Writing in the dark, watching light

Writers are notorious for their superstitions and fixed habits. Certain pens, chairs, desks, talismans, even teacups. I’m at work on a novel, set in 1932 Hollywood. I seem to have to start working in the dark. If I can see the dawn, the day is already making its claim on my imagination.

A disadvantage is that one may feel sleepy at 10:00 a.m. The real payoff though is watching light. When I am in my writing cottage, dawn slips through two big pine trees across the street. A glory.

Right now the cottage is too damp. So I write in the house, and watch the light advance through the mullioned windows in the living room. For a few moments, it lies silky across the dining table, like a scarf.

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