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Tension…good in books, bad in life? Or maybe not bad, when it’s not too much tension. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of me busting my ankle…which was pretty much the start of a year that yielded quite a bit of tension in both good and bad ways. I’m hoping more of the good and less of the bad for the next year.

But I’ve been pondering tension lately as I wrestle with a few wips and try to figure them out. Writing involves lots of tension beyond the actual words on page story tension…will my book work? Can I do justice to the vision in my head? Will I get to the end? Will anybody buy it? Will I ever hear back on whatever is out on submission? So learning to live with tension and channel it in healthy ways is something I’m always trying to balance. Sometimes better than others.

It’s spring here in Australia and I love this time of year (well, apart from the flip flopping sunny one day, winter blasts the next weather we’re having right now) but it also makes me fidgety. I want everything organised and finished and done. Which is never going to happen. Spring also means lots of sport sport sport here. There’s the footy grand final and the spring racing carnival and the cricket is kicking off.

I’m not a big one for actually watching sport. I played sports but I don’t tend to sit and watch it on TV. And over the years I’ve come to realise that it’s mostly because, unlike a lot of people, it doesn’t relax me. Instead, it tends to make me anxious. I worry about the result and jsut want to get to the end. The sports I like watching most are things like figure skating and eventing etc which have an element of performance to them that distracts me from the “what’s going to happen” factor. Or sports that have a bit of spectacle like baseball or basketball. Whereas, I think a lot of sports fans like the tension and the emotional ride sports give. It’s a form of release, perhaps. Which is relaxing.

Which I think, other than meaning I need to chill out, explains why I love genre fiction so much. Genre gives you the thrill of the journey but with a safe place to land at the end. You know you’ll get your happy ending or the crook will be caught or the universe saved from disaster. So you can relax into the journey and enjoy the twists and surprises along the way. Non genre fiction is more like leaping into the unknown…which is a good thing at times but for me, not every day. I like the safety net (hey, I’m a virgo). Which is why I adore sports books and movies (because I know it will (mostly) work out), love nothing better than a dvd tv marathon (keeping the ride going while getting to the end), love re-reading books and will always always turn to something with a good old happy ending when I’m stressed.

Anyway, enough deep thoughts for a Sunday evening! Do you like the leap into the unknown or a bit of certainty? Or both at different times?

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