Sleep-Free, Write, and 21

There may well be more categories than content attached to this post. I’ve included a cut below, suffice to say it’s going to be long, maudlin, and have a great deal to do about the most active topics on my web site.

  • Weight loss (or lack thereof)
  • Sleep (or lack thereof)
  • Writing.

remember, you were warned.

Three hours.

Again. That’s most of this week unable to slumber at night, and an equally fitful amount of pathetic almost sleep in the late mornings.

Maybe. Everything hurts, and I don’t even have any gluten exposure to blame for it. I’m not getting any real rest, and the reason why came to me in the shower just now.

I’m not dreaming. My protagonist and I share this affliction at the moment, though he’s not yet aware of it. I realized while writing yesterdays 1000 and change that he’s going mad, and doesn’t have any idea why. The only person who does is an alien, and is both limited and hindered by its telepathy.

After all, who wants to peek inside the mind of a sleep-deprived madman? I’m looking out of one, and it’s none to pleasant, at present. While writing his ineffectual internal monologue, I realized the protagonist keeps coming back to the same themes. Frustration/uselessness/boredom/anger/lack of purpose. He cannot express these emotions (come not, an author must have SOME secrets), and forced to consider them on a completely intellectual basis without any experiences or “feelings” to guide his process, he is failing on an epic level.

I can relate.

Further, the lack of sleep/rest is something I’ve dealt with before while on the plan, and it also came to me why I’ve not been losing any weight. Like soaking my contact lenses, if I there’s not at least 6 hours of down time a night, forget about it. There will be no reduction in acceleration any time soon, the Earth’s rotation and I will maintain our respectful disagreement for now. Two full cycles at the same weight is as telling as anything else regarding my physical/mental state, so I’m stepping back from the plan for a while. I’ll still be eating smart: 4 times a day, plenty of H20, no junk food or sugar for sugar’s sake, but I’m going to start listening to my body again, and giving it what it wants.

Both problems are affecting my work. I can tell that the quality of my words has gone down markedly in the last two weeks, and while yesterday was amazing in an overall creative sense, it was absolute rubbish for content on the page.

While out and about, I reasoned that he (my protagonist above) is by definition insane, and should start writing him as such. Reviewing my files after Wednesday, he has gone in the space of 72 hours from a bastard anti-hero to a heroic survivor to a raving lunatic.

In the same chapter. I can’t write him effectively anymore, so I’m no longer going to try. Instead, I’m going to wipe him clean.

The story is fine. The characters (with one notable exception) are fine. Everything that happens after the first three chapters is fine. I’d wager about half of what I’ve written already will be usable, but to make it work (again), I need to switch viewpoints. I’m not exactly sure to whom.

But there I was in the shower realizing, and there I was ruminating while feeding the cats, and pondering over my oatmeal and in fact dithering about what to do until the exact instant I finished the sentence above.

What if there is no viewpoint? Or rather, what if there is no light by which to reveal my vision. They’re aliens, dammit all. Aliens out in the middle of frickin’ nowhere, on a tidally locked rock where warmth and emotion are distant concepts viewed and experienced only via carelessly scattered em transmissions from a pathetically average mudball 150 light-years ago, nudged along by some pretty triksy gravitic anomalies in-between.

What if the only person that can see is also the only person who can’t tell anyone what to look for, or how?

The protagonist is now/will be a collection of potentials, a personality that could be, cobbled together from the 20th century’s broadcast media and pictures of DNA samples from long ago.

What if they’re not only aliens, but really REALLY smart aliens, and have a need to KNOW. And the abilities necessary to do so.

What if they do not like what they learn, and decide to hold someone responsible.

Boy Howdy, I hope it’s not me.

I can make this work. I know I can. This concept and quartet (sort of) of characters is/are too good to waste, and among the oldest entries in the Brown notebook.

It came to me in a dream, you see…

P.S. funny story. I’m a fan of the m-dash, but trying to insert one just now triggered my browser’s “reduce” command. Go figure. At least “it” knows what it’s doing.

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