Balancing my Abilities

As mentioned, for the time being, disability arts will be The Disability Issue’s primary interest. And, today, I want to let readers know more about my disability arts.

So many ideas appear in my head on such a regular basis. People may think I’m being overly optimistic, but I believe my ideas could lead to major breakthroughs in the future. Is there anything wrong with wanting to build more positive eras for disabled people, and other people who deserve better times, too?

I’m Learning How to Talk

As a reader, I imagine one thing you probably don’t expect to hear from a blogger is that they’re struggling to find their writing voice. Well, I think I’ve found a blogging voice – but I’m unsure whether this voice is suitable to provide the first-person narrative in a young adult novel.

Right now, I think this is an important task at hand. Within this blog, I’ve only touched briefly on the first draft of a contemporary fantasy I wrote back in 2019. The Balance of Abilities is a young adult novel with many disabled characters. Although I tried to pick up skills in 2019 via an Arvon Foundation course in Lumb Bank, the book is far from finished. However, my mind has always been set on finishing it, and I’m already sure readers will like the characters involved.

The dinner table at Arvon Foundation’s Lumb Bank location

The book looks at life from a disabled person’s point of view; it’s written in first-person, and the book’s protagonist who has epilepsy provides the narrative. Unlike me, he wasn’t born with his condition, so had the honour of tripping up and hitting his head badly when the novel begins. As you’d expect, social setbacks occur, but new friendships do as well. Plus, there’s something about the abilities of the new friends he makes that gives them power in society.

I really want to read it again. I make many grammatical mistakes when writing first drafts of any documents, and after writing the 100,000 words, I want some of my family and friends to read it too! I’m going to get this book published, and think it’ll be the most important task to complete this year.

Reactivate the Music Maker

As a member of GMCDP, the talent they’ve highlighted as the most significant is my ability to write songs which stand to support disability rights. If you want to see me playing live for the first time, head back to this blog post in March 2020. It gives you a little mobile phone video footage of my song ‘Strong and True’ at the beginning of 2020. You’ll see I was a nervous wreck and was shaking so much, but made it through.

I’ve since written a fair few more songs than this one alone, have played a couple more solo gigs, and at the end of 2021 contacted my best friend Nathan’s brother Dan. He’s a music producer, and I had an interest in recording the songs professionally. However, I never got around to completing the task – and think that it’s for the best now. 2022 was the best year of my adult life so far, and after following in Nathan’s footsteps and becoming a Christian, I’ve grown less keen on writing songs with such a strong judgement of other people’s actions.

The stage prepared for Ramp Church’s worship band at St Peter’s House, Manchester

Today, I want to spend some time writing Christian music. Like the ‘indie disability’ genre that I was playing, Christian and worship music isn’t very popular. However, it’s something I’ve started listening to a lot, and is also similar because it involves musicians who are extremely talented and songs which are good, too. Nathan himself is a talented musician, and was the bassist in popular indie worship band Rivers & Robots who ran from 2010 to 2020.

Christianity or Atheism?

Ramp Church Manchester is open for anybody to visit, and God’s commandment to love thy neighbour stands at all times if you’re interested in joining. The church has changed my life for the better, and I can only thank and love God above all others because of this.

Now, I know Christian and other religious individuals can be a little too direct. They may insist on praying for you, trying to rid you of your disability. However, they’re just unaware of the discomfort this brings, and that it’s actually somewhat disrespectful. But they mean no harm! They’re just not always educated enough regarding disability and don’t know what we’re thinking.   

Now, even if you’re not a Christian, we’re always going to respect and love you as much as anybody else. Does that sound so bad, when put in comparison to the possibility of being totally neglected by potentially power-loving atheists? Practicing Christians don’t host a lot of money; they spend it on what they think will bring wellbeing to others and serve the Lord. We believe God will provide us with the wealth we need to keep ourselves happy and lives healthy if we do so.

And what do billionaires do? Do they ever seem truly happy? I’ve become so much happier as a Christian, and I’ve not even been baptised. My life is far from perfect, as I have my problems as a disabled person, and all people have issues to manage. However, I see a turning point which will take me to another place when I am baptised.

Today, we see extremely wealthy individuals attempting to build and build upon their power in society. They may crave to be a president or prime minister. Does this ring a bell? We don’t believe building a giant ego is going to get you anywhere if you’re searching for happiness. Pride is a biblical sin, and that makes sense to me. If I did something, I was born with the abilities needed to do it – and I can just do it. It’s okay to be proud of others, though.

I honestly don’t believe it’s fair to disrespect Christian individuals. People who follow any religion deserve equal human rights too. I’ve clearly learnt that disabled people deal with more problems than anyone, but Christians struggle in society, too. We don’t judge others and believe God is always with us. However, other people can laugh at our life choices.

I could speak for much longer about this, but I won’t. As I turned Christian in 2022, I had an interesting year, with a fair few challenges arriving on the way. However, it was also the best year of my adult life.  

Christian Musicology

I’ll want some of the Christian songs I write to support disabled people too. I wonder if I can blend the subjects of Christianity and disability together. It won’t be easy! My memory is poor, and I’m still in the process of memorising Christian/worship-related words and phrases. I think I’ll need some time to take care of it.

Worship music has obvious focus points of praising the Lord, Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ. This needs to be done, but with many people walking away from the realms of Christianity, I know people who hold other beliefs consider it to be a waste of time. I don’t believe it is, but also wonder whether there are ways we can alter Christian music so more people will listen. Trust me – Christian vocalist’s sing well, Christians can write excellent songs, and many genres of Christian music exist too.

God’s Coming First

In 2012, I graduated from the University of Salford and scored a 2:1 in BA Popular Musicology. I loved the course and ended it with critical acclaim from lecturers who read my dissertation. My 15k word essay entitled British Rock Music in the USA: the Reasons for Success and Failure was apparently very interesting. My course’s head lecturer, Dr Tim Wise, said I could write a book about it if I wanted to. It scored 69, and the only reason it didn’t score higher is because I made grammatical errors. This meant it wasn’t potentially professional material, unlike work scoring over 70 points.

I might well write that book one day. But, right now, I’m also quite keen on looking at the history and culture of Christian and worship music. It’s not always been neglected, and I’ve found that when atheist people hear it and don’t judge it as art designed for the love of God, they often consider it to be quality material. Is there a way to blend it into the realms of popular music? It might be a very slow and steady project, but I don’t think it’s impossible.

A Religious Decision

Health within our world only seems to be so poor in so many ways: physically; mentally; economically; environmentally. If you believe God would have taken care of these problems if He existed, then I’m afraid you don’t know Him. If it was like that, then wouldn’t we all be investing time in attending church services, building up biblical knowledge, and believing in him? There are ways to get answers to questions, but you have to form a friendship with God to find them.

Many people think I’m crazy by saying this, but I’m getting closer to him.

The devil has taken too much control over the world. If you didn’t notice, the pandemic struck us, and it hasn’t left either! We can discover extremely controversial and offensive media in so many places. So many disabled people live in poverty in the UK.

Like other Christians, I simply believe that God comes first, others come second, and I come third. Tell me, if we all had that mindset, don’t you think that the world would be a much more comfortable place to live in?

I’ll soon tell you about an upcoming event which will declare my respect towards both disabled people and Christianity, too. Please, check it out.

Living the American Dream by Sandy Qumbayah / TIM_2671 by Timothy Tsui

Arvon-109b by Lisa