Friday, February 22, 2008

Late-Night Brainstorms

I have this very bad habit of getting huge brainstorms late at night. Just as I'm settling down to go to bed, an idea I've been wrestling with will make a huge turn in my head, causing me to see it from a totally different perspective, and then I'll see the solution clearly. Or that's when a new story idea will pop into my head, or else when a fragment of an idea will collide with another fragment of an idea to become a valid concept. It's great when this happens, but it can also be irritating because it means I'll get no sleep whatsoever. Just as my brain is readying itself for bed, bam, it goes wide awake and wired. Usually, these things I come up with aren't things I can jump to work on immediately, but because that idea is taking over most of my brain, I can't use the sleepless time to work on anything else. My brain is far too busy playing with its shiny new toy. And it almost always happens at night. I never seem to get brainstorms in the morning.

So, yeah, guess what happened last night. This time, it was a combination of seeing a problem from a different perspective and a new idea, so that it came out to be a new idea based on an old idea that had become a problem, and it may be a huge solution to an old problem (or it could be utterly silly). I immediately fired off the "am I totally insane, or could this work?" e-mail to my agent, and then I was bouncing off walls. There was no way I could focus on writing anything else for a while, and there was no way I'd be able to sleep. I took a baby dose of Benadryl because my nose has been running non-stop, and since I'm speaking at a conference this weekend, I don't want to get the red, raw nose, and that also helped settle me down some. While I waited for it to kick in, I did some administrative type stuff that needed to be done but that didn't require focus or creativity. When I started feeling sleepy, I went to bed and read some Dickens for a while until I couldn't read anymore, and then there was a bit of tossing and turning and thinking.

I'm still waiting on the sanity check from my agent (she's out of town and in meetings today). In the light of day, the idea still seems good, and I've mentally written the opening (maybe I should actually write it before I forget it). I have thought of a few issues and problems I'd have to deal with if the idea turns out to be viable. In the meantime, I need to keep working on this book, and I need to get ready for a presentation I'm doing Sunday. It's already written, but I need to review it, see if I want to make changes, then make some updates to the handout and get to Kinko's to make copies.

In other news, I have to say that I really don't care about the Oscars. I didn't manage to see anything nominated for any major awards, mostly because I just didn't get out to the theater much last year. And, to be honest, most of them didn't appeal to me. I would kind of like to see Atonement because I read the book and I'm curious about how they did the movie since I thought the book was structured in a way that made it unfilmable. I also don't care what anyone wears, since it's not like I'm likely to need clothes like that at any time in my life, so it's not as though I can pick up any fashion tips.

Finally, in my role as TV Guide, I have some Sci Fi Friday geekery -- as in, Sci Fi Friday is going to be back in a big way. All times are Central, since that's where I am and I like representing the Flyover States. On April 4, we have the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica at 9, preceded by two repeats, presumably of the last two episodes of last season so we can remember what we were doing when we were so rudely interrupted. Then on April 11, we get the Doctor Who spinoff Sarah Jane Adventures at 7, a BSG repeat at 8 and BSG at 9. On April 18, there's a half hour of SJA at 7, a 90-minute episode of Doctor Who (the Christmas Special) at 7:30, and BSG at 9. Then we settle into the regular schedule starting April 25, with two half-hour episodes of SJA starting at 7, Doctor Who at 8 and BSG at 9. It's like a whole night of geek heaven, a schedule worthy of pizza or tacos and special viewing snacks, of turning off the phone and becoming one with my sofa. And then the Saturday-morning rehash phone conversation with Mom.

Of course, all this kicks off right before my book comes out and I'll start having to travel, but so far I just have midweek events until convention season kicks off in June.

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