Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Good for What Ails You.

Howard Watson Trail, Sarnia.

c2011 (S)

After decades of research, only one substance has been proven to improve brain function. The substance is oxygen. The best way to suck up some extra oxygen is to get outside and ride a bike, or whatever. I never run, so that rules that out. You could walk or something.

That was not my highest priority when I set out cycling today. Summer is winding down. I want to strengthen up my lower back and knees, which will help me cope with the middle-age aches and pains that winter brings on. A few years ago, my knees were giving out on stairs and things like that. Cycling has helped, although it really isn't a cure. I always laugh when I see guys ride with their knees sticking way out to the sides. (Raise the seat.)

After biking about five kilometres, I was ready to go home. This leaves some energy to go cycling tomorrow. I was sitting in my reclining-rocker armchair, trying to figure out what to make for dinner, and all of a sudden a bunch of ideas floated to the surface of my mind. Some might say that's the only mind I've got, but to heck with them anyway. They can write their own blog posts about my brain.

It was surprising how effective my subconscious mind was at finding dumb little things that I had filed away years ago. Stupid little things, like a book I read on Morgan sportscars, which some readers may know had an ash frame and hand-built bodies. There's a motor-cycle with a sidecar in the story--and Morgan started off with three-wheelers based on motorcycle components.

My novel, provisionally titled, 'Maintenon Takes a Vacation,' is set in England in 1927. I came up with a few other things as well, and while I jotted down some minimal notes, I'm still not sure how it all relates. If I had reams of material, some of this would be almost unwelcome. But with only 31,000 words down, the project was stalled to some degree.

What I have is enough to go on. A friend was saying that he had 'visualized' his book over many years, and somewhere along the line, I might have mentioned 'game theory' in terms of writing a story. Simply put, one choice, whether it's a character, a situation, or a plot point, eliminates some other possibilities further down the road.

Now at least I have something that fits in with what I already have down, and I'm going to take some imaginary paper cutouts and 'game' this thing out in my head. It gives me more options. Also, I had kind of forgotten my technique of 'character rotation,' and there is food for thought there too. I've got a few pages of notes from the last three months, and I'll mine through that. Some of those squiggles must mean something.

Once I have a basic sequence of events, (and figure out who is the killer,) then I will be on the way to finishing the book. Incidentally, I already have the last line written...it's a good line, but also a bit of a groaner.

To make a long story short, oxygen is good for what ails you.

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