Monday, January 12, 2009

Mysterious Cerebral Connections by Anne Carter

Whenever I visit this blog, almost daily, I am humbled by the talent and knowledge conveyed by my co-bloggers. I’ll admit that one of my reasons for coming is to gauge what the others are writing in comparison to what I’m considering as my next contribution. Many are offering nuts and bolts advice on the technique of writing mystery. Some are sharing their likes and dislikes about the genre, while others are asking empirical questions of our blog followers. Me, I’m just here for the ride.

Mystery has always been my go-to choice as a reader. I consider the mystery akin to a mind-sharpening puzzle. Experts agree that keeping the mind stimulated can strengthen brain cells and even improve the connections between them, possibly creating new cells in the process. The Alzheimer’s Association recommends keeping the brain active every day through activities such as reading, writing, working puzzles and maintaining curiosity. What better way than to delve into a good mystery?

Okay, I’ll admit to being a long-time puzzler. That is, solving the Los Angeles Times Sunday crossword puzzle is a favored activity. Nothing quite like filling in that last tiny square with a satisfying “aha!” And isn’t that the same feeling we get when we reach the “aha!” moment in a good book, when the pieces all miraculously fall together and the answer is revealed? Don’t we revel in the fact that we know we’ve solved the mystery before anyone else possibly could?

My husband won’t watch “Wheel of Fortune” with me, and he covers his ears when I leap forward during the last minutes of a suspense film with a broad grin on my face. “Save it for the rest of us, will you?” he begs. Sheesh! He needn’t get so perturbed; I’m only trying to keep my brain healthy!

Anne Carter is the author of romantic paranormal mysteries including POINT SURRENDER; visit her at


Mark Troy said...

Years ago when I first came to Texas A&M, I met a retired professor, Frank Pierce, who was having success with short stories in Ellery Queen. He said I might not understand (being the tender age of 40) but that he wrote to keep his brain young. Actually, I did understand then, but understand even better now.

Thanks for a great post.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hopefully we're all keeping our brain young. I usually figure out what will happen in any scary movie, and usually mysteries I read--but not always.


Dana Fredsti said...

oooh, Anne, you need a 'spoiler alert' sign flashing above your head! :-)

Morgan Mandel said...

I wish I were as clever at cross word puzzles, but I'm not by any means. Once in a blue moon I can answer a question at Jeopardy.
I'm not too bad at Wheel of Fortune, if that means anything.

Morgan Mandel

Pam Ripling said...

It's not only word will think me absolutely crazy, but I also play Solitaire on my Pocket PC (the one I read ebooks on!) and I play several games in quick succession to see what my win ratio is. When I'm "on my game" I will win like 80% of my games... when I'm off, I can't hardly win any. It's an indicator of my brain's clarity, IMO. Silly, yeah...