The art of defying gravity

Building castles in the air takes a certain skill. First you have to defy gravity, although once that obstacle is overcome, the rest is relatively easy.

I have written often about one of my favorite gravity-defying tricks, and that is Bradbury immersion. If I dive into a vat of Dandelion Wine, it usually isn’t long before pow! I’m running a prescription to Mrs. Waverly’s front porch. Zap! I’m racing my brother across the ravine before the gollywompers can catch us and have us for lunch. Wham! Zombies eat my grandma.

So much moors us to the everyday that some days the best we can muster is a feeble hop of a few inches. “I defy you, gravity!” is more of a whimper than a shout of triumph.

So you need to learn tricks to launch you farther off the ground. There are the familiar tricks, like my evergreen Bradbury maneuver, but something new or unfamiliar is also helpful. Not long ago I grabbed an old book of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poems off the shelf, a rummage sale find from the echoes of my English major, and before I knew it, I was through “The Courtship of Miles Standish” and reloaded for bear. Between paragraphs of this musing, I had to take the puppy out for a solid waste evacuation, and together we took a stroll that reminded me of the reinvigorating effect of fresh air and moving your limbs.

“I need to exercise more” is a common plea of the sedentary, but it lingers in the back of our minds as if exercise is a chore, until we get a taste of flowing juices and outdoor breathing, and next thing you know aliens are jumping to and fro in our brains or Heathcliff and Catherine are acting out their tragic love, and we suddenly realize that our brain is also an organ that needs an ongoing supply of oxygenated blood and what are we doing sitting all day letting our blood congeal and pool in the recesses of our gluteus maximus? 

Settle your mind on the runway, give it the gas and start taxiing. When you have enough velocity, pull back on the yoke and lift off. Defy gravity and get up there, and soon you’ll be building some castles.

P.S. I almost forgot one of my favorite tricks: Set a timer for five minutes, then apply pen to paper, writing anything that comes to mind. (Sure, a keyboard works, too.) I did that this morning and, going back over what I wrote, in the middle of some honest-to-gosh gibberish I found, “Building castles in the air takes a certain skill. First you have to defy gravity, although once that obstacle is overcome, the rest is relatively easy.” A short time later, I was cruising.

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W.B.’s NaNoWriMo progress report – as of midnight Nov. 7

Novel 1 – 484 new words, 52.6% to 40k goal

Novel 2 – 40% to 40k goal

Plan for end of 2021 – completed

Plan for 2022 – in development

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of It's Going to Be All Right, Echoes of Freedom Past, Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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