Photo credit: Meine Reise geht hier leider Ende. Ein Neustart beginnt auf on Pixabay
Stolen moments are sometimes the sweetest.
I have plenty to do today. Deadlines continue to abound, including three things due Monday. I haven’t yet sent out bills for work done in May. The errands I meant to do yesterday—and the day before—have yet to be run. Various home maintenance matters require attention, including the roof issue and scheduling the annual air conditioner service.
But I wrote anyway.
Before the work with deadlines. Before the billing. Before the house stuff (although I did put in a load of laundry before making the cats’ breakfast). Before anything else.
Because last night’s half-asleep session was more frustrating than anything else. The only upside was that I discovered that I can write in my sleep. Seriously—I dozed off, and when I woke up, I’d typed a line of dialogue (complete with quotation marks and attribution) in which a character asked something about the client’s project development. Since this had nothing at all to do with the scene, I deleted it, but now I wish I’d held onto it just because of what it apparently said about the weirdness going on in my brain.
So today, I used fresh brain to write a scene that (in my humble opinion) has merit. It spun off more brain weirdness—last night, I dreamed about lines from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It’s the literary equivalent of an earworm, where the only way to get the lines out of my head is to pull the book off the shelf and read the scenes. (Ideally, I’d read the entire book, but I knew there wasn’t time for that.) I first read this book when I was eleven, when many of the more adult references went straight over my head. As a well-fed girl in a comfortable single-family home in a middle-class suburb, I had no real understanding of Francie Nolan’s world of city streets and shops, cold-water flats, and singing waiters. But I loved the book anyway. As I’ve reread it over the years, I find myself increasingly in awe of Betty Smith’s artistry.
So I pulled off the shelf a secondhand copy I’d picked up somewhere. When I flipped open the book, I encountered several rose petals someone had flattened between its pages in the way people used to press flowers so long ago. I wish I had noted which pages were graced with the rose petals. There’s no way now to know whether they were meant to mark a particular scene or if the book’s former owner was more interested in finding a spot near the center to ensure the petals were preserved. This detail didn’t make it into today’s scene, but I’m confident I’ll use it somewhere. It’s too good not to.
Note: I finished writing this post at 2:00. I intended to proofread, post, and get on with billable work. Alas, before I could upload it, a client called. From there, everything snowballed. I already knew I’d be working this weekend—no way not to–but as I tended to everybody else’s work, I did feel ever so slightly smug.
Because I’d already met my writing goal for today (1,053 words). And I stayed awake the whole time. Plus, I like what I came up with.
Pretty good way to start a day, if you ask me.