by Christina Brooke/Christine Wells
I haven't been around the lair for a while and boy, have I missed you all! Especially the cabana boys and my dahling Sven of the Magical Hands. This latest deadline really whipped my hide and I had to retreat from the cyber world for a while to focus.
Writers often talk about the creative well--that there's a finite amount of creativity any of us have at one stretch. Once we've drained the well dry, we need to refill it by experiencing the world beyond our writing spaces and more specifically, other forms of artistic endeavour. I find amazing joy and inspiration in the product of other people's creativity.
At the moment, this is how I'm refilling my well:
The Russian ballet: I am not a ballet afficionado but I was transfixed by the beauty and athleticism of the dancers. And while I'm being highbrow about it, I'm also going to a performance of the opera Tosca this weekend, a birthday present from Husband. The piercing beauty of human voices gets me every time.
Interior Design: I'm in the process of renovating my house so I find a lot of inspiration in magazines and especially in blogs on the internet. I can spend hours at a time lost in Anna Spiro's Absolutely Beautiful Things, Ella and Baba and Driftwood Interiors. There's something very energizing about design and visual art, particularly when the designers use colour, textures and shapes in interesting ways.
My 4 year old son's art. Yes, I know, I am utterly biased but I find this talent truly extraordinary, not least because no one else in the family has the smallest amount of skill in this area. Regardless of talent, it's his obsessive passion for drawing that really enchants me. I hope he never loses it.
Cooking: With spring in the air, I'm trying to build up a repertoire of healthy, tasty recipes full of summer goodness. Baking is my weakness and my recreation. I love to do it but unfortunately I also love to eat what I bake!
Children's books: My agent sent me a set of Ursula Vernon's Dragonbreath books and I'm having a ball reading them to my sons. The vocabulary is quite advanced and yet the stories are so gripping, my 4 year old begs to go to bed early just so we can read the next chapter. I'm in awe of writers who can capture children's interest so thoroughly.
Fiction: You know I'm busy when I say I haven't had time to sit down and read! For me, that's pretty much unheard of. Luckily there is a solution--audiobooks! I am currently glomming Lisa Gardner. Man, the books are even scarier when they're read to you. I have also learned from experience not to listen to them when I'm eating. I know Lisa would be glad to hear me say that and think it a job well done.
Classic movies: As inspiration for the next romance, what could be better than watching An Affair to Remember for the zillionth time or snuggling down to watch every possible version of Pride & Prejudice?
Music: Yes, I admit, I'm an 80s/90s tragic. I load up the iPod and go walking or listen in the car and let my mind wander.
How do you re-energize after a particularly gruelling or emotionally draining time?
Do you use creative pursuits as therapy? What's your favorite Lisa Gardner book?