Writer’s Morning This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     I am almost never awake when I have a shower. I never really got the hang of waking up in the morning, you see. Some describe their morning as: “I got up, took a shower, got dressed, had breakfast ...” and trail off with a shrug. I am not one of those people.

My typical morning usually goes something like this: I hover between dreams and waking for what feels like half an hour. Finally I give in to consciousness. I grope for my glass of water and crack open my eyes to check there are no bugs in the cup, while forcing my body to sit up so as not to spill the water. After a few gulps, I check the clock, hoping it’s too early to get up. It almost never is. I’ll reach my stereo and hit play, starting whatever CD I fell asleep to. Part of my mind, the responsible part, will be mentally kicking me to get me up, but my body isn’t about to listen to anything but my soft pillows and warm blankets. This usually goes on for 15 minutes to half an hour, depending on whether the music makes me drift off again.

Finally I give in and fall out of bed, flicking off the music. I pull on whatever pants are closest. I master the tricky operation of opening my door and stumble up the stairs, say a raspy good morning, and disappear into the bathroom. Lights stay off, hot water goes on, and I get in the shower. Eventually I wake up enough to wash.

I dress and deal with things like opening my curtains and getting whatever book I’m reading before heading upstairs again. By now, I’m at the point of wakefulness where I can say a coherent “Good morning again. How are you today” and am able to answer if asked a question, although still not fully functional.

The next step is to make a cup of tea, and after I’ve drunk half, I can hold up my end of the conversation. Eventually I’ll scrounge around for breakfast, while reading my book or staring off into space, depending on how successful my shower was. I’ll also figure out what’s going on today by asking Mom, looking at the calendar, or my chore list.

When I’m done with breakfast, an event I sometimes drag out for an hour, I’ll get down to the business of the day, like chores, schoolwork, internet, or slacking off. By then I’m really up, a phrase often used by my mom and me to determine whether she should even bother trying to talk to me.

But once in a while there are those special mornings, those writer mornings. I’ll wake up, and while my mind is kicking and my pillows are seducing me, part of me will get bored and wander off, daydreaming, and come back with a great scene for my novel, or a breakthrough with a character. And I’ll get right up, prancing up the stairs, sleepiness forgotten and I’ll get my precious laptop and write.

Oblivious to the world around me, I will write. For hours, all morning and most of the afternoon on a good streak, forgetting to eat, forgetting everything. Nothing can stop me, and if something does, I’ll retreat to my room with the computer, trying to type and not fall down the stairs at the same time. I’ll put on my headphones and listen to music and its mood will spill into the story. I have to be careful what I listen to, because it changes the nature of the beast.

And then I’ll look up, and realize that this is the third time I’ve tried to take a sip of water from an empty glass and I haven’t eaten and it’s 4 p.m., and all I’ve done is write, and it’s coming out so well, and I’m starving and happy. And it’s at times like these that I realize that I’m not writing the story; no, it’s the story that’s writing me, telling me what to type, whispering in my ear and tampering with my thoughts. When I mess up or don’t like what I’ve written, I’ve misunderstood what I’ve been told, I got it wrong, or I didn’t have the skill. But when it’s right, it’s so right and it’s the story that made it perfect, exactly what I wanted to say, better even.

Non-writers think we’re joking when we talk about the story writing itself, or characters being unreasonable and refusing to do what we tell them. But we’re not. And on writer’s mornings, whether the inspiration has visited, or my muse returned from vacation while I’m in bed or the shower, whether I’m trying to fall asleep or only have 10 minutes before I have to be somewhere, it doesn’t matter. The story calls, and I must answer.

The end.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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