Lights Out

I’m sitting here typing early on a Saturday morning, and by early I mean Oh-dark-thirty. I’d intended to write this yesterday, and in fact was sitting here staring at the blank screen trying to dredge up the brilliant idea I’d come up with in the middle of the day while I was at work (why didn’t you write it down? I can’t make notes at work, and besides, my hands were full) when the lights went out.

Sometimes you have to take things as a sign. I took that one as a chance to sit down and finish my paper book (as opposed to the ones I’ve been reading in ebook on my tablet and phone. Now, I could very well have written this post on my phone – I’ve done that before – except that I’d allowed my son to play a game on it and it was nearly out of battery. I posted on facebook to make sure friends I’d been chatting with knew why I’d disappeared, and I shut it down.

It was very, very nice to just sit and read. I couldn’t do anything I’d planned to do that evening, as there wasn’t enough light to make dragons, I didn’t want to make frosting without my stand mixer (I can, but I’d mopped both labs, among other things, and my shoulders were telling me OH H*!! NO! at the idea of creating stiff decorating frosting), and I couldn’t write this post. I have to admit the feeling of freedom and relaxation was a bit giddy.

When I was a girl, one of my mother’s favorite books was Swiss Family Robinson. We read it aloud as a family (more than once) and I grew up wishing that there was a deserted island somewhere I could go live. I still think that from time to time. No work, no worries, no demands, no people…

Last night wasn’t quite like that. I do have kids, and a husband. The kids were discussing how long they could make their electronics batteries last, and lamenting they had not the forethought to charge battery packs. I just picked up my paper book, got under the window over my bed, and read until the light was too low to see well. We have candles, and oil lamps, but there was no need to break them out. When I’d read it dark, about eight in the evening, I curled up and went to sleep.

After a week of fighting exhaustion and feeling fatigue constantly, it was rather nice to wake up with a bright mind and cheerful constitution. I highly recommend it.

What has this to do with writing? Very little, other than the idea that if you don’t take care of the writer, no writing will be done. That, and sometimes stepping away from the screen entirely is refreshing. Nothing new or ground-breaking here. Just the musings of a morning after a sound night’s sleep.

As I get older, and boy, do I feel older recently, I’ve been musing more and more on the passage of time, and how to get everything done I want to get done. Sometimes I think I need to step back, and try to get nothing done for a little while.

Jade Star, the prequel to Tanager’s Fledglings, will be going on sale this weekend. If you liked Tanager, you might also enjoy Jade, although you don’t have to read one to get the other.


jade star ebook cover
Click here to buy or read sample

Jade is determined to die. She is old, and useless, when she points her tiny subspace craft at the cold stars. She wakes up in the care of others who refuse to grant her death, and instead give her a new mission in life.

Jade isn’t happy, and she only gets angrier when she learns that her mysterious new home hides a horrible secret. It’s time for this old lady to kick butt and take names. Aliens, death, destruction… nothing trumps the fierce old woman who is protecting her family.


17 thoughts on “Lights Out

  1. I well know the consequences of not caring for the writer part of you. Amazing what showdowns can occur – and the duration of them!
    But I trust you’ll persevere in your literary as well as culinary endeavors. Me – I have to choose well in advance which I’ll be doing, for the one precludes the other for days at a time.
    But I, too, shall persevere.

  2. No phone no lights no motor cars?

    Not a single luxury?

    Like Robinson Carusoe

    as primitive as can be

  3. Spent the last two days in bed with… agh, something awful, don’t know what.

    And I’d been fighting like hell not to–I’d just taken an (unpaid) week of vacation, the car suddenly broke down for the final time, and the temp assignment ends in three months so this is *the time* to work overtime, not to take two (unpaid) days off!

    …but, um. Yeah. It’s not just with writing you lose that battle.

    I’ll take mine as a sign, too. Because I do feel better than I have in a week, minus the need for a shower.

    1. It also occurs to me that some of my favorite childhood memories were from power outages.

      Mind, my stepdaughter was terrified of being bored–ever–so he was loaded for bear. Mad Libs, cards, etc–even a portable tv from the 90s, though that rarely came out.

      And my mom was in a Wiccan phase for part of it, so they’d start every outage by going to the neighbors and distributing excess candles, which I thought was awesome.


              1. “Building’s evacuated! We can move in and get the villain now, without casualties!” As soon as Red-it’s voice came over the headset, Spaller started punching chunks off the lab’s defensive walls.

                “Movement in the north wing! Go! Go! I have a body in Lab…uh… 53A!” Eglantine-eye was alternately squinting at the schematics and glaring at the building with her x-ray vision.

                As the superheroes dashed down the gleaming tile corridors, they smelled some vile chemical concoction brewing, swamping the exhaust fans. “Nervous gas? Blow warfare?” Bottom guessed as they closed, checking the mask canisters on his bat-belt.

                They crashed through the door, only to find a grad student cowering on the floor, surrounded by shards of glass. “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot! Spillchuck is not your fiend!”

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