On Writing & Storytelling: Sleep Deprivation be Damned – The Story Must be Told!

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One of the greatest joys that I experience in my life as a writer is the rare occasion when the ideas and words seem to flow from my brain to the (Word document) page, even if I am not feeling at my best due to lack of sleep.

I mean, seriously. I wrote today, even though I woke up at 1 AM (thinking it was 5 AM) and only managed to catch a few disjointed minutes of sleep between then and the real 5 AM on this last Friday of April 2023.

Being mindful not to overdo the writing today, I did not try to write a complete chapter today. I did write 1,677 words and 7 pages between 8 AM and 6 PM.

Not bad for a guy who didn’t get much sleep!

I’m still wondering why I woke up so early. Maybe I fell asleep earlier than usual? I have no idea!

Anyway, here’s part of what I produced today. I don’t provide context, and I’ve edited a few things to prevent spoilers from being revealed. Enjoy!

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“Hello,” Maddie says, picking up my call on the first ring. “And right on schedule,” she adds playfully, pronouncing the last word in the British style – “shed-yool.”

I raise a quizzical eyebrow, even though I am talking to Maddie on a small handheld phone and not, as I would have preferred, in person. She’s just having a bit of fun with that “British” accent, I tell myself. I decide to let her think I hadn’t heard that. “Oh, my grandfather used to say, ‘Punctuality is the courtesy of kings.’ I guess I must have inherited that trait from him.”

“I’m sure that you inherited other traits from your granddad, Fred,” she says. I can almost imagine her sitting on her living room couch, legs all curled up, as she held her phone to her lips.

“It’s possible,” I say.  “But aside from a penchant for an occasional bout of sentimentality and for learning new things, being on time is the dominant family trait.”

“So, what did you have for dinner?” Maddie asks.

“I bought a Philly cheesesteak at a deli on my way home from the Midtown station. Nothing special,” I say.

“Oh, at least you didn’t just grab a slice of pizza or a hot dog from a vendor on the street,” Maddie says.

“I could have, but it’s too cold and breezy, and I have a hard time handling change while wearing gloves,” I say.

“Well, Philly cheesesteaks are probably more nutritious than hot dogs or pizza,” Maddie replies. “I’m just glad you called.”

“I had a really great time last Friday night,” I say.

 “Me too. I’m glad you asked me to dance.”

“Well, that’s partly because I was fortified by the Heinekens I had, but mostly because I wanted to earn a second date.”

“It wasn’t technically a date, you presumptuous oaf,” Maddie says in faux outrage. “I just happened to be tired and wanted to put my book bag down and put my feet up somewhere for a spell. Your table just happened to be the closest one.”

“Ha-ha, very funny. But, as I recall, you ended up saying you enjoyed our date, and that I’d earned a second. Scout’s honor.”

“Hmph. I did not say that.”

“Oh, you most certainly did, Mysterious Maddie.

“I don’t recall.”

 “You said, and I quote,’ You know what? I think this is a date after all.’ I can keep going with the quotes if you like.”

“That will not be necessary,” she says. “That Sidecar must have scrambled my memory.”

Even though she is not in the same room – or even the same neighborhood – I give her a goofy grin. Then, in a more serious tone, I say, “I’m glad that you got home all right with that Book Culture bag you were lugging around.”

“Well,” Maddie replies, “The books and I arrived safely, even though I did have a bit of a hangover when I woke up, no thanks to that Sidecar I had. Luckily, the effects wore off by the time I had to go to work.”

“And where is that?” I ask.

“That’s…classified. At least till we go on our second date. Which would technically be our first,” Maddie says.

“Classified, huh?” I retort. “Ooh. I love a mystery.”

“Well, Mr. Fred, in all fairness, you didn’t tell me your last name Friday night.”

“You didn’t give me yours.”

“Ah,” she says laughing. “Touché. But I did give you my phone number, a privilege I grant to – “

“A privileged few?” I interject.

“You could put it that way, Mr. Fred. I was going to say, ‘only the worthiest candidates.’ Like, maybe one in seven billion.”


Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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