Monday, April 13, 2009

FORGETFULNESS

Like many writers today, Cheryl Brooks leads a busy life. She’s wife, mother, caretaker of an assortment of critters, and works full time as a Critical Care Nurse. Did I happen to mention she has five cats? I think she likes felines, a lot. Cheryl has also written a wonderful series called The Cat Star Chronicles.

Busy lives means juggling and juggling means we’re going to forget something along the way; I figure that’s why sticky notes were invented. Today Cheryl talks a bit about forgetfulness.


I used to have a nearly photographic memory. I didn't forget anything, not the details of a lecture in school, not directions on how to do a procedure, not what time I was supposed to be somewhere, or what I was supposed to bring. Taking tests was easy because I could picture in my mind the page and paragraph where the answers to specific questions were located. Oh, how I wish those days were here again! It's just my luck that my writing career seems to have taken off just when my mind has decided to leave town.

I'm not alone. Meryl Streep once said she never had any trouble remembering her lines until she hit menopause. All of my friends who are about my age are having similar difficulties—walking into a room and not knowing what you went in there for, being in the shower and washing your feet twice because you don't remember washing them the first time, and forgetting to write that blog you promised to send to Sia. . .

Fortunately, the written word is there to remind us of what we've forgotten; little nudges to help avoid looking stupid. Looking back through blog comments, I found one from Sia on Wickedly Romantic that I hadn't seen, which mentioned this particular contribution. If it hadn't been for that, I probably would have felt really dumb when Sia said, at some point: “So, what about that blog you promised me?”

My husband and eldest son are tickled to death with the loss of my memory because now I'm no different from them. My youngest son has taken over as the memory vault for the family. He never forgets anything, and being mildly autistic, he has very few qualms in pointing out to you just what you've neglected. Unfortunately, he only remembers things that I remember to tell him.

This can cause problems for a writer because you have to constantly look back to see if you've already described the hero's startling green eyes or the heroine's long, silky tresses. Sometimes those details can be very difficult to find, too—mainly because they usually aren't where you remember putting them. The “find & replace” function is quite useful—if you can remember a key word. Thank heaven for email providers with unlimited storage capacities. If I had to shuffle through actual letters, I'd never make it. As it is, I'm so pleased I can point out that, yes, in the email dated such-and-such, I told you about. . .

A few days ago, I recalled (amazingly enough) the old adage that “Rosemary is for Remembrance.” Desperate to recover that which I had lost, I made some rosemary tea, which I drank a few sips of off and on throughout the day—and, yes, it tastes just as bad as you think it would. I believe it helped some, but obviously, I should have made more of it today when I went to the bank and forgot to bring along the checks that needed cashing.

Some days, it just doesn't pay to leave the house.

***
Cheryl Brooks is the author of The Cat Star Chronicles. This series of erotic science fiction novels explores the lives of the last of a race of feline lovers captured in war and sold into slavery. Discover how the men of Zetith could make an entire galaxy of men jealous enough to destroy their race...

Slave was the first of Cheryl's books to be published with Sourcebooks Casablanca. What makes it even more exciting is that they have asked for five more novels in this series!

Cheryl is a native of Louisville, KY, and graduated from the Kentucky Baptist Hospital School of Nursing and then went on to earn a BSN from Indiana University. Horse crazy from the time she knew what a horse was, her family moved to rural Indiana in 1989. Since then, she's managed to accumulate four horses and five cats. Cheryl has been working full-time as a critical care nurse for more than thirty years, which can be exciting, but she's itching for a different kind of excitement!

Cheryl's other interests include cooking, gardening, singing and guitar playing. "I'm really hurt that The Eagles got back together without me!"

You can visit Cheryl at her website:
http://cherylbrooksonline.com/index.html . And catch her blogs at Wickedly Romantic http://wickedlyromantic.blogspot.com/ andn Cheryl Brooks Erotic Blogspot


Available in June 2009







35 comments:

donna said...

