Sunday, May 27, 2012

Engaging the Superior Colliculus

So there are times when the writing doesn't go well.  Remember me talking about those intimidating blank pages?  Yeah...they're the worst.  Especially when all of the sudden you feel like there's nothing to say.  And then there's that annoying little voice that starts talking in the back of your brain...telling you that why would anyone want to listen to you?  What makes you think you have anything interesting to talk about?  That voice is reallllly irritating, especially when that blank page isn't filling itself up and there are distractions all around.

I don't write well with audible distractions.  Dialogue, music with lyrics, conversation...let's just say I don't multi-task well.  So writing with the TV on?  That's out.  Writing while listening to any music with words to it?  Soo very out.  Writing while talking to someone else?  Well unless you want a transcript of the conversation...really not happening.  Maybe it's because I was always interested in theatre and music, words are what really draw me.  Words have a power that a lot of people disregard.  And words that are spoken...  Well a good speech can engage a nation, incite a riot, or inspire genius.

Don't believe me?  Read the Declaration of Independence out loud.  Read Thomas Paine's Common Sense to someone and see how they react.  Heck, read the Gettysburg Address.  Try reading something like The Charge of the Light Brigade or Invictus... poetry especially was mean to be read aloud.  Even this, reading this blog... try it out loud.  See how it sounds in your ears.  Words are meant to be heard.  Given a choice I'd rather be blind than deaf.

So when I'm confronted with a blank page and what seems like endless distractions, my best bet is to go away from it for a while.  I try to do something else.  Sometimes reading will help, getting my brain on the right track for when the distractions go away or at least get the volume turned down.  Of course, if I just get plain old stuck reading doesn't always do it.

There's really nothing worse than knowing you have something to say, and being unable to say it.  The words don't come, or they come out so badly that you can write pages of garbage and still know it's completely wrong.  To call it frustrating is mild, but sometimes after the pages of garbage  my brain finally gets going and the words just flow.  That is soooo gratifying.

Other times...yeah, the other times are...well it's best to go away from the laptop before I do something really stupid like throw it, or try to erase every document on the hard drive.  So I take a lesson from the great Doctor Sheldon Cooper, and I attempt to engage my superior colliculus.

For folks who've never seen The Big Bang Theory I'll explain.  When Sheldon gets stuck on a problem he does something mind numbing, like manual labor, in order to distract himself and get his brain working on the problem without his conscious knowledge.  Sheldon decided to go and volunteer at a restaurant, waiting tables in order to get his superior colliculus working.  Since I really don't ever want to work (or volunteer) in food service ever again, I clean my house. bathroom is sparkling, the husband's bathroom is sparkling, and all but two rooms are dusted and vacuumed.  The result of this is more than a few aches and pains that make me grateful for my day off tomorrow.  But I now have a clean house and I can finally write.   

And on the dollhouse front, I'm figuring out how to build a case for the house.  What I need to do is have the house enclosed to protect it, but removable so I can actually build it.  Does that make sense?  I'm still working on it obviously.  One of the women at work gave me the idea of building a wooden frame and then gluing Plexiglas into the frame, then covering it with wooden trim.  That way at least I wouldn't have to try and drill the Plexiglas, which was my biggest worry.  Wood I have no problem with.   

I'll keep working on it.  But if I can build shelves for the cats and install ceiling fans, I'm pretty sure I can do this.  Heck, I've even got a drill/screwdriver.  No saws yet, but the hardware store can do the cutting for me.  

I'm open to suggestions.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Meet the Children

Hello everybody,

I thought since my dollhouse is still in its boxes and will be until I can determine how to build it without having it simultaneously destroyed by my cats, that I would introduce you to the reasons for the delay.  And oh yes was that a run on sentence! 

Yes, my children, the only grandchildren my parents are going to get from me, the felines.  They're all cats that were abandoned or found on the street.  And I'm sorry, but I don't get that.  One of my biggest pet peeves is people who abandon their pets or don't take care of them.  Pets are work. Pets are expensive.  Think of pets as children.  Would you dump your child in the street when it got to the annoying stage? (Okay, so yeah there are some people who would, point stands.)  Don't get a pet if you can't afford to get it all of its shots.  Don't get a pet if you're not going to be around. Don't get a pet for Easter or Christmas and then dump it when you're bored.  Don't... arghh...

