Lack of sleep and Eternal Rest

Today has been a long day. This morning I went to the viewing of a dear mentor and friend. She passed away on Wednesday and I don’t think I have slept well since. I don’t really understand why I have been having trouble sleeping. I haven’t been racked with grief or guilt or anything. I just haven’t been able to turn my brain off. I’ve been having some trouble keeping up with school too. I am just so tired.

I have been thinking a lot about my friend these past few days. She was my teacher, then my friend. I learned so much; more than I realized. I have been reminiscing and sharing antidotes to other friends and family ever since I learn of her death. Some of them made me laugh others made me cry harder because such a wonderful person was no longer on this Earth.

I didn’t stay long at the viewing and I didn’t attend the funeral afterwards, even though we drove over an hour to do just that. They buried her in her uniform from her time as a volunteer and I can’t imagine anything more perfect. After I paid my respects to her family and saw her laying there I suddenly just wanted to go. I felt sad but at peace.

The funeral home was a crowded place too. She had touched a lot of lives and was a personality not soon forgotten. I felt like getting out of the way so others could have their turn to say goodbye.

Now I have to encourage my tired to brain to concentrate long enough to write a paper for one of my classes and then I can try to go to bed. Right now I feel like I could sleep for days. I hope my brain doesn’t decided to go into over drive again after I lay down.

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Thick With Sleep

Garfield-Mornings-garfield-172375_312_318Waking up today feels like pulling myself out of a tub of molasses. In a good way. I slept solid last night. I entered so deeply into the realm of dreams that I don’t remember sleeping and I’ve not quite returned to waking.

Yesterday was my son’s 11th birthday. His party was a lot of fun and I got to meet up with friends I haven’t seen in a long time. It was three hours of happy social interaction but by the time I got home I was done in. Only stubbornness helped me stay awake until a reasonable bedtime. (I would have just given in, but my daughter was out with a friend. I was waiting for her to be brought home.)

catnapAfter weeks of restless sleep and waking feeling like the day before never stopped; this thick with sleep feeling is welcome. It is cool outside which makes hot coffee all the more enjoyable. I don’t know what this Monday will hold but I am greeting it with a sleepy contented smile and a warm cup.

You’re Not My Friend

mcdonalds-playplace-5When my son was around three or four, I took him and his sister to McDonald’s for lunch. Some friends of mine were meeting us and we agreed to sit at a table in the play place to let the kids play while we talked. Lunch was quickly consumed.

My daughter, being more out going, disappeared into the maze of tunnels that wound above our heads. My son on the other hand, crawled through the plastic lion’s head to play with metal keyboard on the wall. Soon, my daughter had made friends with some of the other kids, while my son happily plunked out tunes by himself.

After a while another little boy wandered through the lion’s head and over to where my son was playing. He also began pushing buttons playing the toddler version of music. With a frown on his little face my son looked up at the new boy and very clearly stated, “You aren’t my friend.”

From the tone in his voice it was obvious he wasn’t trying to be mean. He sounded a littleconfused sonic confused and as if he were trying to clarify something for someone. It was like the preschool version of I think you have mistaken me for someone else.

My friends all heard him too since we were sitting at the table closest to the plastic lion’s mouth. Since then there have been quite a few times when those words have echoed through my mind. My friend Jessi has said she has experience the same thing.

When faced with a cheerful stranger who insists on speaking to me as if we are best friends, or when someone speaks to me while we are standing in a silent line. Often I will be pulled from wherever I was inside my own head. During that moment of confusion while I am still trying to adjust to the regular world, my brain offers up the words “You’re not my friend.”   I never say it of course, but for that small bit of time I  completely empathize with that puzzled blonde haired little boy playing music to himself in the McDonald’s play place.

Scrambled eggs for brains

I missed posting on Monday. I noticed yesterday. My brain has been so scrambled lately that a plate of cheese eggs looks more put together. The reasons are the same as always. Work, kids, and writing.

My son’s birthday is Saturday. He is turning double digits. I remembered on Wednesday to order his cake. Usually that is the first thing I take care of. I could make the thing myself but while edible, it wouldn’t look as cool. Also I tend to freak out at the last minute for things involving a crowd of people. It is better to let professionals bake the cake.

