The Sink Blog

Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Brain Book

I’m reading a book about brains. I don’t often venture into non-fiction, despite having a house full of really interesting non-fiction books (Dan’s), because I prefer make-believe. Every once in a while I get involved in non-fiction, usually insanely readable stuff like Sleep Thieves, which made me afraid of insomnia, or in this case, The Midnight Disease.

The Midnight Disease has to do with neurobiology and brain functions. It’s written by Alice Flaherty, a neurobiologist/writer who has also experienced bouts of mental illness. The importance and accuracy of the book’s content has been questioned by hardcore neurobiologists, but it’s written with style and it isn’t boring, and for my purposes, that’s enough. I’ve never read anything that specifically addressed literary creativity as a neurological function. Apparently, creativity is associated with the temporal lobe and limbic system. These are the parts of a body that are associated with manic depression, and Flaherty points out the correlation between creativity and mild mental illness. I’m suspicious of the book, but I’m enjoying it. I thought it would cause me to worry that I’m mentally ill, but actually it’s making me worry that I’m too sane to be properly creative.

In other news, I found out about Banff Centre funding – I got some! Very happy. Now I can get myself together for a May writing vacation instead of hedging and fretting and trying not to get my hopes up or make solid plans for the next five months. Thanks, Banff Centre! According to my info package, while I’m in Banff I get to tote around an “Artist ID Card.” I’m so tickled. I shall take it into the township and behave in an arrogant manner.