Quantum Quiet

                                         …A-Z Blogging for April
                                                         
By Jeff Salter 

            As you may have guessed from my title, I have the Letter ‘Q’ to blog about in this April quest to cover the English alphabet.
            And, unlike my recent efforts with the letters ‘E’ and ‘K’, I’ll confine myself to two Q-words:

 Q is for Quiet
            I often see everything from brief comments to entire blog columns (from my writing colleagues) about Quiet.  Or, more precisely, that many / most of them need music or ambient noise in order to write.  Some even carefully select particular music, depending on what type of story they’re writing … or what part of the story they’re working on.
            Not me.  I need quiet.  On a scale of 1-100, I prefer something around 95 on the quiet scale.
            Years ago, when I had an office with a door (at my full-time job), I’d go in nearly Saturday – my day off – and WRITE.  With my door closed and me off-duty, I would often spend 7-8 hours writing without interruption.  I even wrote a poem about those experiences, which I called, “My Saturdays”.  I won’t subject you to the entire poem today, but one of the lines refers to the only sounds being the muted clacking of my keyboard and the soft ‘tsk’ noise of the second hand of my wall clock.  [Let me disclose that I had to MUTE the clock — literally.  It was ‘tsk-ing’ too loudly, so I took off the back and stuffed foam strips into every available space … in order to lessen the noise.  Seriously.]
            So I think I’ve illustrated my point:  I crave QUIET!

Q is for Quantum
            Quantum is one of those words which 85% of American adults are ‘familiar with’ (and likely use) … though they have no clue as to its meaning.  I’ll confess:  I’m in that 85%.  Furthermore, I don’t even care what it means.
            Quantum sounds so intelligent and so cool, that we all use it … as though we actually know what we’re talking about.  Uh … but we don’t.
            Not sure what I mean?  Okay … everybody’s heard of quantum physics.  But I bet you don’t know what that really means.  Nope … me neither.  Many of you will recall the engaging TV show, “Quantum Leap.”  But do you think that series had ANY actual science involved in it?  Uh … no.  That little gadget which the cigar-smoking boss kept poking … was just a glorified TV remote.
            You see:  quantum is an ubër adjective … and it sounds sophisticated no matter how you use it.  Here are a few examples of some new applications I have in mind:
            I’ve been studying Quantum Poetry, and I’ve decided that, in order for my sonnets to really ‘pop’, I should end them with a Quantum Couplet … instead of the regular kind.
            See what I mean?
            Here’s another:  Since I got tired of all those hit-and-miss diet fads, I’ve switched to the Quantum Diet.  [Now, 6 out of 10 people I’ve told that to have just nodded their heads and acted like they’d been thinking of doing the same thing.]
            Another:  After slicing two golf balls into the adjacent fairway, hooking one back toward the club house, and shanking my fourth shot into the flustered party at the ladies’ tee box … I decided to pull Old Blue out of my bag and give it a Quantum Drive.  Now, I’ll bet you can picture exactly what I’m about to do, even though you’ve never heard of quantum drives … at least not in golf.  [I think NASA uses them in moon shots, however].
            Remember the dour character named ‘Q’ in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels?  Well, it’s never been explained (to me, anyway), but I reckon that ‘Q’ stands for ‘quartermaster’ … which, in a military setting, would be the unit in charge of supplies, materials, foodstuffs, etc.  In the case of Fleming’s ‘Q’, he was actually a Quantum Quartermaster.  See how this works?
            Since I believe I’ve made my point about the efficacy of the word ‘Quantum’ as an all-purpose (yet inscrutable) ubër adjective, let me apply it to my other Q-word for today:  When I write, I need Quantum Quiet!

 Your turn
            In what context might YOU use the word ‘quantum’ … and get away with it?
            Do you prefer music, noise, activity around you when you write?  Or do you need Quantum Quiet?

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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35 Responses to Quantum Quiet

  1. Iris says:

    Oh Jeff …. I’m all for quiet !! And if quantum quiet is even better I’d take two of them.
    I’m with the 85% – wouldn’t have a clue, but haven’t really heard it very often either. I’m not really that bright when it comes to physics 🙂 ….

