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?

mental health mondays :: the war at home

what's worse than being sent off to war when you're barely old enough to order a drink in a bar? making it home only to get poisoned by the government that sent you there. 
although it's certainly not a secret, i don't find that the opiate/ opioid crisis happening in america gets nearly the attention it deserves. at least, what attention it gets just seems to repeat "thousands of people are dying, it's terrible", without ever explaining how things got to the state they are now. there's mention of heroin becoming cheaper, of shameful over-prescriptions and dumping of pills in poorly regulated states/ counties, etc. but too much of the media coverage seems content to say that there's a problem and leave it at that.

one of the things that might be hindering debate is that a very big problem likely has a lot of different causes, which means that it's important to break it down into smaller problems to deal with it. and one of those problems conne…

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

digging for [audio] treasure

my computer tells me that i need to cut down the amount of music stored on my overstuffed hard drive. my ears tell me that that would deprive me of some wonderful listening experiences. 
halifax, nova scotia was not the easiest place to find out about music with limited appeal. it was a very music-centred city, to be sure, but, being smaller, things like noise, industrial, and experimental music struggled to gain a foothold, even as the alternative rock scene exploded in the early nineties. i was lucky enough to have some friends who were happy to share music that they loved, but i knew that there were lots of things that i was missing out on.

with the dawn of the internet, and various types of music sharing, i found myself able to discover bands that i'd heard about, but never managed to track down, from the days of underground cassette culture. and, to my surprise and elation, many of them do very much live up to what i'd imagined from reading descriptions of them in catalo…