While I do write up over at FableCroft more frequently than here these days, it’s not really at all the same thing, and I miss blogging here! Hopefully we’re getting back on track with our Doctor Who reviews soon, but I’m also going to make a concerted effort to put down more words in general at this place, else otherwise, where’s the proof it all happened? :)
Gosh, scrolling back through the last few posts here (and goodness, a long time between drinks there too!) it seems I really haven’t recorded much at all this year! I suppose a full-time job (and family and everything else on top) will do that to you. So, to sum up:
- Still loving my job – it’s full on, engaging and lots of fun. There are challenges, but I’m enjoying finding ways to overcome them, and there are fantastic opportunities, which I’m loving grabbing hold of. This was a good move.
- We had a FableCroft book party in Hobart in March, which was fun, and was nice that my parents were there (child-minding for a week!).
- The CBCA Judges’ Conference in April was interesting – a very passionate group of people and some really hard decisions. As with any other judging panel, but bigger!
- Awards! Delighted to say we won an Aurealis Award for One Small Step in the Best Anthology category at the Aurealis Awards in April, which was awesome – it’s not the first AA something has won, and we’ve been shortlisted a few times, but it’s the first time I got to bring home a pretty trophy! I was also stoked that Jo Anderton won Best Collection for The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, and she also took out the Australian Shadows Award for the same category! Super cool. And at the Ditmars earlier this month, Tansy, David and I were awarded the William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism and Review for our conversational Doctor Who reviews, and because they both got pretty trophies (designed by the amazing Kathleen Jennings) for wins in other categories (yay!) I got to bring that one home too! Are they not beautiful? :)
- I’ve more projects going on over at FableCroft than I can shake a stick at. Cranky Ladies was fully funded (148%!) in our Pozible campaign in March, and is simmering away with stories starting to trickle in; Insert Title Here is on the bubble, with a table of contents to be announced very shortly (and another special announcement to go with that too!); we launched Jo Anderton’s new novel Guardian at Continuum, and it’s starting to get some reviews around the traps; and there are another couple of things going on that are yet to be announced. SO MUCH GOOD STUFF!
- I didn’t win NAFF, but I did make it to Continuum over the June long weekend anyway, and had an absolute ball. Only had two days there, but I think it’s possibly the most fun I’ve had at a convention ever! I was certainly on more panels than I’ve ever been on before! Caught up with loads of people, sold some books, learned some things – it was great.
- Undertook my two CBCA Judge’s talks (one in Launceston, one in Hobart) to small but engaged audiences. Can’t say I’m sad I’m not judging again this year, because I’m still in a bit of “forced reading” fatigue. Hence probably the fact I’m doing a new reread review project of The Elenium and The Tamuli with Alex Pierce and Jo Anderton now – comfort reading for the win!
- Aurealis Awards will soon open to entries – we’re trying to fix up some behind the scenes problems with the entry form before we go live, but looking forward to another year of finding out about all the great work that’s been published this year.
- I’ve been gradually getting out and doing a little bit of socialising with friends around Canberra. Had an unexpected movie date with Shauna O’Meara the other day when I took a group of students to watch How to train your dragon 2 (which was fabulous!), so that was lovely, and met up with Rebecca James last weekend and Donna Hanson yesterday. Saw Nicole and a few others a few weeks ago at a Canberra Society of Editors meeting where we talked about our editing processes, and went out to dinner with my library staff last Friday. Still have lots of people I really want to see, but time is against me! I will get there…
- Probably the biggest thing in the past few months is that the family have made the move to Canberra! With all the time sink and financial expense that goes with an interstate move. We’ve been trying to sell our house since January and FINALLY (having changed agents a couple of months ago) have an unconditional contract on the property. We’re losing a bucketload of money, but at least it’s (hopefully) done now. Holding our breath until it’s finalised though! Of course, that has meant a whole heap of living out of boxes, unpacking boxes, chucking stuff out because why have I bothered to cart it about for so long… All that stuff, but we’re slowly getting there! Just renting now (and for a while, I think) but a pretty good place, even if it can’t hold a candle to our lovely Launceston home :( Oh, and we have a nanny now! Because I have no idea how we would manage otherwise. She’s great, a young lady who used to babysit for us in WA, and we’re super lucky to have her. Kids are all settled into schools and doing pretty well, though we still miss our friends in Launceston. And WA, for that matter! Stupid nomadic family… :)
Is that it? No, of course not! But it will serve as a catch up for now. I’ll try to do better. Really, I will!
