Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Look what happens to your brain after no electricty...

Tip of the Day: the new iPhone’s look mighty tempting, especially after this week.

Being without electricity for a day and a half this week, taught me two lessons.

First Thing Emily Learned While Deprived of Power: that I depend on electricity way too much. Take away my lamps, refrigerator, and computer and I’m not very productive. If you throw me back in the 1800s or onto Manor House or Frontier House, I’d probably not last a week. Sad as that may be.

And as writers, without our computers it would be hard to function. Imagine typing on your typewriter (or piece of paper) by candlelight all day. Then if you decide to change the “I” to a “we” on page 2, or change the character’s name when finished, you’d have to retype the entire thing. And if you change your mind with the frequency of Britney Spears, as I’ve been known to do, you’d be retyping 24 hours a day.

If you didn’t know any better, you probably wouldn’t bat an eye, but if you did know those luxuries and they were taken away, it might be harder to deal with being a writer and not having power at all, which leads me to the second thing I learned (sort of).

Second Thing Emily Learned While Deprived of Power: the book I chose to read during my power outage was Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. And even though this book features a mom who’s a writer, and she looses power (and many other publishing-related things, I won’t be mean and reveal), that wasn’t the most important thing I learned from this book.

For those of you that haven’t read this book, it’s written in diary entries from a teen girl during an apocalyptic-type event after a meteor hits the moon, causing devastation on Earth. If you want to practice method-reading, I highly suggest you start this book in daylight and as soon as the electricity goes out in the book, plan it to go black in your town as well (and if you don’t have connections to make these things happen, then just turn out the lights and read by flashlight and candlelight). It’s amazing how much more vivid and realistic this book became during a power outage.

Which leads me believe that I should be setting the mood with all the books I read.

I know they tell you as a writer to appeal to all five senses, but has anyone ever been told to do that as a reader? If not maybe we should start a Reading Mood Trend.

How much cooler would The Princess Diaries be if I took a break and pampered myself with a mani/pedi then a massage and pretended to be a princess myself for a day? Or how about if during I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I’d Have to Kill You, I took a break to learn sixteen new languages and maybe some kickboxing? It’d definitely bring the book even more alive, and make it more memorable.

Anyone else have any fun books to try reading, while giving us an example of a way we can set the mood to make it even better?

It's amazing the things your brain thinks while deprived of electricty. It almost makes me think I should be doing more without it (almost).

--Emily, Miss Awaiting an Agent


Kate Fall said...

Emily, Life As We Knew It freaked me out so much, I had to do the opposite of mood reading. I kept running to the fridge and counting all the different kinds of food in there. I'm not sure I have the courage to read the sequel.

I'm in awe of the pre-electrified world writers. (At Monticello, they display Thomas Jefferson's "copy machine," three pencils held together with wood and screws.) But it makes me wonder what the writers of the future will be amazed that we lived without.

Jessica Burkhart (Jess Ashley) said...

Oooh, you definitely got more out of your no electricity stint than I did! I was without power for 9 days during hurricane season in '05. I complained. A lot. :)

Lisa Schroeder said...

Am I the only one who hasn't read Life As We Knew It yet? I really need to.

Kate - I never thought of that. What will writers have 100 years from now that we don't? Just think the words and they appear on the page!? :)

amuse me said...

Emily - I also read a book during this time without electricity - The Sugar Queen. Its not YA, but it was a fun read. :)

DeenaML said...

Luckily, when my power went out for a few hours last week, my lappy was still running on battery power. Phew!

But seriously, I can't believe how much I NEED IT. Though I may try to read something in the dark to up the scare factor in the near future. Maybe my own YA!

Emily Marshall said...

Kate, I've never thought about writers of the future either, but I bet you are right.

Jessica, after 9 days, I'd be complaining tons as well.

Lisa, you should definitely read it, it's great.

Marion--I'll have to check out the book suggestion. I read adult stuff alot too :)

Deena, yep, I think your book would definitely work in the dark. You actually made me look at the lake completely differently when I was on a walk a few weeks ago.

Jordan said...

You took my reference to Manor/Frontier House! Gotta love the PBS references.