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Spooky weirdness and the books on my desk

A little story about writing and intuition

Once upon a time, as a healer, I engaged in counselling someone in a spiritual quest to free them from pain. It’s a long story I will not indulge today, but I will say that before each of those appointments, I meditated. I did that then. ow writing is the only meditation I seem to need. Before each of those appointments, I went to my bookshelves. I’ve collected books for years, so I have several thousand waiting to be rediscovered. Each time, one of those books would call to me. I felt a change in energy through my palm as I ran my hand along the shelves. I would then open the book at random…or seemingly at random. Something always arose in the client’s session that related to the passage from the chosen book. The woman I worked with used to be trapped in an electric wheelchair. She walks, drives, travels and lives a full life now. She became a healer and took my place. Make of that what you will.

When I’m stuck or need a nudge or a connection to an epiphany, I still go to my bookshelves. Call it inspiration, weird, or the hypnogogic state, pattern recognition, divine intervention or neural connection through confirmation bias. Call it nonsense if you want. I’m conflicted about it myself. Nevertheless, it worked. It still works. When I need it, that intuition can propel my narratives forward.

I’m now revising one book while writing another. As I survey my extra desk (spreading out is such luxury), there are several piles I either reference or keep close by just to stay on track. I thought you might be interested to know what I pulled from my bookshelves to draw from as I go through my process:

For my crime novel:

The Pool Bible by Nick Metcalfe (as in nine ball), Mobspeak, The Dictionary of Crime Terms (Sifakis), Writing the Private Eye Novel, Cause of Death A writer’s guide to death, murder & forensic medicine (Wilson), How to Write a Mystery (Larry Beinhart), New York City Day by Day and Frommer’s New York City.

For Editing:

The Artful Edit (Susan Bell), The Subversive Copy Editor (Carol Fisher Sailor).

For Inspiration:

Brother (William Goldman), Best American Crime Writing 2003, When the Women Come out to Dance  and The Hot Kid (Elmore Leonard), Small Town (Lawrence Block), This Year You Write Your Novel, (Walter Mosley).

NEXT POST: Pantsing versus Plotting

Filed under: ebooks, Editing, getting it done, My fiction, publishing, What about Chazz?, writing tips, , , , , , , ,

3 Responses

  1. I have believed for some time now that words trap energy from those who wrote them not unlike physical items can from those who’ve owned or held them. I too use them as you do. Often just to get started writing, I’ll read whoever calls to me, especially poetry, and then move right into my work. At other times when I am pondering something I need to understand or resolve, I’ll read something grounding and powerful to me, and somewhere in the midst of reading, the insight will emerge. One thing that is true in all cases for me is what I’m reading is written by someone who is real, meaning present, honest, integral – take your pick of words.

  2. [...] Spooky weirdness and the books on my desk (chazzwrites.com) Please spread the word:TwitterFacebookPinterestEmailPrintStumbleUponDiggTumblrRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  3. [...] Spooky weirdness and the books on my desk (chazzwrites.com) Please spread the word:TwitterFacebookPinterestEmailPrintStumbleUponDiggTumblrRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

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