Thursday, November 18, 2010

NaNoWriMo tip: tactile stimulation

Camy here! Sorry I've been AWOL, but I've been on deadline for several books, which takes up my blogging time!

In honor of NaNoWriMo, I thought I'd post a tip for writing while on NaNoWriMo that can help you achieve your goal of 50,000 words written on your novel this month.

This is one of the best weapons in my arsenal:

Tactile Stimulation

This might not work for everyone, but of all the people who have tried it so far, it has worked for them all, so chances are, it'll work for you, too.

Basically, when you stimulate your hands (or your body, really) with tactile, kinesthetic stimulation, it enables you to think creatively and focus on thinking creatively.

When you're trying to write a novel in a month, you don't have time to sit and stare at the blinking cursor. Trust me, I've done that for HOURS. Hours of wasted time.

I discovered that if I have something in my hands that doesn't require too much brain-power, I can suddenly focus on my novel better and think of what to write next.

For me, I knit. For you, pick something easy for you to do, and tactile, but it can also be relatively boring.

I will sit in front of my computer and knit a sock, say, and think of what my characters are going to say next. When I think of something, I drop my knitting in my lap and type on my computer. When I don't know what to type anymore, I pick up my knitting again and knit until I think of something.

This is related to how people often come up with great ideas while in the shower or washing dishes or driving. I think it's partly the tactile stimulation that enables their creative brain side to wander and, well, get creative.

(I think this is also why I tend to write better when I have snacks. Eating is tactile and it's mindless and it totally works for me, but my behind expands with every book. Oy!)

The key is that the activity has to be relatively mindless. No complex lace knitting projects, in other words (and trust me, I've tried it. It wasn't a pretty sight.) I've also tried card making/stamping/scrapbooking, but I need too much brainpower for that and I don't get any writing done. I have tried crochet, but it has to be a super easy crochet like single crochet all the way--no complex crochet stitches or a pattern to follow.

I usually knit an easy garter or stockinette stitch scarf, or a pair of stockinette socks, or an easy blanket that doesn't require a pattern (just enough stitches to make your eyes cross). Those projects typically are so BORING that I don't do them unless I don't have anything else to knit -- OR unless I need something tactile but boring so that I can unleash my creative right brain power.

I discovered that when I knit and write, I average about 500 words an hour (there are some people who write more, some who write less. If you write more than that, go away. Just kidding. If you write more than that, you probably don't need this tip!)

When I don't knit and write, I can go as low as 100 words an hour. Yes! I am pathetic.

When I'm on deadline for a book, I can't afford to be writing only 100 words an hour. That's really when I get going on my knitting (so if you want me to knit you socks, tell me when I'm on deadline. :)

For you, pick some activity you can do while writing and try it out. You might find your productivity really increases!

I tried to list some activities below but came up woefully short on ideas, so I asked some other bloggers who contributed (their ideas are added below). If you have more ideas on what tactile activities writers can try, let me know and I'll add it to the list.

knit (easy projects)
crochet (easy projects)
Tunisian crochet
hand quilting (easy)
English Paper Piecing
polishing silver
pedicure (manicure if you can type with stuff on your fingers, but my M key has a stain and sticks b/c--you guessed it--I tried it and it didn't work well for me)
stress therapy ball (Martha Ramirez)
bike ride/walk/drive in the car/(swim???) -- bring pen and paper and/or digital tape recorder for ideas) (Koala Bear Writer)
jigsaw puzzle (Jill W)
playing an instrument (sasafras)

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Out now is her romantic suspense, Formula for Danger! She runs the Story Sensei critique service, is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders frivolous things like knitting, running, dogs, and Asiana. Sign up for her newsletter YahooGroup for giveaways!


  1. Great idea. I'll have to try that. Currently I just nibble away at my fingernails as I stare at the nasty blinking cursor. Does that count?

  2. First - love the pink in the hair!

    Second - with you on the eating thing. It totally makes sense. I should probably break out my crocheting again - I owe my sister a hat and scarf from like 4 years ago...

