Photo of creek at dawn
Early morning light hits the Rock River near Williamsville, Vermont in Windham County. This photo was taken just downstream of the Williamsville Covered Bridge. The Rock River is a tributary of the West River and flows through the Green Mountains. Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Do any of you remember that Mel Gibson movie called What Women Want? I saw it with the hubs and when we came out, he looked at me (part in horror, part in disbelief), “Does your brain do what those women’s did?”

Paraphrasing Phineas (from Phineas and Ferb), “Why yes, it does.”

I can quiet my mind if I’m really focused on something like reading or watching something, but most of the time the inside of my head is a cacophony of random thoughts. And even worse, as I get older and I’m easily distracted, like I have developed geriatric ADD. Picture a game character moving through a scene reacting to random stimuli (why is that lone sock on the floor? must pick it up, oh, why are the hub’s keys there?) that causes me to change direction and then arrive somewhere wondering why…

It was kind of a relief for me, that movie. I thought it was just me who couldn’t stop thinking. I even created a character who had this problem on steroids. Doc in Girl Gone Nova stays one step ahead of crazy, or maybe she’s in step with crazy, but it’s always trying to take her down. It makes her a bit on the tense side. I sometimes wonder if that is why she resonates so well with readers.

But I digress (been wanting to write that. one of my crazy, random thoughts). So, I’m always looking for ways to calm my brain so I can write or sleep or not tap my foot in church. And I found the above picture on the hubs’ Flickr page.

When I’m in places like that, my brain does tend to quiet some. There’s something about the movement of water that lulls my brain into a more quiescent place. I used to love our trips to the mountains when I was a kid, used to love sitting by the crick (yes, we called it that) and watching the water tumble by, occasionally tossing a pebble into the froth.

Anne Morrow Lindberg wrote Gifts from the Sea while staying on a beach. I didn’t know the appeal of the surf until we moved to the Gulf Coast. I sort of figured, though. It’s water. I wonder if this is why they made baths that bubble? Hmmmm….

Sometimes, when insomnia has me by the throat, I picture myself in a place like that. Or on a cloud. Or at the beach. Sometimes it works, though being there (except on the cloud) is better. Do you struggle to focus your thoughts? To find mental serenity?

Please share because I could use some! And all comments are entered into my monthly drawing for an AnaBanana gift basket (her stuff also helps me calm my thoughts, btw). Winner is announced in first blog post of the new month.

AnaBanana logo

Perilously yours,

Perilous Pauline's signature



Pauline uses all that mental energy to plot her books and hose her characters. In plotting, serenity is not a good thing! She’s funneled a lot of unserene (yes, she knows it is not a real word, but it is a real feeling) into 13 novels and some short stories. For more information on all her books, pop over to her website at or click on books above. 🙂


Girl Gone Nova cover
Project Enterprise Book Two

Buy Girl Gone Nova at Amazon in audio, digital and (used) print editions.

Seeking Serenity…Inside My Head

6 thoughts on “Seeking Serenity…Inside My Head

  • October 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I had to watch that movie this weekend. I turned on my music and put in my earbuds so I wouldn’t have to watch it. I just can’t like Mel Gibson’s character in that movie. However, if I look beyond that, I do believe my head works the same as the women. Is it a writerly thing? Who knows.

    I like the idea of finding serenity. The sound of waves, running water, thunderstorms are my favorite calming sounds. Lovely photo!
    Diana Beebe recently posted…Things Women (Don’t) Do on Weekend RetreatsMy Profile

    • October 30, 2013 at 9:46 am

      I did find Mel Gibson’s character very praiseworthy either. Isn’t it interesting how actors either engage or repel?

      Glad you liked the photo! Yeah, serenity can be hard to find.

  • October 29, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Serenity……Lets see….nope none at the moment. I’m a lot like you, my mind jumps all over the place. It seems that I’m thinking of ten things at one time to keep everything moving. I really want to slow down and focus, but it just never seems to happen. I long for a place like yours in the picture that I can slow down and leave the worries of life behind me.

    • October 29, 2013 at 10:59 am

      That’s very interesting, Gilliad. I wonder if it is a writer thing and not just a girl thing? I know the hubs doesn’t seem to suffer from it because he looked at me like I was an alien. LOL That picture is amazing, isn’t it? As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to use it in a blog post. Maybe instead of serenity I need to find a way to get on the idea I need to work on and just go with it. More of a filtering thing that a serenity thing?

  • October 28, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Serenity? Oh my goodness! I forgot there was such a thing. Focus? Focus could be my undoing right now. With everything going on in my life, it’s safer to be a bit scattered and the proud new owner of a short attention span. Otherwise, I’d disappear into my happy little artsy smartsy world (whatever the daily special is) and forget about everything else that REQUIRES my attention pronto. I think the most important thing to stay sane, no matter what’s going on, is getting enough sleep. However, I’ve already miscalculated and “fell back” (changed the clock) Saturday night–so now I am not just in/unserene but unsure–what time is it anyway???? It’s not on my precious handwritten list. Oh, no… where is my list?

    • October 29, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Yeah, I can see serenity is not your go to zone at the moment! I think sometimes we just have to go with what is happening in our lives and not fight it. Because that doesn’t bring serenity either. I have been DYING to turn my clock back! I’m sick to death of DST! Hugs on your current challenges!

Comments are closed.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: