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.

7 comments:

  1. Hello fellow blue monkey. Couldn't pass this up. Writing book 2 of the Halflings series was a joy. It poured out of me. Avenger, book 3 was another matter. I had to "change my writing scenery" quite a bit. I'd leave the house (usually on deadline, I'm a total hermit) and find strange and interesting places to write. The beach is a good one, Starbucks, Panera, the park ... I was also on book tour at the time so I took advandtage of tour cities and their hotels ... lobbies and by the swimming pool mostly. Usually, if the magic is not happening, I have to find a new space for writing. For me, new surroundings means new inspiration. And even though book two had its own smooth groove, book three is probably my best writing ever. :)

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  2. Hello fellow blue monkey. Couldn't pass this up. Writing book 2 of the Halflings series was a joy. It poured out of me. Avenger, book 3 was another matter. I had to "change my writing scenery" quite a bit. I'd leave the house (usually on deadline, I'm a total hermit) and find strange and interesting places to write. The beach is a good one, Starbucks, Panera, the park ... I was also on book tour at the time so I took advandtage of tour cities and their hotels ... lobbies and by the swimming pool mostly. Usually, if the magic is not happening, I have to find a new space for writing. For me, new surroundings means new inspiration. And even though book two had its own smooth groove, book three is probably my best writing ever. :)

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  3. You... Are a TRIP! I, too, have a balance disorder (diagnosed with Menieres, but let me tell you my symptoms are often atypical), and appreciate your witty, humorous writing style.

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  4. Hey HearingElmo - Was that trip comment a pun? I'm glad you liked your visit to The Glitter Globe, it's good to be got. FB friend me and flag who you are, and I'll send you a Slinky Dog. Just because everyone who lives in The Fun House deserves a Slinky Dog.

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  5. Heather - I happen to know that there are those who got so thrilled about your post here, that they dashed out trying to find the Second Halflings book at that very moment. Going so far as to argue with the good folks at B&N that it was so out already. Not that I'm admitting to doing that or anything.
    I admire people who can write in public. I need complete and total silence. If you ask the people at Starbucks or Panera to pipe down, you're trying to write, they get rude. Not that I know that for a fact either.

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  6. When I'm bored, I watch episodes of Mercury Men, Doctor Who, or the 1930's-era Korean superhero drama Bridal Mask, and eat Häagen-Dazs vanilla milk chocolate almond bars while checking all 40 of my email accounts on my iPad. Actually, I only have five, but with all the domain names I've registered, I could easily create a few new accounts if I got really bored and start emailing myself.

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  7. I had a 10 hour layover in Phoenix AZ. Did you know it has the largest airport art gallery in America? Also there's a bunch of shops with local crafts like sand painting, los Dios de Muertos skulls, paper mache dolls, lots of glass stuff, paintings and pottery. It's like an awesome art museum. Also, if you're there on Sunday, there's a service at the chapel. I was the only one there, and pretty sure the black clothes and red streak in my hair freaked the good preacher out. :P
    All the people watching was fun, too. One guy had his golden retriever with him so I stopped to chat. He had all these fold up bowls and things for his pooch's food and water.
    I'm now in the midst of unpacking and furnishing my new place. (Ever try finding Japanese furnishings in the Midwest?)
    Yesterday, I finished reading the Zombie Survival Guide and walked upstairs in an empty house - to screaming. In related news, Outlander is a good movie.
    Two more of my characters have their own facebooks. That brings the total to 6. I can have a scizo breakdown talk to even more of myselves now. My coathor and I started group chatting with the newest two - it's fun. (And interesting when they start insulting you.) Lol

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If you can hear me, verbose on me. Or throw glitter. Wotever.