Bedside Notes

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and leave yourself notes? 

I do this when I’m on a writing binge, which happened a few times during my little blogging break.

For some reason, my brain works out all the plot holes in my sleep, and I wake up and have to write it down before I forget and so I can go right back to sleep. I do need me my beauty sleep when I'm binging.

These notes don’t say much, just a word or two that should help me get where I need to go. So here is a little fun peek into my night time genius. Yup, this is what the notes looked like (the ones I can read anyway):

Cracker Jack colours
No pants in a tornado
Kill the dog
Piss off God
Pa knows what Cal did

What does this list mean? Anyone can venture a guess and go ahead, it might be fun to see what you would do if this list was at your head in the morning.

This is what I did, hopefully I was close to what my night time genius wanted:

Cracker Jack is the name of my MC’s teacher, well not her real name but it’s the name he calls her. Colours means she’s going to use a laundry reference he won't get. See how my brain works in the dead of the night?

Tornado is a scene I wanted to add in to up the stakes. Straight forward. The no pants part... well, what if my MC got caught with his pants around his ankles when the tornado showed? I mean, what if, right?
Kill the dog is an expression I use to not tick the reader off but in this case, I had to actually kill the dog. Don't worry, I got someone else to do it.
Piss off God is another expression I use to up the tension by making the MC go against his beliefs. (Will God be vengeful?) This clearly related to the why his pants weren't covering his ass when the tornado hit. Yup, God was pissed off something fierce about that one.
And Pa knows what Cal did. Cal is not the MC. So this is a subplot that will relate to our MC. What did his brother Cal do?
As for potatoes, we were out.

So what do your lists look like? Where else do you make lists?

Old Books

I grabbed an old book off my shelf the other day. It wasn't one I'd read. I picked it up at one of them tiny used bookstores in the hospital. The pages were faded a brownish yellow. The words were tiny. There was no light shining on it or buttons to push.  It had the strangest smell-- like leaves stuck in a jar.

It was just me and the strange voice of this very over-the-top character. And magic happened. I wasn't rushed. My headache left. There was no time limit; I could read one word or all of them without a gauge to pressure me into reading one more percent. No option to have it read to me while I did the dishes. I was forced to hold it and turn the pages.

And I did.

Between the editing, research, critiques, drafting, rewriting, studying... I forgot what it was like to read for pure enjoyment. I didn't add it to Goodreads. I didn't give it a review. I just read it and put it back on the shelf.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading on my Kindle or my computer, and I can get by in a pinch on the tablet-thingy my kids like, but it always feel like... writing-related work. Even reading new books with hardcovers and turning new pages with new smells feels like checking what's hot and what's not.

This didn't matter to my writing world, it was me cracking open the past and peeking in. The writer had different views and beliefs than me. Yet it was a timeless story told by a master storyteller.

Do you find a difference between old and new books? How do you balance ebooks in your life?