    I did buy one of the really big boxes of crayons and the big coloring books and hid them from my kids. The idea was that I'd get the house cleaned up by Oct. 25 or so [you know, the clothes changed over to winter and all that kind of stuff done], then do some mindless coloring while plotting. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked out that way :p. As of tonight, about 3/4 of the clothes are rotated... I have given away about 5 bags worth in the process though! Clothes WILL be done tomorrow then on to the rest of it. Folding clothes, however, does not seem to inspire me...

    Here is a huge carafe of Gibbs' strong coffee and I'm mainlining Dr. Pepper but I'll share my IV bag if anyone else wants in on it... Those of you who like more fancy stuff will have to wait for someone else who has a clue how to make it ;).

    Carol [who is up to 13K of her NaNo project as of tonight :p]

  3. Hi Camy:

    Here are a few suggestions off the top of my head.

    Try to play the castanets.

    Try different ways to shuffle playing cards; see if you can do it one-handed.

    Tap dance while sitting. Just try to make the tapping sound authentic.

    Use drum sticks on a rubber practice board to mindlessly tap out the beat of your story.

    Practice your ‘cat’s cradle’ skills.

    Practice playing the triangle.

    Practice throwing I Ching sticks.

    Look into and twist a kaleidoscope.

    Toss playing cards against the wall trying to get ‘leaners’.

    Try to make little field goals by ‘kicking’ pop corn with your fingers through uprights made with three pencils and two rubber bands.

    Click a swimming lap counter and see if you can stop at a given number without counting.

    Try to open a very ‘clicky’ combination padlock without looking.

    Break open peanuts in the shell for future eating.

    Shuck ears of corn.

    Crack pecans open.

    If you are wearing a propeller beanie, spin the propeller.

    I have many more but I need to go to bed.


    P.S. I’d like to win some wasabi so I can compare it to your writing. I have no idea what it is. : )

    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  4. Karen--OMG I totally bite my nails, too! I've been really trying to break the habit b/c at the end of a book I have nothing but nibs left.

    Carol--Thanks! :) I would think folding clothes might actually help a writer think, but if it's a chore, that probably kills any happy creative cells. And congrats on your NaNo count!

    Vince--good suggestions! Although castanet playing might annoy any housemates you might have. ;)


  5. Hi Camy,

    Have missed "seeing" you here!

    I don't know how this would work for me but might give it a go.

    CarolM - my Mom would join you with the D.P. :)

    Vince - we could make a book of your posts. You're a hoot. I vote for shucking corn or beanie propeller.

  6. KC--try it! If you can find a tactile action to do that works for you, it really can improve your productivity.

  7. Im not a writer but I found while I was doing some of the subjects this semester that needed reports etc that I would go and do some gardening for a bit to just give the brain a rest. Also a walk helped to. If I sat here I would stare at the computer and just not get anywhere. I found in the garden or even walking I was thinking of the report.

  8. Jenny, gardening helps me think too! The only thing is that if I'm on deadline or doing NaNoWriMo, I want something tactile that I can do in front of the computer which I can also lay down quickly when an idea comes to me. With gardening, by the time I run inside and wash my hands, I've forgotten my great idea! LOL

  9. My most tactile experience is shoving M&M's into my mouth.

    And lifting the coffee mug.

    Amazingly effective! :)

  10. Wait.

    If I mainline the caffeine through an IV drip, is that still considered tactile???

    Sign Me,

    All Thumbs in Upstate

  11. I love this idea, Camy! I'm not doing NaNoWriMo, but I'll try this when I start cranking on my next m/s. Love the suggestions Vince added too...think I might try some new shuffling techniques next time I write. :)

  12. Camy,

    What a great idea. I have done the food thing, too. It's wonderful that you have put into words something I had been doing naturally, not understanding why.

    Recently, I read an interview with author Jill Shalvis in Romance Writers Report and she said she is ADD. So, she let's herself get up and multi-task while writing. This has helped me. I'll bake something (notice the food theme) in steps, typing in between.

    Some type of activity definitely helps me with the writing and you have helped me to see why.


