Saturday, March 25, 2017

How to Spend a Sleepless Night

Today is the feast day of the Annunciation, the day that the Angel Gabriel appears to Mary--9 months later, it's Christmas!

O.K. that's a rather flippant way to start a blog post.  Forgive me.  I've been awake since before 2 a.m. when I decided to give up on sleep coming back to me.

One advantage to being awake this early:  I've gotten some writing done!  I had been writing a story in the voice of an HR director, and I wasn't quite sure where to go with it.  At some point this week, it came to me--so I wrote for a bit, and tried to sleep again.  It was a windy night, part of why I had trouble sleeping.  I watched the wind whip the palm fronds to and fro, and I thought of angel wings and the feast day of the Annunciation.  A poem came to me, and my hip started to ache, and I knew that sleep would not be coming.

Up again:  got the poem written, the story further along, e-mails from my students answered.  I decided not to do grading--plenty of time for that while I was awake in the wee small hours of the morning. The writing was just going so well that I kept going.  I don't have those kinds of writing times often.  I'm stealing a bit of time here or there or I write out the next scene and then can't decide what to do next.  This morning, all the cylinders were firing, despite the fact that this has been a low-sleep week.

I always have fun with names, although these days I'm more subtle than in my younger years.  This morning, I figured out a last name for the Sociology professor who doesn't believe that an educator should have to be part of modern school nonsense, like planning student appreciation events.  She wants to preserve the way that higher ed has been. 

I was thinking of Oliver Cromwell, which led me to Thomas Cromwell, which made me think about Thomas a Becket, the priest who tried to stand in the way of Henry VIII's protestant reformations--and thus, the name for the character:  Dr. Becket.

I also like the echo of Samuel Beckett, since the story also has some observations about the theatre of the absurd that a school will occasionally resemble.

I figured out how to get to the end of the story, although I'm not there yet.  I haven't had that piece before today.  Hurrah!

My spouse is off on a motorcycle ride with his brother, so maybe I will get some more writing done.  I decided not to go--too windy, and I have too much to do.  Plus, I just don't have much free time--spending a huge chunk of time that a motorcycle ride would take just didn't appeal to me.  But I'm glad that he decided to go.

It's strange to have been up so long, with the day still stretching before me.  It's likely one of the reasons I sometimes have trouble sleeping--I love the feeling of a longer day, especially when I can fill it with writing and other joys.

3 comments:

Wendy said...

Or the priest who was "murder[ed] in the cathedral" in 1170 for standing up to Henry II. Still works. :)

Kristin said...

I went back to the Wikipedia page I was reading this morning--how strange. I would have sworn that I was reading about Henry VIII, and when I read your comment, I thought, oh right, I forgot about that Becket. And then I realized I had gotten my Henrys confused. In my younger years, I'd have been mortified. Now I'm simply intrigued by my brain leaps that aren't quite rooted in history.

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