What is something you do that gives you energy?

We usually think in terms of how much energy (or money or time) something takes from us. But where do we replenish our stockpiles? How do we find what gives us what we need to keep going? Even better, and I’m going to go a little mathematical on us here, but what are the inputs that exponentially expand the outputs? In other words, what do you do that gives you back more than it takes?

A simple trick is to (try to) track time. Here are three scenarios.

  1. Slow: Time drags on. It’s tedious and you do things like check your watch. This is costing you time.
  2. Normal: You don’t notice time because it’s just flowing as normal. It’s not too slow, not too fast. Says Goldilocks.
  3. Fast: You might check your watch, but it’s more accidental and what usually happens is that you notice that time has, as they say, flown.

Some writers are concerned about things like word count or time spent. For me, I notice that when things are flowing, I don’t notice either. I often look up and see the time and see a word count and notice that it’s lots later and the word count much larger than I would have guessed. But I’m not even to the point of guessing. I don’t care what time it is or how many words I’ve written. I’m so lost in the story that I don’t really care about anything but what’s going on in the story.

That’s energy coming in.

That’s building, growing and recharging. I’m gaining time. I realize we’re talking about bending something that we consider steady and unchangeable, but here I am to say that I’m bending what seems to be a straight line. I’m somehow getting a jump on the seconds and minutes that pass by. I’m getting more of them than what is usually allotted. That, to me, is fun, is joy, is pleasure, is a treat.

I pulled a few paragraphs from the novella I accidentally started while in Florence, Italy this week. I just started with a scene and it’s taken a life of its own. Funny how that happens. Here’s me losing myself in time.

With the alacrity of an aging turtle, I forced my head to turn back around to face my newest bestest friend. I kept my eyes down as I wanted to see if that was her hand on my arm and I brushed my vision along my right shoulder to my elbow to my forearm. Indeed, there was a woman’s hand on my forearm and I continued to follow that up to her own forearm, up the white of her blouse and at this point, I was pretty content with fabric and skin and wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to get back to those eyes anyway, but it was inevitable and if I kept going it was bound to happen, but, oh well.

A shoulder, a neck, complete with the ruffly neckline of her chemise, a strong chin, and lips that, this time, were saying nothing at all. A nose that had no distinguishing features even as I tried to slow my gaze so as not to get to the eyes and finally I had to bite the bullet and I made my way up and up and her eyes were closed.

Time was traveling so slow at this point that it might have been a blink, so I stayed there and indeed, they opened and, much to my relief, they were brown.

I could see the crow’s feet form next to her right eye and the right side of her lips rise up as something of a sly smile started as that one right eye closed again, the wrinkles next to it forming caverns and crevasses and here it came, another wink.

Before I could analyze, hope and project what I thought might happen, it happened. As little as I wanted it, as much as I was curious, but above all, as much as the fear of that eye came through me, it was there.

The yellow eye with the mirrored teardrop black pupil stared back at me, through my own eye, somehow made its way into my head, down the back of my neck, detoured through my heart to give it a quick but firm shudder and landed squarely in the pit of my stomach to the extent that I felt it as if I had swallowed a ball of broken glass where it sat and made me instantly queasy.

As fast as it arrived, it was gone with another heavy closing of her eyelid and the soft brown eyes returned and looked into me as if they were my own.

For the full series, it’s over on The Cream.

Can we bend time? [Venice, Italy]

Can we bend time? [Venice, Italy]