Monday, January 16, 2017

I Don't Want to Write this Tribute

I really don't want to have to write this tribute. I don't want Carrie Fisher to be dead. I don't want to face the realization that we will never see her Princess Leia on screen again.*

 *CGI doesn't count. And yes, at the time of writing this post, Episode 8 is not yet released so we have that to look forward to, but anything beyond that will not be Carrie's Leia.

I grew up loving princesses. Belle, Ariel, Pocahontas, Jasmine...these spunky heroines shaped my life in many ways. When I got older, I became captivated by real princesses in my obsession with English history.

But Leia stands in a place of her own. She was a spunky space princess who had intelligent, witty dialogue, was strong enough to do anything the boys did, but was also kind. empathetic, and diplomatic, winning the Ewoks to the Rebel cause by her own awesomeness (and the faithfulness of her golden protocol droid).

As a child, I always wanted more Leia. Finding a Leia action figure was my quest for the holy grail, and when I got her (and a Han to go with her!) she became one of my most treasured toys. I dressed as Leia for Halloween, played her in the first short film we ever made, and (in one of my favorite memories with my cousins EVER) got to BE Leia on the day when we re-enacted all three of the original Star Wars films. (I grew up as an only girl for a long time, which was really lonely except when we played Star Wars and I got to be Leia with no contest. Hurrah!)

I read a few of the novels, but none of them ever satisfied my desire for more Leia. My own adventures with my action figures were FAR more awesome. I'm really glad that I didn't discover "The Courtship of Princess Leia" until I was an adult and able to handle the awfulness of it, because it would have ruined a significant piece of my childhood if I'd consumed it at a younger age.

To this day, I remain passionate about only wanting Star Wars memorabilia with Leia on it, as a stand against my childhood when NOTHING had Leia on it. I refused to play the Star Wars Destiny game put out by my husband's company (Fantasy Flight Games) until he got me the Leia cards. While I adore many other characters in the films (Han Solo, Young Obi Wan, Padme's Dresses...), none of them comes close to the awesomeness that is LEIA.

When the new films were announced a few years ago, I tried to hold back my excitement. I knew Leia could not be the same pivotal role in this new trilogy - they would need to initiate a new cast with more longevity. But still - MORE LEIA!

Episode 7 brought some frustrations for longtime Leia fans - not enough screentime, and a sad ending to an epic romance. However, with Han getting a significant amount of screentime in this film, and Luke cued up to play a major role in VIII, I thought it highly likely that they were planning to give each of the original trilogy one 'focus' film, and Leia's was going to be IX.

The tragedy of Leia is that - unless she was due to die in VIII anyhow (as some have predicted) - we will never see her story played out on screen as planned. However it ends now, it will be different - likely a short tribute 'death', but also possibly a recast or (very remote but not impossible) a CGI recreation. Whatever it is, it will be a poignant reminder that Princess Leia was a remarkable character, played by a special and unique woman.

Which brings us to the other part of my tribute. As a child, it was Leia whom I knew, not Carrie. Even today, the loss of 'Leia' hits me harder, because it was that which played such a significant role in my own life. But Leia would not exist without Carrie, a real woman who is being deeply grieved by the family and friends who did know her.

However, while I never got to meet her in person or watch her one-woman show, I did enjoy her gift of writing. Someone told me to read "Wishful Drinking" and "Shockaholic" saying "no one else is writing about mental illness like this." And it's pretty true. Carrie is refreshingly honest, not afraid to laugh at herself, which is tremendously healing and encouraging (I struggle with depression alongside my other chronic illnesses). Ironically, I own "Postcards from the Edge" but have not yet read it. I've not yet been able to bring myself to buy "The Princess Diarist." I'm not ready to face the reality of it being Carrie's last book.

And I kept putting off this tribute, even though I knew that the longer I waited, the less relevant it would be and the more 'bandwagon' it would seem. I didn't want to face that she was gone.

But, regardless of these feelings, I owed it to her to write this. Leia was my princess, and I will be forever grateful to Carrie for bringing her to life so wonderfully and ironically.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Behind the Scenes - Thoughts on the Writing Process

Hello from 2017! It's been a bit of a hiatus on this blog over the holidays, and I thank you for your patience! Internet issues+new computer adjustments have put me behind on a lot of electronic obligations.

