Novel Word Count
On this Day One Year Ago
When writing is life
Immediately as my eyes opened, my mind was racing.
I slammed my palm onto the face of my iphone and silenced the alarm, dropping the room back into silence, and my brain seamlessly back into sleep.
It happened again a few minutes later, like someone flicking the lights on in a dark room to find it full of people, my mind jumped at the fact it was awake again and I fumbled for the phone. It slipped in my fatigue-slick fingers and fell to the ground. When I pushed myself up, the triple combo of the cold air outside the blankets, the thrust of gravity in a vertical position, and the incessant braying of my phone chirping smugly from the floor served to wake me up.
It was 6:30 a.m.
I ran a hand through my hair, feeling the thick stubble of a beard that hadn’t been shaved in a week and the greasiness of the leftover wax in my hair from the day before. My hand left my hair in disarray, but I didn’t care.
The room was gloomy, barely morning, and I took a few seconds for my brain to relax. Like a runner waiting at the start line, my brain was bouncing to get going. I had a busy day ahead and as the sleep receded, I pushed myself up.
My apartment was filled with the warm aroma of coffee as I stepped out of the bedroom and after pouring a cup, I padded back to bed, snagging my Macbook from the couch where I left it the night before.
The lamp by my bedside clicked into life and I dropped back onto the mattress and pulled up the blankets.
I took a deep breath, then set to writing the only thing today that wouldn’t be dictated by facts and political comments.
It was the first of many budget days in the coming weeks at city hall, and with an entire newspaper (pretty much) worth of stories I write, I was savouring the freedom of fiction before heading out the door.
After the budget meeting was over, and my interview with the mayor finished, I made a quick stop off in the office to check my email before heading home to meet M.
The driveway was still slick with snow from the night before and I cruised my Golf slowly around the space in the back and parked along the fence.
As I plodded up the fire escape, my footfalls each releasing a metallic echo as I made my way up, M’s voice brought be back from the thoughts of budgets and numbers smothering me in my mind. I glanced up as I neared the top and took in her smiling face. She was leaning halfway out the door, over a thick line of snow that had collected along the bottom. She was wearing a thick wool slouchy hat with her thick hair hanging in in wavy curls over each shoulder. I smiled back and kissed her.
It was the perfect lunch break.
The stories left my head as quickly as they left the tips of my fingers. Yet the writing still wasn’t done.
M was once again there to greet me when I got home and after a quick sitr-fry dinner with tons of vegetables, the two of us cuddled on the couch and I forgot about work for a while.
I drank a cold beer and tried to reset when M left a few hours later. I had a pair of stories that were still priority one and needed for tomorrow’s paper, and a whole myriad of others that could be written for the coming weeks in which all the footwork in interviews and research was already done.
My brain was stubborn, and seemed sluggish and upset that I would order him to do anything except sleep, but he cooperated eventually and long enough for me to get my priority pieces written and a little extra.
He even had enough in him to write this journal. I guess we can surprise ourselves sometimes.
Thanks for reading,