Funnily enough I didn’t get as much reading done in October as in previous months. I didn’t get as much anything done, to be honest. Here is a synopsis of what I did manage to get through (TL;DR – it was mainly keeping a tiny human alive).

Reading Life

I read 2 books in October, so the yearly total is now 55 books (47 if we exclude re-reads). Both of my October tomes were fiction, both fantasy, both by women – 1 African American author and 1 caucasian. Skip to the end to see what they were, leave a comment if you would like to discuss – although full disclosure, the conversation may be slow. I’m going to have to re-read both at some point because whilst I enjoyed them, sleep deprivation meant I missed a few things…

Writing Life

Technically I wrote two blog posts in October. These were a review of Rebecca and an update on my September Reads. I also took an unexpected 20 minutes when the baby was napping to start writing a short story – 661 words tapped into the notes function of my phone! This story involves a baby, and remains unfinished.

I thought long and hard about attempting to do NaNoWriMo. Long time readers of this blog will know I am very into National Novel Writing Month, enough to seriously think about trying to do it a few weeks after giving birth… After all, according to Neil Gaiman (or possibly just something someone on Pinterest attributed to him), the gap between sleep and waking is a great time to get words down, because you’re not too much in the real world yet. I live perpetually in that gap at the moment! Surely I ought to be churning out fantasy fiction like it ain’t no thang.

However, the baby is there in the gap with me. It’s less a magical land where I can pour out hilarious tales for kiddos and more like being in The Upside Down as I try to navigate his needs; does he need fed? Changed? Comforted due to some unseen problem? Played with? Soothed? Left to his own devices, jeez mother, calm yourself down he’s fed and safe and warm he just squeaks in his sleep sometimes? This is all pretty distracting and time consuming, and makes for a physical and mental exhaustion the likes of which I’ve never known. Well, maybe sometimes I’ve had a glimpse for the brief period at the end of a NaNoWriMo. You know, that weekend when you pull a couple of all nighters and write nonsense for 7 hours straight to catch up. But the difference of course is you then get a proper night’s sleep and go back to normal again. The cumulative effect of living in that place for six weeks is pretty different.

If you are doing NaNo, I salute you and hope you are having a rad time!

Writer Life

In October I mostly tried to keep my kid alive (successfully, woo hoo!) and introduced him to assorted friends and family. People are insanely generous when you have a baby, as it turns out – we had post pretty much every day and it was a gorgeous outpouring of cards and gifts and goodwill towards this tiny human. He has a pretty phenomenal book collection given he can’t even hold up his own head to look at the pages yet. More on this in a future post I expect.

Books I listened to on Audible

Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik

Books I read with my eyes

Akata Warrior – Nnedi Okorafor