  13. I am a multi-tasker too. I am surrounded by my card projects in my studio. I can pick up a piece of paper to cut into a shape. Or I sort through my handmade papers to pick out something for my next cards. I am also a stamper so have those out as well. Nothing like pressing down on a card and seeing a pattern appear.

    peace, Julie

  14. Cathy, thanks for mentioning Jill's article. I'll have to dig up that issue of RWR and read it. I can't sit for lengths of time and write. I have to have tasks (small ones) to accomplish so when I sit back down at the keyboard, I'm ready to write.

    Vince! I'm loving the idea of drumsticks on the rubber board!

    Camy, is there anything you can't do while you knit? LOL! I love your reasoning and your suggestions...and I love your pink hair!

  15. Camy, I'm blown away by the difference in your productivity when you knit while thinking about where to go next in the plot. I will give your suggestion a try. Anything to increase my productivity. Will let you know how it goes.


  16. I definitely need to try this. I'm thinking the stress therapy ball will work for me. Thanks for the ideas, Camy!!!

  17. Camy, you are so right, girl!! Except mine is more "foot-tile" than "tactile" because my brainstorming goldmine comes when I am on the treadmill listening to worship music ... or in church during worship, for that matter (where I sway to the beat). I have to keep a notebook by the treadmill because ideas come at me so fast, I can't get them down fast enough.

    When I'm on the computer (staring at the blinker!), I pick at my nails ... not tear or bite them in anyway, mind you, just feel the tips over and over until words come to me). Weird, I know, but it IS tactile, right???? :)

    Vince ... somebody creative enough to come up with all THOSE ideas, probably is in no need of tactile help -- VERY impressive!!

    Good luck on your deadlines, Camster.


  18. This is Camy-oriented, but tactile-y off-topic:

    Mary Connealy has a Camy Creek in Doctor in Petticoats. I know because I just started the book (do not make fun of me for how long it has taken to get to this, really, that's NOT nice)...

    I think the Camster has the most oft-used Seeker name in Seeker books.

    Her and Audra.

    And Cara.

    Now I'm grabbing more tactile coffee and heading back to work. Great pumpkin spice latte, by the way.

    I'm seriously considering the mainlining but losing the taste satisfaction would be a total downer.

  19. All my best ideas come to me when I'm driving. Without fail.

    And I eat too. Before I decided to do NaNo this year November was supposed to be my detox month before Christmas. No such luck. I've never eaten so much chocolate and apple crumble!

  20. I'll bring out the crochet thread. I love to crochet on a cold winter day. Bring out a hot cup of tea and some cookies and there you have it. A great day! Would love to read this book!

  21. Yes! I knit also! (and jigsaw puzzles are great, too, but now that I have toddler grandkids, they're not practical)

    I find that I get a lot of ideas in church. (I'm listening to the sermon...that how I get the ideas!) I have all kinds of notes scribbled on scraps of paper in the front of my Bible.

  22. LOL. What about washing dishes. The second I stick my hands in the soapy water (am I the only one left on the planet without a dishwasher?)I have a brilliant idea and just have to write it down. Of course, it may just be that I hate doing dishes and even tackling writer's block is preferable!

    Oh -- and playing fetch with my dog. He brings me his ball as soon as I sit down at the computer. Who knew pitching that ball down the hall was actually a writing exercise?!

  23. I can attest to the fact that this works for Camy. She is AMAZING. I am a linear person and CANNOT multitask, or at least do it well.

    Camy knits and plots and what seems like within an hour she has knitted an entire pair of socks!

    It is an amazing thing to watch. I wish I could manage it. But I'm wired differently.

    If you have trouble staying focused, I recommend you try this tactile stimulation. Doesn't work for everyone, but when it does work, it's fantastic.

    Great post, Camster!


  24. Carol, WOO HOO! 13K is nothing to sneeze at. Good job to you and everyone booking it in NaNo.

  25. I'm trying to relate to this.

    I just cannot.

    What I can do though is understand that we're all sooooo different. So many techniques that work for one writer and not for another.

    I suppose it's sort of tactile in a way but what I do when I can't think of what to write is...I write.

    That's it. I just push forward. It's not uncommon for me to take it all back later, but there's just something to me about watching the letters appear on the paper, like the ideas almost flow along with the words.

    I remember years ago the school teacher in my children's one room country school house (we still have those in Nebraska) asked me if I could come up with ideas for a Christmas program play or two.
    She knew I'd been writing the Sunda School Christmas plays for years at my church.

