November 05, 2015

Insomnia & Me


I have worked jobs in the night. I have stayed up until three to start some. I've returned home at six a.m. for others. To call me a "night owl" isn't correct. I'm simply someone who doesn't value sleep. I would rather be up if given a choice. One of the reasons I was happy to finally be considered an adult was that people could no longer attempt to set a "normal" schedule for me. Bed time doesn't really work with my brain. I need to be well past what most people considered tired in order to fall asleep.

The word "insomnia" comes from Latin (which, of course, I didn't know because I was god-awful at Latin). There is an adjective I was also unaware of: insomnious. (Apparently, my spellcheck is also unaware of that word, but I think I've typed the letters correctly.)

What I appreciate about insomnia is that I actually get a lot of work done. I write better early in the morning and late at night. The words flow with a poetic rhythm. (The typos are interesting, too.) Insomnia may actually be based on a gene, I read recently. Poor sleepers run in my family—so do writers, actually. I'm wondered if there's a link.

Ha. I did a quick search, and found:

• "On the Edge of an Abyss" the Writer as Insomniac
• Insomnia and Me: Chuck Palahniuk
• Why Insomnia is a Writer's Best Friend
• Insomnia and the Poet
• Counting the "Blessings" of Insomnia
• Writer's Insomnia: Or the 3:30 Muse Wake-up Call

I love this. I guess all of us up-all-nighters are having the same ideas.

When you tell someone you have insomnia, often you'll receive a laundry-list of sleep-aids. But honestly, I'm not complaining. Mostly, I'm explaining. I'll hit a point when I'm drunk-tired. That's right before the crash that will start the system all over again. I'll be almost beyond comprehension. The fiction I write then is surreal. Translucent. The words feel like lace. You can see through the sentences. The stories hang so lightly. They won't keep you warm.

But—if I play my hand correctly—they will keep you up.

Alison After Dark was my first collection of midnight-themed tales. The stories are set in the night.

Alison Up All Night is different. These are the pieces I write when I can't sleep. The characters who arrive when I'm too punch-drunk to say no. When I simply stand there and open the front door, watching the steady parade of misfits who want a couch to sit on, a bed to fuck in.

At some point, I will be releasing some of the books I've teased you with. I have a lot of projects in play right now. But I'm not worried.

I have coffee. I have characters. And sleep is a long way off.

XXX,
Alison

P.S. I've been batting around the concept of Fair-Trade Erotica for a while. My goal is simply this: If you enjoy my work, then I'm hoping you'll consider the prices of the indie pieces the way you would a cup of coffee or a shot of your favorite tequila. Most of the Pretty Things Press products cost under $3. Think of me as your erotic bartender or barista—I'll pour you a shot of kink. You don't even need to tip me. (Damn. That sounded dirty.)

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