Friday, January 22, 2010


After sleeping [cliche alert!] the sleep of the dead Wednesday night, which followed a day of mostly sleeping while my body fought the stomach bug, last night, Thursday night, started sleepless. To find the cause(s) that set my mind going so strong I guess I need to retrace the day.

  • At work my weight was down to an 11 month low. I'd have been disappointed if it wasn't, after what I went through Tuesday night/Wednesday.
  • Also at work, I took a stand against a bad practice I feel another engineer was doing, refusing to approve something for submittal to a State agency, and that felt good.
  • By the end of the work day I (think I) figured out what is wrong with my flood model, which caused FEMA to reject it. Today I get to put that theory to the test. Unfortunately it's going to be tedious work, model revision cross-section by cross-section, tweak upon tweak, plus adding about three cross-sections, which is tedious in itself.
  • At home I had a good evening playing with Ephraim, giving him his bath, reading stories, and rocking/singing him to sleep. He's responding well to what I have him do.
  • After that, I completed an article for and posted it, the first article I posted since Dec 17. It felt good, and it's the first of a cluster of four or five articles on the same topic that should go fairly easy.
  • Then I left the Dungeon, came upstairs and read 16 pages in my current reading book, The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain. I'm not yet half-way through its 680 pages, though getting close to that milestone.
So, which of these things caused my sleeplessness, such that laying down at 11:45PM saw me still awake at 1AM? I suppose all of them. I had visions of Ephraim, knocking down the block towers I built, and asking me to do the "pokey pokey". I had visions of a floodplain model, corrected and doing exactly what FEMA wants while at the same time providing protection and appropriate access to flood insurance for residents of the city. I saw a company that puts ethics above mere adherence to an arbitrary schedule, and engineers who knew the right way of doing things and did things that way. Strangely (?), I had no vision of any short story by Mr. Twain.

But most of all I saw writing projects, many of them. I saw a whole host of articles at Suite101, including rising page views and revenues. I saw my short story published. I had a vision of teaching a poetry writing class [this one is on-going, nightly], asked to do so based on my Suite101 articles on poetry. I saw Father Daughter Day published and a huge success. I saw the e-zine/magazine I'd like to publish, Technophobia, published, and a wild success. I saw my newspaper column, "Documenting America", syndicated and a wild success, with spin off books as a result. And I saw myself writing for as the Northwest Arkansas Christianity Examiner, again with wild success.

All of this because I managed to get eight hundred words and change coherently put together and published, after a sickness-caused dry spell of a month. No telling what visions of failure will do.

So at 1:15 AM I got up, had a bowl of cereal with real sugar and cinnamon, watched a little of a news program replay, found a Writers Digest I hadn't read yet and read an article about religious publishing wars (which turned out to be a bit misleading based on its title), and went back to bed around 2AM. Sleep came at some point, not sure when. The alarm at 6AM seemed a lot louder than normal.


sincerelymsred said...

Yes, I think the voices in your head kept you awake. A bunch of ideas running around in your mind yelling "Pick me! Pick me!" You're not the only one. It happens to me sometimes too. Better luck with a good night's sleep tonight.

David A. Todd said...


I slept well the next night, and every night since. The ideas are still there, though I realize anything that seems like journalism is not possible right now.

I like your picture, BTW.