  Also, I’m medicated.  (Yay!) …which I was not medicated during some of my previously failed attempts at college.  So, I am excited and proud of myself for taking my meds and staying for the most part balanced.

I signed up for school as a music major but I am seriously thinking about changing that.  We will see what I do after I talk to an advisor.  There are other things I am interested in doing…but all I have ever known is music.

Anyhow, I’m just going to stop there.  Thanks for reading!


Keeping My Sanity

Vent time!  🙂

Sometimes I am a bit over the top when it comes to my methods of living such as cleaning.  And sometimes I am a bit over the top when it comes to goal settings and things that I wish to do with my life.  Ideally, I would love for people to let me do as I please, but that is unrealistic and somewhat selfish.  Especially when you start getting in their way and their methods of doing things.

Sometimes you scream or yell at people when they get in your way.  Not nice…but it happens.  So, what I do is apologize and move on even if I feel not that apologetic.  I don’t like to be contentious but it happens and I get heated over the dumbest of things…but I guess they are not that dumb if I am passionate about them.

Sometime I hate my life and would like to get away from those around me.  Start over new and get away.   Not exactly realistic or a good thing to do, but when you get into it with let’s say your parents then sometimes they don’t want to get you the freedoms you deserve…or you think you deserve.

Sometimes I just think to myself:  Fuck It!

And yes, I realize this song isn’t very appropriate for this post, but this is what I am listening to now…feel good Disney music:

Love Never Dies

Even though love never dies I suppose my heart can move on to somebody new.

Even though love never dies I wish I could put you behind me.

But I don’t work that way.  I never have.  I never will.

Once I love someone it is a lifelong friendship which I never want to break regardless of the situation.

Love never dies – Therefore, I will always love you.

Lack of Passion

It’s strange to me how you could have so much love and passion for something and then years later it hardly interests you at all.  Or maybe it’s the thought that interests you but you can’t get anything done with that old talent of yours.


I used to love writing music, but the last several years have been the slowest in writing anything new.  When I come up with some new material it is short and I get stuck past a few bars or just a minute worth of music.  It’s frustrating.  I thought I would make a living writing music but I’m really unsure at this point.  I would like to have something else I enjoy as a moneymaker, but I just haven’t found anything.  Perhaps when I move to Atlanta…perhaps not.

At least I’m getting away soon…take a short break and maybe stumble across something.  My life needs meaning and purpose.  I like to be productive.  Right now I mainly lack passion.

There are a number of things that are bothering me right now, but I usually throw them to the side lest I be consumed with something I usually have little control over OR something I fucked up in the past that I have to deal with responsibly now.