The Wee Hours

It’s terribly late, or terribly early depending on your point of view.  Since I haven’t been to bed yet, I guess I opt for the former rather than the latter.  It’s finals week.  I’ve been grading papers since I got home at 10:00 this evening, and now it is nearing 3:00 a.m.  I’m so tired that I can feel the weight of the flesh beneath my eyes, but I’m driven to finish just one more task.

Squeak the Cat is keeping me company by sleeping in my lap.  This makes work a bit slower as it is hard to write or type with this 10 pound blob beneath my elbows. 

So why is it I’m still awake, hammering at my keyboard?  With my grading nearly finished, a most remarkable thing happened – I solved a plot problem.  I don’t know if it had to do with grading Humanities quizzes, or if it was more that I was on autopilot and a different part of my brain kicked in.  Either way, a complicated issue resolved itself, and I couldn’t wait until morning to commit it to paper.  Okay, commit it to memory – computer memory.  Never mind – I’m babbling. 

I jotted a few notes in my file, then scrolled through the manuscript to see if I thought it would really work.  It works.  In fact, this bit of “aha” creates a subplot that makes the whole story richer in context and detail (it’s sort of a s/f thing, speculative fiction set in the not so distant and possible future).  It introduced a new character, too, but he will have to wait until tomorrow when I’ve had at least a few hours of sleep and perhaps some coffee (decaf – I can’t drink the leaded stuff anymore, but my brain still requires warm, brown liquid to start functioning).

I’m babbling again, aren’t I.  Okay – it’s late, and it’s much, much past my bedtime.  This is the second night in a row that I’ve stayed up past the witching hour, and I’ll pay for that later.  But as this story unfolds, I’m certain I’ll find that, tonight at least, it was worth sacrificing sleep.

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