Rainbows and Seascapes

I took a mini-vacation last week (three whole days, woohoo!), so you’re getting photos instead of my usual essay.  Here’s a happy beach scene to set the mood:

This paradise is only 15 minutes away from our house.

 

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we experienced the lowest tide we’re likely to see for a while, with water levels actually below the mean sea level.  Hubby and I went exploring and discovered tidal pools teeming with fascinating critters.

This pool was only four or five feet across, but the longer we looked, the more we saw.  The big purple starfishes clinging to the rock were almost invisible in the shadows (gotta love light-adjusting cameras).  There were two larger crabs (below and left of the starfish) and dozens of tiny ones; and there’s actually a brown starfish in there, too.  The barnacles are farther left again, and we got to see one of them extend and retract a spindly spider-like leg from its white shell glued to the rock.

Tidal pool with purple starfish, crabs, barnacles, baby sculpins, and host of other unidentified marine life zipping around.

 

It’s been hot (36C/97F) for the past few days, and I know you tropical folks are chuckling because that would just be a pleasant little cool spell where you live.  But earlier in the week we had some lovely rain, and our house was at the end of a double rainbow:

Time to start digging in the basement – there’s gotta be a pot of gold in there somewhere!

 

And in other news, I finally managed to complete a watercolour painting that didn’t make me want to hurl and/or creep away in shame.  Hooray!  I’ve got a long way to go yet, but at least I feel as though I’m making progress.

It’s no masterpiece, but at least it’s identifiable…

 

And, one more thing:

I’m thinking about making changes to my blogging schedule and/or the length and content of my posts.  The usual 500-word posts take me 4 – 6 hours each week to write and edit.  (I usually edit each one about 25 times.  Yes, I admit I may have slight issues with perfectionism.)  I love interacting with everybody regularly; and I’d like to free up more time to work on Book 14.

So… hmm.  What to do?  Please help me decide by voting in the poll below, and if you have any other suggestions, please drop them in the comments.

Thanks for weighing in!

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Carmageddon Is Coming

I’ve mentioned on several occasions how much I hate renting cars, so you can imagine how pleased I was (not!) to belly up to the rental car counter again last weekend.

My life seems to flip-flop between Murphyesque fiascos and windfalls of ridiculously good luck; so I fully expected our car-rental experience to be either excellent or excrable, with no chance of middle ground.

My heart sank at the first words out of the agent’s mouth:  “We don’t have the full-size sedan you booked…”

I braced myself for the inevitable shit landslide.

But no; the agent went on to say that they’d give us a free upgrade to an SUV or mini-van instead.

“No mini-vans,” I said.

“You can go and look at the vehicles and choose the one you want,” he replied.  “Just check with the agent on the lot.”

So we did.  The lot agent confirmed that they had a Kia Sportage or a mini-van available.

“No mini-vans,” I said.

“Let’s just go and have a look,” he said.

The shiny red Sportage was brand new with a leather interior and only 78 kilometres on the odometer.  The driver’s seat was comfortable.  Perfect.

“Let’s look at the mini-van now,” the agent encouraged.

“No mini-vans,” I said.

“It’s fully loaded.  Let’s just go and look at it,” he cajoled.  “You’ll love it.”

“No mini-vans,” I muttered.  But he wouldn’t give up, so I followed him around the corner.

He hadn’t lied; the mini-van was loaded.  Leather interior, remote start, power everything… and approximately the size of the RMS Titanic.

I did not love it.

“NO… MINI-VANS!” I repeated loudly and firmly.

The agent gave me an incredulous look.  Because seriously, who in their right mind would want to zip along in a sporty red SUV when they could be wallowing down the highway in a land yacht designed to accommodate seven full-grown adults along with enough luggage to outfit an entire expeditionary force?

But at last the agent reluctantly handed over the keys for the Sportage.  And life was good.

