I am a dreadful insomniac. I would love to find something that could make me drop off to sleep and stay that way until a decent hour of the morning, but until I do, I just consider the hours of 3 and 4 in the morning to be plotting time, when I run through what’s going to happen with my characters and resolve the holes in my stories.
Just recently, though, I’ve cracked down on my night-time screen time in a bid to sleep better. At 10:00 I turn off the TV, put away my PC and phone and the final half-hour before settling to sleep is for reading in ink and paper while my brainwaves settle to slumber (I think that’s what’s supposed to happen).
This week, I’ve been reading a book recommended by my mum. It’s another one that’s completely outside my usual genre (I think it would be classed either as “women’s fiction” or “general fiction”, tags which say next to nothing about what you’re getting. The New Mrs Clifton is set in post-war London and revolves around a German woman who marries an English soldier at the end of the war and comes to settle in Britain.
It’s a very good read, but it’s so entertaining to look at it beside my usual YA fare because almost nothing happens. I mean, that’s not true, there’s a pregnancy and a baby and someone winds up dead, but compared to the usual frantic pace of aliens or armies or assassins it was very subdued. I don’t mean that as a criticism, just a difference in how books approach that thorny matter of exploring something about what it means to be human.
Did I sleep better? Meh, not so I noticed – but planning for my next book is coming on a treat!!!