What is your favourite physical fitness activity outside of writing? Does it give you ideas for your books?
My favorite fitness activity that I do on a regular basis is kung fu. I’ve been learning Fut Gar kung fu for almost four years now, and I love it!
(taken three and a half years ago–I’m a green sash now)
I love that it’s an intense work-out, and I feel I’ve accomplished something by getting through class. I love that I’m learning an actual skill that could protect me if I ever had to physically defend myself (something that thankfully has not come up yet), which gives me a confidence I didn’t have before. I love that it’s adaptable to individual strengths, so I can spar with someone far larger and more powerful than me, using advantages like speed and flexibility. And I also really love that the class I attend is full of sarcastic, kind-of-geeky people like me, who will get Monty Python quotes and Star Trek references and joke around between forms.
I think it has also helped my writing. I have a WIP with a main character who’s been trained in martial arts, for example, and while she hasn’t studied the exact same techniques I have (it’s set in Japan, and kung fu is Chinese), I feel I know enough about how fighting works now to make the action scenes believable. I don’t usually get ideas during class, though–most of the time it’s hard to think much about anything but what I’m doing there!
I also really, really enjoy taking long walks or hiking, but I don’t usually do much of that except while on vacation, exploring new places. (Wandering around my own city is fun, too, but it doesn’t the sense of adventure that can make it so much more enjoyable.) I get a lot of story ideas doing that, both from seeing things that catch my interest, and just from letting my mind wander as my feet are.