Friday, January 15, 2010

Your Brain on Writing

Yesterday I had a lovely, non-deadline-filled day with both kids in school, and I plopped myself on the couch, laptop on top of lap, and turned on the TV. Oprah. Half watching, half writing, half cruising Google reader (does three halves equal a whole?), I didn't pay much attention to the show until Paula Deen showed up. I've never seen her cooking show, but Lawd, that woman has a commanding presence.

She was there to reach out to a boy who had lost his twin brother to a brain tumor and was finding his way back to life by baking. That's when my writer's brain perked up. My new novel (73 pages and counting! Progress is being made!) is about a character who's lost her husband, and in fact has lost herself long before that, and through cooking, begins the process of connecting with herself. I started making frantic notes on the tiny post-it that happened to be on the table next to me, none of which made any sense later, but no matter. I had absorbed the jist of it. Writer's brains are like that: we find connections, latch on to ideas, and bring them all together in one place that maybe, hopefully, will have meaning for others.

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