At one in the morning, the verticals are dancing at the open window. I lie in the dark wondering if the sills are wet from the unrelenting rain. Finally, I check. My fingers slide across the moisture on the sill to the handle at the base of the tall window. Three turns of the crank muffles the weather and stills the shifting window blinds. A couple of backward stumbles and I’m beneath the covers squirming to find the warm mold of my body on the sheets. I try to sleep. It’s no use.
With a sigh, I turn on the bedside lamp and check my cell phone for emails and, yes, Facebook. Nothing interesting there so I reach for my book and flip it open to the bookmark at page 93. I read for an hour and then try sleeping again. Ten minutes later, the light is back on. With my husband at work, it is only the dog at the foot of the bed that huffs and snorts before flopping onto her other side.
My mind fixes on all the little things I need to do in the morning before my first appointment. Then I think of work commitments. Another hour passes before I throw back the covers and head downstairs to my office. I need to list my projects on paper. Seeing them spelled out in a neat straight row, black on white, might clear the muddle from a brain that’s all a jumble with deadlines and assignments.
With the thermostat programmed to lower temperatures for sleeping, there is a late-hour chill in the air and I go back to the bedroom for my robe. Resisting the temptation for a cup of hot tea, I sit squarely in my chair and begin my list. I’m right. Seeing my projects on paper is far less daunting than hauling them around like blocks of concrete on my shoulders.
Then, in preparation for my afternoon meeting, I read chapter six of my current work. It’s not my habit to share a novel in progress but my critique partners are encouraging and helpful without interfering with the storyline. This chapter needs a lot more work and it’s with reluctance that I print off four copies and tuck them into my bag, along with the front page of the newspaper that features a member of our group and his latest book.
I print off two recipes for my hairdresser, hoping these are the ones we’d discussed at my last appointment, but not being entirely certain. I update my calendar and sort through some research.
A glance at the clock indicates another two hours before my official wake up call.
Back in bed, I count ...
... 28, 29, 30, 31, 32...zzzzzz