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Seeking Serenity…Inside My Head

Photo of creek at dawn

Early morning light hits the Rock River near Williamsville, Vermont in Windham County. This photo was taken just downstream of the Williamsville Covered Bridge. The Rock River is a tributary of the West River and flows through the Green Mountains. Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Do any of you remember that Mel Gibson movie called What Women Want? I saw it with the hubs and when we came out, he looked at me (part in horror, part in disbelief), “Does your brain do what those women’s did?”

Paraphrasing Phineas (from Phineas and Ferb), “Why yes, it does.”

I can quiet my mind if I’m really focused on something like reading or watching something, but most of the time the inside of my head is a cacophony of random thoughts. And even worse, as I get older and I’m easily distracted, like I have developed geriatric ADD. Picture a game character moving through a scene reacting to random stimuli (why is that lone sock on the floor? must pick it up, oh, why are the hub’s keys there?) that causes me to change direction and then arrive somewhere wondering why…

It was kind of a relief for me, that movie. I thought it was just me who couldn’t stop thinking. I even created a character who had this problem on steroids. Doc in Girl Gone Nova stays one step ahead of crazy, or maybe she’s in step with crazy, but it’s always trying to take her down. It makes her a bit on the tense side. I sometimes wonder if that is why she resonates so well with readers.

But I digress (been wanting to write that. one of my crazy, random thoughts). So, I’m always looking for ways to calm my brain so I can write or sleep or not tap my foot in church. And I found the above picture on the hubs’ Flickr page.

When I’m in places like that, my brain does tend to quiet some. There’s something about the movement of water that lulls my brain into a more quiescent place. I used to love our trips to the mountains when I was a kid, used to love sitting by the crick (yes, we called it that) and watching the water tumble by, occasionally tossing a pebble into the froth.

Anne Morrow Lindberg wrote Gifts from the Sea while staying on a beach. I didn’t know the appeal of the surf until we moved to the Gulf Coast. I sort of figured, though. It’s water. I wonder if this is why they made baths that bubble? Hmmmm….

Sometimes, when insomnia has me by the throat, I picture myself in a place like that. Or on a cloud. Or at the beach. Sometimes it works, though being there (except on the cloud) is better. Do you struggle to focus your thoughts? To find mental serenity?

Please share because I could use some! And all comments are entered into my monthly drawing for an AnaBanana gift basket (her stuff also helps me calm my thoughts, btw). Winner is announced in first blog post of the new month.

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Perilously yours,

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Pauline uses all that mental energy to plot her books and hose her characters. In plotting, serenity is not a good thing! She’s funneled a lot of unserene (yes, she knows it is not a real word, but it is a real feeling) into 13 novels and some short stories. For more information on all her books, pop over to her website at or click on books above. 🙂


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