When the voices wake you

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I’m hearing the voices again, the voices that rouse me from sleep so I can tell their story.  Those voices have been quelled since I finished writing my first book but, now that I am forging my way into my second book, a new ensemble of characters is alive and well and they are feeling extremely vocal.

I woke up at 3:30 in the morning with a simple line that seemed to be rooted in my brain.  That line wanted so desperately to be recorded so, before I was able to drift into my slumber once again, I had to blindly feel around in the dark for my cell phone and find the voice memo app that has been my late night savior.  In a voice that sounded more like Morgan Freeman narrating a television commercial, I spoke a few words into the microphone and fell back into a deep sleep.

When I woke up again at 7:30, I knew I had recorded something but couldn’t remember what the words were.  I played them back and was overwhelmed with the urge to write.  I was almost late for work yesterday because the flow of words was substantial enough to warrant an apology to my bosses for my tardiness.  Thankfully, they understand my insatiable urge to listen to those voices and they accept my erratic behavior when it comes to my creativity.

The words that I recited in the wee hours of morning could possibly help shape the antagonist in my newest creation.  Karl is slowly becoming a character I want to embrace but a character I have become slightly afraid to welcome into my reality.  I can only hope, for both our sakes, that I can tell his story and give it the entertainment value he is seeking without becoming afraid of him in the process.

The results are in….

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In mid-June, I went boldly where I had never gone before – I went to a Sleep Clinic. My doctor is doing her due-diligence to help reveal the potential cause of my high blood pressure and she wanted to find out if Sleep Apnea may be the culprit. I wrote this post about my experience of trying to actually sleep so the study would be effective.

As it turns out, during the nine and a half hours I was incarcerated hooked up to the monitors, I got an assorted six hours of sleep from which they could extrapolate their results.  I do have a mild form of Sleep Apnea, but nothing that will require me to wear one of these while I sleep.

sleep apnea mask

(image credit)

I suffer from what they refer to as ‘fragmented sleep’ which is on the mid-to-low-level of Sleep Apnea. The amount of deep sleep I got was on the lower spectrum of what they refer to as normal but I was attached to over three dozen wires and made to sleep on my back. They should be grateful I slept at all under those circumstances, otherwise mine could have been the shortest sleep study in their history.

The fragmented sleep was something I was expecting. I have a brain that is extremely averse to shutting down. Falling asleep some nights is easier than others, but when I wake up at 4:00 am my brain immediately launches into hyper-drive and it is next to impossible to quell the rush of random thoughts. I am lucky if I can get back to sleep before my alarm sounds at 6:30 am.

The doctor at the sleep clinic gave  me a prescription for a sleeping pill that I will happily decline to take. As soon as he said the word ‘addictive’, he solidified my objection to taking the pills in the first place. Some of my best ideas for stories, or for my books, come in those wee hours of fragmented sleep and I would hate to still the rushing waters of creativity.

For now, I will be focused on more exercise, perhaps some meditation and whatever else I can do to still my brain so I can get a better quality of sleep.  Worst case scenario, book number two will be written before the anticipated deadline and I will have larger bags under my eyes!

 

 

Things that are poorly named – Part 1

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Recently, I was directed by my doctor to go to a Sleep Clinic to determine whether or not I have sleep apnea. While I understand the need to have more than two dozen wires glued to my head and body, I do not understand the theory behind calling it a “sleep” clinic. There is little sleep to be had.

Once I had undergone the necessary time it took to forcefully glue over two dozen small sensors to my head, face, shoulders and legs, I was fitted with a few other accoutrements and left to read for a while. When the technician finally came in to hook me up to the monitors and tuck me in, he told me I had to sleep on my back. Houston, we have a problem.

I am not professing to be an authority on sleep habits, but I am certainly the foremost expert on my sleep habits and I knew it was going to be a rough night. I am a side-sleeper, I have been since I was a kid, so trying to fall asleep lying on my back, afraid to move because I was wired for sound, was next to impossible.

I did manage to drift off a few times but woke up abruptly when I tried to roll onto my side because I was constricted by the conglomeration of wires. I’m not sure how accurately my results will portray my sleep habits since I wasn’t allowed to sleep as I usually do but I do hope they have some answers for me. I’m certainly not going to be doing that again!