Until…

We were at my niece’s wedding reception when my brother-in-law’s phone pinged.  “Uh-oh,” he said, and showed us the screen.  There was a severe weather warning:  Lightning, thunder, torrential rain, hail, tornadoes, and a 60% chance of the biblical apocalypse.

Our shiny new rental car quivered under the darkening sky.   I quivered, too.  We had insured the Sportage under our regular auto policy, and I really didn’t want to make a claim for total vehicular annihilation.

The sky turned as black as night and the heavens split open.  The wind howled.  The power failed.  When the rain wasn’t blowing completely sideways, it bucketed down so hard it bounced a foot up off the asphalt when it hit.

But not a single hailstone fell on the shiny new Sportage.

I found out later what a ridiculous stroke of good fortune that had been.  A giant hay barn collapsed near Tilley; two semis blew off the TransCanada highway near Brooks; the entire city of Medicine Hat was without power for a couple of hours; loonie-sized hail pounded northeast Calgary; and tornadoes touched down outside of Edmonton.

But we were fine.

Which was wonderful; but I shudder to think what Murphy is saving up for the next time I rent a car.  It’ll be Carmageddon for sure.

Maybe I’ll just stay home for the rest of my life…

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Our Excellent Adventure

You know how some people have epic adventures cycling through Peru at nosebleed-inducing altitudes, hanging off mountain peaks, or braving primitive conditions in countries most people have never even heard of?  (Sue Slaght, I’m looking at you.)

That’s not us.  Although I love reading about Sue and Dave’s escapades from the safety and comfort of my armchair, Hubby and I prefer our adventures closer to home and with less potential for personal injury.

You’d think that would make for comfortably predictable trips; but sadly, that’s not the case.  I’ve been marooned on an island, robbed twice, and lost in the wilderness with shotgun-toting locals closing in; and that’s all within the province of British Columbia.  I won’t even get into our hotel disasters involving hookers, cows, rappelling nudists, and sticky dick prints.

Granted, none of the above episodes were as dangerous as they sound.  The island stranding was just a mistimed ferry launch (although I still blame Hubby, since he was the one who drove onto the ferry without me).  The robberies were from our vehicle; so despite the annoyance of losing tools, an expensive camera, and a dozen bottles of wine (that really hurt), there was no personal risk involved.

The lost-in-the-wilderness experience wasn’t overtly life-threatening either, although there were some tense moments:

According to our explorer’s map, there’s a teeny-tiny back road between the Okanagan Valley and Kelowna.  So we tried it.  (And Hubby still blames me for our failure, since I was navigating and we ended up on the wrong mountain.  A good marriage is all about give and take:  Give blame and take credit.)

Anyhow…

We drove… and drove.  The road got steeper and narrower and gradually degenerated from gravel to  largish rocks.  Tall trees crowded us on both sides.

We drove some more.  Slowly; since it seemed like a good idea to keep the wheels attached to the vehicle.

A half-ton roared up behind us and dogged our bumper, so we pulled over in a slightly wider part of the road to let him pass.  He gave us a hostile glare as he went by, and we both swallowed hard at the sight of the shotgun hanging in his back window.

Then we realized that the road was widening at semi-regular intervals, allowing access to clearings displaying strikingly, um… verdant… foliage.  That’s when we abandoned the attempt and retraced our route to the main highway, having no desire to get shot by some nutjob guarding his marijuana plantation.

So you can imagine our trepidation this weekend when we decided to search out Rhododendron Lake, a tiny body of water that boasts a rare stand of wild rhododendrons (R. macrophyllum).  The only access is by private logging road; and you’re only allowed in on the few days when the logging company isn’t blasting.  I was really hoping I’d gotten the navigation right this time.

Fortunately I did.  Despite a rough road that brought back worrisome memories, our trip was free from firearms, explosives, or questionable flora.  The lake was a placid silvery pool, and although we met people coming and going on the short hike, we had the whole lake to ourselves while we were there.  And the rhodos were in full bloom – spectacular!

