Skip to main content

CWO - An opportunity for creativity!

Captain’s Log, Stardate 08.15.2006

Blog book giveaway:
My Thursday book giveaway is RELUCTANT BURGLAR by Jill Elizabeth Nelson.
My Monday book giveaway is GEORGIA ON HER MIND by Rachel Hauck.
You can still enter both giveaways. Just post a comment on each of those blog posts. On Thursday, I'll draw the winner for RELUCTANT BURGLAR and post the title for another book I'm giving away.



Check out Christian Women Online (click on the button above) to see what other women are blogging about this quote!

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
~ Albert Einstein ~


Being a writer, my difficulties usually lie in fictional characters who won’t do what I tell them to (sounds remarkably like kids, don’t you think?).

The quote today reminded me of a tip I learned that can actually be applied not just to writing, but to a lot of everyday things, as well. Anytime a bit of creativity is needed:

How do I keep the kids occupied?
Where can I hide the candy?
What should I get Aunt Louise for her birthday?

Or, like for me, what should my hero do in this scene? What the heck happens next in the story? Why is my heroine such a basketcase?

In these difficult quandries is an opportunity for creativity! (To, uh, tie it in to the quote above)

There’s a marketing theory called “top of mind awareness.” It means that certain things will get implanted in your memory simply because you hear or see them often enough. When you recall them, they come to you quickly because they’re at “the top of your mind” and you’re more aware of them.

Say you name cereals. The first five will be ones you either eat often or see lots of commercials for. For me, it’s Honey Bunches o’ Oats, Cheerios, Blueberry Morning, Shredded Wheat, Special K. I have to work harder to list cereals I don’t eat—granola, raisin bran, Frosted Flakes.

People also tend to remember odd numbers of things, which is why there are lots of lists only 5 points long. Any more than five, and people have to work harder to remember.

So when we make lists of things, the first five things we jot down will be things at “the top of our awareness,” things we’ve likely seen or heard of before. But the sixth, seventh, eighth idea will be more unusual, more creative, more original.

Here’s an example from my real life:
What to get Mom for her birthday?

1. Jewelry (I got her earrings before)
2. iPod (done that, too)
3. Purse (baaaaaaaaaad idea—I was only ten, and I didn’t know that a woman’s purse is a very personal preference)
4. Book (another bad idea—she never read it)
5. Clothes (I picked a really nice outfit she never wore)

Um...okay now it’s getting harder.

6. Heating pad (hey, that’s a new one, and her shoulder has been bothering her)
7. Yoga video (except she might never use it)
8. Digital camera (aaaah, I’d be the favored daughter for a few months with that, assuming it was easy to use)

Try it! Comment and tell me your list or how it worked for you!

TMI:
(For Christian Women Online visitors, I label this section “TMI” or “too much information” so that those of my readers who really could care less about my diet and writing woes can skip it.)

Diet: I’ve been doing Denise Austin’s Daily Workout and Power Yoga every morning, and the yoga program is kicking my butt.

The strength poses are great for my surgery knee to help strengthen the muscles. And I think I tore the meniscus on the good knee so the exercises are good for that side, too. But those poses can be hard. My gluteus maximus (which, as Denise Austin says, we're trying to make into our gluteus minimus!) had been worked so hard by the poses that I literally felt like my butt had been kicked with a steel-toed boot.

Yesterday I tried backbends. The instructor is actually great at showing or describing poses for both beginner and advanced yoga students, so all levels can participate in each pose. In fact, she often has beginner or intermediate students along with the more advanced ones on the program.

The backbends were interesting and challenging. I don’t think I’ve done a backbend since I was six. My spine was trying to tell me that, too.

But after all her warm-up poses, amazingly, I did it, if only for a few seconds. My back was a little achey afterward, but not really very bad—and not the same kind of ache as when I injured it. It’s more of a “my muscles are tired and freaking out from the unaccustomed usage” ache. I’ve felt that kind of ache when I played volleyball, so I’m not concerned.

This is so much more challenging to my body than running has ever been. But it’s enjoyable, too—energizing and relaxing at the same time because of the stretching my body is doing.

I’m actually going to wax a bit philosophical, here.

Before, I’d go running to get in shape because people said it’s good for your body and a quick way to lose weight.

