I can’t credit my NaNo success this year to any one factor i.e. my amazing brilliant mind – but to a combination of several things that over the years have proven helpful in partial, concrete ways or in more abstract ways. Is it the placebo effect or a genuine phenomena – in the long run does it matter? The words are the result/
I did download a couple of new audio inductions – to enhance creativity – these audio pieces work on brain wave vibrational levels – theta, alpha etc. I alternated one every day plus the back log of similar pieces I’ve collected over the years. Music has always played a major part in writing for me so taking it to this level seemed natural enough.
Speaking of music the NaNo playlists of new music certainly kept me stimulated. using the shuffle mode I was presented with different sounds, tones, styles, generations, nationalities on a regular basis as I wrote. I never knew what to expect next but if what came up wasn’t ‘right’ I’d skip along to the next surprise.
I added to the sensory stimulation by trying different things at the various coffee shops I’d stop in at on my morning walks. Cupcakes instead of cookies, strudels instead of muffins, coffee with milk instead of cream, stevia instead of sugar twin. Even hit a few new cafes. Mint tea some mornings – mint has been proven to me stimulating. I’d use my peppermint body wash and lotion on days when I knew I was putting in long writing hours.
Another stimulation I tried this year was scented handkerchiefs – I used them around the house rather than kleenex. I have a different one in various spots – one in the bedroom, one by my study laptop, one by the desktop, one in my coat pocket. Each I sprayed with a different cologne. They would be replaced weekly & the scent would change at the same time.
Weird? Maybe, but we all have quirks and this year these particular quirks resulted in nearly 70,000 (unvalidated) words so I’m not complaining.
(more of the interview with Mrs. London)
“You said you had some material of the childrens’?” Glaucia said.
“Oh, yes. These.” From one of the other envelopes she spread out two groups of paintings held together with paper clips. Under one clip was a school photo of Madeline, under the other a school photo of Gerrard.
Glaucia took the group of Madeline’s first and slid one of the middle pictures out and placed it face up on her lap. “I need one that hasn’t been handled too much by others.” she explained. “The ones on the top and bottom have been exposed the most and hence have dissipated more of their ethereal information.”
“How thrilling.” Mrs. London squeezed her arms to her sides in delight.
“Shhh.” Glaucia commanded. She turned hands palms up, stretched out her fingers and briefly hummed a high-pitched tuneless intonation.
Then they sat in silence for few moments as Glaucia turned her hands palms down and held them a few inches over the water colour painting. A boat with a trawling net trailing from the side into the ocean had the sun setting behind its mast. The water was choppy brush strokes and the clouds look like they had been sponged on.
“Interesting.” Glaucia said before turning the picture over.
The other side had a pencil sketch of the waves and part of the boat on it. Madeline’s name was printed neatly in the lower right corner along with a date.
“Madeline wrote that herself.” Mrs.London whispered.
Glaucia ran her fingers gently over the printed signature. “She was a happy girl when she did this drawing.” Glaucia said. “She wasn’t happy with the way the net turned out though.”
“I have their class photos from that last year too.” Mrs. London said taking the photographs out of the other manilla envelope and handing them to Dan.
They were the standard shots of rows of children, short ones, in front, tall ones in the back. Neither Madeline nor Gerrard stood out in the pictures.
“These were taken outside.” Dan said.
“Oh yes. The school at that time didn’t have a gymnasium or even an auditorium.”
“Warm day too. None of them are wearing coats.”
“I don’t recall the exact day.” She took one of the pictures and turned it over. “My, I didn’t even write the date on the back.
“It was early in October.” Dan said.
“How can you tell?” Glaucia asked.
“Drawings of smiling pumpkins in the class room windows behind them.”
“Oh how observant,” Mrs.London said. “You must have driven your teachers crazy.”
“Maybe.” Dan didn’t recall much of his school days on the east coast other than the pictures his Dad had taken of him on the first day of every school year, then on the last day of every school year.
They next looked at some drawing and lettering work that Gerrard had done when he was one of Mrs. London’s students. The pictures were in crayon. The lettering work was Gerrard practicing his printing and struggling to stay between the lines.
“So many of them found that hard to learn, you know.” Mrs. London said. “It was always so rewarding to see them gain the manual dexterity to print on the lines. Gerrard learned how to do that pretty quickly.”
Glaucia repeated her hand hovering read over Gerrard’s hand printed exercises.
“Now, here’s one other thing for you. I know it wasn’t right of me to keep this but it just seemed right to have it with this other stuff.” she handed an small envelop to Glaucia.
Glaucia opened it. Scanned the letter it contained then read it aloud. “Dear Mrs. Henderson … ”
“That was the principal at the time. She retired a few years later.”
“Dear Mrs. Henderson,” Glaucia began again. “Please excuse Madeline Forestier from Miss Clarke’s class and G Forestier from Mrs. London’s class this Thursday and Friday as we are taking them with us to a wedding in Halifax.
“The two of them were so excited. Madeline even had new shoes and wore them to school that day along with the prettiest dress. It was one her mother had made for her. In fact she rarely had store bought clothes you know. That Mrs. Forestier was an accomplished seamstress.”
“This is everything to have about them?” Dan asked. None of what she offered them added anything new to what they already knew. Rumours about the parents were interesting but weren’t helpful
“Yes Mr. James. I didn’t know the other little boy and we didn’t even know about all the others until that show. It came as quite a shock. Made me scared for the children. I can imagine how threatening it would have been for parents at that time, not knowing if your child might be next.”
“What do you think happened to Madeline and Gerrard?” He asked her.
“Oh …” she shook her head. “It’s impossible not to speculate, isn’t it. It’s not the sort of thing that happens in a place like this, you know. I found it frightfully suspicious that it took those parents so long to report them missing. Others did too. If I was a mother I would have been out all night calling for them to come home.
“That RCMP Inspector didn’t tell us much anyway. No news conferences the way there is these days. He was from the mainland too and acted as if we were too backward to be told anything. As I said the fact there were other children involved was news to me.”
“You don’t mind if we take these pictures with us?” Dan asked. “I’ll see to it that they get returned once we’ve made good copies of them.” He was sure Cyrtys would want to work them into the show somehow. “We have to get back to our headquarters.”
“Certainly. You take care. All night.” Mrs. London stopped Glaucia. “A good mother wouldn’t just wait, would she.”
January 20, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring Dominic Berry Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy more music – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet