Tuesday, May 25, 2010


When I have a good writing day, I’m left completely drained. It’s like running a marathon, which I’ve done. (Okay, it was actually a 5K, but quite draining for someone as sedentary as myself.) There are some physical aches, like the tension in my neck and wrists, but mainly I’m just mentally drained. After a day of writing, I can barely read a sentence, even a very good sentence in a very good book, like The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle. Forget completing the capitals of the world quiz on Sporcle. Instead, I’m down for the count.

I’ve been trying to balance out these hours of mental strain with some good physical labor. It’s either that or a four-hour nap, which is my sort of marathon.

Hence, my unusual spurt of home renovation.

In the last few weeks, while I’m winding down the final thirty, twenty, ten pages of my novel, I’ve spread four yards of humus in the back yard, painted in the kitchen, made new curtains, reupholstered the dining room chairs, and freecycled eight bags of clothes, shoes and purses. Today I painted the French doors leading onto our patio – something I’ve been meaning to do since the day we moved in, more than seven years ago. It was blissfully cathartic – a cool-down from the intensity of tying together all the loose ends of my book. Baxter was whining through the fence at dog next door and someone in the neighborhood was playing a saxophone, quite well.

All in all, it was a great day – one of those rare times where mind and body came together in perfect balance.

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