    I said NO.
    I had no ideas.

    Then I sat down at the computer and wrote three plays.

    They were targeted by the different age groups, boys and girls. Seasonal.

    I wrote them all in a weekend.
    But I so clearly rememeber sitting there in front of that computer utterly blank...and I just started typing.

    In a way that's sort of tactile isn't it?

  26. And there is a nice little exchange about Camy Creek and a woman named Camilla who's husband calls her Camy.

    I also have a Myra in one book.

    She dies in a nursing home.

    Getting charactes named after you isn't all sweetness and light you know.

    And the heroine of my WIP is Julia and the sequel is Audra.

    I don't think I've done a Tina yet. I need a Tina don't I???


  27. This is a good idea! I love to knit, but find socks very boring indeed! But my family loves them, so I can't get out of them. This sounds like something I might have to try! Spider Solitaire just takes too much thinking for that to be an excuse for me. ;) I will definately try this when I start my next pair of socks! Thanks Camy. :)

  28. Camy, love this post!

    Now if I were knitting, I'd have to focus completely on the yarn and knitting needles. And no dropping the needles, typing and then picking up where I had left off on the scarf or whatever. Nope. Couldn't do both.

    But I do love to eat while creating...and it shows.

    The shower provides great inspiration. Glad to hear it might be the tactile sensations that free my Muse.

    Also ideas abound in prayer mind you. Not when I'm daydreaming. Well, hopefully, I don't daydream in church.

    BUT after reading your blog, I think I'll get a sensory ball and see if it helps. Maybe I'd eat less.

    Also something about my AlphaSmart reminds me of what Mary mentioned. I just type. Brain goes into some other zone. Often I don't have to work to find the words. They just pound through my fingertips and appear on the tiny screen.

    Okay, must get to work. I'm grabbing my Alpha...and a Diet Coke...maybe some popcorn, which I love to eat while typing. Tactile, right? And gum! Oh my gosh, I always need gum...and tic tacs.

    Walking helps when I'm really stuck too.

  29. Vince...ah, Fred,

    Did you just come up with your list today? Or were they part of a seminar you gave once upon a time?

    You're a man of many talents!

  30. Welcome back to the world, Camy! We've missed you!

    Hmmm, I don't suppose surfing the 'Net counts as tactile stimulation. Because that's what I tend to do when I don't know what happens next in my wip. Just 5 minutes or so and I'm usually back on track. I think the short breaks give my brain a jumpstart.



    At least Glynna made me a cute little kid in HER book!

    And after I named a whole ROAD after you in OIC!!! (Or actually I guess I died in the nursing home and THEN named a road after you. I am so forgiving, you know.)

  31. Camy, helloooo, been a long time. So playing spider solitaire does have it's uses. LOL

    I've done cross stitch, and drawing. Rght now I feel like my brain is on overload. I've been thinking of stories and haven't had the time to sit down and write like I want to. I hope once we settle with the businesses and other matters, I'll be able to get back to dumping some of my words on paper before my brain explodes.

    And I don't want that on my keyboard. :0)


    Tina Pinson

  32. Camy,

    I'm been pondering if I do tactile stimulation while I write since I read your post at 7AM.

    I think it's drinking coffee or tea. When the writing gets hard or I seem to be out of ideas for a scene, I get up and get something to drink. When I come back the writing seems easier.

    I don't knit or I'd try that. I do embroidery but I'm afraid, like Debby, I'd just want to keep on with that project!

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

  33. Ruthy--{munch munch} and the problem with M&Ms is what???

    Sarah--let me know what tactile activity you end up doing! Certain activities will work better than others depending on how your brain is wired. :)

    Cathy--that's a great idea! I can totally see that working for some people b/c it gives you "permission" to be distracted and then to return to your manuscript to write in pieces. I believe that Kristin Billerbeck does that, too.

    Julie--I love card-making! I personally can't do card-making while writing b/c I have a hard time tearing myself away from my cards (haha) but I can definitely see it as a good stimulus for writing if you have your computer or laptop right next to you while you're doing your card stuff.