Today we are going to talk about writing, specifically by answering the following question I received today:

Hey Elizabeth!
I've been trying to finish writing at least ONE novel in my LIFETIME, and I'm finding it's hard to get motivated to sit down and write--especially when I get stuck.
I'd love to hear more about your process as a writer. How much of your process is planning, and how much is spontaneous? Do you always know what will happen next? Do you create a story first and then populate it with characters, or vice versa?
Anytime you can respond would be helpful, I'm just looking for some friendly advice and guidance  - Sharayah

Thank you for your question! Although I've written some on these subjects before, I figured it was worth doing again now that I have a properly published novel to my name!

First of all, a word of encouragement! I didn't get my novel published until I was 27 years old, and by a lot of standards, that is fairly young. However, since my personal goal was 25, I am still annoyed by this. (lol.)

Secondly, I would add that I wrote a TON before I got a novel completed. This includes numerous fan fictions (some reaching novel lengths), over a thousand blog posts, various short stories, and perhaps a dozen different novel beginnings. I also have a novel that I wrote twice (yes, two times), each of them hundreds of pages and MANY drafts. This novel will never be published in either of those forms (a common occurrence among authors, btw).

So all that said, be encouraged. You have plenty of time to get that novel done! Now, specifics!

The hardest part of being a writer is sitting down and typing the words.

I will go into more detail about some of your specific questions, but I cannot stress this first piece enough. No matter what your process, the single biggest obstacle for ANY writer is pushing past the initial "open word processor, type sentence."

Writing is, quite possibly, the easiest thing ever to procrastinate on. It is an entirely mental process, so you have to be fully engaged, and it is also extremely public. Even though you are writing in the privacy of your own home, the intent is usually to put those words out to the public, and any worries at all about how good your story is will put a cold freeze on your fingers! Reorganizing the bathroom looks a lot more appealing than risking public derision, right? Or, you know, writing another Facebook status...

(Admission - I am writing this blog post instead of my next novel this morning. However, I have been neglecting the blog and I really wanted to make sure I answered this question, so...)

Anyhow, the first tip to overcoming this is to remind yourself that no one is ever going to see these words unless you let them, and you probably have at least 3 rounds of revisions before that happens.

Award-winning comic book writer and illustrator Ben Hatke once told me of a recommendation he'd gotten to always end his day's work in the middle of a sentence. The benefit there is that you will always have something to immediately do when you open up your project. Personally, I write until I am too tired or know that my writing quality is about to take a dive, but more and more I find myself stopping mid-scene. (Can't resist finishing those sentences though. Slightly OCD there, I think.)

Another suggestion I've gotten and found to be extremely helpful, is to open your laptop and tell yourself that you only have to write for ten minutes. If at the end of ten minutes, you are still facing writer's block, you can close it down. However, if you are on a roll, there is NO STOPPING YOU! And most of the time, after ten minutes, I do find myself heartily engrossed in my project.

One year I made myself write first thing in the morning - before I even got out of bed, if I remember correctly. I got quite a good start on a novel that I hope will be one of my next projects after "The Song of the Fay." I dream of reinstituting that practice, but with a puppy in the house, that's no longer an option, since I have to get up and let him out, and once I get up myself, I need my own food first. However I'm still trying to force myself to get my writing done before anything else in the day.

For "The Mermaid and the Unicorn" I spent a lot of time in coffee shops. If I was going to spend $3 on a hot beverage, I had to 'earn' it with a few thousand words. However, once I stopped being able to drive or tolerate caffeine, this wasn't an option and I had to really buckle down and force myself to just WORK. (ugh). But it did get me through the first two drafts of the book, so it obviously worked!

How much of your process is planning, and how much is spontaneous?

Ah, the age old debate! Pantser or Plotter! I'm a mix - sorta, although I have become more of a plotter. I do find that my books work MUCH much better with a detailed plot synopsis from the beginning. (M&U's was about 8000 words). This is a huge deterrent to writer's block, because you always know where you are going. I do love the creativity of writing a scene and seeing what happens - BUT I usually find this leads to more doubt later on, and requiring more work in the form of rewrites, as your 'surprises' require changing more later on. (George RR Martin is a Pantser, which is part of why his books take so very long to finish writing).