    Bright though when it comes to German (not really true either, but I like to show off) …. i had a bit of a giggle and I hope you’ll have a chuckle as well instead of being offended. See the thing with the “two dots” above the letters is not “quantumly selected” (LOL not sure whether that exists), but there’s a system …. so it’s not ubër, but über.

    And the term yestermorrow is now officially added to the dictionary!!!!!!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      LoL, Iris. In my quest to quiz readers about quantum, I became indiscriminate about placing my dots. Good catch. 85% of the readers would not have noticed!

      Like

  2. Lindsay says:

    I have to have music, country, when I write. Even when I’m going to sleep. To me the loudest noise is silence.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Interesting point, Lindsay. When I sleep, I need the ‘white noise’ of a Marsona sound machine. Funny how that same amount of noise would bother me when I’m awake.

      Like

  3. I get more done when it’s Quiet, too. But my husband has to have noise all day, so I’ve learned to write with classical music playing on my headphones. It’s a Quantum Quest for Quintessential Domestic Peace.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Love it, Patty. “Quantum Quest for Quintessential Domestic Peace”
      I think that’s what most of us are searching for. LOL

      Like

  4. Mary Vitas says:

    How did you get stuck with Q? Did you lose a bet or something? Regardless, you’ve attacked the elusive Q admirably. Qudos.

    I prefer Quantum Quiet while writing, interrupted by bouts of Words With Friends to stir up my vocabulary and kick my brain up to higher gear. One of my favorite fall back words in the game, when I get the dreaded “Q”, is “qi”. Yes, I consider it cheating to play it, and my friends groan, but it’s my only concession to the game’s greatly relaxed rules as compared to Scrabble. “Qi” is an alternate spelling of “chi” which is the “flow of energy that controls the observable function of human beings” and apparently, it has a two-fold hand in the flow of my daily writing.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Ha. No, Mary, I’m the Thursday Hound, so I got stuck with E, K, Q, & W. Try making a Scrabble word with THOSE letters.
      Hmm. These days I don’t have much chi … or qi, I’m afraid.
      Thanks for posting.

      Like

  5. crbwrites says:

    I know writers who swear by their character’s iPod playlists to keep them focused and in the right mood–but I prefer quantum quiet. Normal background noise isn’t a big deal, but no words, please. BTW, love your new cover!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Thanks, Chris. Elaina Lee created my cover. I think the release is still a couple of weeks out, though.
      Yes: no words. I DO enjoy the sounds of birds chirping, or leaves rustling in the breeze — sounds of nature. But TV or Radio is a creativity killer for me.

      Like

  6. jbrayweber says:

    Quiet! Unless I need the quasi quiet of a movie soundtrack to get me into quantum method writing, especially when writing my quota of quality action-packed quarrel or quibble scenes. 😉

    Jenn!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      ROFL, Jenn. You packed two dozen Q-words into a 20 word sentence!
      Not surprised that you like soundtracks. Also, on your Wed. Muse Tracks photo-prompts, you usually have a song listed. Right?

      Like

      • jbrayweber says:

        Yes, I have a song of the day on MuseTracks. And I don listen to a lor of soundtracks, which is fitting since my writing has been dubbed cinematic. 😉
        Great fun today on the blog.

        Like

      • jeff7salter says:

        And just so any other readers here want to know, Jenn often has a hunky dude for her Wed. writing prompt at MuseTracks. Well, a PHOTO of a hunky dude. Ha.

        Like

  7. Sug Grant says:

    Ronny has to have noise in the house and keeps the TV on even when he is in another room. It is usually his old movie channel. That drives me nuts. I on the other hand like to have music as background sound. Thanks to our satilite TV there are numerous music channels and I particularly like the New Age one to just create a soothing background sound. That drives him crazy which brings me to my Q word – Quid Pro Quo. When you have been married as long as we have you learn the ways to harmlessly “get back” at each other.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Hmm, quid pro quo might be a double Q-word, Sug.
      Yeah, I know LOTS of people who keep at least one TV running at all times. Fortunately for my sanity, the loudest TV — and most utilized — is downstairs … and I can close the door at the foot of the stairs if it’s too loud.

      Like

  8. Anne Kemp says:

    I love the quiet – and completely agree with you that I need it to be 95% on the scale to be at peace and write!!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Cool, Anne. I think those of us in the Quantum Quiet Club oughtta have our own lapel pin. Ha.
      Thanks for vistiing again today.

