Monday, March 10, 2008

Birth of a Story

It comes in the still night hours, first as a whisper, then a nudge. Finally, a shout that leaves me with chills. But, then I always get them.

I jerk awake, grab at the blankets and pray my sleeping husband wouldn’t demand, this time, that I ignore what is happening. It isn’t the first time. I can only hope it won’t be the last.

With care, I slide from the bed and creep through the hall to my office. There was a time when my office was a corner of the kitchen, then a niche in the basement, which created a real problem, but now I’ve graduate to my own room.

Slipping into my chair, I gaze at my sleeping computer. Nothing for it. I have to turn on the machine. It might be two o’clock in the morning, but I can’t let it go. Never.

What is going on, you ask?

Why, a story! A full blown tale, played through my dreams, waking me in the middle of the night, demanding, no, screaming so loudly I must leave that warm bed, and the love of my life and seek the cold, dark office and a robotic machine, just to get the words on paper.

Fortunately, for me, I am married to someone who understands why I prowl around in the dark hours of the night to keep a solitary vigil before a computer screen, or drop out of a conversation to stare at nothing for long minutes before I begin a quick dash to find the always handy pencil and paper.

This is the life of an author. An idea, a precious bit of nothing, springs fully developed into your head and you can not sleep, or carry on a conversation until you have the idea, the character, the scene on paper. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, for a few minutes, solitude becomes your best friend. How lucky I am that my ‘real’ best friend understands.

2 comments:

Ciara Gold said...

Oh wow, this is sooo me. Yep, you have portrayed the writer's life quite well, even down to the shameless woolgathering in the midst of an important conversation. Of course I was also told that's a sign of adult ADD. Hmm. No matter, it allows us to create and that's the important thing.

Patrica said...

I must admit this sounds all too familiar. Probably why there's a pile of notebooks and pens on my bedside table and a flashlight in the drawer.

Glad to know I'm not the only one hehehe.