Skip to main content

alpha female

and now, i shall science!
i have a friend who does a variety of therapies for others. i'm always slightly skeptical of the efficacy of these things [which is probably just bottled up resentment over the fact that i can't meditate], but one thing we discussed the last time i saw her was work she was doing with soundwaves to affect the brain. i'm a little more at ease with this concept, because there is a body of science behind it. different frequencies do trigger certain things in our brains.

she uses these techniques most often to help people with insomnia, or to help people who suffer from anxiety [and who often have sleep disorders as a result]. obviously, those purposes are of interest to me, because i don't often sleep well. but another aspect of it that was of interest to me was the use of alpha waves to heighten creativity.

so my friend sent me a set of recordings that she uses for these sessions, and this morning, i tried out the alpha waves. i set myself up to write and continued to do so for the entire length of the alpha wave recordings [one hundred and ten minutes in total]. i haven't been able to shake off the creative cobwebs in quite a while, but i had some time today, plus the extra impetus of doing an experiment on myself.

the recordings aren't simply waves- there's soft layers of natural sounds and hints of melody flow in and out. it's short of full on new age-y, however, because, in order to be effective, the alpha waves have to shine through. so it's not unlike the very delicate edge of ambient music, especially from the early nineties era when there was a trend towards incorporating 'ethnic' or 'tribal' influences.

the sounds are very relaxing, and i was initially seized with the fear that my experiment was going to end with me passing out and drooling on my keyboard. but i forced myself to start working and, lo and behold, two hours later i did have a complete short story. [well, more of a mood piece than a true story. but those count as short stories too in my world, because i feel like they can stand on their own best when they're unencumbered by a traditional plot or setting.]

so the test was a resounding success?

well, i would say that the findings warrant further investigation. clearly, a story came out where there had been no stories coming out for a while. the entire idea came from scratch; it ends up fitting in with an idea i'd had for a series of stories, but it didn't start that way. it didn't start as anything.

on the other hand, i did set myself up to write, and refused to allow distractions. that in itself is helpful.

and i was working from a single word prompt dom had given me some time ago, a technique which has worked very well for me in the past. [and which also resulted in an almost instant story.]

i think it would be stupid to try to write without imposing that first condition, and i know from past experience that, even when i can make time for writing, my brain doesn't always cooperate. but the next stage is clearly to work without a prompt and to see if i get spurred to create anything worthwhile, even if it isn't a complete piece.

so the verdict on alpha waves is plausible. now i get to test how the others fare at helping my sleep, because, as often happens, writing has left me physically exhausted. [thank god i generally stick to short stories.]

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

fun-raising

no, i am not dead, nor have i been lying incapacitated in a ditch somewhere. i've mostly been preparing for our imminent, epic move, which is actually not so terribly epic, because we found a place quite close to where we are now. in addition, i've been the beneficiary of an inordinately large amount of paying work, which does, sadly, take precedence over blogging, even though you know i'd always rather be with you.

indeed, with moving expenses and medical expenses looming on the horizon, more than can be accounted for even with the deepest cuts in the lipstick budget, dom and i recently did something that we've not done before: we asked for help. last week, we launched a fundraising campaign on go fund me. it can be difficult to admit that you need a helping hand, but what's been overwhelming for both of us is how quick to respond so many people we know have been once we asked. it's also shocking to see how quickly things added up.

most of all, though, the ex…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …