Thursday, 13 August 2009

Oh starry night

I’ve not been sleeping well recently. The kids have all had some sort of flu-virus thing that left them first sick then miserable. There have been lots of late night visits and small requests coming out of the dark: “May I sleep with you for a while Mummy?” While it is sweet, it isn’t conducive to sleep, especially if it happens more than once in the night.

Last night I walked one child back to bed at 3.30am and on the way back to my own, stopped to see if I could see the Perseid meteor shower. It was a stunning night: clear with a suggestion of haze around the stars (or maybe that was just the sleep in my eyes). I watched for about five minutes, but didn’t see any meteors. I think I would have needed to be outside for a longer period of time.

Lying back in bed I started worrying about a meeting I have today and tried to focus my mind on other things. “I know,” said I to myself, “I’ll think about writing, that thing that I currently have no emotional energy or time for. That’ll help me sleep.”

I did eventually get back to sleep. I’ve been gnawing for a week or so though over the idea suggested by one Australian book publisher that a good book needs to tell or show or make you think in a way that you haven’t before. He wrote about how even though the Harry Potter and Stephanie Meyer series are hugely popular, they don’t really give you a fresh perspective on the world. I want to go back to my book and reread it in the light of whether it says anything new, fresh and thoughtful about the world. And if it doesn’t, I need to do something about it…maybe next time I’m wandering the house at 3am.

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