Friday, January 28, 2011
An Analysis of the Short-Term Effects of Creativity Deprivation on a Middle-Aged Individual Exposed to Textbook Overload
I've been noticeably absent from blogdom the past two months, immersing myself in science classes at the local college. For fun, you say? Um, no comment to that effect, but in short I wanted to renew my teaching certificate and the powers-that-be said that I had to pick up 18 quarter credit hours of science or education classes. Silly me, I took the harder route and decided to jump back into technical subjects that I haven't studied for a very, very long time. It's true, your brain does turn to mush with non-use. To the benefit of my future students, this was probably a very good thing, but the short term effect is that I feel like my brain is being crammed so full of factoids that the creativity has been squeezed right out of my ear tubes. This has been augmented by the fact that I'm an overachiever and am convinced I'm not getting my money's worth unless I get an 'A' in every class. This makes for one very stressed (not-so-creative-anymore) writer.
If you could look inside my head right now it would look like those eggs in the frying pan commercial: Your brain on drugs.
My anatomy textbook weighs 8 lbs. and totals 1400 pages. Can you say 'eye strain', 'information overload' and 'weight resistance workout'?
And yet, I find this stuff interesting. Although I prefer to do it in smaller chunks, I hope I never stop learning. Being equipped with knowledge in the sciences has helped me make wiser medical decisions so I could become healthier, know which plants are likely to thrive in my garden (or die, as is often the case) and understand how different types of training benefit the competitive runner.
That's one of the things I LURV about historical fiction - you're learning about the past and the people in it without really being aware of the fact that you're learning. There are few things more mentally painful than having dry facts crammed into your cerebral matter. Learning should be a pleasant side effect of reading fiction. This is where I mention how thankful I am for my crit partners who gave me a good smack whenever I slipped into an infodump.
I also want to thank those readers who have given me a shout-out in the past couple of weeks. Thank you a million times over! A few folks have asked when the third book in The Bruce Trilogy is coming out. It is tentatively entitled The Honor Due A King and will follow James, Robert and Edward II through their final years (with some unexpected twists, I might add). I expect to have it complete by midsummer, the delay of course caused by above mentioned academic reasons.
Only 7 weeks of class left - yay! Halfway there. Meanwhile, I am proofing the final file for the paperback of Worth Dying For (The Bruce Trilogy: Book II). A reader in Scotland is patiently waiting for it.