The most magical time of the day.
The moment when my muse is most likely to appear at the study door, whispering those special words that inspire me so: “Get a bloody move on, Quirk. Deadline is looming, and you’ve got mouths to feed…”
Of course, don’t mention this particularly effective muse to my other source of inspiration, the real muse, who is usually fast asleep (and slowly creeping her way, Triffed-like, across to my side of the bed) by the time the clock strikes twelve.
If only we could capture this beautiful moment called Midnight, and play it endlessly on loop. Infinite writing time, no interruptions. No more alarm calls for work. Bliss.
I’ve been in love with Midnight for as long as I can remember. As a young kid, around seven or eight, I would lie on my bed at weekends, watching The Satanic Rites of Dracula and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed and the rest of the Hammer House of Horror Double Bills into the early hours of the morning.
As I teenager, I found my best studying was done late at night (and, on occasion, all night), and so, as I’ve grown older, it’s been natural that the one time of the day when I feel totally wired, in the groove and capable of just about anything, is Midnight. I’ve tried mornings, but, well, no.
It’s ten before Midnight as I type these words, and the posts that will follow this maiden voyage into bloggerdom will all be penned in the darkness of The Witching Hour.
There’ll be no gimmicks or zany revelations. The journey I’m inviting you on won’t be about a writer’s battle with the impending arrival of tiny feet, sleepless nights and shitty nappies, and everything else that goes with it. My muse may be expecting in three weeks, but I’ll try to avoid the baby talk here (although don’t hold me to it). And it won’t be about religion or politics, because there are plenty of other better-informed folk doing just that.
What The Witching Hour will be about is writing. Pure and simple. Okay, let’s make that writing and reading. Oh, and publishing. Books in general, then. How’s that sound?
I’m in the throes of writing my second non-fiction book, The Manx Giant, the deadline for which is looming. Mid-September, or there’ll be no Weetos on the breakfast table.
If you’ve got a few minutes spare each week, it would be a pleasure to have you along for the ride. Because there is one downside to this Midnight malarkey. It can get damn lonely.
For homework this week, John read:
A Quiet Belief in Angels, by R.J. Ellory (a fine, haunting book)