I did manage to buy a present and invite people. The wonders of social media and online shopping made that easier, considering most stores are closing around the time I am heading to work and many of them have yet to open by the time I get out. I haven’t wrapped his present yet, but I did get one. (I tried to bribe my daughter into wrapping it for me but she declined.)

I have no idea who will actually show up for his party. I know his aunt is going to try and that his dad, step-mom, and baby sister will be there. My brother and sister-in-law are on vacation, so they will not be attending. I am hoping my friend Lacey will show up with her kids if they aren’t too busy.

Lacey has been my best friend since middle school. We talk to each other off an on through out the year. Sometimes it can be as little as once a year, but we always pick up right wherever we left off. Neither of us are surprised whenever the other shows up.

After not seeing a person for a few years and then you both go to the exact same place at the exact same time for vacation…well that kind of puts an end to the feeling of surprise at seeing one another in random places. (It wasn’t even a well known spot. I hadn’t even planned to go until someone gave me free tickets, and then there we were, her kids lined up next to mine watching animal handlers feed dead chicken to alligators.)

Anyway, I will try to get a proper post out this Monday. Sorry for the miss.

Bright Lights and epiphanies in editing

rowingIt is a beautiful sunny day and I am sitting on my porch as I write this.  I have missed my porch.  During the Winter it has been too cold and the Spring has been rather wet.  We have had a few good days but for some reason I haven’t made it out to the porch to write.

Possibly because of the glare.  I am having a difficult time seeing the computer screen.  White porch + bright sunlight = low screen visibility.   I have sunglasses….somewhere.  I guess I will just have to make do.

I came out here to work on my Science Fiction novel.  It has been simmering in a box for Alice_in_wonderland_1951awhile now, waiting for me to get around to the next rewrite/edit.  I have this problem with editing…I don’t like to do it.   Part of that is because I don’t really know what to do when it comes to editing.  I know something is wrong.  I can feel that it’s off, but pinpointing exactly what, always gives me trouble.   Some of this is just because I don’t know what questions to ask myself and some of this is lack of practice.  As in most things, the more you do it the better you get.

I have been reading this book, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, and it has been a big help.  The other day I actually took my Sci-Fi novel out of its box and started to work on it.  First I re-read it and then I spent thirty minutes starring at the first page.  I knew stuff was wrong.  The second paragraph in was really wrong, but no matter how I turned the page or willed the answer to come to me, I couldn’t figure it out.  So I turned to my friend Jessi and said, “What’s wrong with this sentence right here?”

motivator312687f0669fbfe47c2a3fe4249375fe980cc139She read over the page and pointed out the sentence in question would read easier if I made it into three sentences and the next paragraph could be summed up in one three word sentence.  I looked at again and decide that her suggestions were Pure Genius! After that the rest of the page went smoothly.  Also, I began to notice I repeatedly made similar mistakes on other pages.

I rewrote that first page then went back to compare it to the original.  It was so very much plot holesbetter that it made me excited.  Maybe this editing thing isn’t so bad after all. 🙂

 

Old Habits

Victory-TeaThis morning I am tucked away in the corner of a cafe that I used to write in all the time.  I haven’t been here in awhile.  I stopped coming because it was often busy and a little too noisy for my concentration.   Right now it isn’t so bad.  Either the cold wet weather with the promise of snow has kept people away or I have managed to get here early enough to beat the rush.  However, they have also added a “drive thru” since the last time I frequented the place and maybe that has cut down on the crowds.

I am here hoping that different scenery (and tea or coffee that I don’t have to fix myself) tea not warwill help me have a productive writing day. I feel rather sluggish this morning and I have a bit of catching up to do.  I also recently added even more to my plate by offering to work on another project with a friend. (It’s going to take a lot of research.) This particular cafe is one of the few that are open this early.  I could go to Starbucks or something but not if I expect to avoid big crowds.

This place holds good memories.  I often would meet friends here for early morning coffee and conversation.  Back in college, another friend of mine and I would be late to Biology on a regular basis, because we would stop in for a quick cup of hot cocoa in the winter.  Right now those friend are either tucked in their beds, preparing for work, or across the ocean from me.

I don’t think I will fall back into the habit of coming here on a regular basis but everyone once and a while might be nice.teaparty