Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and slide out of bed trying not to bump anything that might wake the dog or my husband.
The cats follow me stealthily as I avoid the squeaky stair.
First I go to the refrigerator. Milk is supposed to help you sleep, right? Especially with a little Kashi cinnamon and vanilla cereal mixed in. I sit in the dark, eating slowly because I only get so many points per day on Weight Watchers and these count off my next day’s allowance.
The cats think they’re getting fed too.
Still I can’t sleep, so I boot up my laptop, squint my eyes as the bright white appears, and write furiously until I’m drained. I curl up on the couch and close my burning eyes until another thought pushes through and I’m helpless to resist. Usually it hits around 3:19 a.m. If I don’t get it out of my head, I can’t sleep. It’s faster to type than use a pen and once again, I’m thankful for my back-lit keyboard.
The cats are circling.
But sometimes all I want to do is pick up a hammer and let loose.
The cats meow and follow as I descend into the basement and…
…I turn into my other self. I have eighteen hammers and I know precisely what mark each one will make.
I sigh as I scan the disarray in my studio. When I finished my last project and ran back to my writing, I left things topsy-turvy. To anyone else this would appear an insurmountable mess and Peter Walsh would be called in pronto. However, I find comfort in scraps of silver and jumbles of garnets and watermelon tourmalines. I go to work because right now I’m a metalsmith.
Having given up on early breakfast, the cats settle into their respective spots; one on his reserved chair and the other in the back of a tool cabinet where she thinks I can’t see her.
Too soon, I hear the pillows calling me back to bed. My husband shakes his head and gives me a kiss as we pass on the stairs; he’s ready for coffee and will start his day like a normal person; I ask him to please feed the starving cats.
If it’s not a day at my part-time job, I’ll catch a few winks and wake up refreshed to write or as it happened this week, become my alter ego, Silver Charmer.
This week demanded preparation for an opening in a new art gallery, so my two worlds collided. The jewelry-making took preference and the writing didn’t get done.
But, as Scarlett O’Hara said, Tomorrow is another day.
Did I mention my heroine in the novel I’m writing is a silversmith? ~JD here.
You scared me at first with that hammer comment! But, even though your double-life collided this week, neither of them are bad. They are both representative of your creative nature. Perhaps your jewelry-making will inform your writing (as you say your heroine is a silversmith) or, can it be real? Your writing may open some new creative designs in your jewelry. All in all, not a bad place to be, JD!
Hi Candace, Thanks for your support! You are always so insightful! ~ JD
I’m often wakeful in the night too. Love knowing there is another woman doing the same somewhere across town. Lately instead of being up at 3, I wake at 4 or 5 and have a few hours of peace, quiet and calm before my children awake and my night shift husband comes home form work and it’s time to wear my Mom Hat to get everyone where they need to be. Look forward to reading your novel with a silversmith heroine. One of my favorite romance novels is “Born in Fire” by Nora Roberts about a glass artist in Ireland, book 1 of her “Born in Trilogy”.
Thanks, Janean. If only we could each light a little candle in the window and somehow see when each other was awake! Glad you are not tossing and turning but are having good quiet time! ~ JD
yeah my dad will like this
Hope so! ~JD