Monday, March 28, 2011

And This Little Piggy Went Wii, Wii, Wii

The problem with writing is it is a sedentary occupation and if you are not a starving writer, then you can be cursed with a waistline that expands in time with your word-count.

I know some writers who can dictate their stories and with the advent of speech recognition software, are no longer tied to their desks. A friend of mine calls it walk and talk. Problem I have is that the rhythm of a story told out-loud is different for me than one that is written and I can't seem to 'tell' my stories in novel form - I have to either write or type my novels.

Others have taken a more mechanical approach:

I like this solution, basically you walk at 1 or 2 miles per hour while you type. If you write for 20 hours a week, you can easily burn 100,000 extra calories a year just by making this simple change to your writing desk. That is a whopping 385 calories a day, burned while you get your words on paper - all without breaking a sweat! Hopefully my lack of coordination would not be too much of a problem at 1mpg. Unfortunately, treadmills cost upwards of $5,000 and take up a great deal of space. Until I sell a few books and move to a bigger house or apartment, this one just isn't happening!

Recently, my GrandBoys got a Wii, and we have such fun playing tennis, golf, boxing and baseball with them that we decided to get one for our home as well. We also decided to invest in the Wii Fit as part of a special offer. I must say, I am pretty impressed.

My husband and I are each doing a 30 minute workout every morning, and in just a few days I have already noticed an improvement in my balance. The balance factor wasn't even one I considered, but as I have a slight curvature of the spine which makes me very clumsy - learning to correct my balance and control the muscles involved is hugely beneficial. That was unexpected. Whether the Wii will actually help control my middle aged spread is yet to be determined.

I am hoping to get to the point that I can complete a 1 hour workout each morning as a spur to weight loss and a motivating factor to get my writing done! I notice that I am less likely to dither about on the internet after exercise. One last fun point - even though I think my balance is horrible, the good posture that my mother drilled into me as a child hasn't deserted me, and the Wii Fit places my real age at 37. I'll take that!

Friday, March 18, 2011




Still waiting....

One of the worst things about being an author is the delay between effort and response. None of the creative art-forms I have been involved with in the past have this kind of delayed gratification.

Music? You practice, practice, practice until one day, a few minutes after practice - you perform.
Drama? The same.
Floral Design? One day from raw stems to completed and displayed sculptures.

But writing? Months of work followed by a dead space as people absorb what you've sent.

Will they like it?
Does it suck?
Is it worth continuing with?

Oh, God! What if they love it? How will the next bunch of chapters live up to these?


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fever Dreams and Other States of Being

Do you dream?
Do the images come to you as fragments or as part of a contiguous story?
In color or black and white?
Can you taste? Smell? Feel in your dreams?

My dreams are vivid, movie-like and tangible. I often wake with a taste on my tongue or the echo of a tune in my ear. Much of the inspiration for my writing comes through dreams. I fall to sleep willing, even eager for the embrace of my dreams. I am a child begging for a story and my dreams rarely disappoint.

Except when I am sick. Cultural expectations are that fever dreams are more vivid, more visceral. for me, it is the exact opposite. When I am sick my dreams retreat to mere flickerings, incoherent and jumbled. Colors are muted, the senses muffled. It is one of the primary reasons I hate being sick - the feeling of being cut off from my creative center.

This is the first time in my memory that I have been sick while in the middle of a successful creative period. My writing is going well, the first five chapters have been massaged and edited, and the entire book is taking shape in a manner I have never experienced before. So this time, the fever dreams came and I pushed back. I demanded clarity. I don't have time for this shit!

I was left with vivid flashes - the sight of a stranger's face, the fading sound of the last note of a concerto, the whisper of silk on my skin - but nothing is connected, I can't grasp the story.

Is this how you dream?