16 January 2009


On the verge of sleep, I had an idea. Or perhaps it was a dream. It was a burst of coherent thought, clearer than normal thought, more vivid than reality, and that's when I knew it was the idea. Idea, with a capital I.

It was a strange day yesterday: I'd been sick the night before (I think I'll have to give up my nightly routine of coffee before bed) and I was beyond tired yesterday morning.

“I think I'm going to call it a day,” I announced to my husband, who shrugged a shoulder and nodded gently. He's always been the supportive type, no matter what. Scratch that. Almost no matter what. Sometimes, he stops me at the very precipice of doing Stupid Things. I do the same for him, but that's a story for another day.

I struggled to grab a few hours of solid sleep, and in between too much early-morning coffee and the neighbors upstairs letting their dog out on the upstairs balcony to drag what sounded like furniture around for two hours, I didn't get any.

I wrote a bit yesterday. I wrote a lot last night, and just as I'd laid my head down, I had The Idea. Exhaustion over took me, and I muttered to myself (another habit I seem to have) before falling into the blackness that I would get up first thing in the morning, and Write It Down.

Write It Down.

I cannot stress this enough. Some ideas have a shelf life of exactly 4.2 seconds, and that idea apparently was one of those.

So I'm sitting here this morning, foolishly drinking yet more coffee, ignoring the fact that I'd better get my rear in gear (as my friend used to say) and get ready for work.

Damnit. I hate it when this happens, because I can't even mourn the fact that I'll never write it. I'll probably never see it again, because my brain would have to be in the exact same situation as before. It's an idea miscarriage, and I mourn the fact that I can't remember what it is I'm upset about.

Where do those ideas go, that don't make it into a book or at the very least, a word processing document? Do they return to the guf from which they came? Is there a boneyard for such unrealized thoughts and notions? Or are they the proverbial whale that upon realizing that they existed, also realize they are hurtling towards the ground at teeth-gritting speed?

I suppose, such is the life of one who writes things. I hesitate to openly admit I'm a writer. That would be like a hobbyist cross-stitcher stating that they are a seamstress. There's an art to writing. A process of completion that I haven't been able to grasp just yet. I'm getting close, but I think I'll pass on the cigar.

In my mind, another idea joins the dead and forgotten ones before it, in the shaded graveyard of Never Has Beens.

I mourn yet another miscarriage.


Pia Veleno said...

I've had many of those just before sleep ideas. Sometimes I scrawl them out on a notepad beside the bed and other I do exactly what you did, certain that because it is such a great idea, I'll remember.

Honestly, sleep is preferred now when those Things stir me at night. Those scrawled notes hardly make sense the next morning, similar to the Profound Idea that occurs after drinking too much wine.

You ARE a writer. The missing link is finding the right people to realize this too. I'd buy every book.

Pia Veleno said...

I figured out why it wouldn't let me comment on your earlier posts.

*happy, manical giggle*

Lisa said...

I make sure to keep a notebook beside my bed, in my purse, and I have about fifty in or around my desk. That doesn't mean I always write this shit down.

Hmm, and taking showers. I really ought to have a notebook in the bathroom. I get my best ideas there.

I know an author/writer who told me she once scribbled a middle-of-the-night idea onto her bedsheets for want of paper. Desperate times...

Anyway, fabulous description. Idea miscarriage. It hurts. Bad. Not as bad, not at all, but you do mourn the loss. Then you move on.