Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Midnight to 4am Phenomenon

William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying was written from midnight to 4am over a 6 week period with absolutely no editing. It was ranked one of the greatest novels of 20th century literature.

My Muse does have strict hours!
I think Faulkner was onto something. I find that my best writing is done between those hours as well. Maybe it’s because my 3 kids are in bed and my husband is playing Fallout 4 or maybe because my muse has strict hours. But as the night goes on and I become increasingly tired, I get more emotionally raw and unfiltered. Then I finally begin to bleed onto the page. When I say bleed onto paper, I mean it’s uncontrollable and words spill out of my mind onto the page. I wake up the next morning and think to myself, “Did I write that and do I really feel that way?” I now understand Faulkner’s gutsy decision not to edit.

I Love Death Parade!
Decim and Chiyuki in the Quindecim
Last year, I had a pretty inspired period when my word count soared. If you are a writer, you know creativity is not like a faucet, it cannot be turned off and on at will. When you have a flow, you need to go with it because you never know how long it will last and when it will return. The midnight - 4am phenomenon was my life. During this writing binge, I had to have something playing on the TV in the background to break the silence (which doesn't happen very often in my house), so I chose my favorite anime, Death Parade (Watch Death Parade - my gift to you). My computer streaming started to act up after a couple of episodes so I just put on the cable, not even bothering to change the channel to anything in particular. I put my ear buds in and continued to write an intense scene in my novel. My main character Faye is given an eerie message of impending doom by her best friend’s psychic mother. Writing it gave me chills, supernatural stuff really gets to me. I am on the fence when it comes to the otherworldly, neither a believer nor a non-believer.

 After I was satisfied with the scene, I decided it was a good stopping point. I was going to go join my husband who had gone to bed at least 5 hours prior. I removed my ear buds and immediately regretted it because the 700 club was on and a man was speaking in tongues . I was so incredibly freaked out as I fumbled for the remote. When I managed to find the right button, it was silent, but too silent. I got up from the couch and jumped when I heard the branches screeching up against the window. I walked down the hallway scared out of my mind, and when I caught a glimpse of my own reflection in the sliding glass door, I swear I almost pissed my pants. This is one of the downfalls of this late night phenomenon- its too quiet, you’re tired, easily spookable, and your senses are on overload. And not only is 3am a creative hour, it is also the bewitching hour. This is why after all, it is the midnight to FOUR am phenomenon. There is no way in hell you are falling asleep after all the weird shit that happens at 3am. 

Do you experience the Midnight to 4am Phenomenon?

-2 pounds of tenderized stewing meat
-2 cups of beef stock (or 1 cup beef stock and 1 cup wine)
This is the stew I made and it was a big hit with  my family.
We have #SoupSundays in our house.
-1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
-1 medium onion, chopped
-2 stalks celery, chopped
-2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
-3 to 5 small red potatoes, cubed
-1 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tablespoon Paprika
-1 tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
-3 Bay Leaves
-1/2 tablespoon of salt
-1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
-1 teaspoon of dried oregano, basil and rosemary

Cooking Directions
·         Place Meat into crock pot
·         Add liquids then place all other ingredients 
·         Cover and cook on low for 8 hours
·         ENJOY!

            HAPPY HANUKKAH!
                        HAPPY KWANZAA!
                                    HAPPY BELATED WINTER SOLSTICE!
                                                HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOURS!


  1. very interesting write up. l like the naturalness of your expressions.

    1. Thank you for the support O'Daley.I hope you enjoyed the post and continue to stop by.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you very much. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Thanks Cheryl. As I Lay Dying is a great novel, although Faulkner was pretty special, for what I've read. I have no children and live alone so can keep any hours, but yes, getting spooked is easier at night...(I'm more of a radio person)

    1. It is a great novel and I am fascinated by his writing style. Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed it and continue to visit every week. Thanks for the support.