I think we should start a swell of protest against working on Mondays. It just seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me. Especially after spending the night tossing and turning, waking, drifting off, waking again before I ever hit that deep REM sleep I so desperately need. My sleeping has been off lately, which isn’t highly unusual since I suffer bouts of insomnia to one degree or another, but it’s still annoying. But I was so exhausted last night I was sure the Deep Sleep Fairy would pay me a visit. Alas, it appears someone had clipped her wings before she reached me.
At 5:23 AM I stared at the clock and wondered if I should just get up and start writing, but my stubbornness reared its belligerent head and said: ‘No way, I’m staying in this bed and I’m going to sleep for the last 27 minutes before my alarm goes off and that’s final!’ So I threw the blankets over my head and tossed and turned some more before finally emerging bleary eyed and disgruntled when my radio alarm went off and Q-104 blared some rock tune I was too tired to even recognize.
I brewed my coffee and let the dogs out (I’m dog-sitting my brother’s dog while he slept overnight at the hospital with his wife and baby). During the brewing, I realized I was a bit stumped on where to go with the end of The Outlaw Bride. Something didn’t feel right. I was three chapters from the end and suddenly it seemed as if everything was falling apart. How did I wrap things up? Where did I go from here to get to there? What was the Relationship Black Moment? How did I resolve things to the readers’ satisfaction? Ack! After a few minutes of panic as I scarfed down a bowl of Vector cereal (breakfast of champions), I thought…hmm…why not trot out those scene capsule forms from First Draft in 30 Days and give them a whirl. Maybe they will help me sort things out.
I printed off a batch and went upstairs to my living room where the sunshine was streaming in bathing the couch in a warm, cozy glow. I stared at the blank sheet of paper in front of me. My brother’s dog whined, feeling a bit misplaced and not sure what to do with himself. I glared at him and told him to hush; he was disturbing my creative process. Then guilt overtook me and I fed him some treats. Somewhere between the wave of guilt and the feeding of treats, something in my brain dislodged and words started pouring on to the page. I wrote in point form what I thought should happen, then once I finished that, I filled out the scene capsules, cutting out the pages I had written and stapling them to the appropriate scene.
By the time 8:15 AM rolled around, I had it all worked out. I did my happy dance, let the dogs out again, fed them more treats and drove to work, humming happy tunes as I went (Can Pearl Jam’s Alive be considered a happy tune??). The humming came to an abrupt halt when it sunk in just where I was heading. Oh right…work…day job…hours spent away from my writing…ho hum…separation anxiety at its worst. You know, if we abolished work on Mondays, I could be home right now, turning those scene capsules into chapters.