Who uses it: Filmmakers
What it means: That period of time when light remains in the sky, though the sun itself is not visible; usually, the time immediately after sunset, though it can also mean the time immediately before sunrise. Filmmakers consider magic hour the best time for filming, because the sky's changing effects are so dramatic, and the light is extremely flattering to actors' faces. With typical Hollywood hyperbole, "magic hour" lasts only about 30 minutes.
How you can use it: To describe a perfect moment, or the beneficial effects of lighting or vision impairment on someone's features.
Greetings from Chicago, where the World Mystery Convention (aka Bouchercon) begins this morning. We're sharing the hotel with a meeting of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which seems entirely too appropriate. (Seriously, they're part of the disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina, and they do the Lord's work. If you can help, click here.)
I'm juggling a few too many things this morning, but I'm delighted to be blogging again. I feel like I'm clutching a beloved teddy bear that had gone missing: "My blog! You're back!" Please send me your suggestions for catchphrases and pieces of jargon you use in your own work, because I will need a lot of help with this project. Happy September, everybody, and let the magic hour begin.