Bedtime Tales

For as long as I can remember I’ve told myself bedtime stories. I’m simply a lousy sleeper and have been since I was a baby. (My mom assures me I was one of those wide-awake infants.) So when I wake up in the middle of the night, I create stories for my own entertainment.

Some of them become actual stories, but most are more like artist’s experiments. The sketches, color tests and out-of-scale doodles of a painter, become images, lines and characters. I create all sorts of things when my mind simply won’t rest. These bedtime story doodles become the outlines and concepts that underpin full out story telling.

But nothing seems to be “born” whole. These bits and pieces don’t fit together in neat jigsaw puzzle, paint-by-number finished tales. I’m not diminishing the importance of those little pieces, just putting them into a realistic context.

I’ve often wondered if other writers do the same thing. I know that many writers draw on dreams, observations, memories — even articles in the newspaper. I do ALL of those things, all the time and yet… those bedtime stories often produce the most original tales.

Maybe it’s because I’m writing those bedtime stories for a very particular audience? Me. And when the story doesn’t work, I chuck it out of my mind when I brush my teeth in the morning and it’s gone.

An upside to sleepless nights… perhaps?


  1. I tend to push myself till passout time, so when I lay down to sleep, I sleep. But I do tell stories of sorts that I draw from in different areas. It tends to be more of having conversations with my past. Sometimes I relive a moment in time going through it frame by frame and other times I dig into the moment and change the dialogue and the reactions to see how it plays out with different parameters.

    • Candy Korman

      That’s interesting. I’ve also delved into past experiences and at one point was contemplating a story called, “Conversations I had in My Head Long After You Were Gone.” It was about that phenomenon — the, if I had only said X or if I had only left before he said Y or if I’d been clever enough to keep my cool, etc. etc. etc.

      Comet to think of it, maybe I’ll write it.

  2. I’m not the best sleeper either, but if I were to get up and let my mind continue to be active, I would never get any rest. Your post reminds me of the bedtime my dad used to tell about the time he burned the boogie man up in the fire. Somewhere in there an invisible white mouse named Squeaky lived in his pocket. Seems so silly now, but it fascinated me so much back then and I would spend countless hours thinking about those two things when I should have been asleep.

  3. That’s almost exactly how my mind works in the wee hours when I’m awake, I just don’t dream in horror or mystery. It’s also the time I used to remember retorts I should have made to comments during the day.
    Hoping you’re OK.
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx

    • Candy Korman

      Ah yes! The would-have-been/should-have-been retorts… that’s when I turn into a screenwriter making my own movie of how it should have been. I don’t do that as much as I used to because now I just “kill them off” in a story. LOL