And best of all, we were home in time for dinner.  Now that’s my kind of adventure!

Rhododendrons growing wild in the woods.

 

It’s hard to believe they’re wild!

 

More rhodos all through the woods.

 

Rhododendron Lake

 

Rhododendron Lake is only about 10 km off the main highway between Parksville and Nanaimo; but it’s a slow drive on a rough road. (Click on map to enlarge.)

P.S. Book 13,  “Once Burned, Twice Spy” has finally made it safely through the release process and is available from all retailers, hooray!  I’ll be starting Book 14 soon, so stay tuned to the Books page for progress reports.  🙂

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I’m Gonna Need A Forklift…

After the past several weeks of feverish work and stress-filled wrangling to get Book 13 safely into the retailers’ systems, my brain is completely empty.  Usually there are a few screwball thoughts floating around in there, but this week?  Nada.  Not even the sound of crickets.

(Although the sound of crickets would be worrisome, considering that I recently read a news article about a woman who had a cockroach take up residence inside her ear, BLEAH!)

Anyway, I had nothing but the whistle of wind between my ears, so I consulted a site that offered random writing prompts.  And I got this:  Write a post about anything you’d like, but be sure to include this sentence somewhere in the final paragraph: “He tried to hit me with a forklift!”

Something about that prompt burrowed into my brain like a… ech, never mind.

I know randomness was the whole point of the exercise, but nevertheless my mind rebelled.  Why hit someone with a forklift when there are so many more entertaining weapons?  A dead fish, for example.  A cauliflower.  A rainbow-coloured My Little Pony riding crop with marabou feathers on its… oh, wait.  Is that a little too creepily specific?

*ahem*

Moving right along…

How could I write a post about “anything I like” and somehow include a forklift?  I like music and ice cream and rare steaks and art and cold beer and gardens and a host of other things.  Excavators are fun.  Ditto highway tractors.  But forklifts?  Meh.

I considered spinning some flash-fiction:  Who was this guy and why would he try to hit me with a forklift?  Was he a wack-job smushing innocent people for fun?  Or had I done something to deserve smushing?  And why was I hanging around a forklift anyway?

Unfortunately, creating flash fiction requires brainpower; and I was fresh out of that.  (Not to mention, you already know the punchline.)

When I searched for “funny forklift” on the internet I found a disturbing number of forklift fails, but they were more cringe-worthy than amusing.

I tried to come up with some bad puns:  A fork lift; as in an elevator for forks?  A fork-lift, as in lifting a fork?  I even tried and failed to figure out some kind of filthy double entendre about getting forked.  It’s a sad day when I can’t even come up with a dirty joke.

So… I didn’t get hit by a forklift this week (which is good); nor did I get hit with inspiration (not so good).  I hope I’ll be able haul my brain out of its swamp of exhaustion soon.

But I think I’m gonna need a forklift…

Help me out here:  Anybody know a good forklift joke?

* * *

P.S.  Book 13 is available for pre-order at all retailers AT LAST, woohoo!  Click here for purchasing links

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Leading You Down The Garden Path

It’s gardening season, woohoo!

If you’ve ever been to a garden centre, you’ll know why the expression “leading you down the garden path” means “deceiving you”.  I’ve been sucked in by their euphemisms more times than I can count, so today I’m going to translate some common plant-sales wording for the benefit of less jaded experienced gardeners:

“This vigorous plant will thrive anywhere”:  This innocent-looking scrap of greenery is a monster poised to attack.  As soon as you place it in the ground, it will shoot twelve-foot-long roots in all directions and new plants will spring from every inch of the roots.  If you attempt to pull it out, every tiny segment of remaining root will form a new mother plant with its own set of twelve-foot-long roots and plague of invasive children.

“This delightful woodland favourite prefers dappled shade and moist well-drained humus-rich soil”:  It’ll die no matter where you put it.