I take it back. I'm not sorry.

Okay, stepping down and backing away from the soapbox now.  Sorry about that, touchy subject.

So anyway, here are my children:

Our oldest is Spike, named for the vampire on Buffy.  He's fat and old, (He was born in 1998 we think) and he's a sweetheart who's just a little senile.  But he loves his people and he loves his brother and sisters and he's never mean to anybody.  Spike will walk up to repair people and want to be petted.  The furnace guy recognizes him.  (That says something about Spike or the furnace and I don't want to think about it anymore.) He doesn't meow much, never has, but when he does he has something important to say.  We say he's the strong silent type.

Pictured here lounging with his sunflower toy.

Our next cat is Drusilla (also named for a vampire on Buffy).  Dru is a little skittish.  She doesn't like people or other cats except Spike and she doesn't want to come out of her one room.  Dru seems to think she's Emily Dickinson.  She has a chirpy little meow and loves her window shelf which lets her see out and watch the birds and squirrels next to the house.  Words cannot express just how nervous this cat is.  She tends to hide and sleep in the closet a lot and I have a suitcase with her fur nearly embedded in the fabric because of this.

One of her favorite ways to sit and watch her daddy at the computer

Our third cat is Helo.  Named for the Helios (meaning sun) and the character from Battlestar Galactica, Helo thinks he has a passport to whatever room in the house he wants to see.  He has no sense of boundaries.  Where ever he wants to be, there he is.  He's a big cat, getting a little chubby but also is just very long.  He's very friendly to his humans, loves us, and loves his brother.  He would like to love his sisters but they really really do not like him.  Maybe if he respected boundaries they might like him better but since he doesn't we'll never know.  He also has a chirpy meow which can turn whiny like a crying toddler if you don't give him what he wants, be it food, attention or baby talk back at him.

He's obviously not camera shy. He'll walk right up to me when I've got the camera out.

Our last cat is Miho.  Miho is named for a character in the Frank Miller novels of Sin City(deadly little Miho).  She's also our first Siamese and really lives up to the hype.  Oddly enough, she isn't terribly vocal, more like Spike, she only talks when she has something important to say.  But she's a very smart cat who's figured out how to open doors and drawers (I have lost hair scrungies to her because of this) and she is very possesive of her people.  She really doesn't care for any of the other cats except Spike and him she only tolerates because he's nice.  She's a gorgeous traditional Siamese Seal Point.  Her favorite thing is to climb the cat trees or sit on the chair with her daddy.  Or on the bed with him. Or sometimes on the bed with me.  She wants to be in laps always.

Miho explores the new cat shelf and enjoys a view of 'her' kingdom

Well there they are, our current family and the reason I need to build a case for the dollhouse before I can build the dollhouse.

All Fired Up! Sortof...

Well...this is awkward.

I don't know if anyone else has really...noticed this, but a blank page is pretty intimidating.  Here I am, all set to write and tell the world all about my new blog and what I'll be doing and why I started it and...

Whew.  Okay let's slow it down for a minute because just rereading that first paragraph has me hyperventilating.  I'm Sheila.  I live in Texas.  I love writing.  I work in an accounting department. (Yeah I know, talk about a difference between vocation and avocation.)  But as the poet says, 'my object in living is to unite' so I've been doing my best to make both sides of my life come together a little more smoothly.

Towards that end...I bought a dollhouse.  And I'll be putting it together and trying to post pictures of the work in progress. 

A dollhouse is how you reconcile writing and accounting?  Yeah, sounds kinda odd right?  Well if you know me, then you know odd is the only way my brain really works.  And if you don't know me... well, welcome to my crazy life and enjoy the ride.

By the way, we can all blame my pal Rita for this because it was her idea for me to blog about my dollhouse.  So we'll see how this goes.

Here's a picture of the dollhouse I bought.  I will not be painting mine that odd color.

So there's my goal.  And undoubtedly I'll be putting other things in here, I can't work on the dollhouse twenty-four/seven much as I'd like it.  I've got a couple of other places I post things, fanfiction I've written and poetry and such.  I'll figure out how to put those links up eventually. 

In the meantime, welcome and I hope we all have fun with this.