I am never more brilliant than in the middle of the night. I have written my very best poems and prose with my eyes closed. When the night comes a’creepin’, so does my creative wisdom. My characters develop effortlessly and are colorful and witty or evil or distraught, or whatever I need them to be. I come to know each one personally: their ages, where they live, who they love, who they hate.
Dialog is my night-time specialty. My characters’ voices are fitting and true to their owners. Their topics could grab the attention of any reader, pulling them into conversations. I am clever and savvy about how each character should speak and what he or she should have special knowledge of to fulfill a part of my classic, original story, which, by the way, has an unforgettable plot.
Then, there it is, that insistent voice in the background of my brain hounding me, “Get up. Get up right now you lazy bum and write this down. You know you are going to forget it all by morning.”
But, the physical me, the me who wants to keep my eyes closed and finish the story, the me who doesn’t want to ruin the chance of going back to sleep, that me argues.
“Don’t worry,” I tell the pesky voice. “I will remember. See? Right now I am programing this wonderful material into my mind so I won’t forget.”
“Yes you will.”
“No. I won’t”
I do. In the light of morning the drama is gone. Where did the brilliance go? The wit? The excitement and heart of that wonderful story written in the midnight hour? My characters. Where did they all go? I loved them, and I thought they loved me.
“Told you so,” The voice says.
I keep a notebook and pen beside my bed. I even have a funny looking pair of reading glasses with little tiny headlights in them so I can read or write without disturbing my husband. So why can’t I train myself to make note of ingenious story telling that comes creeping in the night? I know other authors do.
Tonight! I will do it tonight.