Diana Gabaldon (Outlander) has an interesting process, where she writes 'scenes', each in their own file. This means that her books are not written chronologically, but 'sewn' together later on. I'm fascinated by this approach. Writing out of order annoys me terribly, but sometimes I have such a vivid image of a scene, that I need to write it down before I forget it. Having a full plot outline makes this a little easier (And less risky!) to do.

At the very least, I think it is important to have your endgame in mind - to know what you are writing towards.

Another tip to utilize - your first draft does not have to be 100k long. My first draft of "The Professor and the Siren" was just 40K at 2/3rds of the intended story. Now I am going back and adding more scenes, side plots, and character development to flesh it out into a novel-length manuscript. But it is relaxing to already have the major scenes and plot arcs written!

There are actually a ton of systems (And even software!) out there for plotting your book. I have tried several, but found that, honestly, I really like creating a list in WORD, and then adding and expanding as necessary.


Do you create a story first and then populate it with characters, or vice versa?

Depends on the story! I am a huge believer in really strong characters - and a good character will usually inspire a good story. Book #3 of "The Song of the Fay" came out of the character of Kate emerging in "The Mermaid and the Unicorn". I became fascinated by her, and she demanded that her story be told properly. So did the titular characters of "The Professor and the Siren", who are also secondary characters in "The Mermaid and the Unicorn."

However, "The Mermaid and the Unicorn" itself came out of a worldbuilding idea that was originally intended for another series for Chesterton Press. I asked to join that team, and to write something set in Europe. Specifically, "Mermaids and Unicorns in Paris." I was then given a side character from that series to develop, who became Daphne, and the requirements for her character directed what the character arc (and thus plot) needed to be for the book.

Mentally recalling my other projects, I'd say that generally the main idea comes first, then I develop who the main character(s) needs to be, which then refines the story perimeters.

One big requirement I have found I have is allowing my stories time to breathe. I did NaNoWriMo twice (won once) and 50,000K in one month is way WAY Too much for me - the end becomes absolute drivel. If I write more than 2K on a single project in a week, in generally is too much. I need to give my story time to stew in my brain. However, 2K a week turns into 100K a year, which is a really great way to write one first draft a year. This schedule changes once you get multiple projects going, of course, but that's not a bad thing. This past year I did the final revisions on "The Mermaid and the Unicorn," while writing half of the 40K of "The Professor and the Siren" while "The Mermaid and the Unicorn" was with Beta readers and editor! I also got 10K done on "The Selkie and the Queen" when I needed a break from "The Professor and the Siren." If I manage to keep that up, that translates to a new published book every two years, which is a really good schedule for a part-time author. (And most authors ARE part time, because very few novelists can actually consider support themselves by writing fulltime until they have at least ten decent-selling books out. And also, having enough creative juice to write fulltime is exhausting! I certainly can't do it!)

Brandon Sanderson, author of the "Mistborn" series, is a famously prolific fantasy writer, and often comes out with multiple books a year. He purposely switches between projects to keep his creative juices fresh, and it is a method which works very well for him.

(I DO recommend doing NaNo at least once, however, because it trains you to become a prolific and driven daily writer, but don't expect that first draft to be worth much!)

Okay, enough blogging! Time to take a break from the computer screen, then follow my own advice and get pounding the keys on the next novel!

For further writing tips, check out my page on Good Writing. If listening is more your style, I have gotten excellent recommendations for the free podcast "Writing Excuses."





Monday, December 19, 2016

Bookworm Pencil Bags

As many of you know, in addition to writing, I also sew. This past year I've had to step back from costume commissions because my health problems have not allowed me to do big projects. However I have been doing small pieces for my little Etsy store, Whimsical Kitchen.

Up until now, this has mainly been flour sack towels. But last week I was in Hobby Lobby and found the new line of "Fairy Tale" jewelry supplies...


...they had book charms! Jane Austen and Shakespeare! OH MAN. Immediately my creative juices started flowing and I decided I had to develop a line of pencil/project bags to sell in my store!


I wanted them to have a clear window, because I love transparencies on bags! Makes it so much easier to find whatever I'm looking for. However, I also wanted to incorporate embroidery, because I have so much fun doing embroidered designs, and it is sort of a trademark of my little shop. "Pride and Prejudice" was my first one, but it ended up a little too square for a pencil bag, so I made the next ones a bit narrower.


I also decided to do a few zipper pulls with some pretty crystal charms and little inspirational words, to serve the crafty crowd. 


