Monday, January 9, 2012

a real dynamo

I should make a FAQ page on my website.

The FAQs I get are not FAed to most other authors I know.

If I kept track of such things, the Q I am most FAed is this:

When do you sleep?

I told you before:

I sleep when I achieve a state of reversible (thank God for reversibility! thank God!) unconsciousness, during which time my pulse and respiration slow, and my brain enters a wave-pattern known as delta.

That is when I sleep.

But I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about how I sleep, and I thought it was kind of telling about how I write, too.

By the way, it is Monday, January 9, 2012. God help me, I started writing today.

I haven't really written since mid-ish October. I've just been reading, re-reading, and editing in the last three months.

I guess it is appropriate to get working about now.

Every night, without fail, I sleep like this:

I go to sleep for an hour or two. It's a meaningless, black, sleep in which I think about nothing, possibly the likelihood of non-reversibility.

Then I wake up and lie there, conscious.

Usually, I am awake for an hour or so. Maybe 90 minutes. During that time, I think about things. Lots of things.

Then I go back to sleep.

The second time I sleep is when I have intense, vivid, colorful dreams.

This always happens.

Last night, I had four separate dreams during that time. They were really cool dreams, too. Especially the last one, where I had a big boat in the harbor and there was a ladder floating in the ocean that had fallen off the upper deck of my boat. I won't tell you the whole dream, but I do remember that it cost exactly $400 per month to rent the slip where I kept the boat in the marina.

I keep a pad of paper and a pen on the nightstand beside my bed. On that nightstand, there are also 6 books, the framed copy of Exile on Main Street my son gave me, and a statue of Ganesha.

I used to train myself to wake up and write down my dreams.

I wrote a lot of the narratives to In the Path of Falling Objects and The Marbury Lens this way.

In fact, just about everything that happens to Jack and Conner in Marbury happened first in the delta waves of the reversible (thank God!) unconsciousness of my sleep, which I wrote down (in red pen, by the way. I don't know why I have a particular fondness for writing in red ink).

Now, even though I keep paper and (red) pen nearby, I do not need to write down my dreams. I always remember them. Every day.

At least, every day I wake up I do.

I am not sure if other writers use their dreams in what they write, or if other writers even dream.

In my case, the majority of my dreams have almost no connection to the "real" waking world. I have never owned a boat (with the exception of my kayaks), and I probably wouldn't jump in the ocean to retrieve a floating ladder if given the opportunity.

And, to answer FAQ at the top of the list, that is exactly how I sleep.

Every night.