A Beginning, of a Sort

The more I write, the less sleep I get. That’s another one of those habits that’s been hard to break. I crave the near-silence of a sleeping house–but only can manage to find it at the before-bed end. I have heard about writers who get up before dawn to work before their family stirs. But I have always, always been a night owl. The house is completely quiet, and even the cats are asleep. The furnace comes on now and then, but outside even the coyotes are silent. There’s only a single dog barking. Tonight’s the first night I’ve heard this dog, and I’m not sure where it lives. There has been a dog I’ve seen coming in and out of the woods recently–maybe that’s it.

Sleeping late after I work isn’t any fun. I miss my family, and I’m always worried I’ll miss something. There’s also that middle-class notion that people who sleep late are lazy–no matter that they might have been up working. Isn’t that a strange judgment/expectation? That there is only one right way to live, and it begins about 7:30 in the morning and ends sometime before midnight.

This morning I finished reading Becoming Queen Victoria, by Kate Williams. It came out in 2008, and I think my DH gave it to me on Kindle 3 or 4 years ago for Christmas. I don’t know why it took me so long to get to it. I love historical biographies and probably know way more about the history of European aristocracies than is strictly healthy for me. Becoming Queen Victoria began with the story of Charlotte, the granddaughter of Mad King George (III). Charlotte was meant to be queen after her father, George IV, who was a petty, awful man with a horde of drunken brothers. But Charlotte died just after her 21st birthday. Charlotte’s cousin, Victoria, turns out to have been far less domesticated than I had thought her to be, and her court and habits completely changed the way the British monarchy behaves. The only thing that bothered me about the book was that it jumped from the birth of Victoria’s second child to the death of Albert in about 5 pages. Though I guess it is titled Becoming Queen Victoria. By that time I suppose she was pretty good at it. Highly recommend if you’re interested in watching The Crown or the upcoming Victoria series with that sweet young woman from Dr. Who.

I need to set up some kind of schedule to post my daily words that doesn’t always involve being awake at 2:30 a.m. Start writing earlier? Probably.

Happy last day of 2016!


December 30 Numbers:

Journal:     500 words

Long Fiction: 0 words

Short Fiction: 821 words (anthology request)

Non-Fiction: 0 words

Exercise: 45 mins/10 miles Airdyne

4 thoughts on “A Beginning, of a Sort”

  1. skyecaitlin says:

    Laura; this is a lovely entry. I also adore historical novels, and I switch reading genres frequently, as well. I think we all follow ‘…the beat of a different drummer..’ in terms of our writing styles. Have you ever read The Midnight Disease by Alice Weaver Flaherty or Stephen King’s A Memoir of the Craft? They both delineate the persistence call to write and how we are influenced by our internal guide and clock.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      You’re so right–every writer has her own rhythm and pace. That’s easy to forget when one is putting pressure on oneself. I read the King years ago, but I don’t know Alice Weaver Flaherty. What a terrific title. Thank you!

  2. JT says:

    I need to read this… thanks for the reccy and good job!!

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