But this time I’m doing yoga because of the surgery to my knee (I figured, the fact that this was the second surgery on the same knee was a signal to wise up). And this time, I’m really enjoying the exercise—moreso than I ever did running, possibly because I’m not heaving and panting so hard I feel like I'm going to hurl out my lung.

But also, I feel like I’m doing it not so much to lose weight as to become healthier. I don’t care as much about the weight part (although don’t get me wrong, I could stand to lose about 20 pounds) as much as I’m starting to care about taking care of my body for my golden years. Or even my silver years, when everything starts to fall apart, which aren’t that far away for me.

I’m more flexible than I was only a couple weeks ago. My joints ache less. I’m getting stronger. My back and neck problems have been at a minimum even though I haven’t been able to make it to my chiropractor in like forever.

Rachelle Gardner (who is, by the way, editor for my book!) is working on a yoga book for Christians! I can’t wait for it to come out!

Comments

  1. Dear, with my children, I'm never at a loss to spark creativity. Go with the heating pad or the camera....either will make you the "favored" child, or in my family, we call it "the annointed one"! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your idea of using the list to find creative solutions/ideas. I'm going to have to try that.

    And I know what you mean about the yoga kicking your butt. Only with me it's not yoga, it's pilates. I do ten minute segments; flexibility, abs, buns & thighs, sculpting for arms etc and the buns & thigh stretches are torture, plain and simple.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like that angle--opportunity for creativity. Thumbs up!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The 5 items list. I've used that concept for ages and never really thought about why it worked. In fact it's why my 101st post was sorted into 5 thins. I knew I could come up with lists of 5 while it was impossile to ome up with 100. :)

    Yes, I think too think of trouble as an opportunity for creativity, in fact I think I mentioned it in my own post on the same subject. My metal smithng professor once told me that every difficulty was a chance to get creative and that we have to choose to get creative when dealing with anything. I think he was actually threatening me with the thought that if I didn't pull my college student bottom together and stop whining I was going to lose my creativity. It took me ages to figure it out but he was right. I chose to take his advice. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a different take on the quote. I like it! "Top of Mind Awareness"...I'd never thought of that before but it's very true.

    ReplyDelete
  6. great post! You got me smiling. I think I'm going to have to try the list thing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I need to check out the list thing. I think you are right that only have so much room to remember when reading a list. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That list thing sounds awesome. I'm gonna start using it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Camy, this made me think of searching for words when writing. Don't always want to use the same word over and over. Can come up with a few synonyms that I've also grow tired of. Then, I have to reach for the thesarus to find just the right word.

    I'm a list-lover by the way!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Two things, Camy -- the yoga book is called Holy Yoga. Anyone interested should check out author Brooke Boon's website, HolyYoga.net. The book won't be out until next year.

    Also, just got your manuscript from Z and woohoo! I'm excited to read it!!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Year of the Dog serial novel

About Year of the Dog : A month or two ago, I remembered an old manuscript I had completed but which hadn’t sold. It was a contemporary romance meant for Zondervan, titled Year of the Dog . The book had gone into the pipeline and I even got another title ( Bad Dog ) and a cover for it, but eventually my editor at the time decided she didn’t want to publish it, for various reasons. She instead requested a romantic suspense, and so I cannibalized some of the characters from Year of the Dog and thrust them into the next book I wrote, which was Protection for Hire . Honestly, I didn’t take a lot from Year of the Dog to put in Protection for Hire , aside from character names and a few relationship ties. I was originally thinking I’d post Year of the Dog as-is on my blog as a free read, but then it occurred to me that I could revamp it into a romantic suspense and change the setting to Hawaii. It would work out perfectly as (yet another) prequel to the Warubozu series and introduce

Just another day at youth group

My Christian contemporary romance, Single Sashimi , includes some of the wilder tales from my and my husband’s stints as youth staff workers at our church. The Steven character in the book is actually the same Steven who’s the associate pastor and youth group leader at our church now, since I wrote Single Sashimi when he was still in youth group. :) He’s a young man in his late twenties (maybe early thirties?), and he’s full of great ideas and lots of energy. On one particular Saturday, my husband and I were at youth group as usual. Steven had bought a tug of war rope—the really long, thick kind that looks like it belongs on a sea trawler. The opening game for the kids was, of course, tug of war. Then we came indoors for a three-song worship set. After worship, we usually split up into Junior High and High School for lessons, but this time Steven had an idea: “Okay guys, we’re going to have a tug of war--staff versus kids. If you guys win, we’ll ditch the lesson and go out t