…and boy, has the journey been busy lately! I’ve been working full-time since the end of January, coming home each night (sometimes as late as 7pm or so) and hooking straight back in to my “other” jobs, particularly FableCroft things, but also CBCA and other roles as well. And I’m loving it, though I’m rather worried about dropping any of the balls I’ve got in the air right now! And I’m being EXTREMELY cautious about taking on anything that looks too far ahead, because while it’s been fantastic having time on my own in Canberra to get settled into my job, I’m very aware that once the rest of the family relocates, my time shrinks dramatically! So I’m saying “no” a fair bit, which is a good exercise :)
Taking up most of my time in the past few weeks has been the Cranky Ladies of History campaign. There’s a lot going on, including a bunch of media interviews (including one with Alex Pierce over at Galactic Chat, which went live yesterday), the Cranky Ladies blog tour and the like (which is fantastic!), and maintaining the momentum of the campaign. I’m so lucky Tansy is on board the project, because there’s just no way it would be doing so well without her! Having someone else to bounce ideas off and work with to make the very best book possible is a huge bonus. Not just a bonus – it’s making the project happen! She’s awesome, and this weekend is in Beaconsfield for the inaugural Festival of Golden Words, so I hope she has a lovely time!
I’m also noodling away on slushing for Insert Title Here, thankfully with the support of the very excellent Dirk Flinthart, and working on final edits for Jo Anderton’s new book. In addition, the Aurealis Awards are speeding up on top of us (have you got your tickets to the ceremony yet – it’s going to be a blast!), as is the CBCA Judging Conference (the same weekend!) which means all the final re-reading and collation of reports is underway. Add to that the editing of the next issue of the WASLA journal, and organising the family from afar, on top of a full-on, full-time job, and some wonderful friends I’m enjoying catching up with? Well, let’s just say I’m certainly not bored!!
Heh, it amuses me that the last personal post I did here was about finally sending the baby to daycare. Ever since, one or the other or more of the family have been sick! Bubs kindly brought home a gastro bug from daycare, which four out of six of us experienced (though Master Three was spectacular in his recovery from one single massive vomit, with no further symptoms! It wiped husband and I out for a day each though – different days, luckily). Then we were hit with another cold (we’d already had one a few weeks before), which has taken down Bubs, M3 and Miss Seven, with the lingering cough the worst hangover. Bubs also manifested conjunctivitis, so I took him to the doctor, who diagnosed an ear infection and prescribed antibiotics, which worked a treat! Eyes cleared up within 24 hours, which was a relief. M3 and M7 both missed a bit of school/kindy, but I sent them all off on Thursday again, and Bubs had his first full day (he only had five hours the first time), and he seemed to really enjoy it, which is good. Master Ten has managed to avoid ALL the bugs, which is good!
In the past few weeks we’ve been to Hobart for a birthday party, had some lovely play dates and get togethers (except when sick!), M7 did her first cosplay as Amy Pond (start ‘em young) and I (almost successfully) made Grandma’s Gingernut Biscuits for the first time (they were YUM, but were flat sliced up squares rather than biscuits!) AND spinach & feta pie – I’ve tried more new recipes in the past four months than I ever have before I think. Amazing what having a nice kitchen will do :) Oh, and did I mention that Bubs now has FOUR teeth (they all sprouted within a week of each other), is commando crawling to complement his rolling, and getting into EVERYTHING. How quickly they grow up…
What else have we been doing? Procrastinating on all the things I have to get done before the marking starts to roll in (Tuesday). Why do we do this? *sigh* Anyway, house is clean now, so I’ll get a few things done this afternoon and tomorrow. Bubs has reverted to several wakeups at night again, and I’m getting a bit knocked about by that, but still plugging away at various projects. Naturally, despite my best intentions, I have four books all at a similar point of the publication process, which is annoying! Hmm, I need to stop mucking about here and get on with it. Time is fleeting!
Well, I got the marking done. I finally got Master Ten, Miss Seven, Master Three and our bedrooms basically unpacked and properly habitable. I’m working on bathrooms today and Bub’s room will be last. All the outgrown clothes have been dumped in there for sorting & storing/discarding. Then it’s just the last boxes in the study, and gradually sorting/finding homes for/tossing the “stuff” in the stored boxes. Getting there!
I also managed a huge cleanup on Friday before our visitors on the weekend, so the house is looking quite nice! Helen, Stewart & J came to stay Saturday night, which was, as usual, lovely. Successfully cooked delicious red lentil soup, ate lots of cheese & drank some wine, accompanied by excellent conversation – can’t ask for more!
Last week I applied for two jobs – with husband’s redundancy five weeks ago, we’re looking at employment options for both of us. I don’t WANT to go back to outside-the-home work, but it might be necessary, and these jobs, while very different, are both interesting! We’ll see what happens.
Other than that, just trying to get on top of FableCroft work, in case one of these jobs comes off! Onwards…
So. Many. Things. To. Do.
- batch of uni marking
- formatting Liquid Gold to get ebook ready for sale
- organise contract for forthcoming FableCroft project and format for sale (to be announced)
- finish editing for (different) forthcoming novel project for FableCroft (to be announced)
- work up blog posts for Momentum (I was announced as their new blogger on the weekend!)
- keep unpacking (does it never end! We finally got Miss Seven into her room over the weekend, but there are STILL BOXES!)
- CBCA reading (starting out late doesn’t help, but I’m almost on top of things)
- clean bedrooms and put away all the things accumulating there
- Continuum this weekend!
Oh, and keep kids alive and loved. Cos they’re cute and all :)