“Once upon a gloomy morning” does not cut it in a contest with “Once upon a midnight dreary.” Midnight is the witching hour, the time when MONSTERS roam.
Personally, I always think mornings are pretty scary. Back in my corporate days I was at the gym at 6am. But that was then and this is now, and any vestige of my early-to-rise persona has been quashed by freelance work. Of course freelance writing is all about another scary time — deadlines! Deadlines are always looming. Deadlines ARE monstrous ticking beasts.
Midnight IS Monster time.
The definition of midnight is the moment between the deepening darkness and the coming light. It’s the transition between one day and the next. That’s what makes it MONSTER time. You can choose to mark it as a moment — the moment when Cinderella’s carriage becomes a pumpkin and she runs from the ball to get home before her gown returns to tattered rags. Or you can, like a good Monster, simply ease through the darkest time as casually as an office worker might go for a second cup of coffee at noon.
Monsters are not on deadline at midnight. Dawn might cause a few problems — especially if you’re a vampire, but midnight is comfy and cozy.
I’m often up at midnight. It’s a nice time to write, read or even watch movies. The darkness is an insulator muffling light. It’s funny but sometimes it seems to magnify sounds, but that may simply be because so much of the hum in the air is hushed at that hour. Without daylight’s cacophony, the sounds of midnight — even the quietest sounds — ring out loud and clear. It can be curiously soothing, eerie or downright frightening, the perfect soundtrack for writing a monster tale.
When it’s midnight in New York it’s 5am in London, 6am in Berlin, 11pm in Dallas, 9pm in San Francisco, Noon in Hong Kong and it’s 2pm the following day in Melbourne. It’s always midnight somewhere, so it’s always MONSTER TIME!