    Audra--While I know I'm not quite ADD, I do notice that I'm more likely to be able to sit and write for long stretches because I have my knitting with me. It's kind of like my own form of multitasking. :)

    Janet--I hope it works for you! Sometimes I really just depends on what activity you choose. For some people knitting works, but for other people, it's some other activity, or maybe a combination of different activities. For example, I both eat and knit. {big grin}

    You're welcome, Melanie! I hope that works for you!

    Julie--that's totally tactile! If that works for you, then there's absolutely nothing weird about it!

    Ruthy--ROFL I didn't realize that! I don't think I'm in many Seeker books besides that one, though. Did I tell you guys that I managed to have all 14 of you in my Guideposts book? It's book #9 in the Patchwork Mystery series. If I don't have your first name, I have your last name in there. I also got Ivan and Dean in there. :)

    Veer--Without fail, I gain weight when I'm on deadline because eating helps me write SO much!!! Instead of planning my diets around holidays, I have to plan them around deadlines!

    Patsy--I hope the crocheting helps you! I tried crocheting but I'm not a very good crocheter and ended up needing to concentrate too much on the yarnwork to be able to think about my story, but I think that for someone who's more proficient at it, it would be just like knitting is for me!

    Yvonne--I get great ideas in my church services, too! Mostly for the spiritual arcs of my characters.

    Kav--I get good ideas while doing dishes, too! I hate that b/c my hands are soaking wet and I can't type or write on a piece of paper or anything! That's why with knitting I don't have to worry about that. :)

    Cheryl has the amazing ability to be able to focus for hours at a time without stopping typing. Some writers are like that, so in her case tactile stimulation would only slow her down!

    Mary, you sound like Cheryl!

    Casey--I know, aren't socks totally boring???? But they are really useful when I'm writing since I don't have to even look at them when I'm knitting.

    Debby, if you don't have to fight to find the words, then you're probably like Cheryl and Mary and don't need the tactile stimulation to help you write! If I don't have some type of tactile stimulation, I end up spending half my time staring at the computer and not typing.

    Myra--how do you do that?? I totally wish I could only surf for 5 minutes, but I get too distracted and it ends up being an hour!

    Tina--get those ideas down pronto!!!!!

    Rose--tea and coffee is totally tactile stimulation! I do that, too. I usually have a cup of something next to me, and sometimes when I'm at a loss for words, I'll sip slowly as opposed to knitting. That works for me!


  34. If it helps at all, Myra, I believe it was Myra Tippens.

    I could be remembering that wrong.

    I can't use Ruthy because I have a sister named Ruth. Whatever horrible ... ahem... or wonderful thing I'd do to a RUTHY, my poor sister might take personally.

    Maybe I'll warn her first.

    My sister, not Ruthy. I'd want to surprise her.

    Didn't I name a hero Logan once, though? Okay, that's enough for her. I'll turn to someone else to pick on now.

  35. I'm another one who gets ideas during church. There was one time that I was frantically scribbling notes on my bulletin and my husband asked me what I was doing. "Plotting," I whispered back. A visitor sitting in front of me actually turned around and shot me a horrified look. I guess "plotting" means something different to non-writers.

  36. Hi All:

    All this knitting talk makes me think of my all time favorite quartet “The Sisterhood of the Dropped Stitches” by Janet Tronstad. It’s not exactly a right proper romance (I spent most of the first book trying to figure out which guy was the hero!) and thus was published as a part of the Love Inspired Café series. It’s about four young girls who all survived cancer and now meet weekly as a support group built around knitting. (Cancer support groups are too depressing.) The series also employs a very unique variation of the first person POV. I think other writers would find this series very interesting.

    Debby: No, I never had a seminar on ways to exercise tactile thinking. As far as I know, that idea is original with Camy. Actually, in such a case as Camy describes, I try to think of ‘nothing’ like an Eastern mystic. Nature abhors a vacuum and trying to keep your mind completely empty of ideas, stimulates these jealous ideas like nothing else I have found. My job in advertising, as a creative person, was to come up with ideas all day long. That list took about ten minutes to come up with.

    BTW: I have just posted a “100 Ways to Show Character Growth in Your Romance” on my blog. This is my FRED offering to authors. (I need to keep coming up with ideas to stay in practice. It’s what I do. : ))

    Thanks to everyone who had nice things to say about my list of ideas. I appreciate it.