 I mean, look at that awesome design from Urban Threads!

The little leather detail sprung out of an accident - I accidentally melted some plastic on an early prototype bag, and put the leather over it to cover it. It looked so cool, that my husband encouraged me to include it as an official detail in the design!


I couldn't really make the leather strip work for "Emma" though, it just didn't fit with those delicate parasols! So I put some pretty braid in there.


See the awesome vintage metal zipper in there?


Only one Shakespeare bag ready now - I need to buy new embroidery designs to work with the other two plays ("Hamlet" and "Much Ado About Nothing") and I want to make sure I can sell project bags before I invest more money in them.


The design is embroidered on faux leather! I thought it worked well for this theme!


I had a hard time figuring out a good design to pair with "Sense and Sensibility." In the end, I used two!


The interiors of all the bags are finished off with serged seams, so there will be no fraying!

Two other bits of exciting shop news -

#1 - final sale of 2016! Use code 'PROCRASTINATE16' to save 10% off your order through Tuesday. Orders placed before 10:00am on Tuesday should reach continental US locations by Christmas, orders placed by Midnight on Tuesday may reach continental US locations by Christmas.

#2 - Up until now, I've only shipped to the US. Now I am opening up international orders to Canada and Europe to test out how much of a hassle it is to ship internationally via ETSY. If that works well, I'll expand.

Anyhow, that's it! I'm super excited about these bags and can't wait for them to find good homes with fellow bookworms and crafters! $12.00 at Whimsical Kitchen.

Friday, December 16, 2016

"The Professor and the Siren" Update

I love my alpha readers. They are great. So generous with their time and their story appreciation talents.

But, man. They just shook up my plans for 2017. 

"The Professor and the Siren" was 40k words when it was sent off to Alpha readers, and I knew I needed to add about two more chapters. This would be a very long novella, but still, just a novella. Hitting the February 14, 2017 deadline was always a push, but we were still on track for it.

The good news is that the Alpha readers loooooved the draft. 

The bad news is, there were a couple specific critiques that made me realize the only way to truly do the story justice was to push past the 50k mark and send the story into novel-length territory. 

The good news is that y'all are going to get a much deeper, more fleshed out story, and I think it is going to be well worth waiting for. 

The bad news is, it's not coming in February. (I don't have a release date yet, I need to get the second draft done first.)

This also means that "The Professor and the Siren" will officially become book #2 in "The Song of the Fay" even though the story takes place chronologically prior to the events of "The Mermaid and the Unicorn." In the end, I think this will be a good thing because it will ensure that most readers don't even think of picking up this one first (it would spoil "The Mermaid and the Unicorn" almost completely if they did). It'll be a little unorthodox, but I think it should work out from a narrative standpoint.

It's been a difficult decision to make, in large part because I am so excited about the Scotland book ("The Selkie and the Queen") and I'm dying to work on that, but there is some really important stuff I am writing about in "The Professor and the Siren" and it is worth taking the time to do it right. 

"The Professor and the Siren" will probably still be much shorter than "The Mermaid and the Unicorn", which I hope means that you won't be waiting too long for it.

(Hoping to give "The Mermaid and the Unicorn" as a Christmas gift? The Amazon page features a helpful notice on their product pages, indicating if it will arrive before Christmas. "Mermaid" is printed on demand, which means that it should be safe to order up until Wednesday, depending on how weather affects mail routes.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas Gifts for Fairy Tale Lovers


Christmas is coming, and the hunt is on to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. I thought that this year I would put together a list of gifts for the fairy tale fan in your life (and maybe inspire your list too!)

(None of these are affiliate links. A few products listed below are sold by my friends or myself, which I clearly state in the product review. Although I of course earn money by selling my own products, I gain nothing from promoting anyone else's, and only do so because I believe they are worth purchasing.)

