As much as I love my husband, there are nights when his rocking, rolling, and snoring are just too much for me to put up with. I end up in the back bedroom on a bed that doesn’t have quite as good a mattress. Still, it’s quiet and cozy. Talking to other married women, I’ve found out this is a common occurrence. Phew! No need for guilt.
In the dark stillness of that room, I lay with my eyes closed trying to rid myself of events and ideas that run ramped in my mind. What’s so bewildering is, as much as I want to just nod off into blessed sleep, it’s these thoughts in the blackness that I find more intriguing than the ones I have during the course of a day. The wear and tear of daily life is usually about bills that need to be paid, what to cook for dinner, is there anything at all that’s worth watching on the boob tube, doing the laundry and other household chores, etc. Yes, there are blocks of time for my writing too, as poor and unsatisfactory as it is. Yet, the real action of creativity doesn’t start until the lights are turned off at the end of the evening. Exasperation doesn’t even come close to describing the torment this can give a person.
The fractured concepts of stories that sporadically interrupt my days come together, forming summaries I’m sure would make writing projects I could delve in and enjoy. Yet, the second I turn on the lamp to retrieve pencil and paper, those completions quickly disintegrate almost into nothing at all. I’m sure someone out here in cyberspace is going to suggest I get a recorder of some sort to help alleviate this dilemma. First and foremost, I and recorders do not get along well. What I say and what I mean, quite often, are two different things when I speak. Somehow the brain to fingers connection when I write or type wipes this obstacle out for me. Then there’s this problem of buying one, which I’m not likely to do because of the aforementioned issue. Anyway, where would I get the money to pay for it? This household is living from paycheck to paycheck right now. Any pennies saved is going into savings so the eleven-year old vehicle (there’s only the one) and the ancient furnace can be replaced. A recorder isn’t a necessity, by any means.
I try to use this time in the darkness to escape from some of the harshness of life, hopefully entering into alternate realities within my mind. In other words, daydreams at night. Being more of a realist, this can prove to be difficult most of the time. Instead of mentally placing myself on a beautiful beach, I’ll find myself rehashing how I’m going to face someone I’ve argued with. Still, there are those rare nights when I can get into the imagined and find myself in a foreign country being marveled by the locals.
How can I even attempt to write fiction when it’s quite clear my mind gravitates to the here and now of reality? My characters may be fictitious and my situations for them may be rare in the realms of real life, but all of what I write could happen in this world where all of us live. Fantasy and science fiction are genres I just can’t seem to get a handle on. Could this be why I rarely have nightmares and, instead, struggle with what I call bad dreams, in which I can usually wake up with a solution of some sort?
Those last moments of wakefulness at night are fascinating to me. I wish I could get myself that enthralled with other parts of my life.
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath