Archive for category Fatherhood

State of the Writer: October 2012

2012 Goal: Query Nickajack.

I’m starting with those words only because I promised, at the beginning of the year, that I would start every State of the Writer post this year with those words, to remind me that was my goal for the year. At this point it’s now the second of October, and we’re not even to beta readers, so I can say it will not happen. Does that make me regret the goal? Not in the least. It’s been a fire under my ass all year to keep working on the novel. But…life gets in the way sometimes.

I didn’t write this blog post yesterday. I had the Add New Post page open, ready to go, but I didn’t write it. Because I knew what it would say. That’s cheating. The entire reason I started these monthly posts back in February 2011 was to not only trumpet my accomplishments, but to keep myself honest as a writer. During September of 2012 my only writerly activity was to accept the edits on my story for the upcoming Old Weird South anthology. For which I was immediately paid, making this simultaneous one of my least and most productive months ever as a writer, depending on the criterion you want to use.

Writing with a baby has proven to be difficult. It’s hard to write when you’re not getting as much sleep (though I’m getting less not sleep than my wife, who is busy being the awesomest mom ever, sorry my mom). I was going to kick back into writing yesterday, but we had an opportunity for a date night with my wife to have sushi and go see a movie. When you’ve got a baby, those are the nights you cannot pass up, no matter how much you want to get back into writing. We saw Looper, and last night is one of the few nights I don’t regret not writing in the last month. Tonight, it’s back to the grind. My goals at first are going to be modest. 500 words of writing or 30 minutes of editing. Every week night. Morning writing has ended for now, it may return with the new year as I learn what my new morning schedule is. It may not if the new schedule will not accommodate it. If it doesn’t, I will find another 15 minute chunk of time daily that is exclusively for first drafting. One of my first goals will be prepping Vampires of Mars for circulation among some pro-rate markets. I hope to have it out to the first stop (wherever that ends up being) by the end of the week.

I have the best possible excuse in the world for not writing, not just a baby, but a fantastic baby. Going forward, I will likely refer to her as Little Bird in this blog and on Twitter, following the habits of Tee Morris, Chuck Wendig, and others of not referring to their children by name online. It’s ultimately up to her to craft an identity connect with her name on the internet, which she won’t be doing for a good long while (more on that later in the week, likely). I’d been planning to give her an online nickname for awhile. Little Bird is one my wife started using, and I rather liked.

State of the Authors Beer: Hoping to bottle π Stout this weekend, especially since I promised some bottles to coworkers yesterday.

State of the Authors Bees: It’s been a rough summer for nectar in Northern Virginia, not just for my bees but across the region. That’s probably why my one hive was robbed. To prepare the bees for winter, we are feeding them 2-to-1 sugar syrup so we’ll hopefully not lose both hives our first year.

October also features Capclave, which I’m still determining how I’ll approach, and Flashathon, which I’m doing a poor job talking about.

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One Week of Fatherhood

Two thoughts after one week.

Thought the first: Baby has a lot of hiccups. This is apparently very common among babies, and not a problem unless the hiccups bring up stomach contents, at which point it’s a baby version of the condition I suffered through a few years back. In researching this, however, I came across a discussion of baby hiccups, and what doesn’t work to cure them. Long and short, like human hiccups there are few known causes or cures, but plenty of folk remedies. Here were the “cures” that the site specifically pointed out don’t work:

Don’t try to cure hiccups by startling your baby, pressing on her eyeballs, pushing on her fontanel, or pulling her tongue, which are common folk remedies in some cultures.

The fontanel, for those keeping score at home, is also known as the soft spot, a place where the skull hasn’t yet fully fused. I was surprised that some parents may need to be told, hey, maybe don’t poke the soft spot.

Thought the second: Today is the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It’s impossible not to look at things in terms of my now one week old daughter.  She was born not just after the attacks, but after the 10th anniversary of the attacks. This is an event that so defined lives of multiple generations that will only ever be a history lesson for her. I was trying to put that in some personal perspective, so I checked out the year-in-history pages on Wikipedia for 11 years before both my wife and I were born.

For my wife, the 11 years ago event was Apollo 13. For myself, it was the assassinations of RFK and MLK Jr. It’s stunning to think that she will be as removed from 9/11 as we are from those events. The world keeps going, and the present very quickly becomes the past.

This blog will probably return to normal next week.

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Geek Dad-To-Be: T-minus One Month

…give or take. And with the date rapidly approaching, I’ve hit a rather major dilemma. The realization that I would likely be kicked out of the hospital if, while my wife is recovering, I start knocking on other doors in the maternity overnight stay part of the hospital and say “I’ve been sent from the future to stop your child.” Is it weird that having that actually happen has worked its way into my list of irrational soon-to-be-a-dad concerns? Yes, I know this anxiety both is and isn’t the plot of The Terminator, but I blame the Vlogbrothers and their Evil Baby Orphanage, a sanctuary set up deep in the Himalayas where babies who are going to grow up to be evil are sequestered and raised in a more loving environment. It nicely ties up both the nature and the nurture halves of the argument.

It also needs to be an anthology. I already have my story outlined in my head. Are you listening, Vlogbrothers?

My dad and I had lunch yesterday while my wife and mom were off at the baby shower. Discussion got onto child raising advice. We appear to be in the post-For-Dummies era when it comes to advice, as a generation that grew up self identifying as nerds and geeks suddenly discover they’re going to be parents. And so while we have the classic “What To Expect…” trilogy, I’ve taken to pouring over The Baby Owners Manual which takes the approach of child raising couched in the terminology of the owner’s manual. I’m reading other books while preparing, but it’s nice to have something to fall back on that reinforces the information, but has a little more fun with it.

I still have phases of disbelief and moments that reality overwhelms me all at once. I expect these may last for a few more months. Who knows, maybe a few more years. I have this odd fear that it’ll never feel entirely real.

And that’s one of my other anxieties, living right alongside the kidnappers-from-the-future one. In a way, it’s nice to have a silly anxiety to fall back on.

We’ve been through classes on what to do when my wife says “it’s time,” which will probably involve me panicking and making at least two wrong turns even though the drive to the hospital is a subset of my daily commute to work. We’ve toured the hospital, where I learned that the chair provided for the dads in the recovery room reclines “a little” which is to say you can slump down in it. We’ve had classes about what to do after we bring our newborn home, because for some reason they’re going to trust us with a newborn that they’ll just let us take home from the hospital what the fuck?

Though on the bright side, my mom did get us a bib very similar to this one. Because she’s my mom and she rocks. And she probably doesn’t work for the time traveling kidnappers.

I don’t think.

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