A Literal Mind

I had an interesting realization about myself the other day, one that has implications for my interactions with people as well as my abilities as a writer.

I have a fairly literal mind.

When I read a story or watch a movie, I take everything at face value.  That’s not to say that I’m not looking for hidden plots or twisty bits – I love movies and television shows with those, and I like to predict them.  No, it’s the secondary meanings, the subtle allusions to other works, and the covert social messages that totally blow past me.

It also influences my understanding of other people’s humor.  I sometimes struggle with whether or not someone is teasing or joking, particularly if they are very dry and stoic with the delivery.  I’ve taken someone seriously on more than one occasion when they did not mean to be serious.   I’m intrigued enough to do some self-reflection and see if I can figure out what coping mechanisms I’ve developed for this.

Here are the implications for me as a writer.  If I want subtext or references to other works, I have to very intentionally select them and plan for them as I write.  It’s a challenge, so other than a few large-scale literary approaches (Dragon Pendant is a quest, for example), there isn’t a lot of extra meaning to my work.

Does that make it less significant in the grand scheme of literature?  Of course.  Does it make the story any less interesting or the characters any less compelling?  I don’t think so, although you’d have to read it for yourself to decide.

It’s definitely an insight that makes a lot of sense with my brain, and one that might help friends and family relate to me a bit better.

 

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Back to the Library

I had a rough day at work today.  I’m not sure why, but I was grumpy and in a bad mood all day, even though there wasn’t anything in particular to cause said attitude.  It’s amazing how being in a funk can ruin a day that shouldn’t have been much of anything, good or bad.

So I decided that to get out of my funk, I needed to get out of my (new) routine.  It seemed to me that returning to an old habit might be exactly what I needed.

Thus, the library on a Tuesday.

Tonight is writing night, back at my local library (although not at my usual table – it was already claimed).  I mentioned in my last post that I’m finding my way through summer and getting past my stopping point.  I’ve been snatching time to write during lunch breaks and in random quiet moments, but I wasn’t sure how well I’d fall back into the routine.

Surprisingly enough, Mara’s story started rolling pretty quickly once I fired up the computer.

This (and treating myself to dinner beforehand) turned out to be what I needed.  I got out of my head and the worries chasing me, and once I was past those, the funk faded.  I was recently reminded that my morning workout routine helps me have a better day.  I should also remember that my weekly writing routine does the same for my week.

Even if I lose the routine again in my busy summer, I can always try to catch it here and there when my mind needs it.

Summer and a Stopping Point

I lost my momentum.

Summer is our busy season at work.  It’s also been more hectic than in previous years in my real life as well.  Tuesday nights have been subsumed into errands, laundry, and other routine tasks, making it harder to carve out time to write.

It doesn’t help that I also reached a stopping point in Blood Moon Born right about the time that summer hit.  I needed to regroup to plan and think about the next scenes before I continued writing.

Those two things meeting at the same time means that my story got stuck on a back burner which I forgot to turn on.  All cooking ceased.

The good news is that I am at the halfway point of my summer, and thanks to the holiday I ended up finding some time today just for me.  I spent the last hour hiking and planning, and now I’m parked at a coffee shop, ready to spend some time writing.

Tuesdays may continue to be a bit of a lost cause until the busy season ends, but if I can jump start the story, I might get everything rolling again, however slowly.