Friday, May 5, 2017

Writing Practice During Story-A-Day May: Five Days In, She Finally Begins.

 For a couple of weeks now, I've been staying up past my bed-time. Not to do particularly useful things, either. I just stay up doing this and that till I'm exhausted, then fall into bed and find myself wide awake for up to an hour. The alarm goes off @5am, and I stumble through the early morning routine of helping my hubby get out the door to his early shift at work, then feed the cat, and get my ass back to bed. Where it takes me another hour to fall asleep.

 Not sure how I got on this jag, but I suspect it has roots in my recently intensified internet habits-- the Ted talks I've been watching to fill my mind with new ideas, the vloggers I watch and interact with, the survey sites I've been working for giftcards. I watch podcasts and listen to music I miss from my dance-hall days. I follow makeup artists, vegans, skeptical thinkers, feminist warriors, and inhale their theories. Learning and unlearning.

Maybe it's more that I'm stuck inside by weather, lack of a car to drive, places to go. That makes you sluggish, after a while. I walk around the house for 20 minutes, using a microwave timer, to get my exercise. It's less boring if you do it in seven 3-minute spurts than all at once, but I mix it up, and also walk outside in decent weather. Still not a lively life by most standards. Most how-you-should-live standards have never applied to my life. My mind is active, a hive, but not as productive as most hives- well, I have ideas shooting through there constantly, just shooting through, not landing for long.... not being given space to land.

 There are a few regular activities that get me out of the house, out of my over-flowing mind: I sing in a choir, I run a writing group. On Saturdays my band has our rehearsal, then on Sunday nights I play RPGs with a long-running gaming group of friends; but that's over Skype, without video, so I don't even have to wear a bra to engage.

 This is not a bad or horrible life. I do what I want, more or less. I get to watch late night thunderstorms, like the one just beginning now. I have enough food and fairly decent shelter. My family loves me, I have great friends through the 'net and a few IRL, whatever that means for me.

 Truth is, I was born a nightowl, and I miss the night-work life I had when I was young enough to work in bars, getting great tips for wearing pounds of eye makeup. I miss the sense of adventure I felt getting ready to go out at night; I don't miss the letdown that so often followed. And I miss walking the Monon Trail with my best friend in Indianapolis, and getting caught in the rain when we walked, and going to Paco's for a big, cheap quesadilla afterwards.

 At night I think too much, in daylight I think too little. It needs to get turned around, because things start to slip if you get your best thoughts at a time when you can't make them stick. I can write at night, do some small sketching. When someone is asleep in the other room, your creative streak has to keep quiet. Keeping quiet takes me out of the zone.

 I need to get to bed and sleep, so I can remember the books I want to write and the cakes I want to bake. My house is falling apart a little bit, and I'm the handyman here-- there's a sink to fix and pipes to consider, plus my laptop needs a new fan, and no one on earth wants to fix it for me for less than the worth of the damn computer. I have to accept that it's up to me. My brain should be sharp for that experiment.

 Some of the streetlights in my neighborhood have gone out from the storm. The crazed maple in the back yard is just a few spookily moving shadows through the back door glass; I like it when it looks creepy. That doesn't happen during the day, but I should get to bed, to sleep. My mind is still buzzing, my hands are cold, my throat's a little sore. It's a dark and perfect night.

--Aging Ophelia

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