I wake up every morning between 4:30 and 5 a.m. to pee. According to Sister #3 who went to nursing school before deciding to become a social worker like Sister #2, it’s due to my kidneys getting old and failing. Or maybe my kidneys working too well. Or it might be that I drink a lot of water throughout the day. I can’t remember now what the reason is, maybe it I have to pee at the end of the night because my listening skills are deteriorating.
No matter, in the wee small hours of the morning and then when I crawl back into bed to get those last two and a half hours of sleep I start to think about the longish fiction piece I’m writing. This morning I had to reassure myself that the sexiness had to come next. “It’s the right thing to do,” I said to myself as I tried to fall back to sleep. Also, I began to write the acknowledgements and the dedication. I’ve always found listing names of people to be a great sleeping aid. I used to list all the editors I’d worked with at The Spectator. Sometimes all the teachers I had in high school. It’s keeps my brain from obsessing about other things.
I have to acknowledge Christa, of course, who reads all my word barf. And Dale & Vodo for teaching me and the Black Sheep for all the things, etc. etc. etc. And Hotrod for being demanding.
You kind of get the picture.
I have become obsessed with this writing project. Capital O – obsessed. I’ve been seriously working on this piece for the past two months. That’s after spending roughly six months flirting with it and re-writing the first twenty pages eighty-eight times. But once one of my long-term work contracts expired, I decided I had to write a book by my birthday OR I had to get a real job. I couldn’t spend all my time just thinking about writing, I had to write. Somewhere Vodo is sitting with his arms crossed over his chest and nodding his head smugly. SHUT UP VODO!
For as long as I can remember I’ve been an obsessive kind of writer. Even back in 1992 when I took Journalism 212 or whatever it was, fake reporting is what we called it. We’d all just sit in a computer lab and make shit up even though we were supposed to have done actual reporting outside of class and brought stuff back to class to write about. The kid who sat next to me was named Derek and I would drive him crazy because I’d spend more than half of the lab staring at the computer screen thinking and then bust out the entire assignment in the last fifteen minutes of class. And I always scored better than he did. Always.
I wrote each of my bajillion short stories in 24 hours blasts. All of them. And it was this that kept me from writing something longer. I tried a few summers ago to write a memoir (barf) about being a woman rock & roll fan but it all felt like “I dig music. . . I’m on drugs” (I’m not, that’s a quote from “Almost Famous”). My harddrive is loaded with stuff I started and quit. I’m good at quitting. The fact that I have typed at I Will Dare for nearly thirteen years amazes me every damn day.
Where was I going with this? I can’t even remember. Being obsessed does nothing for my inherent flakiness. But I wanted to show you this because this is where I stopped yesterday and it felt good: