Monday, April 10, 2006
  Spatial Orientation and Visual Memory
I had an interesting conversation with my husband this morning. It went something like this:

"Did you use the green credit card or the blue one at the grocery store yesterday?"

Frozen silence.

"Um.... I used the one in front. I think that's... umm... blue. No wait, green No, no, it's blue."

Now to understand this conversation you have to know how I have my purse organized: I have a planner case with about ten card holder sleeves inside. My driver's license and frequently used credit cards are in the first sleeves. The next ones are groups in bunches -- my library card goes with my barnes and noble card, several grocery cards go together, as do several pharmacy cards. My coffee cards fill in the back, and so on.

The credit card for gas, groceries and pharmacies is in the first sleeve, center slot; the card for dining out and miscellaneous purchases is in the second sleeve, right slot.

It struck me as interesting (and typical) that my husband and I use very different systems to remember which card is for which purpose. Mine requires always putting the card back in its spot. His depends on associating a color with a purpose. Even more interesting -- my desk is usually a mess, but I can lay hands on what I want, because I remember in which stack I placed the desired paper, on which corner of the desk and so on. On several occassions someone has very, very nicely attempted to straighten out my desk, much to my dismay, cause I can't find anything once it's been moved. My husband wonders how I can find anything, period. *grin*

I think it relates to those infuriating iq tests where you have to rotate a block in space, mentally, or where you are supposed to identify the next in a baffling series of shapes or lines and dots. I can never figure them out logically, yet I score consistently in the top 2-5% on them. Like I've got some visual-spatial gestalt ability going on.

Anyway, the conversation made me think about how that would be an interesting cultural clash for an alien species/human species story (or for a story with different human characteristics.) Something more subtle than some of the "idiosyncracies" a lot of writers of contemporary fic come up with. So much of contemporary fiction seems to have characters that are just so bizarre that I can't relate to them, but something subtle like the difference in the way you order your life, that seems like an interesting way to add depth to a set of characters without having to make them have bizarre hobbies or wacko personality traits.
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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