I am a fan of naps. A big fan. In fact, I consider a day a triumph of determination if I don’t lay my head down for a while. Writers need naps, I think.

Naps in this house on the river are rarely lengthy. A satisfying half-hour is the normal routine. Most of the time they are cadged on the sofa, under the warm, exquisitely soft woven throw my sister brought me from Scotland (and also under a cat.) Sometimes they are taken in the bedroom I slept in for years, a brief shuteye in the pool of sunlight through the window there, like a cat, a reveling in the extraordinarily sensual contrast between warm sunshine and cool room.

Wherever they are grabbed, they are never taken in late afternoon: The prospect of falling asleep in daylight and waking after dark terrifies me for some reason. One-ish seems the perfect hour…not too early to recharge, not too late to interfere with a good night’s sleep.

Naps fall into one of two categories—the head nap and the body nap…with a subset of the two which I’ll call the heart nap. The body nap is self-evident: a recovery from a too-strenuous session of exercise or the broken sleep of the night before (as it was during the tornado sirens the other night.) But the brain nap…ahhhhhh….

The brain nap is more nuanced…the prima donna of naps. It is signaled by the word that won’t come, the plot that won’t straighten; of too much concentration in too short a time, or the desire to clear the mental desks for the task ahead. Often, it is a nap that doesn’t really want to happen, and dissipates after about 15 minutes.

The heart nap is the trickiest of all…a cross between the little sleeps for head and the ones for the body. These are the sick-of-myself naps. The make-it-go-away-for-a-minute naps. They cure the symptom, not the illness…but sometimes they are all the writer needs.

A windy day, here. Windy and cool, under a cloudless blue sky. The perfect day for a nap. As soon as I’ve earned it.

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