I went to bed Thursday night at 9:30. I confess I have a TV in my room. I find that if I start winding down with the news I will eventually be sleepy enough to fall asleep during the Colbert monologue. That’s about 10:30 my time.
I also find if I don’t fall asleep during that window I am doomed to be up for another three hours. That’s why I was up at midnight, doing a crossword puzzle, trying to bore myself to sleep.
“This is a waste of time,” I thought, “I should work on The Novel. I am so close to having it all planned out.”
I did a little plotting, and just as I was putting the iPad away, it occurred to me that the turn I wanted at the midpoint would be much better at the end. I opened up the plot document again and made that adjustment.
“There,” I thought, “I can go to sleep now.”
”You just try that,” said my invisible Muse, settling in at the foot of my bed, “I’m going to keep you up until 2:00.”
For the next two hours, I would start to fall asleep, and then instead of having my usual dozing images of chickens walking on 2 by 4s, I would see scenes from the book. I’d almost fall asleep, and think, “Yes, the chicken at the picnic should remind Joe of the snap peas at the farm.” Grope for the iPad in the dark, get to the Joe document, write “joe grbeans farm months to grow s eajlin seconds chicken girl doghouse,” save file, try go to sleep.
This went on and on. I’d almost be asleep, then it would occur to me that the lost boy who appears in the house should be echoed by a boy in the house when she gets evicted. Grope, type, save. “Maggie not dye cut hair should have two dresses.” Grope, type, save.
Then it occurred to me I could change the point of view of the whole thing and any problems with who-knows-what-when in the Scheme would be resolved if it’s in first person, and that led to all new scenes of explanation, and I think the last thing that occurred to me as I fell asleep was something about how no one has a watch in this crazy town in Oklahoma, and it really bothers Maggie, and she tries to make friends with the one teller at the bank where there is a clock and Zzzzzz.
That was yesterday in the wee hours, and I’ve gone back to the iPad and it all makes sense, thanks to autocorrect. Interesting. I hope that happens again.