I surfaced at 4 am. While answering a call of nature, my head was buzzing with a conversation between Dr Dan and someone called Andrew. Brought to semi-consciousness by a cold bathroom floor I thought, ‘Hang on. Who the heck is Andrew?’ Had I created a character, given him one line and then abandoned him to literary limbo?
By now I was back in bed but wide awake, with that horrible, lurchy feeling you get when you realise you’ve done something stupid or left undone something you really ought to have done. 4.10. Should I get up, make tea, turn on the laptop and do a search for Andrew? I came close.
Then I got it. I had dreamt the conversation, dreamt Andrew. He was the product of REM sleep and perhaps the Cashel Blue cheese I’d had for supper.
This is the first time ever that my fiction has invaded my sleep and I don’t regard it as a healthy development. Absent any opportunities to travel, schmooze or go shopping in Flying Tiger, I’ve been spending long, long hours on the first edit of Dan III. Perhaps too long. A warning voice said, ‘hands where we can see them and step away from the book, Laurie.’
Which is why, come Monday or maybe Tuesday, the manuscript is going to my copy editor and a fresh pair of eyes. It will be off my desk for a week or two. No more vexed dreams. And how I love those possessive pronouns. My designer, my copy editor. I depend on the kindness of friends, and with their help this self-publishing lark isn’t so tough after all.