Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Theme: Walking Away

Like most writers I've learned that often the best thing I can do when I get stuck on the page is just walk away for awhile--literally. In fact, any activity that doesn't require my full attention--like walking--can give my active brain just the break it craves. Then, while my brain is enjoying that break, nine times out of ten my subconscious will kick in with a solution to whatever writing problem I'm currently grappling with.

Here are some activities (besides walking) that often seem to help my brain relax into writing solutions: 
--driving somewhere familiar (grocery store, the gym, the library)
--folding laundry
--doing dishes
--listening to music
--embroidery *

*I like old-fashioned stamped cross-stitch. It takes less thought than counted cross-stitch, so it allows my brain to wander while I stitch. Plus, the slow nature of hand-stitching is a nice reminder of the way we embroider stories, one phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, a page, many pages, and one chapter at a time.

Pillowcases embroidered by the author

I learned embroidery from my mom. She made this alphabet sampler on the occasion of my son's birth.
Love of embroidery goes back generations in my family. This sampler was stitched by my paternal grandmother.


  1. Joan Holub's and my brand-new series, Heroes in Training pubs Aug. 7. Look for giveaway info to the first book, "Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom" at right. (It'll post soon.) --Suzanne

  2. Your needlework is beautiful, Suzanne, as is the embroidery done by your mom and grandmother. Sewing is so much like writing, isn't it? We put in one thread at a time. Thanks for sharing!

  3. BEAUTIFUL! I love the calm that comes with sewing.