Sliding Door Moments

I take my title of this post from the movie Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow. Seen it? I saw the movie many moons ago and actually watched it again when I thought of writing this post. Silly me. It’s a lighthearted romance/fantasy movie made long before Gwyneth uttered those misguided statements about motherhood.

Here’s Gwyneth in her two separate identities:

"Slidingdoors". Via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Slidingdoors.jpg#/media/File:Slidingdoors.jpg
“Slidingdoors”  Via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org

I know. You want to flip it over, don’t you?

In the film, Gwyneth’s character’s experiences two separate lives based on the sliding doors of a train:

Scenario A: She misses the train and hits her head.
Scenario B: She catches the train and meets a new man.

Each scenario brings along with it new possibilities specific to each Sliding Door reality. Scenario B obviously is much more fun.

At this point in my life, I’ve had countless moments when I could have made different choices. Marriage, jobs, careers, friendships, hair styles. I could get lost thinking about them all. But the reality is, I don’t even need a sliding door of a train to experience what I call my “Sliding Door Moments.” Really, Gwyneth,  you never needed a train.

Burning the Salmon

IMG_0195 (1)
How could this happen? I don’t know. I closed my eyes and this is what I saw. A Flash Burn maybe?

Scenario A: Grill the salmon to perfection and enjoy a tasty meal.
Scenario B: Burn the salmon and be forced to eat chili from a can.

Well, you know what happened here, don’t you?

Not only have I now been denied a healthy and delicious meal and those essential Omega-3 fatty acids, but I have also suffered a tummy ache and was up half the night, so missed my early morning run, and pouted all morning and didn’t go out with my friend who was going to reveal to me her new sex toy and what’s more important than that? All this denied because I had chili.

Okay, I made all that up, but it could have happened. Just checking your attention span there. Except, of course, for the burned salmon, which did burn. Pictures don’t lie.

Next.

 The Mystery Mound

The brown mound in the corner…no, it’s not that. Look at the picture.

Just part of the old room decor?
Oh, my. We have a mystery on our hands. What could it possibly be?

This fluffy mound presents a myriad of possibilities in my day.

Scenario A: The opportunity to stretch your arms, put items into organized piles, and later distribute these piles throughout the house to designated areas.

Scenario B: Lay your head on something soft.

Nope. I’m not even going to open this door. Indeed, you have the option to not open the door at all.

Next.

My Morning Sliding Door Ritual

Truthfully, I have a “Sliding Door Ritual” each and every morning before my feet even touch the ground.

I wrestle with the following possible scenarios:

Scenario A: Boot Camp at 6:00 AM  – Get your sweat on.
Scenario B: Lay in bed and hit snooze.

So, it’s sweat, sleep, sweat, sleep, no sleep, c’mon sweat, but I’m too tired, sweat, sweat, but my pillow is soft. Get that workout in. I can’t open my eyes…sweat, sleep…sleep wins!

And then it’s too late for Boot Camp. Next. 

Scenario B: Lay in bed and hit snooze.
Scenario C: Get up and write like a real writer.

Write, sleep, write, sleep. Can’t I write when I sleep? I’ll write my dreams when I get up. I promise. I’ll work out my plot problems in my dreams. Dreams are good for writing, I just…write, write, sleeeeeepp wins again!

I just…I don’t want to be Crabby Pants all day…zzz. Next. 

Scenario B: Lay in bed and hit snooze.
Scenario D: Rise and shine.

Just a few more minutes…I can sleep, I can feel it…wait, my eyes are shutting. It’s time to get up! I might actually drift off. Hey, I never went back to sleep. Not fair, not fair, not fair.  I’m exhausted. Up you go!

That door slammed in my face.

What about you? Did you see the Sliding Doors movie? Do you have any daily “Sliding Door Moments” or rituals you’d like to share? Do you have early morning ambitions? 

photo credit: Metrò Parisienne via photopin (license)

Once Upon a Bumble: What’s Your Writing Habit?

Welcome to the weekly forum, Once Upon a Bumble. Last week, I was contemplating the when of writing. Today, I want to explore writing habits, as this may very well dictate the when of our writing.

In my writing experience, I have what I like to call a dual process. I usually begin with my notebook, scribbling down thoughts, words, sometimes sentences. I follow this with scribbles,  scratch outs, doodling, daydreaming, and hopefully more writing. Eventually, I may have a sentence or two I like. If the sentence is a keeper, I transfer the words into my computer as soon as possible.

My chicken scratch writing may very well be the worst handwriting on the planet. Blogging friends, I don’t believe you would be able to decipher a word of it. If I don’t transfer the information within a reasonable amount of time, it may be forgotten forever. This is similar to forgetting what you were going to say, but at least twice as worse, because that thing, that thought, word, sentence…It was perfect, the connection, everything…it was probably…garbage.

This would be perfect.

Writing in my notebook is more about processing ideas, because much of the time when I transfer material from paper to computer, it transforms mysteriously into something else, usually an improvement from what I had. I write more seriously at the computer. If I’m really in a bind, I usually pace around, fold clothes, clean up, and then, a word or thought enters my mind, unlocking my creative energy. Well, ideally anyway. Other times, my writing is more fluid.

Yes, and birds chirping. I like to hear them, which means I should be writing in the morning. But I feel I have more free-flowing ideas at night. Oh, I’m so conflicted.

Let’s now turn to famous writers for inspiration and their interesting habits. I will highlight a few here. For more details, see the articles below.

1) Location, location: Truman Capote wrote in the horizontal position on a couch, sipping a glass of sherry/coffee and puffing a cigarette; Vladimir Nabokov soaked in a tub while he wrote on his index cards; For distraction-free writing, Flannery O’Connor used the blank surface of her dresser drawer.

2) Amount of Writing: Ernest Hemingway wrote 500 words a day, sometimes stopping in mid-sentence (although this could also be due to his high-alcohol consumption); Stephen King, ten pages a day, even on a holiday; Thomas Wolfe, also about ten pages, triple-spaced, roughly 1800 words; James Joyce considered three quality sentences a full day’s work.

3) Early Risers: Toni Morrison and J.K. Rowling wrote in the morning, working their schedules around children; J.K. Rowling stole away to a cafe to write while her child napped; Sylvia Plath rose at 4:00 am to write.

How about a snake around your neck? Oops, her top might be a tad small. Don’t worry, you don’t have to wear a bathing suit.

4) Foreign Substances/Odd/Memorable: Philip K. Dick, hallucinogens, Aldous Huxley, mescaline; William S.Burroughs, heroin, W.H. Auden, Benzedrine; Mary Shelley wrote with a snake around her neck; John Cheever often wore nothing but underwear; Ezra Pound breathed only through his mouth while writing; Hemingway first discussed his writing with his cats; George Orwell started his daily writing routine with a swim across the English Channel; Virginia Woolf engaged in hot yoga.

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What about you?

Do you have a writing ritual? Do you write in front of computer or with pens/pencils?  While lying down? In a pool of water? In silence or with sound/music? While naked? Oh, I got your attention.  Seriously, I wouldn’t expect you to admit it here. Of course, you want to…

I’d love to hear from you. Share away.

Relating Links on Writers’ Habits

Weird Writing Habits of Famous Authors
Words That Sing the Body Electric: The Writing Habits of Famous Authors
Daily Routines
Writing habits of 9 super famous authors

photo credit: cogdogblog via photo pin cc
photo credit: Kevin Eddy via photo pin cc