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This is Day 2 of the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge. Today’s challenge is:

What’s your bedtime reading ritual?

Well, gee, I don’t usually talk about ANY of my bedtime rituals on here, but if you insist……..

In all seriousness, though, I wish I had one. I wish I fell asleep reading stories. Sadly most of my reading-for-fun gets squished in between everything else, little bits here and there throughout the day, and it’s the everything else that I’m usually doing before I close my eyes at night. The last thing I see before falling asleep is panicked tweets about the latest whistleblower drama or techno-phobic Supreme Court decisions.

Yeah, I wish I had a bedtime reading ritual.

Sadly, that would imply an actual bedtime which, as I understand it, includes some form of sleep.

And that’s not so easy to come by.

I’ve written before about how writing can make for a kind of miserable existence. It’s a cycle that starts with a seed of natural moodiness, fueled by an obsessive passion, aggravated by chemicals, yielding restless nights or coma-like crashes which leave an even deeper moodiness upon waking… Yeah, there’s no room for a bedtime reading rituals or bedtimes or sleep anywhere in there.

But I try. Writers need to take care of themselves. I know that. I know that I need to take care of my mind because without it I can’t write. And periodically I’ll revisit my efforts to be a well-rested, sober, and productive business gal. And then I’ll have a bedtime ritual. I’ll end each day by switching from laptop to kindle. And the last thing I’ll see before closing my eyes is whatever wonderful world is woven into my mind by the words on the page.

………..I’m working on it.

Not doing so well with that. But lately, I have again been trying to carve out a few minutes every night to read. Instead of tackling a new novel, though, I’ve been doing translations of historical poems and whatnot – something I haven’t done much of since my college days when I cobbled together a guerilla-style Historical Linguistics program out of a Linguistics department that was WAY more focused on important sciency things like child language development (children… *shudder*) and cognitive… brain… things (I don’t know – I was reading about Vikings!) Dead people languages are way better than almost anything else you can study, because there’s no awkward interaction involved. Plus, unlike with, say, Harry Potter or Hunger Games you won’t lose friends in flame wars over the inherent evilness of certain houses, or the allegorical interpretations of future nation states. No one will EVER argue with you about Thor’s zombie goats because nobody fucking cares.

As reading material goes, translation serves the purpose of 1) being difficult, so I don’t feel bad about only doing a few minutes at a time, and 2) being boring and thereby lulling me into a deep sleep.

It’s not perfect, and it doesn’t break the Moody Writer’s cycle. BUT it helps me get to sleep and that’s a start!


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