This morning I set my alarm for 6:45, with the intention of getting up at some point in the next half an hour. (This is fairly normal for me; I always hope to get up immediately, but, well, the snooze button is useful.) I hit the snooze button and slowly swam into full consciousness, waiting for the next buzz.
Then I thought to myself how long a nine-minute snooze it seemed this morning.
Then I realised there was light coming in around the edges of the curtains, which meant it was well after 7:30.
Then I got up and saw that it was 8:45. I normally leave for work at 9:00, so this entailed a rush.
At 8:55, I’d made lunch and breakfast and gotten dressed, then came into the living room where there’s a second clock . . . and discovered that at some point in the last twelve hours I’d hit the hour button on my alarm clock, and it was actually only five minutes to eight.
A whole hour’s gift!
There is such luxury in an unexpected hour. Usually I try to get up around 7:00 in the hopes of writing for an hour (or so) before eating breakfast, as I don’t like to eat immediately on waking, but to have thought that was impossible today — and then for it to be there after all — it is a gift, given by the day to me. I’ve used part of it writing this, part of it eating breakfast, and the rest —
I am going to make use of it by working on the current chapter of my story. I’ve been slightly stuck on it, as I’ve been writing more for myself than for my readers, and had to do a fair amount of mulling over to figure out what to do to fix it. This is something I was told I did with my dissertation, and something I can see I do unfortunately often with my creative writing as well. I find the balance between necessary exposition and trust in the reader’s ability to fill in the cracks a difficult balance to make.
My stories tend to be rather complicated in terms of their backgrounds. This is always a potential problem with fantasy or science fiction (or indeed historical fiction), the need to give a certain but not boring amount of background information, complicated in the current case by the characters engaging in a retrospective of their youth (when things were rather different) as well as travelling extensively in the present-day setting. So I tend to write things that are either assuming too much on behalf of the reader, or giving too much information — currently this seems to result in being unable to decide what is most important of a given scene and what background.
But I think I’ve solved part of the problem with the current chapter. And since I still have three quarters of my gift of an hour, I go to use it. May you all have such a gift in your day.