“Easy to grow”:  …If you’re a master gardener.

“Plant these seeds as soon as soil can be worked in spring”:  …But they won’t actually grow then.  This is just a clever way to make you buy a second $5.95 packet of seeds after the first batch rots in the cold soggy soil.

“These seeds require light to germinate”:  These seeds won’t germinate.  Ever.

“Attracts birds to your garden”:  Cut off its flowers the instant they fade, otherwise it’ll spew out so many seeds you’ll spend the rest of your life weeding.

“Drought-tolerant”:  …As long as your definition of ‘drought’ is “an inch of rain per week”.

“Will even grow in dry shady trouble spots”:  Yes, it will.  But it’ll send out tendrils to scout for better conditions, and when it finds them… see “This vigorous plant…” above.

“Requires support”:  It’s a pathetic weedy vine.

“Requires a sturdy trellis”:  It’ll leap out of the ground like Jack’s beanstalk and within weeks will thicken to a woody rope that scrambles up the trellis and onto the neighbouring tree, where it will subsequently crush the trellis to dust and strangle the tree.  If the trellis is attached to your house, you’d better sleep with an axe under your pillow and ten gallons of weed killer beside your bed.

“Blooms from May to September”:  Theoretically, ten minutes in July is within the range of ‘May to September’.

“Non-invasive”:  …If you live in the arctic.

“Forms a neat mounded clump”:  …In June.  By August it’s a mess of leggy stems flopped over in all directions.

“Semi-evergreen”:  Completely deciduous except for one ugly leaf that clings to the stem all winter like dirty underwear tied to a flagpole.

“Evergreen”:  Mottled olive-drab is technically a shade of green.

“Hardy once established”:  It’ll probably live, if it doesn’t die first.

“Fast-growing”:  Don’t lean over it while you’re planting unless you want to be impaled by the branches shooting skyward.  And you might as well buy a chainsaw right now, ’cause you’re gonna need it.

“Slow-growing”:  If you’re over the age of two, don’t bother planting it.  You won’t live long enough to see it reach its mature height.

“Hardy to Zone x”:  Make that “Zone x, minus 1 or 2”.

“Gardening is an inexpensive and relaxing hobby”:  I’ve got some swampland to sell you…

Chime in, gardeners!  What’s the best gardening euphemism you’ve heard?

P.S. Still no word from Amazon about why the pre-orders for Book 13 didn’t show up on Amazon Canada, UK, Australia, or any other marketplace except the U.S.  They promised to get back to me today, so… fingers crossed…

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Geek-Speak

I’ve been a geek all my life.

I’d like to clarify that I’m referring to the current definition of ‘geek’, as in “a socially awkward oddball who thinks too much”; not “a sideshow performer who bites the head off live chickens” (which was what the word meant when I was young).

I have never bitten, and with any luck will never bite, the head off a live animal of any sort.  Chocolate animals?  Oh hell yes!  Cooked animals?  Maybe… though I’d likely use a knife or cleaver or some other suitable implement instead of my teeth…

Oops.

There I go again.  Over-thinking.  Over-clarifying.

Even as a child, I couldn’t grasp why people didn’t simply say what they meant.  When the teacher asked, “Does anyone know the answer?”, I never understood why she apparently stopped being able to see my wildly-waving hand after I’d answered the first few questions correctly.

When the other girls assured me, “Of course we’re still friends!” and then never spoke to me again, I just… didn’t get it.  There’s something to be said for being completely oblivious to social cues.  I thought I had lots of friends, and it was sheer coincidence that I never got invited to anything.

The rest of the world doesn’t understand that geeks take words at face value.  A classic geek joke goes like this:  A software engineer was found dead of starvation in his shower.  Preliminary investigation suggests that he was following the instructions on the shampoo bottle:  “Lather, rinse, repeat.”

