My brain is not waking up this morning. Last night, I took an over-the-counter sleeping pill, because I’d had a couple sleepless nights in a row and knew I was over-tired, yet still wasn’t falling asleep. It was no big thing — I think night-time Tylenol, which I bought because it was on sale and regular Tylenol wasn’t, and generally speaking, if I’m driven to take a painkiller, I’m just fine with going to sleep. I avoid painkillers. Most of the time when I go look for one, it’s expired several months ago. Anyway, night-time Tylenol. Wow. Stuff works. I slept until 7:45, which is basically unthinkable for me, and it’s now 8:45 and I’m staring at the computer as if it is a mysterious technology never seen before.

Sleepless night #1 was B’s fault. Both dogs sulked when they came home from the vet. Z took a solid 24 hours to forgive me which is a very long time for her. But B spent that night alternately whimpering and making throwing-up noises, that familiar hack, hack, hack that means you should rush to get the animal off the carpet or furniture. He did not throw up once. He just kept making the noise. Ugh.

Sleepless night #2 was even more sleepless, but with less cause. At 1AM, I finally got out of bed and made myself a snack. I was starting to get annoyed at the dogs for breathing in the same room as me. It was a classic toss-and-turn sleepless night — couldn’t get the blankets right, couldn’t get the temperature right, thirsty, not thirsty, need to pee, brain in overdrive — totally maddening. Sleeplessness really would be a fast route to insanity. I was still awake, no sleep at all, at 3AM and then got up at my normal 6:30. But not as a happy camper.

I have been very determined to finish writing Grace. I told myself the other day that I wouldn’t leave the house until I finished writing the entire book. If I started running low on groceries, maybe I’d find starvation motivating. Since then I’ve gone for a walk with a friend, gone to yoga, gone to a friend’s house to write, gone to a writer’s group dinner meeting — so yeah, I haven’t stuck to that at all. But I have been really trying to write at all hours of the day.

I don’t think I mentioned when I started over again last week, probably because it was just too embarrassing. How many times can I write the same book? But I am about 15K words into the latest version and about to enter a stage where I think I can re-use a lot of what I’ve already written, so I’m hoping for a couple days where my word count looks amazing. Meanwhile, Z is being yearning and trying to slide her head under my fingers on the keyboard, so I should probably walk her first. And maybe eat some breakfast.

Getting my fingers working does not seem to have removed this hazy mental fog — I still feel like I’m just as likely to close my eyes and nap at the keyboard as write anything worth reading, but maybe a walk and some food will get me there. It’s going to have to because I am, I am, I am going to finish writing this book. Well, not today. But today I’m going to make great progress. Rachel Aaron wrote a book called something like 2K to 10K — I haven’t managed to take any of her advice and I mostly am mournful about the fact that 2K sounds like a great day to me, but today I aspire to be in that range, with words that are good and usable. For some reason my fingers really insisted on typing unusable there — I hope that’s not foreshadowing.