Wilfair's #1 Secret: Dance

I come from a fairly athletic family but somehow the gene skipped me, or seemed to. More of a bookworm and movie lover, I could be found chillaxing on couches and lawns, reading and daydreaming, and not throwing balls or running down fields.

This isn't to say that one can't be athletic and a bookworm. Members of my family have mastered both sides of the equation very well. I, however, landed on one side of that particular fence, early on, and finding a way over it daunted me.

But good health is very important to me, and movement, and strength. And so it happened that I began, and stuck with, a consistent and pretty vigorous exercise program just about the time I started writing the Wilfair books.

It was a little first in my life. And then a very big one.

Looking back, I do believe that dancing a few times a week, in a structured class setting, ultimately spurred me to take this rather overwhelming and exciting project on. I suddenly felt better, slept better, and had more energy.

And if you love to dance, you know that your mind reels and twirls with thoughts and ideas. Many ideas for the Wilfair books were born while I was sweating.

Some of you have written me asking advice about taking on a creative project. My first piece of advice, before anything, is to find a program of movement you like and can live with. I know, that has nothing to do with sitting at a desk to write or an easel to paint, but committing to some form of fun exercise makes for a very promising start.

To celebrate the books' conclusion, and because my old shoes were falling apart (literally, parts were peeling off), I bought new dance shoes. I know, gross: The blue shoes on the bottom left have seen better days, but they're the shoes that danced me all the way through the Wilfair series.

I had several ideas for the books and characters and particular moments and lines while wearing them. The foggy window in "Redwoodian" popped in my brain while I wore these babies. So did the neon motel sign and several other turning points in the story.

If you need inspiration to get going, write me: I'll provide it. If you already move, and love to dance, visit me in LA and we'll dance together.


Amanda W said...

Such good advice! I know when I was running, I often solved a story problem while pounding the pavement. And it's true: moving your body helps everything -- including your mind -- work better.

What kind of dancing do you do?

Erika C. said...

I can't wait to dance with you in LA this summer!!!

do dah said...

I heartily approve. :) And class was totally fun.

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