Sunday, June 17, 2012

When Writers Get Bored

Sometimes I buy insane stiletto heel shoes, in leopard print or glitter. Of course I can’t walk in them; I have chronic vertigo for heaven’s sake. I wear them to type in; they make your feet go numb really fast. If I’m having a really good day, sometimes I will wear them and try to fetch a glass of water. If I ever break a bone doing this, I will straight-up lie to you all and tell you I broke it skydiving. You can skydive with chronic vertigo, the secret there is all you have to do is fall. It really comes rather naturally. It does for me anyway.
Now it seems necessary to define bored. What bores you?  If someone were to offer you, say, a sunny vacation on a tropical beach or a week all alone with your writing, what would you take?  My choice would be the second one. Really. So my idea of boredom really means that the writing is going slow for some reason, and I need to blow some fresh glitter into the globe. This doesn’t mean the tropical beach, this means research. Prowling through old cemeteries is inspirational. I make lists of names in cemeteries. Usually I scramble them up a bit, out of respect. Another excellent source of writing inspiration comes when traveling. The GPS took all fear out of getting lost. Plug in the “no highways” option on your next road trip. There is a great big freaky world out there just waiting for your novel.
Air travel is another excellent source of fodder. I always have to change planes at least once, because I live in the middle of nowhere. You might want to write this tip down. On all my return flights, I purposely book the last flight into my town. This usually means that I’m not getting home that day. If I’m flying Atlanta to New York and it snows in Billings, Montana, my flight will be cancelled until the next day. And cancelled flights, on your return trip mind you, are a writer’s jackpot. It goes something like this…
              “I’m sorry Mrs. Paz, paz, pazz…”
              “Pazicni,” I always take pity here. “It rhymes with zucchini.
               It’s the old silent c rule.”
“Yes, well, your flight has been cancelled. I’m so sorry; you’ll have to fly back tomorrow. There do not appear to be any more flights into Iceland tonight.”
Trying not to punch the air and whoop, I do my best to look less than thrilled. “No more flights in tonight?  You’re sure?”
“Yes. I’m sorry. You’ll have to spend the night here in Nashville/New Orleans/San Diego. We’ll get you a room and vouchers for your meals.” 
Airlines tend to overnight you in hotels that are pretty nice too. Of course you run the risk of spending the night camped out on a chair in Terminal F. Still, as much as I detest that place, Terminal F has provided me with loads of material too. That’s the chance you take when you play travel roulette. Oh and those meal vouchers?  They’re only good for $8, which in a hotel restaurant means you can only afford free water and dessert. Score. Just sayin’, like you need anything else.
Some days when I really need a break from moving commas around in my novel, I hop over here and blog a bit. If you’d like to provide some inspirational sparkle for me, please leave me a comment and tell me what you do when you get bored/stuck/need a change of pace. If you inspire me, or make me laugh out loud, I'll send you your very own candy-filled Slinky Dog for inspiration.  Hey, it works for me.

* The boots at the top are Skydive Platform Thigh High Boots.  Just google it if you need a new pair.
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