This joke is funny and sad on two levels:  1) You have to be a bit of geek to get it; and 2) If you are a bit of a geek, there’s probably some small part of you that’s thinking, “You know, that makes perfect sense…”

Another diabolical geek trap is the phrase casually bandied about by normal human beings:  “Suggestions are welcome”.

Hint for the geeks in the audience:  No.  No, they’re not.  One suggestion is welcome.  Maybe two, tops.  If it’s your personal responsibility to resolve the issues, you might be allowed three suggestions.  Presenting twenty pages of closely-spaced bullet points will only end in annoyance for you when you realize that your listeners’ eyes glazed over after the first two points and their minds are now fully occupied by desperate escape plans.

Another hint for geeks:  If your listener is gripping a letter opener with whitening knuckles, it’s time for you to leave.  Lingering to make sure they grasped the subtle nuances of item 20.1.5.3(b) will only result in bloodshed; and that gets awkward for everybody.  For one thing, stab wounds hurt.  For another, if your listener decides to commit hara-kiri instead of attacking you, it’s very difficult to explain to the police.  (Don’t ask how I know these things.)

Anyway, after 50-odd… okay; very odd years, I honestly thought I had this stuff all figured out.  (Note:  All geeks think this.  They’re always wrong.)

But then I went for physiotherapy a few years ago.  The physiotherapist said, “Keep your legs straight and touch your toes.”  So I did.  It hurt like a bitch.  But she hadn’t said, “… and tell me if it hurts”, so I didn’t mention it.  I threw away a lot of money on physiotherapy before I grasped that little detail.

But I’ve got it all figured out now.  Really, I do…

* * *

P.S. Book 13, “Once Burned, Twice Spy” is now available for pre-order at all retailers (click here for links)… except, for some unknown reason, the Amazon international sites.  Amazon.com is up, but none of the other countries are showing the listing.  Grrr!  I’ve submitted a trouble ticket to Amazon and hope to have the problem resolved shortly.  To everyone who received the pre-order announcement and can’t buy from the Amazon of their choice:  I’m sorry about this.  I’ll send an updated announcement as soon as the pre-orders are up in all countries.

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Some News Is Good News

The phrase ‘no news is good news’ has always seemed ambiguous to me.  I’m never quite sure whether it’s supposed to mean ‘if you don’t hear anything, everything’s going well’; or ‘there’s no good news at all’.

I have a guilty confession:  I hate reading the news.  Because… there’s no good news.  I’d rather avoid it and pretend everything’s going well in the world.  But out of some misguided sense of civic duty, I do skim the headlines regularly; and Hubby (who is a newshound by nature) has strict instructions to let me know if we’re going to get annihilated by a rogue meteor… again.

But by the time I finish reading the news, I feel like the Vogons after Marvin zaps them with the empathy gun:  “I feel so depressed…  Oh, what’s the point…?”

So this week I’m concentrating on good news:

Spring is truly here and the birdies are in fine form around our yard:  Swallows swooping and cheeping, eagles soaring high, colourful red-shafted flickers probing for bugs, mourning doves cooing, robins chirping, hummingbirds buzzing and squeaking, and red-headed woodpeckers hammering out their messages on the trees.  And more good news:

The sun is shining! (And that’s not snow in the background; it’s a tarp covering our manure pile.)

 

My apple twig is in full bloom (it’s too small to be called a “tree” yet)

 

The last of the tulips are putting on a show

 

Our deciduous azalea, R. luteum “Golden Comet” is only 18″ tall but it’s still beautiful and fragrant.

And…

Book 13 cover art is done!  The release date will be June 5, 2018, and pre-orders should be available sometime within the next week.

If you want to receive an email with links when the pre-orders are live, please click here to sign up for my New Book Notification list.  As soon as I have all the information I’ll update my Books and Where To Buy pages, too, so stay tuned!

