Neonatal Consciousness – What is it like (if anything) to be a newborn baby?

Alya Joy Denman, 25 days after birth, 32 weeks gestation

Five weeks after the nail-biting experience of having our twins born two months early, my wife and I have now settled into a routine of regular visits to the neonatal intensive care unit, where our little boy and girl try to complete the remainder of their gestation in perspex boxes.

And so, as they lie there, mostly peacefully but with occasional myoclonic jerks, hiccups and tentative openings of the eyes, I find myself wondering what, if anything could be passing through their little minds. Do they even have minds? Are they even capable of consciousness at such an early stage of development? Continue reading “Neonatal Consciousness – What is it like (if anything) to be a newborn baby?”

Free will, the writer’s muse and other balls.

Photo by Adam N.Ward

The origin of artistic inspiration has been a subject of fascination since the ancient Greeks, who wrote of nine goddesses or muses without whose benevolent gifts of insight, aspiring writers and other artists would presumably have been left creatively bereft.

Before I started writing my first novel, I’d heard authors talk of how their books sometimes seemed to write themselves, but I never really believed it. Instead I assumed it was just a false show of modesty following the laboured completion of what must actually have been a far more complex and arduous process of creation. This made the experience, when it first occurred to me, all the more remarkable. Continue reading “Free will, the writer’s muse and other balls.”