I’ve recently completed two novels that I’ve had a love/hate relationship with over the past ten years, which hopefully will debut sometime in the fall. Writing has caused me to become a chronic insomniac. It is a grueling job that is NEVER done…I wake up to it and go to sleep with it…one character or another pokes me in the ribs and causes me to toss and turn. The antagonist, with Thesaurus in hand, whispers in my ear during REM – “Wake up! You’ve got to change that word in your opening scene – chapter seven, 3rd line down. The protagonist is in my other ear. ”No, don’t listen to her! She’s nothing but trouble.”
(Lately, my characters are becoming way too real; they’re always in my face.)

I throw my pillow off my head and bolt up in bed, feeling blindly at what I’ve accumulated on my night table: a yellow legal pad and pen (in case I have a creative dream), a bottle of water, a humidifier, a fan to help my hot flashes, lip balm, Breathe-Right Strips, nose spray, Benadryl, a box of tissues, earplugs that do not shut out my husband-bear’s snoring, a variety of ‘natural’ supplements, a white-noise machine, Deepak Chopra’s Relaxation CD, Tylenol PM, and in case of emergency – Ambien prescription pills which causes me to sleep–eat (once I found 9 empty cupcake wrappers in the kitchen and blue icing in my bed sheets.)
(My first thought – the antagonist ate them.)