Escorting Canada’s top weapons developers to an international summit should be just another stressful day in the life of secret agent Aydan Kelly.  But Aydan’s routine mission becomes a nightmare when she’s accused of an attack on the delegates and the theft of a classified weapon.

As evidence mounts against her, Aydan’s own investigation suggests she might have unconsciously committed the crime.  Burned by her own Department and hunted by MI6, CIA, and FBI, Aydan must decide:  When her own mind might betray her, who can she trust?

 

 

 

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Flowers And Festivities

It’s FINISHED!  Woohooo!!!

I wrote “The End” on Book 13 this week, and I hope to have a title and cover soon.  And wow, did it ever turn out to be a long book!  Now let the editing begin…

My brain is temporarily drained of words, so for this week’s post I decided to ‘say it with flowers’. These are photos from our garden and from Milner Gardens and Woodland, where the rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, and magnolias are putting on a show.

Happy spring!

A tulip after the rain

 

Tulip love in our garden

 

This is our baby rhododendron “Baden-Baden”, only a few inches off the ground.

 

…and this is how we’re hoping it might look someday.

 

These anemones are almost finished.

 

…and these ones are just getting started.

 

More anemones with a fat seed head in the foreground.

 

White rhododendron at Milner Gardens

 

White rhodo closeup

 

Almost there…

 

Rhodos at Milner Gardens

 

Beach view from Milner Gardens with a purple azalea. Ahhhh…

 

Camellias at Milner Gardens

 

More camellias at Milner Gardens

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It’s Baaaack…

For years my friends have teased me about wearing a waist pouch, and with good reason.  Whether you call it a fanny pack (Canada and the United States), bumbag (UK), belly bag (Germany), or banana bag (France); the sad truth is that it was in style for about ten minutes in the 90s and ever since then it’s been a visible indicator of my defective fashion sense.

But I love my waist pouch.  I’ve got everything but the kitchen sink crammed in there.  It’s comfortable, practical, and hands-free; and I got over any self-consciousness about wearing it long ago.

I also got over calling it a ‘fanny pack’ after I discovered that while ‘fanny’ may mean ‘bum’ here, across the pond it refers to an entirely different portion of the female anatomy.  In my case ‘fanny pack’ would still be an accurate description since I wear my waist pouch front and centre, but I’d rather not be unintentionally vulgar.  (Intentionally vulgar, yes; frequently.  But I like to choose my times.)

Back in 2014 I was thrilled to discover that waist pouches seemed to be making a comeback, but when I didn’t see anyone else wearing one in public I simply assumed that (as usual) the fashion industry hadn’t come to its senses.  But that was only another example of my cluelessness, because apparently waist pouches have sneaked back onto the fashion scene.

My friends are much more observant than I.  Whenever they notice some celebrity rockin’ a waist pouch, they’re sure to let me know.  Last week my step-mom got into the act by mentioning she’d seen a pink sequined number on the Shopping Channel that would give me the ultimate in high-fashion panache.

Enlightened, I searched the shopping sites and voilà!  A plethora of packs, from $6.95 cheapies to $300 designer duds.  I was amazed to find materials ranging from my good old black leather to the aforementioned pink sequins, and everything in between including camo and floral patterns… plus the quintessential Dad bag from Walmart that made me laugh out loud:  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Dad-Bag-Waist-Zipper-Packs-Unisex-Fake-Belly-Traveling-Fanny-Bags/920778025.

Just in case the fashion industry forsakes me again (which it undoubtedly will) I’d like to point out that waist pouches have a long and distinguished history:  They started off five thousand years ago as belt-pouches, detoured to Scotland as sporrans, and appeared in Native American history as medicine pouches.

So not only am I honouring tradition by wearing a waist pouch, it turns out that I’ve also been a trendsetter all along:  a bleeding-edge fashionista who spotted a ‘thing’ decades before it arrived!  (And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell, too.)

