The twilight of sleep. When the conscious mind begins pulling the shutters and the subconscious goes out for the night.

The other night I was between the sheets and going under when I heard and saw a girl at the side of my bed. I will repeat that. I heard and saw a girl lean over my bed. It wasn’t long, happened in a less than a second. She whispered so clearly.

Wake up, Tony.

She said that. I heard it. I saw it. I opened my eyes and stared at the ceiling. There was no girl there. Of course not.

I’m not suggesting she was real. In fact, it’s not the first time I’ve heard something like that, always in the twilight zone (boom!). I don’t believe in ghosts, I don’t think anyone was trying to communicate from another plane. I guess all those things could be true, I’m just saying I don’t believe that’s the case.

I can’t remember which book it was, maybe Steven Pinker’s How the Mind Works, that gave pretty good insight into how our brains function. There’s a fact that I’m totally going to butcher, but it was something like, given medical technology today, we’ve learn more about the brain in the last couple of decades than all the time preceding it.

Whether it was Pinker’s book or one similar, it described brain abnormalities and how easy perception can be fooled. Check our the rubber hand experiment. Reality is easily fooled. And abnormalities, where parts of our brain are over or under active, can result in neuroses. People can actually hear voices. They hear them because that part of the brain is behaving abnormally, or as I understand it, interpreting thoughts vividly.

We had a friend who was convinced she was possessed by demons. She heard their voices and felt their compulsions. She just wanted someone to believe her. I think there were many who did believe she was hearing voices, but not for the reasons she believed.

I heard a voice and, full confession, I was a little freaked out. But then I went right back to sleep. If that happened when I was eighteen years old, I would’ve sucked my thumb. Even now, put me in a dank basement with things scurrying in the dark, I’ll be a full believer in minutes.

It’s all about perspective.

I think twilight is a strange state for the brain, when thoughts are more vivid than normal waking and can be mistaken for something else. There’s a creative window that opens.  I find some of my best writing solutions occur at that time. If the conditions are right, I’ll lay there with a storyline (or other problem) in mind. More often than not, answers appear and I remember them come morning.

One happened the other night.

It’s not exactly enlightenment or genius. In fact, the idea was so simple I even wondered how I didn’t see it before and figured the time just wasn’t right.

I finished the FOREVERLAND and HALFSKIN trilogies a few years ago. Since then I continued writing in the Claus Universe. I’m almost completely done with Ronin and about a third of the way through book 2 rough draft in the Maze series. Then it hits me.

Foreverland and Halfskin aren’t finished.

In a flash, I saw how the characters in both stories should not only continue but crossover. I have a lot of ground to cover before I start digging in and not sure where I’ll start, but I’ve seen the future. My worlds are born. I don’t need to make different ones.

I just need to see how far they go.