      Like

  9. Laurie Ryan says:

    Speaking of Quiet, I’ve been exactly that way. I haven’t been on the airwaves due to some non-writing things I had to take care of. But I’m back with Quantum Interest (although you made me have to go look up it’s adjective definition. 🙂
    As for writing, I like music playing while I write. I don’t like folks talking around me or distracting me, but music sets the mood, you know?

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Glad you’re back, Laurie. Hope everything’s okay with your non-writing stuff.
      Quantum Interest — LOL. Me too.
      The reason music doesn’t work for me is that I tend to shift my focus TO the music. If it’s a song I like, I’ll be listening for the bass line or the drum beat … or remembering people and circumstances associated with my hearing that song.

      Like

  10. You know, it’s not just a matter of choice; people are hard-wired as to whether they can think or concentrate better with silence, background noise or earphones blasting away, which is why you should let your kids do thier homework any way they want, as long as it actually works for them.
    Me,I like a little background noise.Now that I am thinking about it consciously,I think in my case, it just DEPENDS on my mood and how much QUIET I can get! Sometimes, not a lot!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      True, Tonette. We’re probably pre-wired to be somewhere on the spectrum of thriving with noise/distraction and being drowned by same. Funny how different humans can be … even in the same family.

      Like

  11. All I know is that many of my characters are querulous (meaning whining, full of complaint) which can lead to quarrelsome behavior among the lot of them! Sigh- they don’t know the meaning of quiet- only action!

    Like

  12. Sherry Gloag says:

    I much prefer qiet, but can’t always get it as DH has tinnitus and requires constant background noise to cover it.
    As for quaantum. there’s quantum mechanics, but I’m not sure what that involves either!
    Great post.

    I cheated and did a list of ‘Q’uotes! LOL

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Tinnitus must be awful to live with — both for the person afflicted … and for others in the household.
      I sent this notice to a few scientific people I know … hoping that they’d offer a simplified explanation of things like Quantum This or Quantum That. But so far, none have posted. In the meantime, Quantum Mechanics does sound vaguely familiar, which is the very beauty of this word: it FEELS right in a lot of contexts.
      Thanks for visiting, Sherry.

      Like

    • Iris says:

      I hear you loud and clear, Sherry …. same problem here. So when DH takes two noisy kids out camping …. it’s all about the quiet life for me ! No telly, no radio, no nothing. Unfortunately the laptop is getting old and the humming noise is somewhat distracting!

      Like

      • jeff7salter says:

        Time for a new laptop, Iris. Get the kind with a turbo hemi. I think it’s the new Quantum Model.

        Like

      • Iris says:

        LOL – Jeff. I still have to write this qantum bestseller to afford a new qantum laptop.

        Like

      • jeff7salter says:

        You and me both, Hon. Although my Dell E521 is a desk top model and I got it in 2007 I think. So it’s not a full 5 yrs old yet. However it is HORRIBLY slow on the internet. Okay for word processing, though.

        Like

  13. Good Q choices. I like quiet but I also am a fan of noise. I’m a well-rounded writer, I can do the quiet thing or the music thing, but no talking! LOL!

    Like

  14. Tonya Kappes says:

    Quantum Leap was one of my fav shows!! I listen to music, or talk shows really LOW….I have to have white noise. Sorry a day late…..day job!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Always glad to see you here, Tonya. Whether a day later …or a week.
      I did like that actor, the star, though I can’t recall his name at the moment. He was great in a football movie called “Necessary Roughness” … or something similar.

      Like

  15. jeff7salter says:

    I don’t know how many will even see this, since it’s 4 days after the fact, but my good friend — who definitely knows a thing or two about science — weighed-in on the definition of Quantum. [As I’d hoped]:
    “Quantum means discrete change, instead of continuous change, in energy, position, or time.
    Yes, quantally, we have to reckon with the fact that nature is not continuous, but discrete. About a hundred years ago, Planck and Einstein and Bohr began to realize this fact, and physics was changed forever. Many philosophers delve into QM (quantum mechanics) as if it were some mystical mind bending phenomena at work. But there is not. Quantum just means quantization of behaviors, so we have a whole area of physics, quantum mechanics that deals with uncertainties that result from the quantization.”

    Like

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