When I do a reading or other author-y event, I tend to hear the same questions:
“Where do you get your inspiration?”
“Is Maggie based on a real person?”
“Where’s the bathroom?”
I think my favorite is, “With work, author duties, and a family, how do you not go crazy?”
I laugh maniacally at that one, causing the question-asker to back slowly away as if I might be dangerous. But I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I do to stay sane. Ish.
Okay, okay. Let’s put images of leg warmers, sexy Jane Fonda stretches, and this ad out of our minds. Today’s Jazzercise is SERIOUS business. Yes, it’s dance-based and yes we occasionally do jazz hands and spirit fingers. But(!!) it’s a demanding workout that employs cardio and weights in equal butt-kicking measure. It’s also a great community of people who celebrate and encourage each other. What’s not to love?
I admit it: I’m an endorphin junkie. Exercise is the number one way I keep stress at bay, and running has long been part of that formula. The older I get, the slower I run and the fewer miles I log. But that’s okay. I still love the mind-emptying magic that comes with each beat of my heart and fall of my foot. Plus there’s always the possibility that I’ll stumble over a body like joggers do in pretty much any episode of Law & Order.
Reading is de rigueur for the novelist. It’s great for inspiration, education and honing our craft. However, I find that I read for pleasure more than “homework.” For me, nothing beats the joy of being whisked away by a great book. The best part? I’m lucky to know so many amazing writers whose work I can turn to for truly wonderful reading.
For the past couple of years, we lived more or less sans TV. It’s a long story about how we ended up there, but the small screen is now back in business chez Valenti. I’ve rediscovered television, and I’ve gotta say, I love it. There are so many fabulous series out there with fantastic writing and exceptional plotting that I feel as if I’m learning, right along with escaping. I’ll always be a movie gal (and a bookaholic), but TV has become one of my sanity-savers.
How can it be that the people who drive me the craziest are also my rock of reason, wisdom, and rationality? Dunno, but it it’s true. These guys, along with my husband, keep me grounded. I look into their sweet faces and whatever seemed so important (but isn’t) melts away. This is especially true if they’re handing me cookies.
Ah, yes. Friends. I have a wonderful band of sisters and brothers, including my sibs in the crime fiction community, both on the reading and writing side. I love my friends for their kindness, humor, support, and willingness to get a little crazy in the best possible way.
How about you? What are your sanity-savers? Please share!