5 Random Things

1. I walked through a cobweb on my way to the bathroom this morning. How is that even possible?

2. Frenzied leaping and trying to rid your hair of imaginary spiders when half-awake=better than a triple shot of espresso.

3. Rachel Bloom loves Ray Bradbury. A lot. Click if you dare.

4. Waiting for moving van is a bad past-time for the overly imaginative. I’m distracting myself by reading. Just finished Kresley Cole’s Demon from the Dark. Before that, I read Stacia Kane’s Megan Chase trilogy.

5. Have taken many fantastic walks and zero pictures since arriving. This is wrong and must change. Today. I’m kicking myself for not having a camera to snap the woman who was spinning (as in making thread) at the farmer’s market yesterday.

There and back again/Artist’s Way week 6

Travel done, the hobbits are home and waiting for the moving truck. It’s kind of interesting living in an empty house; I sort of like the experience. I have a chance to really get to know the space and think about how to use it.

I picked up a headcold on the road, which is like wrapping your brain in cotton batting and doesn’t make for brilliant blog posts, but I did read this week’s Chapter 6 of the Artist’s Way, which has to do with money. Not just money but what abundance and luxury mean by our own individual definitions. 

This is a really good topic for anybody to think about at any time, even through cotton batting. Some of the best things in life really are free, or cost very little. It can be as simple as making a decision to treat ourselves better that makes the difference, not waiting until that raise or that sale happens first.

One of the statements that really resonated with me from this week’s chapter:

“Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous. That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor.” Paul Hawken

An Epic of Epic Epicness

It’s Friday the 13th, also known as the release day for
Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World
. Yes, today on my schedule, an epic of epic epicness.

It’s also the Friday before the impending move so I may not be around much for the next couple of weeks. I’ve turned off comments during the transition as I won’t have time (or connectivity) to monitor spam.

Enjoy the rest of summer!

5 Tuesday things

1. PBW is still on blog-break. I miss her. Have you bought her latest book yet? It has the best last line ever. Terrific conclusion to Stardoc.

2. I’m guesting at Genreality today with many links to cure various forms of writer panic. Go read!

3. If you want to get out of vacuuming, break the roller that turns the belt. You’re welcome.

4. We’ve had to start walking really early to beat the heat, and this means I’m getting right out of bed and walking instead of, er, sitting there drinking coffee and wondering if I’m awake. Turns out this is actually a better way to start the day, so we’ll keep it up after the weather turns cooler.

5. It’s August, which means one last chance to do all those things on your summer to do list. If you can’t think of anything to do, go watch
Phineas and Ferb
. They are summer idea pros.

Artist’s Way, getting quiet

Continuing along with the Artist’s Way, this is week four otherwise known as “stop listening to other voices so you can hear your own” week. The actual instructions are no reading, but really, if you want to stop listening to the deluge of outside input so you can hear yourself think, I think that should be extended to include news.

We kind of live in an information ocean with lots and lots of industry specific, state, national, international information coming at us at all times. So while I think a break from reading fiction is good for temporarily resting from outside voices which might influence your own voice, it’s not a bad thing to cover nonfiction with this blanket and just take a break from all of it.

Fortunately for me, I’m scheduled to spend this week packing things in boxes so taking a no-reading break is actually pretty easy to do. And there will likely not be much reading at all the whole month of August as we spend time traveling back to the west coast and settling in there.

But taking a break to unplug once in a while is a wonderful thing to do for yourself even if you aren’t doing The Artist’s Way or moving across the country. When we unplugged last year to go camping, it was amazing how relaxing it was. As we move to a more continually connected life, work intrudes in every waking hour. Portable devices like smart phones make email and text messages ever-present, and the general expectation is that communication can be sent round the clock and replied to either immediately or within a short time period.

It’s pretty hard to focus when you know an interruption can come at any time. Efficiency studies have shown that every interruption costs us at least fifteen minutes after the interruption ends to resume a task and that just knowing an interruption can happen is enough of a distraction to prevent concentration on the current task. Writing requires intense concentration, so a little time spent unplugged translates to huge gains in productivity. 

So there are multiple reasons to shut out the outside world periodically. For an extended period like a week to really have some uninterrupted time to think and focus on a project or a change in direction. For a shorter period like an hour or two to make the most of your writing time. And for some authors, any reading at all while writing can either influence your voice or fill up your mental space with words at a time when you need to create a vacuum for the words you’re writing to form in.

Getting quiet pays off, so why not plan a quiet break for yourself?