Books


The Goose Girl by Marguerite de Angeli 
This beautifully illustrated book is a treasure for any fairy tale lover, young or old. The gorgeous illustrations captivated both my sister and I from a young age, inspiring us to a life long devotion for this story. (My sister has our copy. I need to ask for it myself one of these days...)
$3.49 and upAmazon, used, 








Cinder by Marissa Meyer
If your fairy tale fan has not yet discovered the Lunar chronicles, it is high time to add this series to their Christmas list! A futuristic retelling of Cinderella, followed up with Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White. I have yet to meet a friend who read this series and didn't like it! (my review here)
$8.94Amazon 







Enchanted, Inc by Shanna Swendson
For the fairy tale fan who enjoys their magic with some sweet romantic comedy (and adventure!) This is an adult series, but appropriate for most older teens. (See more details at my review here!)
$10.27Amazon 






$9.38 - Amazon
$8.99 Amazon

If you are looking for a more straightforwards retelling of a traditional fairy tale, I recommend either "Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow" by Jessica Day George (my review), or "ICE" by Sarah Beth Durst (my review). Both books are unique, YA takes on the tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon", which I greatly enjoyed and would recommend for any fan of the fairy tales. Check out my reviews for age appropriateness.






$16.00 - Chesterton Press

$18.00 - Chesterton Press
My very favorite Fairy Tale retellings are the Fairy Tale Novels by Regina Doman. Featuring modern day, Catholic heroes and heroines, her tales play out without magic, relying instead on creative contemporary substitutions. The charm of Doman's books lies in her endearing characters, who shine on in your heart long after the books are done. Intelligent, funny, romantic, and sometimes dark, I cannot recommend the books highly enough (indeed, "Waking Rose" remains one of my very favorite novels, and my copy is falling to pieces!) Chesterton Press's website includes a "Picky Parent's Guide" for each of the books, which I recommend reading before purchasing for younger readers.

 Due to being a small press, their prices are higher than you may be used to seeing, but I promise the books are well worth the extra cost! If in doubt, you can always start off with the Kindle versions. OR you can take advantage of Chesterton Press's Christmas sale today, which offers the complete set of all five books for $79.00.



$13.99 - Amazon


 I would be a poor self-promoter indeed if I didn't mention my own fairy-tale inspired novel, "The Mermaid and the Unicorn." It may not be a direct retelling, but it imagines a world in which the fairy tale creatures we know and love truly exist. Don't take my word for it, though - check out what my reviewers have to say over at Amazon! (The book should be appropriate for ages 13 and up, but younger readers might not connect as much with the college aspects of the story - or they might find it really cool!)





$9.19 - Amazon

$9.57 - Amazon


And for the fairy tale lover who also loves to color, you can't beat the adult coloring books by Joanna Basford! And don't forget the author recommend markers (which I've personally tested and love!)







Stuff to Wear

Etsy is full of gorgeous fairy tale jewelry. Here are a few of my favorites to inspire your searches!

Cinderella Necklace $18

Beauty and the Beast Key Necklace $12.60

Alice in Wonderland Necklace $12.00

Little Mermaid Necklace $21.00

If you are looking for something more general fantasy and less specific fairy tale, my friend Shealynn has a wide range of beautiful, high quality jewelry pieces.

$125

$35

$24

$10

If your recipient is less of a jewelry person, and more of a t-shirt fan, they might find the delightful Doctor Who/Disney collection by Karen Hallion to be just the present for them! (TeeFury offers 15% off your first order from them)

Kitchen and Table

But of course, many die-hard fairy tale fans already have books and jewelry coming out of their ears. So what else can you give them? 

Mug - $18.50
Beauty and the Beast Wine Glasses - $20
Snow White Mug - $12.74
Coasters - $35

And of course, I also carry a line of Fairy Tale flour sack dishtowels in my Etsy Store ($4.65 - $6.75 each)



...or Make it Yourself!

Are you more of a crafter than a buyer? Here are some fairy tale craft ideas that you can put to good use!

Mermaid blankets are all the rage right now, and I know one of my friends was really excited to receive one from another friend last year! There are tons of patterns out there, for any range of experience. Check out this round up post for free instructions to suit your style!






Or you could make a miniature fairy garden! Using a real flower (Trader Joes has inexpensive miniature rosebushes) or fake, fill up a globe or flowerpot with miniature baskets, stones, moss, fairies, keys, bridges, benches, wishing wells, and whatever else you can find at your local craft store! Pinterest is full of inspirational photos - here are some of my favorites!

$15.99 - JoAnn's


$10.77 - JoAnn's


Or, if you're more of a seamstress, you could whip up a cute apron in a fairy-tale themed fabric! (This idea also works for tote bags and purses!)









And of course, if you're into jewelry making, most craft stores carry a wide range of charms that you can use to add a bit of the fantastical and magical to any bracelet, necklace, or pair of earrings. OR you could glue these same charms to a picture frame or wooden treasure box to create another unique type of gift for the fairy tale fan in your life!

