Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Brains

Lately I've been using Lumosity as a brain-tenderizer before I write. In the same way that you might dip some food, in some other food, so do I dip my brain... that's... not a good analogy.

The point is, sometimes I sit down with a fully manicured plot outline, having mentally visited the setting--asked some embarassing topological questions, crashed on a few couches, in the process breaking some old china dishware and not offering to replace it--and introduced myself quite cordially to my own characters--shaken hands, asked about the weather, where'd you study, how can you eat that stuff, and so forth--and yet cannot stir the means to put all that work into words. Thus must I dip--and here we return to an unsuccessful metaphor in the hope that, upon second glance, after a little warm up, it will prove more fruitful--the long wooden spoon of Lumosity into the great cauldron of my... no. No, dinner's not quite ready yet.

To put it simply, Lumosity offers "brain games" that stimulate wallowing gray matter and purport to encourage brain health, and experience suggests that a few rounds of these videographically uninspiring offerings is nearly always enough to get my mind moving at least as quickly as a lamed ox. If I'm writing a plodding story with flies buzzing lethargically around its rear-end, this is the ideal.

You might be thinking: "Ben, my brain is pretty trim. I'll reckon it's fairly quick, too. Honestly, friend, do I look like I can't distinguish one shape from another? Accomplish simple arithmetic? Fart with my eyes closed?" Oh, sure, sure you can. And I'll bet you can climb a ladder without missing one step and slamming your face into another. Unless you're doing it really fast, under pressure--which is precisely the kind of exercise Lumosity forces your brain to do. How far can you sprint, lad?

Now get to it. And don't you ever talk back to me again.

-bn

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