Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The sleep-deprived writer

Last night, I stayed up really late chatting with my sister online. We chatted for several hours. At one point towards the end of our chat, I typed, "I need to get some sleep or else I'll be a zombie tomorrow." I ended up crawling into bed at 3:30 a.m. and, even then, I was tossing and turning. This hasn't been a pleasant week for me and I dreaded facing the next day, even though it already WAS the next day! Anyway, I did manage to get some sleep, but obviously not enough because that morning, as I worked on the computer, I ended up making the following goofs:

--I was chatting with another sister and she brought up an idea for my haunted houses book. She felt it was a relevant subject to cover because, where she lives (and I used to live), people are telling stories about this kind of thing. I was intrigued and asked her "like what?" in chat, but given all the window-hopping I do while I'm online, that question ended up in in my email to a police sergeant for my article and I pressed Enter before I realized what had happened. The email was his reply to my interview request and he had replied telling me to go ahead and send him my questions. I switched windows, praying that hitting "Enter" wouldn't mean sending it off and, fortunately, it didn't. All the same, I had to laugh, even though it would NOT be funny if that had REALLY happened! I did get a good laugh over it, though, as I thought about what that might've resulted.

It was like, "Go ahead and send me your questions, Dawn."

"Like what?"

"I don't know. It's YOUR article!" LOL

--I ended up typing "sex" instead of "six" when renumbering the chapters for my book in the outline after my daughter distracted me (a chapter on sex in a book on haunted houses?? Hmmm...)

--I got an email from someone interested in buying a haunted house. I sat there thinking, "What are you contacting ME for?..." It still got me FURTHER distracted with the haunted houses book, making me wonder if I can use that as a part of the book. (I ended up with a kernel of an idea on how to make it a section in one of the chapters.)

--I was still braindead even AFTER the interview thing. I FINALLY decided on a chapter title but it didn't...LOOK right. I needed SOMEONE to run it by! Fortunately, there was someone online who wouldn't get all confused with me asking "What do you think of this chapter title?" She pointed out it was missing a crucial word and upon rereading the title, I was, like, "Ohh. LOL Oops!" (And, no, it didn't have ANYTHING to do with sex this time! LOL) She actually wanted to talk more on what EXACTLY I was planning to do with that chapter, and thinking more on that, I realized maybe the title was misleading. Maybe after thinking on that chapter more and figuring out specifically what I wanted to write about in there, I could come up with a better title. Which is why I printed out the revised-for-the-hundredth-time outline to go over later...

Despite ALL this, I think there's an overuse of "cuteness" with titles and sections of the book. Granted, the FINAL decision with that stuff rests with the publisher. But I'm thinking maybe the "cuteness" of titles will kill the book's attempt at being a serious, straightforward approach to the subject of haunted houses. One section, for example, is titled “Once haunted, twice jinxed?” and I think maybe that's not an appropriate title (it talks about "stigmatized properties" in the real estate industry, laws in some states about disclosure, some expereiences real estate agents have had in having trouble selling stigmatized properties, etc.). We'll see what happens. Maybe I'll decide on something AFTER a better night's rest.


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