Some nights just as I drop off to sleep, words roll into my head. My heart sinks, I know this sensation. This is not what my mother called the witching hour, around 3 am, when the gremlins call. That is the stuff of bank balances, ignominy and indebtedness. This is a new affliction. Well new, but now aged enough to be a familiar. It started not long after I began to write my first book.
They show up individually, lone footloose forerunners
But that’s it, I’m done for. I hold my breath; the corps is on its way. With centrifugal force, they arrive: words multiplying, gathering speed, aligning and coalescing.
I don’t know which sense to nominate. I don’t hear the words, I can’t see them, yet there is nothing ethereal about this transmission, they rattle my skull, insistent, teasing and robust.
Sleep is unthinkable
Some nights, I greet them with wondrous joy. Phrases and couplings that have eluded me by day are child’s play now. Other nights, I groan because if the muse has insomnia, it will be a long night for me.
I reach for my notebook to capture dreamtime’s glossary and try to think what I have eaten or imbibed, what I have done or not done, to summon the word brigade. If I knew, perhaps I could sell it as a cure for writer’s block and having triggered battalions; make another fortune if I could find the remedy and send them all back to barracks and the bookshelf.
Do your dreams match your occupation?