    I noticed that Myra uses a lot of Seeker names in her books. Maybe an annual award should go to the Seeker who used the most Seeker names in a single book. (The single book requirement is needed to keep Mary from winning every year.)


  37. Ha Ha Ha! That's so funny, Karen!
    Next time, just say you're taking notes.

  38. I do know that when I reach a sticky place in a manuscript I am always and FOREVER switching over to check email or the blogs I this one...and right now.

    :) I've got a book to write for heaven's sakes!!!!!!!!!!!

    I can FEEL myself getting curious if anyone has emailed me. And I know it's an avoidance technique. I don't think it's a very good one as far as stimulating creativity in the story, though. It's more of a bad habit than any kind of help

  39. Nice to meet you, Camy! I like your ideas. How about coloring, sketching, doodling, Rubix cube or other puzzle block (just manuever it without thinking about what you're doing).

    All writers will like this! Sometimes I have to go on and 3-4 day reading binge! Yes, that's when I get your books read. :D It does something for me. Not sure what. Maybe its a distraction technique. I get so bogged down in the details of my writing sometimes that my brain overloads and I just need a total break reading something fresh.

    Vince, are you saying you don't know what wasabi is? It's a green mustard made from Japanese horseradish. It's out of this world! You have great ideas, by the way.

    LOL...Karen! That's too funny. Church is a great place for ideas to pop.

    Veer, I have difficulty remembering to eat when I write, so that one wouldn't help me. Now, driving? Great one! You need one of those little recorders to tape ideas when they come.

    Mary, I'm with you on the typing. I met Erin Geishen with Charles Stanley's In Touch magazine at a conference one year. The first thing she does when she sits down at her computer is write in a "trash" document. She just writes whatever is spinning around in her head and that frees her mind to then focus on her real writing. I've found that it helps to type out things about my characters, scene or plot ideas, or even another story's really helpful.

    Sometimes, I have to take a break and just get up and do household stuff and let my mind perculate. Laundry is great for this!

    This was a fun post! Thanks, Camy!


  40. Such a wonderful idea, Camy, and I'm having such fun reading all the comments!

    I often try tatting if I get stuck for words. (Simple tatting only--a doily would take too much thought!) Either that, or pick up an instrument and start playing it. I'd love to knit again, but tatting is more portable.

    I'm another one who gets story ideas in church. That was so funny about the visitor, Karen! You're right: nonwriters don't "get" us!

    Linette, your idea about housework reminds me of something... Oh, yes. I need to take out the trash! :) It IS a great way to let the mind wander off to the place it needs to work on a story. And it keeps the family from wondering whether they're going to disappear in paperwork. :D

    I hope my browser will let me log in... [Well, it didn't. I'll try the anonymous option.]

    Hope Chastain, needing to get back to her Build Your Own Nano project at eharlequin...

  41. LOL,Hope! I know what you mean. I think sometimes my family thinks I've forgotten them. :D


  42. Vince, I would win because I used every Seeker name in my Guideposts book (#9 in the Patchwork Mystery series). Beat that, Mary Connealy! LOL

    Mary, your avoidance technique sounds suspiciously like mine.

    Fantastic ideas, Linnette!

    Hope, tatting sounds fun! I never tried that.


  43. Tatting IS fun. And easy, once you get the hang of it. Think of it as macrame with a shuttle... :D

    Linnette, I'm sorry I misspelled your name! I thought it had two N's, and then I second-guessed myself... *blush*

    I think we could all use those slant boards or possibly fainting couches, for when the ideas just aren't coming to us. Head down, feet up...sending blood to the brain so it can function better... Sound like a plan?


  44. Okay I take naps when I am stuck, does that count? My brain is able to work out plot problems. I don't even have to actually sleep. Just lay down and relax.

    I also get my best plot issues solved in the shower. As of yet however I have not figured out a way to get the laptop into the shower safely. Suggestions appreciated.

