Thursday, June 01, 2006

Stick a Recorder on Your Head and Look Crazy

By Nichole Giles

When I was in high school drama we used to have a saying, “Stick a geranium on your head and be happy.” I figured it was a pretty good motto, so I used it quite a bit. I still do occasionally. Later in life, I found out there was a book by a similar title, which is probably where the motto came from in the first place. Now that I’m writing, I’ve decided a change is in order.

My writer’s group has recently been discussing our sources of inspiration. Some claim to get their inspiration in the shower. Others get great ideas while they are in bed asleep. Many get inspiration while driving. Still others claim inspiration while hiking. (I’ll have to try that!)

I get a great deal of inspiration while at the gym. The blood gets flowing, my muscles get warm, and conversations start happening in my head. Snippets of scenes I haven’t finished, solutions to a dilemma my character might be in, plot twists and secondary characters all begin to take shape as I tone and firm mine.

How do I keep track of these great ideas? I keep a notebook in my car, and thanks to the parking fairy it’s usually not far away. I can always run out and grab it mid-workout. Often I bring the notebook in the gym with me. But someone in my group gave me an idea that I am going to have to investigate further. It has been suggested that I get a hands free microphone to attach to my iPod. That way, I can run around the gym recording my ideas as I work out.

What a great way to kill three birds with one stone. Three? First, I’m exercising. Which is important for someone who spends a great deal of time sitting on her…computer chair. Second, I’m keeping track of the awesome ideas that flow through my brain along with the extra blood. Third, I’m clearing people away from the machines I want to use so I don’t have to wait.

“Huh?” you say.

If I were not a writer, and didn’t know the importance of listening to the voices in my head, I might not understand why someone was walking around the gym with a recorder on her head talking about magic crystals and flying beasts. I might not understand why that person always talks to herself, asks herself questions and then answers. And what is that weird antenna she has sticking out of her hat? Personally, I’d stay far away from that person. I’d probably go out of my way to make sure I wasn’t using any of the machines she wanted, so I didn’t have to wonder what mental hospital she escaped from.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of the hands free microphone. I’ve always wanted to be able to do three things at once, even if I am misconstrued as crazy. That is why I’ve decided to change my motto. “Stick a recorder on your head and look crazy.” Fitting, don’t you think?


Anonymous said...

Multitasking is great!!

Nichole Giles said...

Yes, Mr. Burns. I agree heartily.

rakrose said...

That was funny. It reminds me of something I used to do. I'd go walk at the park at the end of my street--and neighbors would come and want to talk with me. Which meant I couldn't do stories in my head while walking. So I'd wear my earphones with the cord tucked in under my belt, attached to nothing. People assumed I was listening to something and would leave me alone. Also, when I talked to myself as I was figuring out a scene, they just figured I was singing along to some music.

Nichole Giles said...

Thanks Rakrose. I'm going to have to try that one too.