Wednesday, July 29, 2009

WRITING WEDNESDAY: (Who Needs Sleep Anyway?)

The only problem with being on a good writing jag is that it goes hand-in-hand with a lousy sleep jag.

It's easy to sleep when my writing life is stale.

But when the story is telling itself and the adrenalin is pumping?

Not so much!

Sometimes I just don't want to leave my characters. So I take them to bed with me where they talk while I'm trying to sleep. Or they keep their mouths shut. But they toss and turn.

So I get up and down all night, moving about the house in search of sleep solutions. Shower, food, melatonin, Charlie Rose (I really do love his show - why can't it come on at a decent hour?) Sometimes I give up and just write. But being in the mood and having active brain cells for the task are 2 entirely different things.

At any rate, this is a switch from where I was when I unsuccessfully instituted WEDJ (Write Every Day in June). It wasn't happening! So I gave myself a break, enjoyed sleep-filled nights, and attended to mulching & household projects.

Since then, I've had some amazing encounters related to my story. Last week I slipped back into 1941 Williamsburg, VA with Margie, one of 5 (yes, 5 in the span of a week!) octogenarians who are breathing life into my work-in-progress.

In the following pic, Margie is giving me a TALKING tour of a mental hospital as it was back in the day.
Can you see how this might fire the imagination? And at very least it settles tons of logistical issues about my character's movements. And provides desperately needed descriptions.

But, best of all, are the stories Margie told me. Of people and escapades and the children my story needed.

Precisely the sort of things that make a writer too hyper to sleep at night! Such lovely problems I have...


  1. Great nailing it on the head as to what makes writers love what we do, no matter the time of day (or night).

  2. Joyce,
    I am Nathan's mom and he loaned my his copy of Blue. I loved it. Your "voice" is beautiful in this precious story. The twist at the end, dad bringing the pictures and letters home with him, thus preserving them, provided a very satisfying ending for me. Keep up the good work. I try to write, but haven't been published in the trade market, only in education market.

  3. Wanda, I'm so glad you loved Blue. Thanks for the feedback!
    I am enjoying working with Nathan on my website. What a very talented man! He's doing a terrific job!