Jul 13, 2010

It's come to this

by Valerie Ipson

Last night I stayed up way too early rewriting a chapter of my novel and, you guessed it, once I went to bed the old cogs of the writing brain would not stop turning. I was afraid to look at the clock to see exactly how long it took me to finally fall asleep, I just know there were a total of three times I pulled out paper and pen in the dark to scribble something I was sure I'd forget by morning.

Despite my lack of sleep, morning still came, and it started with a six followed by other numbers which is not a big deal to many of you, but in the summer it is to me and especially after last night.

I stirred awake a bit while my husband was getting ready for work and the dream I was in the middle of still lingered. I thought, Now instead of having her say that I could have her act it out and the other person would know what she's talking about.

Then it hit me.

I'm editing the dream I just woke from.

Then I shook my mental fist at the looming lightbulb that's always above my head--the idea I have that I can write a novel--Nooooooo! I say. Let me rest in peace.

But there was certainly no more rest, or peace either, and with the lure of ibuprofen as my guide, I got up. I stumbled down the stairs with my bleary eyes and jammies, the bedside clipboard and pen in hand. My daughter was right there on her way out the door to work, and she said, "Do you always sleep with a clipboard?"

Last night I did," I replied.

Now I'm going to read my chapter rewrite and all I'm saying is it better knock my slippers off or clipboards are going to roll.


  1. Thanks for the laugh this morning. Sometimes our brains just won't quit, even when they know logically that the should.

  2. That was me two nights ago. My thoughts unfortunately were all over the place and I kept looking at my chicken scratches made in the dark in the middle of the night thinking, "where did this go again?" If it's not evident right away, I should probably leave it out.

  3. So glad I'm not the only one who can't turn off my brain! You just need a nice, soft clipboard and a glow-in-the-dark pen!

    Thanks for the laugh!

  4. I always thought I was a control freak because I would often half wake up from a dream and go back to sleep in order to change the elements I didn't like. Hmm... now I know it's been my writer's brain -what? getting practice!

    Also- warning-long comment alert. I am sort of jealous you were working on your novel. Me? I've been reading irresponsibly again - also stayed up late and then my daughter woke up right when I thought I'd get to sleep. That led to the MMW blog today about mothering at midnight. I forced myself to get to sleep even though I wanted to change the order of the quotes I'd used. Thanks for the post. I laughed out loud!

  5. I laughed out loud too! The Primary President is here doing my almost-12-year-old daughter's exit interview (is that really what it's called or am I digressing back to my white collar days???). Anyway, I started laughing and they both asked if I were laughing at them. I told them I was reading and not even listening to them. Love the post.

    PS Thank goodness for dreams - one of my favorite series was written based on one; and it inspired me to start writing (if she can do it, I can do it??? JK!!! JK!!!) Maybe I should have done a 'long comment' warning, too. Love you guys!

  6. It has been a hectic day and I so enjoyed the laugh I got from your blog. I love that you edit your dreams.

  7. Valerie, I love you! I love your attitude and your sense of humor...and your writing style. so...did it knock your slippers off? I can't wait to find out!

  8. You are so funny--and one of my favorite authors. Now go get published!


Thank you for visiting. Feel free to comment on our blogger's posts.*

*We do not allow commercial links, however. If that's not clear, we mean "don't spam us with a link to your totally unrelated-to-writing site." We delete those comments.