Posted by: Viola | March 17, 2015

Early-morning short story written

Today, I woke up way too early in the morning. I lay in bed hoping to go back to sleep. I must have been lying there for an hour or so. No sleep. Instead, an idea began to take form in my head and just kept going. It was becoming intricate, characters were materializing, some dialogue popped up. Honestly, I was annoyed. I wanted to be SLEEPING SOUNDLY. Not writing a story in my head. It was dark out. Maybe 5 am. Maybe 4 am. I am not sure. Finally, the idea was spinning itself thickly, and I realized I should just get out of bed and write it down. No way was I going to be able to sleep now. Sigh.

I shoved my feet out of bed, followed by the rest of my body. Switched the light on. Grrrr. Switched the laptop on. The glare from the screen stung my eyes. Opened up the word processor and began to type. I kept at it for about two hours. The time flew by. And yet it seemed to also stand still. The clock said 6 am when I started. Then 8:30 am when I finished. The page count was at 7 pages. Some paragraphs were dense, others were thin. Not much dialogue, mainly description and internal monologue of the main character, a young woman struggling to decide if it was the right time in her life to get married or to prioritize her career.

Is it a good short story? I have no idea. But it had to be written. And I am always astonished when I write a short story, because I think of myself as a poet and essayist with next to no ability for fiction writing. So I was grateful to write that story down, have the ideas keep coming and words keep forming, on and on until page 7. It reminded me of last summer, when I wrote several short stories. About 3 stories, I believe. One is shared in my online portfolio.

This morning reminded me of how those stories came to me in a fit. Poems come to me all the time, as well as ideas for essays and blog posts, but stories don’t come to me too often. And once they start to form, they don’t pause. I wonder if this is typical for fiction writers. I have no way of knowing, but perhaps I should NOT underestimate my fiction writing abilities. Perhaps there is a storyteller blossoming in me. Or one who has been there all along and who, from time to time, loves to surprise me and reveal herself.

Almost as soon as I finished and closed the laptop, a huge *yawn* rushed over me. Finally, sleep was on its way. But it was now 9 am. How can I go back to sleep at 9am? And there was an errand to do. The errand took a long time. And required sitting for a couple hours at the Social Security office, assisting my mother as she checked in on some paperwork. I sat there feeling like a real sleep-walker. Wishing for my bed and some zzzzs. Finally, back home, now noon-ish, hungry and tired, I ate something and soon after, couldn’t keep my eyes open any more. I went to bed. Slept for about 2 hours. A great nap. Now awake, it’s almost the end of the day.

I really do LOVE writing, with all my heart, but can I please have my day back? Can I please have my schedule back? Can I please have my sleep not disrupted? Can I please get creative ideas during the day and not during the night? But then again, who am I to complain!!! I have gone through years of near-paralyzing literary blockage, which can be nightmarish depressing and sleep-destructive (even more so than bursts of  creativity), so I am very happy and grateful to have ideas and characters coming to me (rather than running away from me).

All are welcome here. Please stay. I won’t turn any ideas and inspiration away. I won’t turn my muse away–and I can’t, even if I tried. I have to be hospitable to these things, and that’s that. I cannot turn these special guests away, even if they arrive in the middle of the night. Maybe I can inventive. Placate them with a plate of cookies. Have them eat while I sleep and only wake me when it’s truly morning. 🙂

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