Spitting Bullets

August 23, 2011 at 11:38 am (Uncategorized)

Let’s try a bullet point post just to get one away…

  1. Master J is turning 9 months old in two days. When I weighed him at the chemist last week, he came in at 10.4 kilos (fully clothed). When he was born he weighed just 2.83 kilos. My little man is growing up so fast it squeezes my heart until I’m breathless to think of it.
  2. Like his parents, he loves his food. So far just about anything goes, and I’m spending inordinate amounts of time steaming vegetables, poaching chicken, stewing fruit and so on so that he has a varied, healthy and pleasant introduction to the wonderful world of food. Happily, he seems to have overcome his lactose intolerance; not only may I now eat dairy again, but Master J absolutely loves yoghurt, and both cottage cheese and ricotta often feature in his lunch. He tried a slice of parmesan this afternoon and also found that to his liking. He still has no teeth, mind you, but he gums the good stuff like a demon.
  3. We’ve had to retire the swinger; I’m paying for our dependency on it now too, with attempts to reintroduce Master J to daytime cot use proving traumatic. There have been tears. His and mine. In fact, he rejected me for the first time in his life after an unsuccessful attempt to get him to take a nap on Saturday. He only calmed down when I handed him to Llew. Twice, just so as to really spell it out to me. I honestly think it’s because I was the one putting him in the cot, and he didn’t appreciate it. Of course I burst into tears and ran into the bathroom to bawl. And when he finally fell asleep later in the day from sheer exhaustion? Did he wake happy and rested? Oh no. No, he refused to look at me, let alone smile at me. In fact, the whole ordeal produced such a marked change in his demeanour toward me that I am still questioning the wisdom of continuing with these fraught attempts to get him to nap in the cot during the day. Is it really worth all the angst for a couple of brief siestas? I seriously doubt it. The truth is, I’d really rather just give him a cuddle and let him fall asleep in my arms. Thus far I’ve resisted the temptation to return to cuddle snoozes (previously the back-up plan when the swinger failed), because they unfortunately top the list of “sleep aids” I’m supposed to be eliminating so that Master J can learn to self-settle, but it hasn’t been easy and my resolve is hanging in the balance. After all, it’s hard to believe a nice long cuddle is ever a bad thing. On the other hand, if he learns to sleep in his cot during the day, I might actually get some writing done. And wouldn’t that be nice?
  4. Separation anxiety has been in full swing at Spew H.Q., the experience of which has been exhausting and disruptive. Our previously awesome night sleeper has been waking at all hours, and until I incurred his displeasure with my cot betrayal, Master J was not responding well to my leaving his sight for even a moment. A few weeks back, just having his grandma walk into the room was enough to set him off on a heartbreaking crying jag – he seemed to know what it meant: that I’d be leaving. We’re hopefully in slightly better shape now, although whether or not that’ll remain the case is anyone’s guess. We’re taking every night as it comes at the moment. Still, the signs are good. Unfamiliar people were really freaking him out about a month ago, and he’s back to dispensing smiles to and accepting hugs from strangers. Atta boy.
  5. Spew H.Q. needs a new name since – touch wood – Master J has been off his reflux medication for nearly two whole weeks.
  6. I’ve been thinking of pulling apart my manuscript and turning it into a writing guide analysing why it fails to function as a novel ought, and then publishing it online as an e-book. The thing is, I could write volumes about the process and about why this MS, despite years of dedicated effort, still doesn’t work. I just think there may be more value in a frank examination of its shortcomings than in continuing to try fixing it. I suspect – much as it pains me – that it’s broken at its core. Why would anyone want to read about the mechanical reasons why my MS malfunctioned? Well, I hope some of the writing has some merit, and it seems a waste for none of it to ever see the light of day, but more than that, I like reading about writing, so that makes me think that other writers probably like it too. Plus I’ve come to realise thanks to the Varuna gig that I also like writing about writing, and I think there is something potentially funny and instructive about dissecting my MS. This would all be with a view to hopefully helping other aspirants avoid and/or address some of the same pitfalls… what do you think? Is that something you think might work as an e-book?
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6 Comments

  1. litlove said,

    Honestly? I think that a whole book of an unpacked ms with critical commentary might be a bit much. But it would make a great blog – posting fragments from the novel with your reflections attached. And from doing it as a blog, you might either a) find the next novel you want to write, or b) find a how-to writing project that appealed. I think you are in the middle of a significant life change that needs a huge amount of your mental capacity. Take it from me as one who’s been there (and how!) you need more space around your creativity than you have right now. In just a little while (give it 7 months or so) you will find you are well on the way to having more time and peace of mind. Then you can tackle a proper project and do it well. But there may only be more frustration ahead if you try and leap into something important right now. Slow down! You have loads of time and we all know you have all the skills you need.

    • litlove said,

      Actually, thinking about it all this morning, I started remembering the posts you used to write about your nana, and how genius they were – so loving and funny nad astute. I’m sure there’s a brilliant book there, either fiction or narrative non-fiction, if it was something you wanted to do. And the novel is probably still a publication bet – just in a better market than the utterly awful one we have right to live with right now. I figured I was being over-protective of you and too influenced by my own experience of baby + thesis = chronic fatigue. If I’d known I’d be ill for 12 years, I would certainly have taken an extra 6 months off! You’re a very special person, Di and a wonderful writer, so I have every faith in your literary career.

      • DoctorDi said,

        Easily one of the most generous, thoughtful and flattering things anyone has ever said to me, Litlove. A million thanks for making my day. I don’t know what’s next for my writing, but this comment makes me feel a lot better about it.

    • DoctorDi said,

      I don’t mean the whole ms plus commentary, btw… I mean with extracts from the ms. Yes, I did wonder about a blog, but I’m not sure I can sustain another writing project with ZERO income potential. However modest, at least an e-book has that. But I take your point, my dear, although I am not sure my creative life could be moving much slower than it already is these days!

  2. Lilian Nattel said,

    I’m so glad to hear of all the digestive improvements! I think whatever keeps you thinking about writing now is good for that reason alone.

    • DoctorDi said,

      Yep, the digestive improvements are pretty damn exciting, Lilian – I am still on high alert, but with every day that passes vomit-free, I begin to believe it really is behind us. Phew.

      I totally agree. I am unlikely to get much of anything underway for a while yet, but it’s nice just to turn my mind to the problem.

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