Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Walk in the Burbs

My suburban neighborhood may not seem like the most exciting place to take a walk. The route I like best takes me down a quiet street lined with tidy houses, trimmed lawns and colorful flowers beds.
Mr. Long Tail gets some sun
The intersecting cross streets are named after colleges: Harvard, Cambridge, Stanford, Cornell. I nod hello to neighbors out walking dogs or pushing strollers. Most people are listening to music or talking on cell phones, but not me. When I walk, there’s usually a character from one of my novels keeping me company.

We have intense conversations, work through plot twists, invent back story. It’s all good, unless someone sees my lips moving.

I can’t help it. Walking is great for coming up with new ideas. While the left side of your brain, the critical side, is distracted with keeping your feet moving, the right side, the creative side, has the freedom to imagine new ideas and soar. (Showering works great too. While your hands are busy soaping up your body parts, your mind is free. I’ve gotten some of my best ideas while standing under running water.)
Dharma keeping the neighborhood safe

This morning it may have seemed like I was walking though a commonplace suburban landscape, scooting from tree to tree to take advantage of the shade, feet smacking the sidewalk in mindless cadenced repetition. Really I was with Glendin spying on her odd Jeliken neighbors from the bushes, or with Noni in the Gray City, dodging Corporate Security Rattletraps, or fighting off a viciwolf attack with Taela in the Darkling Forest.

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