My eyeballs keep rolling back to the little time display at the bottom right of my screen. Has another minute passed? Oh. Okay. Okay, focus. Has it passed now? No. Oh, oh, wait, 11:09! Shit. Shitshit. I ned to get to sleep.
As I told my mother, my Night Owl alter-ego is quite grumpy about my 6am alarm. Insert obligatory joke about my Knight in Owling armor advocating for my obscenely late bedtime. He just wants to spend more time with me, that’s all. Hehe. I’m dating a Knight Owl.
So all of this (meaning the above ramble) came about, as they say, because of reasons. Namely, extreme writing constipation. Earlier, as I sat in a bookstore glaring sullenly at this exact same computer, the revision of my story mooned me from across the screen like the cheeky bastard it is. I’ve been stuck at this one particular part for weeks. So conversations were had, I twisted my mouth disapprovingly at the scroll of text and keep repeating: “No, no. It just doesn’t work. Something’s not right. Something’s missing.”
Sometimes I get stuck. Sometimes the thing that’s doing the sticking needs to be reexamined and possibly changed so the sticking can become unsticky so the stuck becomes unstuck. Follow me?
I put the chapter away. I went to watch YouTube videos and let the tantrum-inducing knot in my stomach subside. I can come back to this later. I can retrace my steps a little to approach my problem from another angle. Because sometimes the way I want my characters to be is not the way they should be.
But I knew I needed to write something. My fingers get itchy. I get itchy. And I think about how Neil Gaiman is like the close uncle who I grew up with and continues mentoring me with old stories and new advice, how you never really learn how to write, you just learn how to write the thing you’re writing and the next thing will be a whole new meeting and lesson. How this thing that I do, blogging, journaling, is a voice in my head that is unlike and so like the voice I use as an auditory expression and as you read this you probably have your own voice speaking this run on sentence to you.
And I think that’s weird. And interesting. It’s a different kind of space to share with people.
11:28. Even Sir Owl is admitting I need to sleep. But you’ve wound me up so thoroughly, dear Knight, how do you expect me to sleep?
11:29. I often mutter out loud to myself. When I’m solving a problem, walking through the steps, pondering an idea, having a conversation. It’s like a hand leading me through a process, focusing me and encouraging me to explore. When the voice stops, when my characters stop speaking to me, the knot in my stomach returns and I sometimes search and listen too hard, groping blindly for the frayed end of the rope.
11:33. I hear you. I will follow. Good Knight, may we dream of adventures to bring to a waking world.