The naked truth, as told on Jungle Red Writers…
With my newest middle-grade novel, Finchosaurus, just published, it’s time for me to start something new. Way past time. Unfortunately, I’m not the sort of writer with more ideas than I have time to execute. If you’re one of those people, I hate you. Just kidding. But I am jealous. Because my idea-creation mode is more the “pulling teeth” variety.
That’s why I wasn’t about to let an idea escape, one recent night. I’d been trying to come up with a new character, but she wasn’t fully formed. So I set myself the task of thinking about her while I slept, hoping my nighttime brain could do what my daytime brain hadn’t. Hoping I would wake in the morning with an idea.
I woke up only a couple of hours later. Maybe the cat was making her weird “let me out” noises. But for whatever reason, I was awake, and I did have an idea. Good, I thought, I’ll write that down in the morning, and I drifted back to sleep.
I woke again. Same idea, with another twist. That could work, I thought, and went back to sleep.
For the third time, I woke up. My brain: Do Not Forget. There’s the girl, there’s the twist. Me: Yes, I promise I’ll remember. Back to sleep, but not for long. Soon I was awake for the fourth time, knowing there was no way out: I had given my brain a job and my brain had done the job. Now it wouldn’t let me go back to sleep. Resigned, I got out of bed. Unfortunately, I seemed to have shed my pajamas during the night. I was stark naked.
I wanted to get the idea down on paper. I did not want to wake up any more than I had to by doing things like getting dressed, or turning on the lights, especially because the blinds were up, and we live in the city.
That’s how I came to find myself crouching on the kitchen floor, scribbling notes by the light of the open fridge door. Writing just enough to convince my brain that it could let me sleep now. I don’t know if this idea will turn into a book, but I hope so. Because this character has persistence! She woke me up four times to say, Write about me! So, I’ll try. After all, it’s not every day—or night—I get an idea.