  45. I have yet to be able to remember the truly brilliant ideas I've gotten while I'm in the shower. By the time I step out, they're all gone. :(

  46. Hi Tina:

    Don’t take the laptop into the shower! Use voice recognition software and a small wireless microphone that stays outside the range of the water spray. For really great ideas, turn the water off while you are speaking. Works every time!


  47. I'll have to try some of your ideas.

    For me, almost anywhere but in front of the computer gets my creative juices flowing. Washing dishes, shower, Church, driving. Then it all goes away when I sit in front of the computer.

    Karen, the plotting in Church is hilarious.

    bcountryqueen6 at msn dot com

  48. Hi Linnette:

    I had no idea what wasabi was. I always guessed it was a kind of Japanese Tabasco sauce. Is wasabi good on hot dogs? I’ll give it a try if it is available in Tulsa.

    I do think the line: “Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi” is the most memorable author tag I’ve yet encountered. In fact, I am not sure I could name any other author’s tag line except Camy's!

    It would really be interesting to see how many people can match even Seeker author tag lines with the Seeker's names. Tina: how about it for WE?


  49. Connie--definitely try some of the tactile activities when you're sitting in front of the computer and see if it works for you!

    Vince--why thank you!


  50. Vince, do a post on author tag lines.

    I'll pencil you in after December.

    Go for it.

    You write the post and we'll let everyone come up with one and send them in.

    No wasabi on hot dogs!!! It's more like horseradish. You mix it nicely with with your soy sauce for a nice compliment to your sushi.

  51. Camy, thanks!

    Vince, hotdogs and wasabi? Hmm...I wouldn't try such a thing if I were you. It's great mixed with soy sauce and used to dip sushi, crab rangoon, or egg rolls in.

    Hope, no problem! It happens often as I'm sure you can imagine. :D I've only seen Linnette spelled my way a handful of times and have been shocked every time. And, yes! I'd LOVE a fainting couch!!!

    Hope you all had a great day!


  52. Fun post, Camy!

    I've actually watched Camy do this. Knit for a few mintues, throw it down, then fingers literally FLYING accross the keyboard! It's amazing to watch. :)

    I'm also an eater. I like crunchy things, like popcorn and pita chips. (Oh my goodness, I recently discovered Stacy's Simply Naked pita chips. Nice and salty and a huge crunch. Yum! I'm addicted.)

    I also do great plotting while driving. If I have an idea that I just can't take a chance on losing, I call the house and leave it on the answering machine. :)

    When my brain feels really tired, I like to play Mahjong. It relaxes and refreshes me. But I don't play online because that would distract me (email and blogs). I bought it on CD. Of course, I haven't done this lately because it can get addicting and distracting! LOL

    Another thing that helps if I feel stuck is to just print the mss and read it, jotting notes by hand. I guess that's somewhat tactile.

  53. Vince, you can only do wasabi in a teeny tiny amount!! Like pea-sized. So do not smear on a hotdog! :)

    I once bought wasabi peas because they looked like a nice crunchy snack. I ate one and about died. WAAYYY too hot for me. Before I could throw them out, my oldest son told my youngest (who was probably about 4 or 5 at the time) that they were green candy. She ate a small handful!! It was awful. Poor baby! And believe me he got in a load of trouble!

  54. I actually prefer to use sudoku to wake up my brain cells, but I don't know if that counts as being mindless.

    Of course, I also do a lot of a the eating thing. ( I do way too much of the eating thing.)

  55. Hi Tina:

    I’ll be glad to do the post. I’ll email you in the morning to make sure we are on the same page.



  56. Missy, I LOVE Stacy's Pita Chips!!!!!

    Walt--If the sudoku works for you, then go for it!

    Great, Vince!


  57. I leave my computer and begin cleaning house, cook, or wash dishes. I can think of many story ideas while engaging in mindless work.

  58. I will have to try something else as I use to get good ideas while mowing the lawn. I don't want to wait until summer to write again.s

  59. A graphic designer co-worker of mine said she read somewhere that you have to get up and do something else completely unrelated at least a couple times an hour to recharge your creativity. It's like hitting reset on your brain when you hit a block.
    Thanks, Camy! Fabulous ideas.

  60. Hello Camy,
    I follow all your articles. This one on tactile stimulation really lets the Muse speak.
    Thanks again,