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Night Writing
Or: Bats make the best fertilizer

I look around the room. Barely any light but the computer screen. I could seriously hurt myself because I have no idea what my youngest daughter has left on the floor. Legoģ are deadly. Ever step on one? Point made. (oh look, a pun....this early in the morning, too)

I see the sun rise almost every morning. The light comes in the kitchen window. I can see it from down the hall in the living room. I can also feel my skin begin to bake. o O (Dracula.....Iím coming to join you, my immortal one....)

My eldest daughter calls me a bat. She says if I ever face ďrealĒ sunlight Iím toast. Literally. Night writing has me in its grasp. I love the night. I love the quiet it affords me. I love the lack of light around me. The computer screen provides more than enough for me. Iím probably destroying my eyes. I really donít know. My parents always told me to move away from the TV screen.... to never read without enough light. Of course, I never listened. I used a flashlight to finish my mysteries. I lurked about in the darker parts of the house, near bedtime figuring if I was out of sight of my parents, I was out of mind too. Nope. Parents are slick, evil creatures with ten eyes and telepathy that doesnít quit. Ask any ten year old if you donít believe me.

The writing life is a weird enough existence. Throw into that weird mix, a husband working night audit shift, a teen whoís never home and a six year old who is home educated. Bizarre visual. That is my household. Such as it is. So needless to say we have weird schedules. At first when this situation came about, I tried being organized and efficient. I tried keeping things to a ďnormalĒ schedule. Wasnít happening.

So, weíve slipped into this odd yet comfortable routine. During the day, the husband unit sleeps and I do lessons with the daughter unit. The older daughter unit, programmed by her very age to be bat like, takes the morning to use the computer. She works nights too.

At night, itís usually just me and the young unit. Iíve grabbed a morning nap when my husband was awake with the little one. So Iím raring to go. Full of ideas and energy. My daughter falls asleep and Voila! I have total peace and quiet for at least 6 hours. And that as you all know is a short stint for computer junkies. But oh the freedom. The ultimate freedom to work as I do best. No small ones asking for a dollar and the stars. No phone calls. No restrictions on my creative juices. The coffeeís fresh and Iím ready.

Hereís the thing. Iíve been doing the bat thing with writing for awhile. Since I joined the ranks of the web writers. Itís true. Oh I confess that Iíve done more than a few nights in chat when I first got a taste of the internet. But now I have this enormous wealth of articles by other writers to read; different writersí communities to explore, my web sites to maintain, not to mention my writing. Oh, and letís not forget the email junkie Iíve become.

Sometimes I wonder if I could ever go back to an eight to five writing routine. It would entail my husband getting a day job and my youngest learning to play ďstatuesĒ for up to six hours at a time.

Not going to happen. In my wildest dreams.

And so I take to the night. Like the count takes to blood. (or counting, depending on who you ask). My writerís wings spread out around me, cloaking me from dangerous Legoģ. I slip into the darkness and turn on the screen. A small circle of light surrounds me.

I am at one with my batness.

Copyright 2001


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