I Wake Up, Raring to Go – Jacki Kellum Work Habits


I wake up, raring to go; but generally speaking, as the day wears on, my productivity wanes.


Sometimes, a nap can recharge my batteries, but generally speaking, I do my best work when I am fresh, and after some magically wonderful periods of sleep, the brownies seem to visit my brain. They brush out some particularly stubborn cobwebs and leave fairy dust in their places.

I have written several things about how waking from sleep affects me. In fact, yesterday morning, I awoke in one of my magical states and wrote the following:


On Silver Sheets, I Sail
by Jacki Kellum

Just before I open my eyes
I float along the misty skies.

I reach, I feel the soft, white hair
and fairy wings that flutter there.

I listen, I hear the slumber song,
The angel band that plays along

My dreams are in my pillow-pail.
On silver sheets, I sail.

Copyright Jacki Kellum December 16, 2015


One afternoon, I awoke from a nap and had a similar experience:

The Long, Autumn Nap
by Jacki Kellum

I just took a nap for my mind, to see,
For flickering fae breath to come set me free.
Visions of sugarplums visited me
Singing a soft, silver song.

I’m in a place where I wanted to be,
Moonbeams and crystal shards light up the sea
Soft webs and angel hair strung from a flea
Toy-tug my leaf-boat along.

Copyright Jacki Kellum October 11, 2015


I wrote the above during the early evening, after a long nap. I wrote the following in the middle of the night after my dog awoke me. In my opinion, the following is one of the best things that I have written:


Full, But Hazy Autumn Moon
by Jacki Kellum 

Tonight, the moon is perched high in the sky, directly above the garden–just outside my back door.

Tonight, when I first got downstairs and looked out the sunroom window, my first thought was that it must be the moments just before dawn.

Everything around was fairly brightly lit and the plants that were still brave enough to have continued blooming, after the cool, October air had tucked their neighbors into bed, had a soft, muted, and faintly-colored glow.

As I looked around, I thought: Tonight, the moonlight is bright, but this is not one of those hot-light nights like the ones when I used to walk home from church, well after sunset, and the hum of the locusts was so loud that the air seemed to rattle along.

And tonight is not one of those nights when ladies in the church would beat around their faces with cardboard fans that had Jesus painted on them, flapping about their heads like hummingbird wings.

Yes, Lord, tonight’s moonlight is not like that when I used to go to the tent revivals with my grandmother and stand up and sit down, singing Shall We Gather at the River, beneath the bare light bulbs that were strung across the top of the tent and dangled.

Tonight’s light is not like that of the summer nights when the neighborhood children and I would dart about the yard, playing tag and hide and seek,  running until the sweat could be wrung from our clothes. On those nights, nothing brought more relief than crescents of ice, cold watermelon; homemade ice cream; and tart lemonade poured from large, sweaty glass jars, into rainbow-colored glasses that clinked when they met my teeth. The glasses tasted like aluminum.

No, tonight there is no hot, blaring, bugle-like, jazz-singing summer moon.

Tonight, there is a soft, hazy autumn moon–a cornstarch moon–kissed by honey, hanging in the dark.

Copyright Jacki Kellum October 28, 2015


When I wrote the poems above, I was involved in a poetry class. I am convinced that in sleep, I get what I pay for. If I go to sleep with magic on my mind, Visions of Sugarplums Dance in My Head, and sleep sprinkles Pixie Dust on me. If I go to sleep upset, the gremlins have a field day, and I awaken not just tired, but exhausted.

When I am emotionally exhausted, I cannot write or paint–no matter what time it is. Otherwise, I do my best work immediately after I awake.


Because the Night


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