I started walking in the morning again. I used to walk a lot but it fell off my agenda as my days became busier and busier. Odelia Grey, my protagonist in the Odelia Grey mystery series, walks everyday, so it’s rather like life imitating art. But while Odelia walks the lovely Back Bay area of Newport Beach with friends, I pound the concrete streets of the west side of Los Angeles, dodging errant dog poop and drivers running red lights, and keeping my eyes and nose away from the donut shop on the corner.
But like Odelia, I do not walk alone. Unlike many walkers, I leave music behind. Instead, I walk to the beat of the scenes and dialogue of the books I am currently writing. Each step is filled with characters and plot points and proposed conflict. It replays in my head in various scenarios until I realize I am just a few steps from my apartment.
Exercise is a great tool for writers. Not only does it get your body moving between long sedentary hours in front of the computer, but it’s a great way to loosen the rocks in the head and free the ideas. There is nothing like a physical rush to pump up creativity. In fact, I’ve found I have to leave for my walks earlier now because as soon as I get home I want to jump on the computer, even before my shower.
So, if you’re in my neighborhood between 6 and 7 in the morning and see me pounding the pavement, wave hello to me … and to Odelia and Granny Apples and Barbara Frost (a new character on the Jaffarian writing agenda). Oh, and don’t forget to say hello to my muse, Selma Diamond. You can’t miss her. She’s the one holding my hand and whispering sweet ideas in my ear.