Cheryl,
I loved the post.
I been there, done that, many times.
I forget what I did, where have I been, and what I did there.
So now where am I? Who are you?
Oh yes, my favorite writer of erotic alien hotties. Menopause? I think it should be called "Mental-Pause"
Now, I think I'm at work. I don't know how I got here. But I better do something to these law books. HMMM!!!! Oh yes, they need some editing. Talk to you later, if I don't forget. Why do I have this post-it note stuck on my forehead?
P.S. It doesn't get better. I have been mentally paused for a few more years than you. So I know Rosemary Tea is a very temporary fix.
Thanks for having us SIA.

Cheryl Brooks said...

Mental-Pause is right, Donna! I hate to admit this, but in the interim between writing this blog and sending it to Sia, I'd forgotten all about the rosemary tea. Obviously I need to have some more. Maybe throw a teaspoon of rosemary in everything I cook. If only I could remember to do that....

Judi Fennell said...

Uh, oh, my worlds are colliding! In a totally good way. Sia, my Wombat friend, and Cheryl my Casa-buddy.

And I so hear you on the mental-pause. Wait. What was I going to say about that?

Sigh. It's gone...

;)

Cheryl Brooks said...

I had my reply all set, Judi, then, suddenly, all I could think of was...I dunno...but I know there was something I wanted to say....

Judi Fennell said...

*snork

Ana said...

Does the memory thing come with age? LOL. Because people pick on me for having amazing memory but I don't. I have very bad memory. I ask people questions at work and forget their answers 2 seconds later XD

Cheryl Brooks said...

Yes, Ana. What degree of memory you have now will be reduced by at least 20% for every ten years you live past forty.
Does that sound scientific and reasonable? It shouldn't. I just made it up!
Never trust a writer of fiction....

donna said...

Ana,
At your age. I think: It's called Sensual Overload.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I think part of all the forgetfulness is simply trying to juggle too many things at one time. It should be called The SuperWoman Syndrome.

And at *this* age, women can do senusal overload very well.

Sheila Deeth said...

I loved this post. So comforting to be reminded I'm not the only one forever forgetting - and to know that real writers have the same problems. Thanks.

Cherry said...

Hey, what are you complaining about? You became forgetful with age. I was born with it! My mother used to send me on an errand and I would go where she directed me and then stand around looking bewildered because I forgot what I went there to get! I had to go back to mom to ask her again what she wanted... Drove her up the wall!! Sometimes I do it on purpose so that mom would ask my sister to fetch her things instead of me. :)

Cheryl Brooks said...

Super Woman Syndrome, huh? I'm not as super as I used to be--at least, it doesn't feel that way. I used to be able to juggle and do ten things at once, but I sure don't feel like it anymore!
I think women can do sensual overload at any age. I took care of a 91 year old patient the other night, and she really appreciated her handsome, well-dressed, sexy-smelling doctor!

Cheryl Brooks said...

Hi Sheila,
No, you're not alone, but if Meryl Streep can have this problem and admit to it, there's hope for all of us, whether we're writers or not!

Cheryl Brooks said...

Hi Cherry!
That's pretty much what my husband and sons tell me: "Stop complaining. You're NORMAL now!" I kinda liked being abnormal, though. A good memory is a terrible thing to lose.
This reminds me of an old joke I once heard about a woman who didn't lament the loss of many other things she'd had in her long life, but, as she put it: "I sure do miss my mind!"

readwriteandedit said...

Don't know if I'm relieved that others have the same problem or worried that it's only going to get worse with age! Thank God for computers and sticky notes. I admit that I sometimes forget to read the notes, however.

Also admit that I can't always remember if I've described a character more than once using the same words. Or found a phrase I particularly like and throw it in a couple times in different scenes. The find feature is my friend.

Cheryl Brooks said...

Yes, RWAE, the find & replace is invaluable, as is leaving a manuscript unread for a while. When my mind is fresher, I can spot them more easily.
My problem with writing notes is remembering where I put them...

~Sia McKye~ said...

Cherry, lol! Selective hearing and memory, eh? Too funny.

I'm not yet going through menopause, but time and everyday stresses has effected my memory. I can still remember where on a page something was written,or object placement in a room,if I consentrate, I can bring up most of what was there, but not like I used to be able to do in school. I could and did juggle appointments and such in my head. It seems the more you put on life's plate the harder it is to remember everything. We lead such busy lives and so many things matter more than when we were kids or twenty-something. I'm sure sleep or lack of it, how we eat, hormonal surges, and probably a host of things effect memeory.

