So you can read my books

Thursday, August 28, 2014


“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
 -Dr. Seuss

Some neural scientists suggest that music confers no survival advantage and describe it as “auditory cheesecake.”

On the other hand, they suggest that fiction can, like gossip, be biologically adaptive.

 “Fictional narratives supply us with a mental catalogue of the fatal conundrums we might face someday 

and the outcome of strategies we could deploy in them."

Neil Gaiman mentioned the same thing in the YouTube video of yesterday on my blog. 

The brain, by itself, 
would have no mind. 

It requires the cooperation of the body in order to think and feel. 

It is this interaction between the brain and the body that causes the mind. 

Speaking of actually using the body, here is an interesting fact:

 A new study that compared the different brain processes used for writing by hand and typing 

has found that there are cognitive benefits to putting a pen to paper. 

These findings give support to the continued teaching of penmanship and handwriting in schools.

By the way, how legible is your handwriting these days?  :-)

Writing is more complicated because it integrates the following three brain processes:
  • Visual: Seeing what is on the paper in front of you.
  • Motor: Using your fine motor skills to actually put the pen to paper and form the letters to make the words.
  • Cognitive: Remembering the shapes of the letters requires a different type of feedback from the brain.
 As adults, we know that writing by hand is a much slower process than typing on a keyboard. 

And we’re all in a hurry to share our every thought with our social networking worlds. 

But, as an experiment, sit down and write a letter.

 See how different it feels to actually hold the pen and to have to plan out your thoughts. 

It’ll be good for your brain. 

Handwriting may be slower, and there is no spell check, 

but this is precisely why picking up a pen and writing your thoughts down on paper may actually help you exercise your brain.

 The latest findings from the real neuroscience of creativity suggest that 

the right brain/left brain distinction does not offer us the full picture of how creativity is implemented in the brain.  

Creativity does not involve a single brain region or single side of the brain.

 Instead, the entire creative process–

 from preparation to incubation to illumination to verification– 

consists of many interacting cognitive processes (both conscious and unconscious) and emotions. 

Depending on the stage of the creative process, and what you’re actually attempting to create, 

different brain regions are recruited to handle the task.

 Alice Flaherty, one of the most renowned neuroscientists researching creativity 

states an important ingredient to be creative is dopamine: The more dopamine that is released, the more creative we are.

 Typical triggers for events, that make us feel great and relaxed and therefore give us an increased dopamine flow 

are taking a warm shower, exercising, driving home, etc. The chances of having great ideas then are a lot higher.

Also being distracted helps:

 Jumping into the shower can turn into what scientist call the “incubation period” for your ideas. 

The subconscious mind has been working extremely hard to solve the problems you face 

and now that you let your mind wander, it can surface and plant those ideas into your conscious mind.

So are you stuck in your novel?  Hop into a warm shower!


  1. I've usually resorted to handwriting when I want to slow down my thinking about a scene or a new chapter. Handwriting seems to be a dying art. Except for book signing, when only a handwritten signature will do.

    In addition, I'm also researching brain functions to better know what I'm dealing with medically. There is a lot that is NOT known about the brain and it's interactions and processes.

    Hope you're all better now and wearing a hat.

  2. MS means that my fine motor control is a thing of the past, and my handwriting (which I once prided myself on) is scrappy at best.
    Just the same there are some things where handwriting is irreplaceable. Love letters and condolence messages leap to mind.
    How if your poor face going?

  3. D.G.:
    I hand write some of my novel when I am on a break at work, and something comes to me. It always amazes me how much of a written page a scene takes on paper when it is but a blip on the computer screen.

    I pray your husband is doing much better. Thank goodness for the internet. In the past, we were left in the dark with our medical problems.

    My face is healing well now. And I am wearing my Stetson fedora to work (Aussie style)!

    Elephant's Child:
    My right eye fluctuates in how good its vision is, so I've taken to using the trick John Ford, and blocking the right lens of my glasses as I am doing writing this.

    The eye doctor doesn't have a clue to what is going on. Sigh.

    As the years progress, it seems our bodies delight in robbing us of what we once took for granted.

    I am sorry to hear of your loss of fine motor skill. MS is something else to live with. My Stetson's off to you for doing it so elegantly. You are right: condolences and letters of love have to be hand-written! :-)

    Thanks for taking time to comment. It means so much to me.

  4. My handwriting is reasonably legible. Pat Conroy writes his novels and memoirs by putting pen to paper. He then pays someone to type them up, though I would do it for free.


  5. The past three weeks has forced me to hand write stories. Man, I remember why I didn't like doing term papers. Lines through words, tiny scribbles, arrows from one spot to another. Haah.

    Typed up those pages which turned out to be a smaller number. I was feeling so proud of myself. 15 hand written = 4 typed.

    I have two styles of handwriting, rough drafting and turn in quality.