20 November 2013


Back-in-Body Experiences

Many years ago, I read a creative writing manual which tried to drive home the importance of sensory details in a text by asking the reader to go over a week's worth of journal entries (which the reader, being the sort to read a creative writing manual, presumably already had) and to see how many of them could only have been written because the reader had had a physical body. And I remember this because my answer was: none of them.

All my entries were about the things I was thinking and imagining rather than the things I was experiencing. Even the books I read and the movies I watched didn't require eyes and ears in the sense that a gorgeous sunset and a wild thunderstorm do: the first two could have been uploaded directly into my disembodied brain, and I wouldn't have known the difference. (By the way, that last sentence reflects all the ambivalence I feel about media these days.)

Lately, however, I've been finding it hard to focus on anything that is too disembodied. That's one reason why blogging has slowed down a bit around here. Of course, I'm still going to close the latest "Two or Three" Book Club "listenalong" before the end of the month, and I have at least one more post I want to write about a Frances Hodgson Burnett book, but these projects are currently paling next to other, more sensual distractions in my life.

3 Things
Keeping Me from Blogging These Days

The Search for the Perfect Dry Shampoo

You already know that I've gone "no poo"--and in case you were wondering, I'm still okay with the results. But "no poo" means no coconut oil, either. That is, I can use coconut oil in very small amounts, to smooth frizzy-looking hair before leaving the house, but I can't do the hot oil treatments which, the latest evidence seems to suggest, were doing so much more for my hair than the raw honey was.

Only yesterday did it hit me that perhaps I could add a dry shampoo to my arsenal. Dry shampoos are used to absorb grease on days when your hair isn't actually dirty and when it would be silly--and maybe even damaging--to wash it. And it doesn't hurt that all DIY dry shampoo recipes for dark hair contain cocoa powder. ;-) I'll be whipping up a batch this weekend, to test against another coconut oil treatment.

The Quest to Master the Fishtail Plait

If right now you're thinking, "Oh, how simple!" then you probably also crochet like a dream. (Am I right?) As Sheila explained to me, crocheting and knitting require two things: spatial intelligence and the ability to focus. And as I've learned, focussing intently on something for over an hour makes no difference if you're a spatial idiot. I refer not just to my attempts with yarn and needles, but also to my struggles with my hair.

One reason I wanted to have long hair was so that I could do old-fashioned things with it. While I love rocking the Hermione Granger look, I wouldn't mind being able to blend into a Medieval or Renaissance fair or some period reenactment once in a while. And getting good at plaiting seems to be the logical first step. Spending time on this new project really cuts into my reading time . . . but I actually don't mind! 

The Distraction of Dancing the Rumba

Salsa will always be my first love, but the slow-quick-quick slow of the rumba is also kind of hot! It took me over an hour to get the timing right (because that's how weird it feels to have a body), but now I have a whole routine worked out. It doubles as a "warm up" exercise before I start my salsa playlist again, though you can rest assured that those couple hundred rumba boxes and other moves are done as much for their own sake, and for the love of the music, as for their "cardio" value.

So these days, when I hit a blogging block, I tend to dance my way through it. This doesn't actually solve the problem . . . but I end up feeling better. And I'm sure I'll feel great this Saturday evening, dancing with plaited hair that smells of both coconut and cocoa! LOL! But yes, I'll try to get another old-time radio post up before then. =)


Pennyyak Harper said...

I dance around the house too! Doesn't help me write better, or more, ... I enjoy it. My dancing style: eclectic and eccentric, with a major in 60's/70's dances that had a short life.

Enbrethiliel said...


As I type this, I am about to begin another hour of Latin dance . . . with Heidi braids that have made one colleague call me a "German Goth girl"! =P

What music do you dance to most often, Penny?

Pennyyak Harper said...

Music in my head (whatever comes to mind). British invasion to Kanye West.

DMS said...

Awesome that you found a good solution for your hair- it sounds great! Also, dancing is always a good stress reliever, and drawing helps me to unwind, too. My dancing is more free flowing because I don't know how to do any specific dances. :)

Enbrethiliel said...


Stress relief is another benefit I hadn't mentioned! If it weren't for the chance to dance a little bit now and then, I'd go crazy!

Sheila said...

I love to dance, too! I am not so good with "official" dances ... you know, the kind with steps. I more just ... groove, I guess. My spatial intelligence is fine, but I have zero sense of rhythm! Guess I should have stuck with piano when I was a kid.

Lately I have been very dissatisfied with taking in experiences through a medium like movies or internet. I want to experience the world in person.

Aaaaand that's why my blog is so quiet lately. Ah well. I'm sure I'll get back to it eventually.

Enbrethiliel said...


What I love about salsa is that after you learn the basic rhythm (which has more to do with your hips than with your feet!), you can do as much "grooving" as you like! =D And that's mostly what I've been doing as well.

I wish that I could say that blogging has been a little slower this month because I've been experiencing life as well, but it has just been a really, really busy season at work. =/

love the girls said...

Interesting. In our house the girls are more likely to be found doing the hokey pokey, or some such. Except for Veronica, who spends her days dancing ballet through the house.

Enbrethiliel said...


Why do I have the feeling that if you saw me dancing and had no idea that it was salsa, you'd also describe it as "the hokey pokey, or some such"? LOL!!!