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?

white trash

yes, my lovelies, i have returned from the dead, at least for the time it takes me to write this post. this is not just another piece of observational drivel about how i haven't been taking care of the blog lately, although i clearly haven't. on that front, though, the principal cause of my absence has actually been due to me trying to get another, somewhat related project, off the ground. unfortunately, that project has met with some frustrating delays which means that anyone who follows this blog [perhaps there are still a few of you who haven't entirely given up] would understandably be left with the impression that i'd simply forsaken more like space to marvel at the complexity of my own belly button lint. [it's possible you had that impression even before i disappeared.]

ok, enough with that. i have a subject i wanted to discuss with you, in the sense that i will want and encourage you to respond with questions, concerns and criticism in the comments or by em…

i'm definitely someone altogether different

about a hundred years ago, i remember having a partner who told me that, rather than writing the sort of ambiance-oriented crap [he didn't say crap, i'm saying it] that i was naturally driven to write, i should just compose something like the harry potter books. this wasn't out of any sense of challenging me to do new things but because of the desperate hope that my love of writing could be parlayed into something profitable.

my reaction at the time was "i just can't". and that was honestly how i felt because i didn't believe that that kind of story was in me. for the record, i still don't think that anything like the potter-hogwarts universe is in me. i'm not a fan of fantasy literature generally speaking and i feel like there's a richer experience to be examined in looking at our experience as regular humans being part of the rational, limited, everyday world and at the same time being able to feel connected to something that, for lack of a…

presidenting is hard :: nato

oh donald, i've been slacking on my promise to help you out with your duties as president. [yes, you may take a moment to giggle at the word "duties". but make it quick.]

it's not because i think you don't need the support; you are every bit as ignorant and inept as i'd feared/ expected and the erstwhile presence of "adults in the room" hasn't made you any better. it's just as well that you've dispatched of them. you weren't listening to what they said 95% of the time and on those few occasions when you did try to listen, you didn't understand what they were saying. increasingly, we're getting to see you for the complete intellectual non-entity you are and to see how someone who knows nothing about history, geography, culture or military tactics addresses the challenges of foreign policy.

the latest development on that front is that i've heard that you're planning on leaving nato. we all know that you've never be…