For now, I guess I'll just have to live with my daily schedule thingie. If I can remember where I put the darn thing, hmmm, probably with my car keys.

Cheryl Brooks said...

Sia,
I carry a calendar in my purse at all times, which I often refer to as "my brain." If I ever lost it, I wouldn't be able to function!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Amen! I tease about it, but I do have one in my office here at home at all times. I have to have one to keep track of who is on and when as well as other important things I need to keep track of.

For some reason, Twitter wasn't picking up on Facebook updates so I had to manually update twitter for our discussion here. I also use fm Ping to update all the social networks.

Cheryl Brooks said...

LOL! I'm not anywhere near that well-connected, Sia! Thanks for inviting me over for coffee!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Your article will be up through tomorrow, so check in now and then. Besides, I loved having to go look for those hot book covers of yours and droll, I mean look at them before putting up the correct ones. I like the look of Figitive too. :-)

Cheryl Brooks said...

*sigh* I just love my covers! The art department did a great job on them.

Kat Sheridan said...

W00t! One of my favorite authors and she's just like me! LOL! You have no idea how comforting that is! I'm finding that now that I'm moving somewhat past menopause, I actually do seem to be getting a few brain cells functioning again, but I will collapse without my sticky notes! And like RWE, I find, in my writing, that if I like a phrase, I sprinkle it in the MS all over the place! Great article, Cheryl, and I totally love yoru books. And Sia, yet another great guest!

Vivian A said...

I'm with Cherry, I'm already forgetting and I can't blame it on menopause...yet. As soon as I can, yippeeeee!

Cheryl I love tea, but rosemary seems far too pungent for even my taste buds. You are a brave woman.

Cheryl Brooks said...

Thanks, Kat!
It's nice to know that my brain may return in time. Of course, by then, senility will have set in...
My favorite line (I will give you joy unlike any you have ever known) is nice because it's one that I can use in every book. Unfortunately, there are others I can't use as often. If only readers were as absent-minded as old writers, we could get away with a lot more!

Cheryl Brooks said...

I'll admit it was pretty potent stuff, Vivian, but I've tasted worse things. At least, I think I have...not sure I remember just when that was, though....

~Sia McKye~ said...

I have your book, well it came in to the book story, I've drove past the store twice and forgotten to stop. It's 30 miles away. This week. Sticky note on the dashboard. whoooo boy, lol! Lookin' forward to it. At least I know I'll have lots of reading material to look forward to with all your planned books. I love a prolific writer.

~Sia McKye~ said...

It sure would be nice if I could actually put up a comment without a typo, where the heck is the spell check. Must investigate that function.

Helen Ginger said...

Dang, so many comments, after scrolling through them all, I forgot why I'm here. Where am I, anyway?

Ah, the things we women will try. Haven't had Rosemary tea ... yet. Right now I'm drinking something I read about in a magazine. I'm sure everyone will want the recipe - maple syrup, lemon juice, water, and cayenne pepper. My advice -- go easy on the cayenne. What is it purported to do? Heck if I remember.

Helen
http://straightfromhel.blogspot.com

~Sia McKye~ said...

Helen, thanks for stopping by. Cayenne pepper? Well it is suppose to be good good for fybromyalgia and increasing the working of your immune system, among other things. You'd need the maple syrup, which is also good for you, to get it down, lol!

Cheryl Brooks said...

Hi Helen,
Maybe you should add some rosemary to REALLY make it taste weird! LOL!

Cheryl Brooks said...

I hope you like it, Sia!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Well, I didn't say anything about LIKING it perse, lol! After it's not chocolate, doncha know.

Or are you talking about your book? I'm sure I'll enjoy your book Cheryl. You have a good premise, a mix of Sci-fi, hot heroes--what's not to like?

~Sia McKye~ said...

I want to thank Cheryl Brooks for taking time out of her busy schedule to join us Over Coffee. I'm glad you remembered Cheryl. :-)

You are a true delight to have as a guest, ma'am!

SueO said...

I found out when I was very young that my mother went through "mental pause" when she was 36, and without even understanding what it was, I lived in dread of it. Now that it's here, I can't remember what was supposed to be so terrible about it... ;-)