I like to be up by six thirty. I guess I do this as proof to my father—dead for decades—that writing is really manly labor. He himself was an early riser. Like him I prefer those hours when dew is everywhere and birds are first auditioning their day’s likely song. I’m sure that if God created Eden he did it all with a single dawn. Early-hour innocence promotes ambitious, unrealistic hopes. You’ve just been dreaming. You have strong coffee and a piece of fruit. You reread what you got down yesterday. It’s important to leave yourself a handhold on the cliff you are inventing. Most days involve rewriting, boiling out the cornstarch, essentializing a gesture, paring down dialogue that’s grown too wordy or explicit. On schedule you go through familiar rituals that’ve at least produced satisfying results. Most days such work can go on till two or three. Then you get to do your banking or shopping or gardening. You again become a citizen of the sloppy capitalist realm after shoring up the secret world you’ve been home inventing in black and white.