Anyway…

In keeping with their fresh new look, fanny packs have risen above their original vulgar nomenclature with sophisticated new names like sling bags, waist packs, hip packs, hip sacks, and crossbody packs.  I showed off my updated vocabulary (and my ancient waist pouch) to my friends the other night, and as usual I came in for some lively teasing.  One friend suggested that ‘colostomy bag’ would be an appropriate moniker for smaller pouches worn off-centre.

I had to agree.  ‘Colostomy bag’ would be a perfect name for my waist pouch – after all, it’s where I carry all my shit.

So I know I’m probably a freakish minority, but… would you ever wear a waist pouch?  Have your say in this poll!

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Brain Food

I’m SOOOO close to finishing the draft of Book 13!

Each time I start a new book, I promise myself that I’ll write steadily within a realistic timeframe.  And each time, I end up writing day and night to finish in time for some self-imposed deadline.  In my quest for energy and inspiration this week, I’ve uncovered new FactsTM (see footnote below) about brain food.

Earlier civilizations believed that foods resembling a particular portion of the anatomy provided special nourishment to that anatomy.  So cauliflower, lumpy and brain-shaped, was ‘brain food’.  (This theory also explains the popularity of bananas and cucumbers; but I digress.)

Modern medicine informs us that ‘brain food’ doesn’t, in fact, resemble the brain; instead, the secret to smarts comes from complicated things like omega-3s, antioxidants, and flavonoids.

But after extensive research (a couple of hours at least) I’ve discovered that both ancient and modern beliefs are wrong.  Brain food isn’t brainish-looking.  It’s not complicated or difficult to obtain.

It’s…

*suspenseful drumroll*

Junk food!  And I have FactsTM to support my conclusion!

When I’m plotting a book, I usually pace; although I may also stand stock-still staring into space or drape myself over the furniture in odd positions.  (I bet you thought you were supposed to sit with your butt on the sofa cushions and your feet flat on the floor.  Pshaw.  The correct position is:  Belly on the cushions, arms draped over the sofa back, toes on the floor.)

Pacing is my favourite creativity stimulant; but even better is Pacing With Brain Food.

I can think better when I’m chewing; probably because jaw muscle contractions stimulate my brain.  My research supports this, because I’ve found that crunchy foods provide much more inspiration than soft foods.

I love gooey goodies like cheese and ice cream, but they offer no inspiration at all.  Likewise, chocolate (while ever-so-yummy) doesn’t help me.  In fact, the more chocolate I eat, the less I can think; until my entire mind is subsumed by four words:  MUST… HAVE… MORE… CHOCOLATE!

Tradition holds that booze is a veritable fount of inspiration; but not so.  A moderate amount of booze completely drains my brain; and too much booze fills it up again with ideas that seem brilliant at the time but when reviewed the next day make me say, “What the everloving f…?”

So once again, the FactsTM bear me out:  It’s gotta be crunchy.  You can’t chew booze.

Fruits and veggies?  Meh.  They’re better than nothing.  But…

Popcorn.  Chips.  Beer nuts.  Pretzels.  Cheezies.  OMG!!!!

My brain goes into overdrive.  I pace frenetically, gobbling handful upon handful of crunchy brain-stirring goodness.  Ideas flow, like belly fat breaching the waistband of too-tight jeans.

It’s a good system; but it’s not really sustainable unless I want to buy a whole new wardrobe to accommodate my… *ahem* expanding creative process for each subsequent book.

So in a few more days I’ll be back to my usual sensible diet; but just remember, you heard it here first:  Junk food is the ultimate brain food.  It’s a FactTM!

*

1 FactsTM is a trademark of The Fake News Generation Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bullshit Consortium.  FactsTM is defined as “any random statement, however ridiculous, which is shouted loudly enough to be reported by the media”.

P.S. I’m travelling today, so I’ll be checking in later – ‘talk’ to you soon!

P.P.S. It’s spring on the Island!  Hooray!

 

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