Sunday, February 28, 2010


That sigh of relief felt around the world last Monday was me meeting one of my deadlines and getting my all day workshop behind me. For the first time in about three months my pulse slowed down from a gallop to a mere trot level and my blood pressure went down about 15 points (my doctor will be so happy!). I had made it; I had crossed two finish lines and had only one to go. And the thing is, having only one deadline now feels like a cakewalk.

I find it incredibly galling or fascinating, depending on my mood, that during this time of the highest professional stress in my entire working life, my family got hit with mini-crisis after mini-crisis, from health issues to academic set backs to major life decisions, they all came tumbling down at the same time I was trying to juggle all these deadlines. And boy, was that a perfect illustration of plot layers! A perfect demonstration of how our lives don’t stop when we are presented with a huge new challenge.

It also made me grateful that I am a writer, because I could recognize a Supreme Ordeal when I saw it and act accordingly. But mostly, it's just a wonderful thing to be on the other side of some of those things!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Queen of Napping

This afternoon, as I was contemplating just how slothful it would make me if I took a second nap of the day, I had an epiphany.

You see, everybody should have at least one area of expertise, and I've decided that mine is napping. The thing is, I'm a World Class Napper. I excel at napping sprints, long distance naps, and even endurance napping. I'm queen of them all.

The really cool thing is that being a champion napper dovetails very nicely with being a writer. It is absolutely 100% true that napping helps my writing. I can often squeeze out an extra few pages after a taking a nap. And even if I don't quite manage to produce pages, I always end up with some inspired plot point or scene development.

And I have to say, there is no greater satisfaction in the world than to be able to tell someone to leave me alone, I'm napping. And it's work. Love that.

Napping is also great for nipping the frisson of an anxiety attack in the bud. Slow deep breathing, emptying one's mind, and boom! Calmness is achieved.

I'm a hugely versatile napper. I love me my twenty minute cat naps, as well as the more common, hour long versions. Sometimes, I even go for those deep, two and a half hour, bed-hair type naps, although those are usually only when I am fighting a migraine.

The other thing is, my bedroom is the Ultimate Napping Room. And it's not just me who thinks so. People (okay, family members mostly, who shall remain nameless) come from miles around to nap on my bed. There is just something about the slant of afternoon light and the quiet outside the window, the very stillness of the air, that makes it the perfect napping room.

And really, if one has been given a perfect napping room, then it would be highly ungrateful to not take full advantage of this gift, no?

So how about you guys? Are any of you nappers? Leave a comment and tell me about your napping practices, or lack thereof, and I will enter you in a drawing for a copy of Francis Hardinge's THE LOST CONSPIRACY, a book I am reading right now. When I'm not napping. (Or meeting my deadlines.)

It's an amazing book that I highly recommend and would love to share with someone. All you have to do is talk about naps and you're entered! :-)