“Here’s one thing I notice about the ideas that come out of daydreams or nightdreams: they work, they always work.”
- Steven Heighton
I hadn’t planned on writing anything during the month of April, really I hadn’t. In fact, I’d absolved myself of the notion entirely as I made my way through as many as four concert programs a week in preparation for Symphony Nova Scotia’s final, and busiest, month of this season. My choice of holding a book launch during a rare day off in the middle of the month spurred me on to new heights of organization as I arranged my own practice-time to learn a lot of music in preparation for the multitude of rehearsals, which were in turn preparation for all those concerts.
I scheduled my viola-practice times days and weeks ahead, just to be sure the notes were in my fingers by the time the rehearsals came around.
I scheduled my launch-reading rehearsals around my viola-practice times, just to be sure I could read my chosen excerpts at the launch even if the ceiling caved in. (It didn’t.)
I did not schedule the short story that barrelled in on me during the busiest week of the busiest month of my year. Nor did I resist it.
Several nights passed during which I slept little and wrote lots as ideas rained down on me. During the days I wrote when I could, taking advantage of every stray moment. I started and re-started until the story settled into itself, and I emerged from my writing sessions breathless and elated, with no idea of how much time had passed. It was the most fun I’ve ever had writing a first draft.
Now the draft sits in a file folder, ripening, while I worry and stew that it’s nothing more than a piece of manic doggerel. Did anything good ever come of something that was that much fun to write? Of course it did. I’m just not sure this is one of them.
Time will tell.