Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What 4AM Looks Like From The Inside Of My Eyeballs

Nada Surf coupled with a decaffeinated latte (it's all it takes) should keep me awake at least until the end of the workday when I will collapse into a lack-of-sleep lump in front of the television.

My deadline highlights the word "dead" if I keep going at this pace; the panic from knowing that I'm nowhere near finishing my edits and the fact that have trumped the "May 1st" from coast to coast is coming back to haunt me. Four weeks and only 80 pages and I have been working, I have. Tonight is the last night before I give away the book to the three other people in my so-called creative group (which is distinct from my writer's group in that it includes a supremely talented artist) tomorrow. Commas will be the death of me. So will run on sentences and a change in narrative voice. I want the m/s to hum like the guitar line in "Hi-Speed Soul." I want my friends to enjoy reading the book as much as I love the drum line in "Slow Nerve Action," but I'm afraid the book's more cobbled together at this point than anything else. And staying up until well past the witching hour didn't help.

It's hard to shut off your brain once it starts down a creative path that goes something like this:

1. I've always hated the title I attached to the book from the beginning. It felt bland and kind of meaningless and I've sat through enough publishing-type meetings to know that titles change all the time. Editors change titles too, make suggestions, and often improve what the writer has come up with.

2. Along comes Poetry Month. And catching up with Melanie's lovely blog where she posted this wicked poem that caught my attention. Hallelujah! A new title is born. And yes, I've already phrased my thank you should the book ever, ever be published.

3. But then last night I was reading and rereading the poem and I came upon a whole new structure for the book that will solve all kinds of chronological poems. See, brain, not turning off, and had to crawl out of bed to write it all down. The time I started: 12:30 AM.

4. Also, it's lovely to welcome someone home that you love, which meant that my schedule for the last week, work, home, cat-tending, quick dinner, editing, ragdoll-tv, was blown away. In a good way, meant that I started working late, ate even later, and went to bed well beyond my normal time. For a girl who has always had trouble sleeping, all that adds up to disaster. Oh, and the organic brownies at 10 PM didn't help. But they are so good. So good.

5. Fast forward to 2:30 AM and I'm still writing, soundless because I didn't want to wake up my RRHB who was sleeping in his own bed for the first time in a week. NOTE: the music quest has gone really, really well. So far, I've downloaded some Brian Eno that I quite like, added some world music (Ali Farke Toure), and of course, my new obsession, Nada Surf. NOTE REDUX: My RRHB openly mocked the fact that everyone on this earth has heard of this band except me. Keep the suggestions coming, I love them. It's good to give Wilco a rest every now and again.

6. Now I'm finally back in bed but it's 3:30 AM, just the time when Willie Pep wakes up and decides it's time for him to go outside. Walking on my head, walking on my legs, half-settling on my chest, and I'm out of bed again drinking Sleepytime tea and reading Huckleberry Finn.

7. 4 AM looks and sounds an awful lot like the three hours preceding it. Fluffy duvet, warm socks tucked into jogging pants, lots of deep breaths and I fall asleep finally until 6:55 AM. Now, I can barely keep myself propped up on my desk, but the book is definitely better for it.

Gosh, I've been making a lot of lists lately. TK momentarily, a review of DeNiro's Game, which I loved.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Glad the random poem I chose could be of use; but sorry for triggering your insomnia!