Sometimes I can’t look at the computer anymore. I’m sure any one who has a real job in writing (as opposed to a made-up one, like me) comes across this phenomena as well. You become fairly sure that the white-washing light of the screen is burrowing a hole into your brain, and draining out your will to have independent thought. You’ve read so many blogs and articles in a row, that you can’t remember which ideas were yours, and which were just planted there. Worse, you’ve wandered across subjects, and now you’re trying to draw connections between topics that just don’t want to be forced together. For example, a love of funny cat videos, and the potential reformation of student loan collection. It doesn’t work. Just stop it. People are going to be insulted.
Occasionally, a re-set day is needed. You’ve got to save the articles in your inbox for a time when your brain can digest them. I try not to take this too hard. I know it will happen. Usually, just a few hours after declaring a re-set, I can go back and begin to take in information again. But until then, I have to move about my life.
My odd work schedule leaves me with Mondays and Tuesdays as my weekend. This does not bode well for my social life. You’re hard pressed to find another kindred spirit who just wants to stay up to all hours of Monday night. Also, I’m broke, which places limitations on the entertainment I can provide myself with. But it’s our job in life to work with what we’ve got. So I keep my own company during my brain re-sets.
I’m also pretty darn good at finding the free entertainment out there. You know what’s free? Puppies. As I hit up the pet store and re-stock sundries for the furry club at home, and spare myself 10 extra minutes to stare in the puppy windows. Spend 10 minutes watching a puppy and tell me your muscle spasm of a brain doesn’t start to relax.
Next up, the book store. There is a stunning, beautiful, independent bookstore about 20 minutes from where I live. I love to touch books. I love different weights and textures. I do judge a book by it’s cover. I can’t resist a pretty one. The best part? They can’t kick me out for browsing! Don’t get me wrong, whenever I do have discretionary funds, I will always support a local business. Come holiday time, I’ll be back for gifts. But right now, I just need to be near the work of authors. Also, if the book appears to be about a dog/ cat/ horse/ etc., I need to read the last few pages of said book to make sure the animal in question survives to the end.
Now that I’ve given myself a severe need of new literature, I head straight to the library. I have a library card and I bear it with pride. My local library is very small, but that’s okay. If I’m given too much room to roam, I’ll end up sitting in a corner, rocking quietly back and forth from the stress of decisions. Coming straight from the book store gives me the advantage of having a few titles in mind I would like to read for free. Usually, I can find at least one of them.
I have the slightly off kilter ritual of gathering up the books I think I might potentially like to check out, and lining them all up on a table. I then assess the moods of the books, and what kind of experience I would like to have that week. I know that if I read Kazuo Ishiguro, I’m going to be committed all week. His books make me quiet and introspective. Neil Gaiman will have me thinking with a British accent, which can get cumbersome, but I do love a quiet step into impossibility. I evaluate my week, the time I will have to dedicate to the book, and I make my selection.
Heading home, I breathe a little easier. Natural light does wonders for the brain.
This post has nothing of value to offer. This is a place-holder for a head that’s currently resting.