It was a half hour past my strict ten o' clock worknight bedtime, and I was not asleep. In fact, I didn't even feel tired. I blamed this mostly on the fact that I put too much coffee in my coffee slightly before noon that day and thus, spent the majority of the day in a perpetual state of jitteriness that left me without control of my shaky limbs, though staying up a little to finish watching "Hysteria" (great movie by the way) right before bed probably didn't help matters any.
I tossed and turned, taking some care to avoid completely disheveling my hair, while my mind failed to deactivate into slumber. That's when it happened. Something clicked and suddenly, images of the novel I am next going to write invaded my night. I tried to turn them off, fearing a groggy morning at work that required yet more coffee, thus perpetuating the cycle. My inner muse took no notice of my grumbling and, begrudgingly aware that I should not pass up such a gift horse, I got out of bed, grabbed my notebook and a pen, and put the kettle on for some required sleep-inducing chamomile tea for when the madness was over. Then, sipping my tea, I began scribbling.
On the page, there it was, everything I needed to get started: main character, minor characters, basic precise, major plot points, setting, situation, motive. Then, I set the paper and writing impement beside the bed, gulped the dregs of my tea, and flopped my head down on the pillow. I hit the snooze button three times come morning, but I'm ready for novel two. All the waiting, the wondering, the worrying that maybe I only have one novel in me, it collapses into this livid late night deluge of prewriting and suddenly, I'm back.
Since that night, I have been compiling a list of required reading for my next book. That list I include below as the first real hint of what I have planned:
The House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Bad Things by Tamara Thorne
Ghost Story by Peter Straub
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Hell House by Richard Matheson
Reread "Stone Animals" by Kelly Link
Reread The Princess and the Goblin
American Hightmares by Dale Dailey
The Golden Bough by James George Frazer