The New Thing
It’s 0430 and I’m sitting mostly in the dark, here in my dining room, at an inherited oak table that’s made it at least twice across the country since about the Civil War, and I just realized today is my day. Outstanding. Mrs. Dave, the Davelings and I are trying a new thing, recently. Well, Mrs. Dave and I are. Wee Dave and Dave-called-Moxie (which may need to get revised: this one’s turned downright cheerful. Avo is not enormously pleased.) are on their normal schedule, or whatever passes for it this week.
As anyone who has spawned (inadvertently, or otherwise) can tell you, offspring require. Pretty much everything. Time, energy, food (so much food), sleep, effort, work, time, more energy, attention, and so on, and so forth, ad freakin’ infinitum. As the one at home with them, a lot of that comes from me. When Wee Dave was at this stage, I could park him in the Boycliner, rock him with my foot, and basically ignore him in favor of my writing device, unless and until he made sufficient noise to jar my consciousness loose from whatever world it was inhabiting.
And I can do that with Moxie (it. is. glorious.), but Wee Dave is a toddler, these days. He’ll be two next month (officially. he’s precocious, so he’s been acting very two since about 17 months *sigh*), a thing about which I have been avoiding thinking too deeply, and so requires more energy, more interaction, and MUCH more supervision from me than his much tinier – and smaller – sibling. For example, he’s discovered how to draw (thank you, Grammy), and I’ve discovered the unutterable joy of pondering what will remove things from the walls.
Aside: and he keeps getting taller! Who authorized this? I certainly did not. The safe surfaces keep shrinking. It is maddening, and someone is going to pay for it. Probably me.
So whenever he’s awake, he needs at least half my attention (which makes feeding the baby interesting. Or cooking. Or anything else which requires more than half my attention. Or both of my hands. I have a recurring fantasy of what it would be like to be the hexaperson from the Karres books. Twelve hands and the ability to split my attention? Heaven. I wouldn’t even need all six. I’d settle for three. Okay, four, so one can catch up on all the reading I haven’t been doing.) which absolutely kills my writing time. One cannot put butt in chair and hands on keyboard when little hands require occupying. He’s almost like a cat, but with thumbs and words.
So I’ve been getting up at 0400. I stumble out, zombie-like, usually wondering what’s possessed me, and prepare Blessed Ichor (hasn’t happened, yet, today, though I’ll get to it shortly) and maybe something a bit more solid for Mrs. Dave and me, as her place of duty requires her presence at 0600, and Moxie-baby still has needs of a morning. Then I boot up The Rig (still going strong for those following my Techventures at home) and pull up the WiP, a weird west short of ten thousand words than I’m only 12k into. *cough*
And that’s my writing time. Depending on the morning, I can steal between half an hour and an hour and a half, and I’m averaging about 800 words/hour, which suits me just fine. For now. For a parent of small creatures and a confirmed introvert, it’s also alone time, which is a commodity without price. (The next step toward genuine personhood is to add regular exercise back into the mix. That one’s going to take some doing.)
The one downside is we haven’t managed to figure out how to get to bed before about 10 p.m, and that may be what kills me. I don’t function well with that much regular sleep deprivation, though there’s an argument to be made that it decreases inhibition (similar to alcohol consumption) and that, in turn, encourages the writing, by reducing the impact of the editor voice. Still and all, I’d rather fight with that bastard than drag through the day powered by coffee and apprehension of what himself is going to get into next.
So the new thing is really the old thing: repeated application of hands to keyboard in pursuit of story, and it’s eye-opening. It’s also worth noting that at Unholy O’clock, there are fewer distractions. Not just the Davelings, I mean. The intertubes are less of a draw. Using The Rig, while I have a wifi dongle (I heard that snicker), the RasPi doesn’t have sufficient oomph to process most of the websites which suck my time and soul away. The tablet is there (I’m actually typing this on that, as it’s just simpler from which to post), but off to the side, which would have my neck at an uncomfortable angle. The gaming desktop is downstairs, books are on shelves. The biggest distraction are actually the boots I’ve been making for most of the last year (If I had that extra pair of hands, those’d be done this weekend, darnit), and if I keep myself in semi-darkness, black thread on black leather is not-so-visible.
And the words get written (even the ones I’m going to have to cut to keep the story under the cap) and the story flows, and I learn more about my characters. And for the first time in a long time, writing isn’t a chore. Now if only I could keep the house clean…