Thursday, November 20, 2008

On Seasonal Smelliness and Brain ATMs

While I'm happy that the work week has been going by at a good clip, it also makes me a little apprehensive about the upcoming holiday season probably passing in a flash. After Halloween, it seems more and more like the other holidays are a day apart, and then there you are, dumped in the new year, looking around and wondering what happened (not to mention possibly hungover, depending on your NYE celebration...)

I have a tradition that's pretty silly, I do admit, but it's awesome (subjectively) - and it involves this:
Bath and Body Works' Winter Candy Apple. I love. And have been wearing it, for a month and a half each year, for nigh on a decade. You know how smells can instantly and effortless take you back - not only do you remember what was happening when you smelled the smell before, but how it looked, sounded, smelled (of course), and even felt?
Your nose, (olfactory nerve) is the one that is most hardwired into the brain (hence the pheromone theory that you're attracted to people and don't even know why, etc.) so smells engender emotion and memories in a way that no other sense can quite duplicate. And, when I start to use my delicious WCA scent, I know that the holidays are here! Sometimes I'll dig it out just for fun and wear it for a day in summer, but my sense of time gets very confused :) Maybe it's just me, but it's things like that that make the passage of the years so nice.
So that's my excitement for this week, I'm instantly in the grasp of the season. Even though it is going to get up into the eighties this afternoon, which just isn't right...
I haven't had as many of my deep thoughts this week, or perhaps they haven't lingered long enough for me to still grasp them by the time I'm at my keyboard (the best ones come at decidedly inconvenient times, like in the shower or on a walk outside). I've been sitting down to write without much coming out, and here's where my Brain ATM theory comes in:
I think, that if nothing will come out of your mind (creativity, inspiration, etc.), then you should put something in. Read, watch a movie, listen to music. To kick it up a notch, do these things with media that not only entertains you, but that has a deeper connection to your creative drive. Watch a movie that you LOVE and that would inspire the kinds of thoughts that you're looking for. Or, reread that book or re-listen to that cd (or ipod playlist, trying to be modern here) that will do the same thing. If none of that sounds good, go read some kind of textbook, letter, or educational website about the topics that you often ponder, and after it's marinaded there for a while, you'll break it down, reform the paper pulp and send out a new noggin output, that is very much "you". There ya go: (not-so) instant inspiration.
So, I've been doing a lot of reading lately. Oh, one more thing - if you write, you'll write like who you're reading. Therefore, if you love a certain author, read a lot of their stuff and you'll eventually start to sound like them. I find this to be VERY true for myself - I start to "talk" (aka write) like whoever I'm "listening" to (reading), pretty soon. Especially if I'm spending a lot of time immersed in that person's work.
Hmm, if only it worked like that for musical talent or financial genius...
Ok, that's it for today. Get out and enjoy the weather! If it's hot or cold or rainy, By definition, it's very much November where you are (even if your November involves record breaking highs, like mine does. sigh.) Don't let it go by in a flash.

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