Braincells in Motion by Jim Anderson

My mind is awhirl

Over the past month, I’ve had the pleasure of attending both Eastercon 2019 and the Milford Writing Retreat at Trigonos, and my mind is awhirl with ideas. I find enormous benefit in talking to other writers, not necessarily about anything in particular, but I find that each conversation opens windows and doors that I want to wander through.

Retreat 2019 coffetime group

My list of possible projects and story ideas is always a bit, sometimes significantly, longer, and that’s what I’m finding now.

It’s that little bit dangerous as well; I often find myself in the position of that now classic internet meme, distracted from my current projects by all of the new and shiny ideas.  But then, I find talking to writers helpful here as well, because I’m clearly not the only one; witness the popularity of that particular meme in all its myriad variations.

One thing that I found especially interesting about the Writing Retreat was watching other people work.  We each came with our own list (pile?) of things to do, and unlike the Milford SF Writers Annual Conference, with its focus on critiquing, the Retreat was time significantly less structured.

Lightbulb ID-100401888I had a good week; I did more than I’d feared, including both writing and thinking through plot issues in the Infinite Project, as it can have no other name. And while I did less than I’d wildly optimistically planned, the wildly optimistic plan did carry me forward.

And in both places, I found new ideas that might make their way into one of the current projects or might some day stand on their own.  And though I’m sure you weren’t asking yourself this question, but I do find the same thing in the day job.  Math conferences are always fertile ground for new math ideas, and even in administrative away days, I find myself making note of the thoughts that result from random ideas fissioning off each other.

The very interesting ideas are the ones that keep coming up, often in different disguises, and in fact it’s one of those that’s distracting me at the moment.

jim_andersonJim Anderson (on-line at is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Southampton, and is also the Associate Dean (Education and Student Experience) for the Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences. Beyond mathematics, he practices the traditional Japanese martial art of aikido and writes science fiction and fantasy.

About Jacey Bedford

Jacey Bedford maintains this blog. She is a writer of science fiction and fantasy (, the secretary of Milford SF Writers (, a singer ( and a music agent booking UK tours and concerts for folk performers ( She's also a Home Office / UK Visas and Immigration department licensed sponsor processing UK work permits (Certificates of Sponsorship).
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