Monday, October 8, 2012

Zombie Brain

I know the title to this post isn't technically correct.

Zombie's don't actually have zombie brains, at least I don't think they do. They want to eat live brains, right? I must confess I'm not entirely up to date on the Zombie Rulebook.

However, as I write this post I am suffering from a case of Zombie Brain. At my house it's a regular and reoccuring affliction that presents in a multitude of ways.

Right now it's presenting as a small boy screaming from his bedroom, "You promised, YOU promised, YOU PROMISED you'd help me build this Lego set."

 If my current case of Zombie Brain was serious, I might lock myself in the bathroom and pretend not to hear the screams of perceived injustice. Since today's case is mild I first explained that promising to help and DROPPING EVERYTHING to help are two different things...then I locked myself in the bathroom.

That's parental Zombie Brain, but I really wanted to talk about writer's Zombie Brain.

There have been days when I've written thousands of words which have Persephone, the heroine of both Losing Beauty and Losing Hope (to be released at the end of this month) engaging in grocery shopping.

"Persey looked at the apples piled in geometrical patterns. Should she buy Granny Smith or Honey Crisp? She leaned over and breathed in the scent of Autumn trips to pumpkin patches while trying to ignore the creaking wheel of her shopping cart."

See, classic Zombie Brain writing, which is another way of saying I didn't know what to write about that day, which is another way of saying writer's block.

If your mind is paralyzed, stopped dead in its tracks by a bad case of Zombie Brain, it's not such a bad thing to write about the mundane details of your MC's life.

At least you're writing.

And the best news about Zombie Brain is it's easily treated. Reread, highlight, delete and those boring, irrelevant passages are excised as though they never existed.

Now, if only I could come up with a quick and easy fix for parental Zombie Brain that didn't require a door with a working lock.

23 comments:

Shell Flower said...

I swear you need a degree in engineering to put together a Lego set these days. Good luck with that. As for the zombie writers brain, I like it. I can totally relate. My MCs seem to make dinner a lot. Maybe our MCs should get together since yours seems to enjoy doing the shopping!

Alison DeLuca said...

This is why I hosted a sleepover last night, so the squids would entertain each other and I could veg on the couch, staring at my monitor. It doesn't take much these days! Sure, they are wearing down my iPhone battery right now, but it's a small price....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I need to come up with a new main character first.
Maybe you can rent out your children for the day?

naida said...

I don't think there's any cure for parental Zombie Brain :)

Johanna Garth said...

Shell, sounds like a plan!

Alison, I hosted the same sleepover on Friday night.

Alex, are you saying I could make money from them? What a novel thought.

Naida, really? Was so hoping there would be.

Barbara Watson said...

Yes, the 'you promised' usually comes on the kid's terms. :-)

Talei said...

Oh, I SO can relate to 'parental zombie brain,' - you can run but you can't hide from the little people in your house!

Hart Johnson said...

AGH! Yeah, I'm spotting some of exactly that... micro-minutiae because when the plot isn't FLYING, I seem to have to write every single thing that happened. Zombie brain is a good way to put it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm formatting a book right now, so I can relate to the zombie brain. Boring but it has to be done.

Carol Kilgore said...

I love this. I definitely get Zombie Brain and I'm glad I now know what to call it. My characters don't usually shop. They either drink and ruminate or describe every single solitary thing in sight.

Emily R. King said...

Great post! I get Zombie Brain about half way through revisions. Up until then I think my book is publishable, but after that, I think it stinks pretty much up until I query. Ha!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

That bib with "Zombie Snack" and the arrow made me scream with horror and delight at the same time. It ought not be funny, and yet it is.

Kind of like the Far Side cartoon with the snake in the playpen with a big bulge in its tummy.

Stephen Tremp said...

I love Legos. Had them as a kid and play with my kids with them too. But they sure have gotten expensive.

ali cross said...

ROFL!!

Sadly, I have parental zombie brain often. Let me know if you find the cure!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Oh you and me and parental zombie brains. Yes'um I have one and a teen that isn't yelling YOU PROMISED but he sure does a great monosyllabic pout...

I've also had writers zombie brain and the attack of the mundane. Delete is my friend in those cases.

As for son? At least he's relatively quiet in his room and watching TV. I can live with that after a long day working. It was either that or violence and I'm too tired for that or even threatening because if I threaten I have to follow through--Parental law 25C in the book of Mom.

Chuck said...

Wow! Today I had Work Zombie Brain! The mind-numbing stupidity I encountered today made me want to eat my own brain!!

Going home and chillin' for a few with my iPod got me back on track for the night.

alexia said...

LOL...I have a 10 year old, so I know all about perceived injustice, too. I agree, even if you have writer zombie brain, just write anyways and edit later!

Tonja said...

I agree, writing through it is the way to go.

Sometimes I get a creative surge from playing with my little guy. It's meditative drawing a thousand little dots or stamping a thousand pictures onto a piece of paper until no more will fit. :)

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Legos are hard. I could never build anything with them, at least not anything that actually resembled something that people could recognize. :)
I've found that chocolate and/or coffee is a pretty good treatment for Zombie Brain. That's why I often write in cafes.

Kristen Wixted said...

I let my 13 year old genius daughter put the lego sets together for the 7 year old. She's ridiculously good at it so it saves me some serious "helping."

I love that bib.

Zombie brain writing...? Me? p-shaw.

Morgan said...

You are SO clever. I LOVE the zombie comparison. :)

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey,

Your Zombie (parent) Brain sounds like it was stolen from *my* brain, but alas, he says, looking skyward, my six wrinkles remain in my brain.

Kids... I love 'em, (just can't eat a whole one :)

Ella said...

Yes Zombie brain does freeze us in our tracks~ I love this comparison, so fun to read! I'm enjoy the month of monsters ;D Very clever!