Monday, December 5, 2016

OUAT 6.10 "Wish you were here"

Mid-season finale time! hold on tight folks, cuz we're in for a very spoilerific ride in this review!



---spoilers---spoilers---spoilers---



First up, let's talk alternative universes. I LOVE alternative universe episodes! It's so fun to see a different twist on characters (and costumes). We've been waiting six seasons to really see what Emma's life would have been like if they'd stayed in the Enchanted Forest and it was SO FUN to see it at long last!

Snow and Charming as old folks was hilarious. Oh man. I feel like I could sense the fun the actors were having the whole time.

Henry as a dashing knight in golden armor was crazy. He's really a young man now! Love that moment when Regina glimpsed him at the knighting ceremony. Adorable. Just too bad the real Henry didn't get to experience it!

Emma "la la la-ing" in the forest and generally being a sheltered flower-princess because she hadn't had to face any hardship ever. I don't know if that's really how she would have turned out, but for the purposes of this being a wish-created bubble universe, it worked (just like we're not going to look too hard at the fact that Neal was still Henry's father, because how did he get there and...yeah. Bubble Universe.)

Rumple's complete self-awareness was great "on behalf of all Rumplestiltskins everywhere..." "I'm off to raze non-existent villages!" Perfection.

To wrap things up on the AU end - ROBIN. Wow. We knew he would be back somehow this season, but I was expecting a flashback. To have him here in the AU, keeping Regina from jumping in the portal... wowza.

The hijinks of the AU contrasted sharply with the realities of the real world. Here, Gold is deathly serious, working to gain Belle's trust to save their son.

And here's where it gets really delicious, folks! Dark Fairy is back and relevant (although we didn't see her, I assume she'll be around for the next half of the season). I definitely thought that it was her behind the dark cloak as soon as we learned she'd kidnapped baby Gideon.

BUT THEN IT GOT BETTER. And I got my other wish! Grown-up Gideon is back! And... good or evil? Not sure. He certainly appears menacing, and is definitely set up to be the person who kills Emma...but... all we have actually seen him do is turn Evil Queen into a snake and cage her up, which is pretty helpful.

Which begs another question - is Gideon here because of the Dark Fairy, OR was the Dark Fairy able to kidnap him in the first place because of David's wish that the Evil Queen get what she deserved (i.e. becoming caged snake).

I don't know, folks. This season may have had the lamest opening, but the mid-season finale was amazing and I can't wait to see what happens next!

P.s. I loved Aladdin's new costume and hope he and Jasmine will be back soon!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pre-Dawn Writing

If my Facebook Memories feed is anything to go by, November has historically been a crazy writing month for me. Obviously NaNoWriMo plays a part in that, but I also just plain tend to do a lot of writing in the fall.

This month I've been battling both health and editing blues to get progress done on "The Professor and the Siren." I'm not very keen on the editing part of the novel process. My mentor, Regina, claims that it is her favorite part. Me, I don't like nitpicking over what I've already written, so it takes a lot more strength of will to sit down and edit than it does to sit down and write new scenes (well...most of the time.)

This morning I woke up at 5:30 and had trouble sleeping. Part of it was a stuffy nose, and part of it was an idea for the book. Since I'd already planned to rise early to watch "Supergirl" with Nathan before he left for work (it's Superhero CrossoverWeek, doncha know), I decided to get up and pull out the computer.

I actually got through 20 pages of manuscript in about an hour, which wasn't bad at all. (Okay, a bunch of those were title pages. But still!). It was weird being up while it was still pitch black outside, but I turned on the tree lights in the living room and it was quite nice.

Then I started to put breakfast together, and quite confused poor Mateo, who walked out to find - not the black kitchen he was used to - but Mommy! Already awake! Our dog is a creature of extreme habit and anything out of our ordinary routine confuses the heck out of him. He spent several minutes just pacing back and forth around me as he recalibrated his morning brain.

I stayed awake through the "Supergirl" episode (which was really only a crossover in the last three minutes), then gladly fell back asleep for another three hours. I didn't wake again until noon, but I already had the biggest item on my daily agenda crossed off.

I don't know that I would do this regularly, but it is interesting to note that this is, in fact, how our ancesters functioned.