Wednesday, February 6, 2019

IWSG: Re-reads, brain candy, and other forms of restful reading





Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to the IWSG page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! If it links to Google+, be sure your blog is listed there. Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.
 
 This month's fantastic co-hosts:

Raimey Gallant, Natalie Aguirre, CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace!

And the optional question, which I'm not answering but you are welcome to: 
Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?


I'm not really here to talk about writing this month. We just spent the month of January hiking our backsides off (kind of literally—my pants do fit better now than they did right after Christmas), so it should come as no surprise that I haven’t been writing. Nor have I been reading much, at least not much with substance. A kind of goofy children’s book. A couple of re-reads of light mysteries, and, heaven help me, a Louis L’Amour western (these have special nostalgic significance for me, as when I was in Jr. High and high school I read them like candy, buying far more of them than I should have from the paperback rack at the local grocery store because the library’s didn’t keep up). I am currently working on a rather massive Kim Stanley Robinson alternative future.

One nice thing about all that: with the exception of one or two of the children's books, I'm not reviewing these books. That means I can really relax and just read for fun, which is part of why I love re-reading.

Here’s my excuse: sometimes your brain needs a vacation. Sometimes you are just too tired to do anything that requires real thought, including reading. Sometimes, when you feel that way, you watch TV. I don’t, for two reasons. For one, I don’t really like TV that much (this is related to my issues with prosopagnosia, in part, since I can’t keep track of characters well). For another, most of my reading was in back-country huts and motor camps around New Zealand, so TV wasn’t really an option. But give me a half hour with WiFi every week or two or three, and I can keep my e-reader loaded with the most amazing stuff (and nonsense).

So here’s a shout-out for reading junk, and here’s a promise that I’ll be writing this month (I’ve already gotten back to work, though we’re headed into the wilds again for a few days tomorrow). I have three things I want to do this month: finish and post my WEP story, which I did manage to draft while swatting sandflies in a hut on the Routeburn Track; finish a short story using my Pismawallops PTA characters and see if it's usable anywhere; and start revisions on the novel I drafted in November and December. I may even drop the short story to start this, since I'm not sure that story is going anywhere--maybe the right way out will come to me if I leave it alone for a while.

So--tell me about your creative outlets, or confess your literary guilty secrets!



26 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you. Sometimes we need a break, and reading for fun is a fantastic way to relax. Plus it keeps up your love of reading to do it for fun.

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    1. Yeah—doing those reads that I have no intention of reviewing, or even thinking about, is the next best thing to taking Prozac or something :D. Lets me turn my brain off completely.

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  2. Reading is my go-to for calming down, for relaxing. I always feel better after a solid reading session. :)

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    1. I can carry it to extremes, but yeah, I have to have some reading time. I’m pretty much addicted to reading before bed, even if I can only do 5 minutes or something.

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  3. No apologies necessary for reading (and rereading) fun stuff. Sometimes, life in general can be so overwhelming that we need to chill. Reading is my go-to for chilling. Good luck.

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  4. I volunteered to judge two big writing competitions whose timelines overlap, so my reading is assigned for the next few weeks. That's what I get for not paying attention. But I don't have to review those books and book samples either, just assign a numerical score. I wish you happy writing, and reading, in February.

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    1. Ouch. That sounds too much like grading papers, to me.

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  5. I enjoy re-reading books that I love. And when you don't have to create a review for a book, reading is that much more enjoyable.

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    1. Yeah. I have been reviewing almost everything I read, in order to keep the blog schedule I set for myself. I’m changing that, in part because right now I just don’t have time or access to blog that much, nor to read that much.

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  6. I agree that sometimes your brain needs a break. Nothing wrong with vegging out in whatever way that feels like fun.

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  7. Yes, the writing brain definitely needs a break. I think two years as golf Ladies Captain is definitely more than enough of a break and mine's now dying to get back to writing! Only another month and a bit to go!

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    1. Well, you know how I feel about the golf thing! I’ll be glad to see you get back to writing more :D

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  8. I'm always ready to head out on a hike, even while I'm in the middle of writing. I find it makes me eager to return to a project. Glad you had a wonderful break and, of course, that your pants fit better.

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    1. Now to keep from over-compensating while we are resting, and eating too much ice cream.

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  9. I'm all for giving the brain a vacation. Sometimes we do need to read just for fun.
    Bet you're in great shape now after all that hiking.

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    1. Extended hiking trips are the best way I’ve found to get really fit and lose weight, too. But it’s not really sustainable as a lifestyle—I mean, walking for 5-8 hours a day can get a little much, especially for my knees.

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  10. I'm not good at giving my brain a vacation. I have so little free time I always feel like I should be using it for something productive, and I feel guilty if I'm not.

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    1. I hear you. And my most productive times have actually been when I was most tightly scheduled. But for me those always had an end, as we’d hit another school holiday and go camping. Your body and your brain do need breaks. At least spend a little time each day reading for fun, and don’t forget to exercise!

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  11. I love reading just for fun, it's my favorite thing to do. I wish I could go on a month-long hiking expedition. Sounds epic and something you'll remember forever.

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    1. This one was easy, with multiple days off in town between 3-6 day hikes. But we’re planning some longer hikes next summer in the US, where we really do stay on the trail for about 3 weeks with only single days off when we go out for resupply. We’ll see if that works!

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  12. That sounds like so much fun, Rebecca. And I agree with you about brain breaks. I think they're really important.

    My guilty pleasure used to be Archie comics, but I haven't read any in a while. They keep recycling the same old stories and I guess I just got tired of them. There's a cozy mystery author named Joanne Fluke who writes these completely nonsensical "mysteries" that are mostly recipes and the characters talking about recipes. Even though there's tons of things about those books that frustrate me, there's still something comforting about them, like visiting an old friend. I guess those would be my brain candy.

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    1. Wow, I don’t think I’ve read Archie since I was a kid! And I know exactly what you mean about Joanne Fluke’s books (I couldn’t keep reading them). I feel much the same about Nancy Atherton.

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  13. Replies
    1. It seems to be a common taste! Something very comforting in reading a book and knowing how it comes out. And, of course, if you know and love the book, there’s no issue about putting in any work to get engaged with the story.

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