Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Shaking Things Up

I tend to like routine.  I find it comforting and also conducive to productivity.  But lately I’ve noticed in myself a discomfiting willingness to try new things.  Here are a few:

·      Spin class: My Achilles tendinitis became so uncomfortable that I was forced to take a break from running.  The Bike Dojo in Santa Cruz (across the street from The Happy High Herb Shop) offers great classes with instructors who manage to be high-energy without being peppy.  I hate peppy.

·      Words with Friends: Robert and I try to keep a running game of online Scrabble going, but my friend Sue recently introduced me to WWF, and now I’m hooked.  Yes, it’s exactly like Scrabble, but the simple fact that it goes by a different name qualifies it as a shake-up in the natural order.

·      Neck cream: I am not a lotion-y kind of gal, but middle-age neck sag is upon me, and Dr. Perricone’s products kept appearing on my Facebook feed.  On the plus side: Robert says I smell clean (which is worrisome only if I allow myself to imagine that he means I didn’t before).  On the negative side: some doctors think the ingredients cause cancer.  I will probably stop using it because of this, but I’m going to give myself credit for having tried.

·      Pushups: I have been working with weights for years, but I have always resisted doing pushups because: 1) they seem manly and 2) they are hard.  However, I am now doing them.  I can actually do a lot of them.  I hate them.  Doing them while “Modern Family” and “Mad Men” are on helps.

·      Sugar: I am giving it up.  Sort of.  By this I mean that I am trying not to eat all the Milky Way bars with which I consoled myself after I gave up eating wheat.  And I’ve stopped putting brown sugar on my oatmeal.  And when I bake a cake, I don’t eat giant spoonfuls of frosting out of the bowl.  Baby steps.

·      Mozart: I’ve always loved classical music, but I stopped listening to it because it reminded me of my father and made me sad.  But recently I remembered that years ago, a psychic told me that my spirit guide (named Anthony, a fact which made me think at the time that the psychic saw the name “Gina” and just pulled something Italian out of her ass) recommended that I work while listening to Mozart.  So I’ve been doing that.  I like it.

The biggest new thing that I’m doing is writing a middle-grade fantasy.  I have never written a fantasy before.  All my books have been about contemporary children dealing with contemporary problems.  A fantasy novel requires different skills, different emphases.  I have to make characters talk less and do more.  It’s a challenge.

(I should add that the psychic was remarkably prescient about a whole host of things.  Knowing only my first name, she told me that I was a writer, that I would live near the sea, and that someone I know casually would eventually have a host of very unusual and specific problems.  So I do believe that Anthony is watching out for me.  Maybe someday he’ll do something about the pushups.)

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