My husband is worried about me.
“You’re not getting enough sleep,” he said the other day.
“I’m writing,” I said.
“At two in the morning?” He didn’t sound as if he doubted me, but more like he was scolding me.
“It’s the only time I’ve got,” I said. And that’s pretty much the truth. “I teach 24 hours a week, I spend another 24 grading or getting ready for classes, I spend another 15-20 hours a week on my ICL students. That’s 63 hours a week at a minimum working. The only time I can write is late at night.”
It’s not like we haven’t had this same conversation four or five times already in the past month. To prove to him that I was really working, and not just trying to induce sleep-deprived hallucinations, I printed out a copy of the novel I’ve been working on.
“Here,” I said, handing him the inch-thick stack of papers. “See! Working. Writing.”
He flipped through the first few pages, then wandered off somewhere with the whole stack. I had to leave for work right about then, so I didn’t follow him to see where he went.
When I got home from my Wednesday night Composition class, my hubby was sitting on the sofa, the draft of the novel thus far at his feet.
“It’s really good,” he said. He reads a lot of my stuff, and he’s not one of those “I love you so I’ll tell you it’s good even if I don’t think it’s worth using in my birdcage” types. He makes good comments. He was wonderfully helpful on “The Deepest Blue” with comments like “A teen-aged boy wouldn’t do this, or wouldn’t say this.” He used to be one, so I take his opinion quite seriously on things like that.
“Thanks,” I said, dropping my keys on the table.
“I didn’t know you were working on something like this,” he said. He handed me the stack of papers then hugged me. “But you still need more sleep.”
“I know, but when am I supposed to write?”
We negotiated, and we came up with some alternatives. He said he was willing to give up some time on the weekends to let me have time to write. IE – he’d do a few loads of laundry and clean the bathroom so that I could have daylight writing time. I nearly cried. I promised to try to come to bed earlier two nights a week. It’s a compromise for now. We start this weekend. We’ll see how it goes.