I'm so excited to have my friend Vicki stop by today to share with you about her latest release and some thoughts on writing and your brain. Take it away Vicki....
Hungry? I'm always up for a good snack and regularly give myself permission to eat chocolate. But that's not what I want to speak to today. I'm talking about exercising your brain, specifically the creativity section.
According to The Brain Explorer: Our brain is mainly divided into 2 "halves," the left and right sides. The left-hand side is seemingly responsible for number and language, likely to process information logically. However, the right-hand side of the brain takes a more holistic view of information and enjoys patterns. Not surprisingly, the right side is known as the more creative half of the brain. Generally, men tend to be left-brained and women are to be right-brained.
People who understand their creativity fully are those who can use both sides of their brain most efficiently. Our brain tends to organize things into familiar patterns and our mind seeks to make connections to things it already "knows" and then "stores" the experiences accordingly. This can be unhelpful when you are trying to be creative.
How do we nourish our brain? Well, of course, by eating and sleeping well (and the requisite chocolate). And regular exercise.
I like to try different things all the time. But two constants have been with me: reading and crafts.
Reading was and is my best friend. As a child, nothing delighted me more than going to the library and bringing home a stack of new books. I'd climb on my bed and read until dark. Then at lights out, tuck myself in and when I felt the all clear, got out my flashlight and read under the covers.
And one time, I was with my amazing grandmother. I can't remember where my mom and aunts had gone, but I remember being alone with her, which is remarkable considering all the cousins in my family. She motioned for me to sit by her and handed me a pillow case stamped with a kitty stepping on a fork. She passed me a threaded needle and a hoop to hold the fabric taut. Grandmother taught me how to embroider.
Since then, I have taken up many crafts: cake decorating, wreath making, candy making, needlepoint, tatting, beaded jewelry, and crochet. I've also become a big fan of World Search no Vowels puzzle books. I play Mahjongg on my computer. And I've kept reading voraciously.
I truly believe those things have taken my brain in a new direction and all the creativity shows in my writing. Besides, it's fun.
So what kind of brain food are you eating?
Romantic Comedy/Cozy Mystery, 75k
Released October 17, 2014, The Wild Rose Press
Long Blurb: New Job. New Love. And Murder.
Hattie Cook's dream job is down the toilet and her new SUV violated. Desperate for cash to cover the basic necessities of rent and food, she takes a temporary job at Buy Rite insurance company where she uncovers an embezzling scam tied to the death of a former employee--the very one she replaced. The last thing she wants is to clash with By-the-Book Detective Wellborn, no matter how much he makes her heart pound.
Allan Charles Wellborn has secretly adored Hattie all his life. He evolved from a pocket protector-wearing geek to a handsome police detective. When the police determine there's more to the death of a former Buy Rite employee, he steps in to lead the investigation. Overly dedicated, always perfect, he puts his job first, even if doing so ultimately hurts the one he loves.
Can the killer be found before Hattie's time is up?
Buy Links: Amazon B&N The Wild Rose Press
Pretty much covered the whole freakin’ day.
A blinding red-white, red-white strobe, reflected in my brand new Wrangler’s rearview mirror, seized my attention. The police. I tossed my hands skyward, ready to surrender. I shouldn’t have been too surprised. Like I'd commented this a.m. to my roommate, Jenny, “Today, anything’s possible.”
My Bad Day checklist included:
- Crappy job interview, one which might have provided desperately needed income.
- Wore gut-busting panty hose on a hot day which had now worked past my waist and strangled my diaphragm.
- A barely blowing air conditioner indicated something had malfunctioned in my new, fun car.
I stole another glance in the mirror, and with great reluctance, flipped the right turn indicator. My vehicle coasted to a stop on the shoulder of Boston Avenue in my hometown of Sommerville, a nice suburb located between two large cities. Four lanes of cars and trucks zipped by as I sat there where every single one of my family, friends, friends’ friends, and their friends—including Rat Fink Suzanne—would see a police vehicle positioned right behind mine. Gleefully, drivers would chant the “Ha-ha, got you, not me” ditty.
After killing the engine, I flopped back in the seat. Shooting the morons the finger was an idea. Nah. I'm too exhausted to care.
A litany of: "No, not hiring." "Just filled the position." "You're over qualified." "You're under qualified…" tornadoed through my head. Coupled with the intense job search through various outlets like the internet and completing numerous online employment applications, no wonder my body had been depleted of all life force.
Not even a breeze blew to take the edge off the unbearable summertime heat. Tangled wild trees and dry scrubby bushes banked the roadside. The grass had taken on a scorched look. Rolling down the driver’s window, I surveyed my surroundings. Nothing great. Nothing new.
I stole a glance in the side mirror at the policeman who strode purposefully along the shoulder. The gravel crunched under his boots. He looked huge, probably because his uniform, which appeared to be bulked with a bullet-proof vest, made him resemble a buffed-up superhero in size. Exceedingly intimidating.
Sigh. When things went wrong, they were really wrong.
Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm--the list is endless.
Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, MUSEITUP PUBLISHING, and THE WILD ROSE PRESS. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.
Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"
Find Vicki at:
Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/author/vickibatman
Plotting Princesses: http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com
Giveaway: Kate Spade Handbag
Musings from Michigan