i was promised tv time. there is no tv time.

Writing around a newborn — even a relatively placid, low-needs one — is requiring a significant re-think of my process. (She says, shocking no one.) Of course I expected this, but I still haven't quite come up with strategies that might work to combat not just the time-poverty but also the zombification of my cognitive functioning due to sleep deprivation. It's a bit of a brutal combination: I now have the entire day in front of me, but yet it is gulped up by errands such as feeding, settling, washing, feeding, settling, settling, settling, feeding, washing… When I do get time to write, it's in five minute snatches, and that's too brief to make any real headway even if I wasn't too tired to think (let alone write) swiftly.

One thing I have managed to implement is reading, although that, too, has needed an adjustment to fit the new lifestyle.

It turns out that feeding is just a smidge lacking in intellectual stimulation for me. I've taken to checking twitter while she's at it (and as a consequence she's taken to burping herself while still feeding rather than wait for me to remember her — I choose to view this as fostering independence). But because newborns feed a lot, there just isn't enough twitter to last the distance. So when she's done, propped up against my chest and fighting the apparently-terrifying prospect of dropping back to sleep, I read. And, because the sound of my voice is soothing, I read aloud.

It's very much changing my experience of stories. I've never been one for audiobooks, because I can't follow a story that's read to me. I much prefer the silence of words on the page, and the way a story opens up underneath that for me to fall into; read aloud to me and the story vanishes like smoke on the wind and there's just a voice intoning meaningless words at me. I simply can't think when people are talking, and if I can't think there's no story.

Here's hoping with all the enforced practice I'm getting at audio stories now, my brain will come out of this trained into a richer appreciation of the format.


Oh, and for the curious, the first book that Squawk is "reading" is Redemption In Indigo, by Karen Lord, which I picked up at the San Diego WFC. She started at chapter 7 and didn't think to complain about that, and she keeps falling asleep within a page, so I can't say much for her critical analysis skills, but she does grizzle when I stop reading.

2 thoughts on “i was promised tv time. there is no tv time.

  1. I think some stories are better aloud, they gain a rhythm and rhyme that is lacking as we glide silently through. Peter Pan was like this for me.

    1. I've heard this all my life, that some stories are better aloud, but honestly it's never worked for me. I need something for my eyes to do, and other people's voices just distract my brain and leave me … sort of wired, too wired to hold on to the narrative. I wonder if it's just practice I need, or whether the ultimate drug I get from reading is silence.

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