I’m going to let the world in on an open secret. I’m not a morning person. Not in the “grarh narh narh coffee mmh huh?” kind of way, but more in the “beep beep SLAM . . . beep beep SLAM” kind of way. Once I’m up I’m usually good and awake, but actually waking me is pretty hard. My mom likes to tell of how, when I was little more than a baby, she took me to a Civil War reenactment and I slept through a cannon shot at something like thirty yards.
But I like working the opening shift. There’s something beautiful about the world at 4:30 in the morning, and I love being out in it. Sure, I’d rather be seeing it from the other end of my sleep cycle. But in a predominantly diurnal world, that’s about as good as it gets. If I work the opening shift then my afternoon is open, and siestas aside, never underestimate the power of being free to run errands before three o’clock on a weekday. And most importantly I have those oh-so-valuable late-night hours free, when my creativity is at its peak and I can — on a good night, to be sure — while away many hours making characters come to life at my keyboard.