It is in the small hours when I am roused from sleep. Sometimes there is a clarity to the waking. A restlessness. I want to GO. To do something. To take a ride, to eat a bowl of cereal, to read a book. The shadows don’t make sense in the clash between the kitchen light, the streetlight, and ambient night. I look towards the bookshelf. I take down a photo album and, once I get past being pissed about the pics where I am fifteen pounds high, I am lost in it. I am back in time and remembering that time has passed. A lot of it. Like a steady drip that becomes a roar until the drywall rots and crumbles.
Sometimes my cat will find me, confused that I am in his time. But he is happy to see me. Always ready to sit on a warm lap. I try not to turn on the computer. I think of all the people who write in the small hours and I feel guilty, but I don’t want to write. That’s not the way I do it. I wonder how much of my life I wasted trying to do things the way other people did them and failing. I won’t let that happen to my girls.
I’m silly about it really. When my oldest was just learning to use scissors she would hold them upside down and get corrected until finally I couldn’t take it. “Let her hold the goddamn scissors any way she wants!” And then I realize the anger is out of proportion and it’s not about scissors anyway, and never was. It’s about me.
But the small hours give me a kind of magic sight. I sit and watch the girls sleep, so limp and free of worry. Tiny little people with sweet breath that sits on the night air and makes you feel like laughing out loud. I look into four tiny brown eyes, and the love I feel in the small hours is almost crippling. I want to wrap it around myself. I want to throw it as far as I can, scared of its power. I want to keep it in my pocket forever.
My wife is sleeping and this makes me happy. She doesn’t get enough sleep. She doesn’t complain. I look out the window. I used to live in a city that was never quiet. There was always something. The small hours where I live now are silent and empty. I stare out the window at the moisture collecting on the tops of jolly rancher cars and I wonder.
Years from now, I will be an old man. I will have written more words than most people, but that will be all I contribute to the world. I hope my girls will want to hang out with their old man. I hope my wife will get more sleep.
In the small hours, my brain is slow and sensible…
I sit on the edge of the bed for what seems like ages. I pet the cat and listen to the breathing apartment and wonder what fate holds in store. Because there is so much to lose and so much to win. And I don’t deserve it. But I hope to hell things keep going my way. I lay back on my pillow and think about time and money and all the things I don’t have enough of. It all seems pretty stupid in the small hours when the house is filled with love and bemused shadows.
I loved it, but then I always love your stories. Thank you, JD.
JD’s website is http://www.jdmader.com where you can read his stories and much more, and if you’d like to you can email him there too.
He has been fortunate enough to encounter many giving and inspiring people in his life. He hopes to repay the debt. And to make enough money with his writing to buy a house.
His first novel Joe Café, second, The Biker, and collaboration ‘Bad Book’ (with Hise and Brooks) are available from Amazon.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with memoirist / non-fiction author, antique dealer and dog whisperer Barbara Barth – the six hundred and twenty-fourth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on this blog but everything else (see Opportunities on this blog) is free.
If you go for the interview, it’s very simple; I send you a questionnaire (I have them for novelists, short story authors, children’s authors, non-fiction authors, and poets). You complete the questions, and I let you know when it’s going to go live. Before it does so, I add in comments as if we’re chatting, and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
Alternatively, if you’d like a free Q&A-only interview, I now have http://morgensauthorinterviews.wordpress.com on which I’ve rerun the original interviews posted here then posted new interviews which I then reblog here. These interviews are Q&A only, so I don’t add in my comments but they do get exposure on both sites.
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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. I welcome critique for the four new writing groups listed below and / or flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays. For other opportunities see (see Opportunities on this blog).
The full details of the new online writing groups, and their associated Facebook groups, are:
- Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group (http://novelwritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/508696639153189)
- Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group (http://poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/388850977875934)
- Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group (http://scriptwritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/319941328108017)
- Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group (http://shortstorywritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/544072635605445)
We look forward to reading your comments.