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 9

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Marisol Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Aunt Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

A new tier in my Patreon

I started my Patreon for my fans and for people who didn’t want to buy my books on Kindle. My patrons get each new ebook 2-3 weeks early for only $3 (which is usually the newsletter-only price), and they only get charged when I release a book, not every month. At the moment, I’m releasing my Christian historical romantic suspense series, Lady Wynwood’s Spies. But after I finish that series, I’ll be releasing my Christian contemporary romantic suspense series, the Warubozu Spa Chronicles, and those in my Patreon will be able to get those books early, too. I just added a new $1.00 tier for fans who would prefer to read my books in Kindle Unlimited or buy the Kindle ebook, but just want to support me. Click here to read more about my Patreon. Thank you so much for reading my books!

Grace Livingston Hill romances free to read online

I wanted to update my old post on Grace Livingston Hill romances because now there are tons more options for you to be able to read her books for free online! I’m a huge Grace Livingston Hill fan. Granted, not all her books resonate with me, but there are a few that I absolutely love, like The Enchanted Barn and Crimson Roses . And the best part is that she wrote over 100 books and I haven’t yet read them all! When I have time, I like to dive into a new GLH novel. I like the fact that most of them are romances, and I especially appreciate that they all have strong Christian themes. Occasionally the Christian content is a little heavy-handed for my taste, but it’s so interesting to see what the Christian faith was like in the early part of the 20th century. These books are often Cinderella-type stories or A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) type stories, which I love. And the best part is that they’re all set in the early 1900s, so the time period is absolutely fasci

ひとり寿司第28章パート2

「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します! ひとり寿司 寿司シリーズの第一作 キャミー・タング 西島美幸 訳 スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。 ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。 そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。 エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。 レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり —— 過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。 *** キッチンテーブルの上にごちゃごちゃと置かれている食べ物を見つけた。フルーツが入ったお皿は、すでに子供たちがめちゃくちゃにしていたが、新鮮なマグロの刺身は、巻き寿司の隣にきれいに並んでいた。天ぷら鍋から取り出したばかりのもち粉チキンは、まだ湯気が立っていて、祖母の自家製たくあんが、その隣の小皿に置かれている。 「わあ、叔母さんか誰かが、エビの天ぷら作ったんだわ」トリッシュはエビの天ぷらを紙皿に取った。 レックスはお皿をつかんだ。ここに来た唯一の理由。祖母ですら、美味しい日本食を食べていると

A List of my Free Blog Reads

Curious about what my writing is like? Here’s a list of all my free books and the free short stories, novellas, and novels that you can read here on my blog. I’ll update this post as I add more free reads. Christian Humorous Romantic Suspense: Year of the Dog (Warubozu Spa Chronicles series, Prequel novel) (Currently being posted monthly on my blog as a serial novel) Marisol Mutou, a professional dog trainer, finally has a chance to buy a facility for her business, but her world is upended when she must move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate. When she stumbles upon a three-year-old missing persons case, security expert Ashwin Keitou, whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier, is tasked with protecting her. However, danger begins to circle around them from people who want the past to remain there. Can they shed light on the secrets moving in the shadows? Christian Romantic Suspense: Necessary Proof (Sonoma series #4.1, n

Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 2: Berserker is now on sale!

For seven days, from January 30th until February 5th, book 2 in the Lady Wynwood’s Spies series is only 99 cents. If you haven’t gotten it yet, be sure to snatch it up while it’s at this sale price. Here’s the back cover description: A Christian Historical Adventure set in Regency England with romance and a supernatural twist Part two in an epic-length serial novel A dire situation Mr. Solomon Drydale and his team are reeling. After only a single act of mayhem by underworld lord Apothecary Jack, one of their group is down and another is missing. An urgent plea Desperate, Sol acts on his forbidden knowledge of an agent for the Crown who is known only to the highest levels of government— le petit prince , master of disguises. He defies his superiors and asks the Prince for help. A hazardous hunt Now, the team must learn to work with a new member to save one of their own. But time is running out before Jack finds him and breaks him—and puts all of their lives at risk.

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th