July 06, 2006

Ideas sleeting through the Universe

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.
- Euripides (484 BC - 406 BC).

...or, they make a writer.

And you know you're a writer when you wake up at two-thirty a.m. with the entire first chapter to a new novel in your head and you find yourself lying down on the floor of your office with a pad of graph paper, writing longhand by moonlight, and when someone tries to hand you a flashlight or ask what you're doing, all you can manage is an urgent "Shh! Shh!" as you write as fast as you can, practically with eyes closed, trying desperately to capture the fragments before they go skittering off into the landscape.

One of my favorite fictional characters is Leonard of Quirm, a Terry Pratchett invention who is a Renaissance man based on the actual Leonardo di Vinci. He is a dabbler in many arts, he paints, he draws, he engineers in his sleep. Even his doodles have doodles on them, in the margins, with numbered parts for siege engines and other nonsense that he would never want invented, because they might hurt someone. But ideas are always sleeting through the universe into Leonard's head, and he can't stop inventing to save his life. He's a nut, of course. He's been put away in a nice safe house where he can't hurt anyone. But he lives the life of the mind, so as long as there are birds to watch, he doesn't notice.
Parallels, anyone?

In answer to the next question: sixteen pages. Medium print, actually sort of legible. (I wore my glasses. I used to try to capture the dreamspace by not wearing my glasses. Legible is definitely better than 'authentic dreaming.') And no, I couldn't go back to sleep.

It's a good thing someone else around here has a day job. And, mind you, I'm not complaining, but why does this always happen when I'm working on something else?! Oh well... maybe it's my subconscious promising me that I won't be in Edit Hell forever... eventually I'll get out, and then there will be more stories to create and enjoy. Cheers! And keep writing, good people. May your sleep be filled with dreams.

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