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Here you will find information, musings, and pictures about life, the natural world and writing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Plot brain

I am back from a wonderful trip to Kenya and Amsterdam, still getting caught up. More later on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (pictures!) and Amsterdam's city zoo, Artis.

I am settling in to the first draft of zoo mystery #3 and thinking about "the creative process."

A friend informs me that working on a PhD dissertation makes you stupid. That's what she's doing, and she's missing exits on the freeway, forgetting to buy milk, and tripping over her own furniture.

I understand completely. It's exactly the same for me. When my head is filled with a complex and challenging project (e.g., zoo mystery #3), it gets full. The cortex doesn't seem able to muscle the door on that topic closed and open the door to regular life. The dog reminds me that it's almost noon and I haven't fed him yet. The husband wonders why dinner is at 8:00 PM instead of the normal 6:30 PM. I send out a lot of "belated" birthday cards.

It sounds like chemo brain, but trust me, it's not. The cortex LIKES to be exercised. It feels good to be smacked by inspiration, to prune a sentence until it is shapely and tight, to grasp what that character will do next. Even as I forget the shopping list and park in front of the wrong grocery store, I feel smarter.

Go figure. It'll be good for you.

We're fuzzy, but our horns are sharp.
Japanese serow at Woodland Park Zoo

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