Perchance to dream


I took to my bed the other afternoon, ostensibly to find a more cosy position in which to finish reading Dickens' Hard Times, which I'm preparing to teach. Sure enough, I curled up and let sleep come.

This was a trick of the painter Francis Bacon's, aided by a couple of lunchtime bottles of wine. This was his creative time, passed out on a bed whilst incubating ideas. James looked in on me he says, and recognized my appearance as one he sometimes adopts himself, when dreaming up some new artistic vision.

I woke, and a chapter bubbled up into my head ... a new opening chapter to a novel I had thought finished but which stays on my shelf. I lay still, collecting the idea for a while, then got up to write it down. It's a pleasing move in my life. For a while now, since finishing my latest novel, no new writing project has taken hold. I've been tired and didn't want to force the issue, for work that is forced in that way only gets thrown away in the end. That creative part of me is waking up again, it seems.

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