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L.T. Suzuki

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Member Since: Jan, 2009

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Blogs by L.T. Suzuki

How To Write When Suffering from Bad Memory Retention
6/20/2009 8:17:12 AM
Can't remember what I was writing about... Oh yeah, now I remember! Menopause & Writing!
If youíve read my last blog, youíll know I am waging an ongoing war against Mother Nature and the onslaught of menopause (in my case mentalpause) and all its evil symptoms. I wonít bother listing them, for it will only scare pre-menopausal women from reading this post, not to mention every guy who has a wife or girlfriend reaching that point in her life.

Although I donít look a day over 49 (at least I hope I donít) and I continue to pretend I can do all the martial artsy stuff I used to do couple of decades ago (except the back flips, cartwheels, bowing in, bowing out, etc.) this stage in life was inevitable. If youíre a female, unless youíre dead or a fluke of nature, the big M will come knocking on your door one day. Bring it on, I say! I can deal with! Itíll be like any other challenge Iíve faced in life. Or so I thoughtÖ

Now, what does the M word have to do with writing or memory retention? Unlike men who suffer from the middle age crazies, overcome by the sudden yearning for fast cars and young women (or fast women and new cars) I have been bowled over by an ever-faltering memory.

I donít know if itís because I started my writing career later than most do, and I attribute part of my memory loss due to pregnancy later in life. (Yes, guys! I firmly believe women give their unborn child a portion of their brain as the fetus develops, hence pregnant women being forgetful.) And my theory is, the older you are when you get pregnant, the greater the memory loss. I am proud to say I gave my daughter a walloping huge chunk of my grey matter. Sheís so smart, Iím so --- I donít want to talk about it!

Anyway, getting back to writing, menopause and memory retention. My husband, Scott will vouch for me when I say my ability to recall details is suffering. In the past during my career in law enforcement, memory and the ability to recall the smallest of details were crucial when in the process of apprehending a violator. I would recall weather conditions, chronological order of events leading to the apprehension, even if the violator had tattoos, piercings, etc.

Now, I struggle to recall the names of the characters I create, not to mention what happened in Books 1 to 9 in the Imago fantasy series Iíve been immersed in for the past 7 years! Scott believes for every book Iíve written, Iíve sacrificed more and more of my brain in the process. For him, in some ways itís good, that way I canít recall some of the things he had said or done that has ruffled my feathers and could come back to haunt him.

So how does an aging writer like me cope with this decreasing memory retention? No, I donít throw on a pair of Depends on my head to prevent leakage, though it might help and start a new fashion trend.

I found creating a time line of events and characters, in my case, 2000 years worth of Imagoís colorful history, characters and events helps to keep things in order. Another helpful thing to do is to write as soon as I can. I often get random thoughts/ideas that may not work at the specific point of the book Iím writing at, but Iíll type it down anyway; cutting and pasting when I find the perfect place to put it. If I count on my memory to hold this thought until this time comes, I might as well forget about it, for in all likelihood, I already did. Because I know Iíll never recall what tidbit of characterization, action or whatever, as they will pop up at the strangest time, if the laptop is not handy, Iíll write it on a piece of paper. Iím good as long as I remember where I put it!

I also found jotting down tidbits of information, of people and places, so they're handy. Whether on the laptop or in a notebook, itíll always be there at my fingertips, unlike my memory.

Iíve been told thereís an herbal remedy that helps to slow memory loss, but I canít remember what itís called. Gingka Bilbo Baggins, Kingko BalboaÖ Gin&TonicÖ Itíll eventually come to me, but for now, I must get back to my edits, if only I can remember where I put my manuscript.


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