How times have changed

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Although my childhood seems like a lifetime ago, there are many things that stand out and make me think that I once lived a very dangerous lifestyle.  We played in the mud and made mud pies.  We drank water from a garden hose and we ran from cottage to cottage in our bare feet, jumping through puddles and springs on the way.  We picked up worms, bugs, frogs and chipmunks – in our hands!  There were nights that my parents had to physically drag me inside because I couldn’t get enough of the outdoors.

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We swam under our dock and hung out with the rock bass and the dock spiders.  We had cook-outs and ate the fish we caught that day and we showered in the rain on the days that the water poured from the sky.  In the winter, we made forts in the snow banks and we stood outside in -20 degree temperatures to wait for the school bus which felt just as cold inside as it was outside.

The reason for my stroll down memory lane is a strange tale.  Let me set the stage.  It was late afternoon.  A slight rain was falling and I had run to the grocery store for an item that I had overlooked on my list.  I was wearing a light summer dress and the rain was gentle but steady.  I picked up my item and, as I was leaving the store, a father and his three teenage children were standing in the doorway watching the rain.  The oldest sibling told the others to put their coats on and the father instructed the kids to wait indoors while he retrieved the car and picked them up at the door.

Not having children of my own, I was questioning whether the genetic make-up of children today is different from the children of my generation.  Perhaps they melt now if they get wet?  Maybe with all of the new allergies, rain now causes a reaction.  Whatever the reason, I stood in the rain beside my car and watched as the gigantic SUV pulled up as close as it could to the door so the children could get into the car unharmed.  I wonder if they are allowed outside at all in the winter?

 

 

 

SULLY AWARD COMPETITION NOW OPEN!

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Anyone in the mood for a writing competition….hop on over to see Mike at Heylookawriterfellow. Rules and deadlines are on his website.

heylookawriterfellow

Will YOU be the lucky winner?

Last week on this blog I asked you a question: “Should I start a writing contest?”

I followed up my question with a promise: “If there is enough enthusiasm for a writing contest, I will start a writing contest.”

So. Was there enough enthusiasm for a writing contest?

Sort of!

And that’s good enough for me.

Welcome to the First Annual
Sully Award for Excellence in Writerishness!
(WOO!)

The (one and only) winner will receive a bunch of valuable prizes!

A $20 gift card to Starbucks, because writers need to wake up before writing.
A $10 gift card to iTunes, because writers need to be in the right mood while writing.
A $20 Gift card to Barnes & Noble so you can read after writing.
And, best of all, a beautiful SULLY AWARD CERTIFICATE, because great writers deserve great accolades. The certificate will look something like…

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The Christmas Poem – 2015 Edition

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I wanted to write a new version this year but time seems to be moving faster than I anticipated and I seem to have misplaced a few days in the process. It’s a fun read and may direct you to a few new blogs if you are interested. Merry Christmas to all……

polysyllabic profundities

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the blogs
Edward Hotspur had his bacon, Angie’s Grapevine had her dogs.
The synonyms were used by Idioglossia with care,
And Conscious Cacophony, her feelings she would share.

Short Stories was nestled, all snug amongst his words,
While Susie Lindau had artistic visions taking pictures of the birds.
Graceful Press was getting poetic, authoring memorable scenes,
And Drinking Tips was creating while snacking on Poutine.

JannaTWrites newest blog had created such a clatter,
And Carrie Rubin’s comments only added to the chatter.
Away to the keyboard YeahWrite flew on its quest,
Tore open the gates of creativity posting its newest contest.

The Modern Philosopher, his brilliance did show,
And masterful words from Dianne Gray, were shared from below. (well, Down Under, but it didn’t rhyme)
When, what to YarnSpinner’s eyes should appear,
Ned’s Blog, in all its glory, showing no WordPress fear.

With a…

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Comes a time

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Just as true today, if not more now…..

polysyllabic profundities

Everything in our lives has a time and a place.  Whether we understand the correlation or not, the introduction of certain things into our realities is done with a purpose.  The novel ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ is one of those things that had a time and place in my life – and that time and place was now.

Had I read this book when it was first published, the messages would have never hit their target.  But now, almost twenty years after its publication date, this book has burrowed its way under my skin and caused numerous moments of reflection and awareness.

I began reading this book late on a Saturday night, although I wish I could say I dove into it on a Tuesday.  My appetite for the story made me pick it up again on Sunday afternoon and finish it early Sunday night.  I recognized many moments of my…

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