The middle of the night? No. If I get up in the middle of the night, it's because I drank too much water before I went to bed, and all I'm thinking about is navigating my way to the bathroom in the dark, without my glasses past a chair, dresser and wooden trunk designed for nighttime toe-smashing. But at other times, yes, I have stopped what I was doing -- including talking -- to grab a pad of paper and pen to scribble down an idea.
I know writers who use digital recorders, and I could never do that for two reasons. First, I already know I'd misplace it. I misplace my shoes, some jewelry and my cell phone regularly. So this recorder would never be nearby when I needed it. And second, I'd feel like an idiot using it in front of anyone, including myself. I'd want to say something like, "Ground Control to Major Tom," every time I turned it on, and then -- poof! -- there goes the idea I needed to record, and now I'm thinking about David Bowie and Peter Schilling and wondering if they know each other when, really, what I need to be doing is writing -- especially since I have this really good idea now. What was it again?