Tag Archives: work

It’s not the ending, but the journey that’s important…

…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 :)

Cranky Ladies logoTaking 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!!

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Okay, so I’ve been busy, what’s new?!

Yes, the last time I posted properly was on the first day of our holiday. Yes, that was nearly a full month ago. GOOD GRIEF WHERE DOES TIME GO?! I know; it disappears down the vortex of university marking, family, reading, publishing and well, life.

IMG_2963We had a lovely time with the grandparents in Queensland. The kids are SO not country kids anymore (well, to be fair, Master Three never has been, but Master Ten and Miss Eight spent an awful lot of time on the farm when they were younger and have no excuse!), and are nervous of bugs, flies, ants, snakes (reasonable) and scared of the dogs. Especially M3, but after some intense conditioning, he was happily interacting with them in the second week of the holidays. A big improvement on screaming in terror when the puppy so much as looked at him!

Was really nice to catch up with friends and family. I had planned to attend GenreCon in Brisbane on the final weekend of the holidays, but due to various factors, that didn’t pan out. Probably for the best in the end, as I was pretty busy anyway! We had Miss Eight’s birthday while we were there, and despite my intentions of no parties, Granna decided we would have one! A couple of little friends and cousins, the excellent Miles Historical Village and Museum as the venue (Mum works there), and a swim at the pool after. I made the cakes, party bags came courtesy of Mum’s strategically stocked party box, and it was most pleasant.

We got home from the trip with absolutely no issues – I’m pretty sure the plane into Launceston landed on the dot of the itinerary flight time, and we had excellent hosties on both flights. We absolutely froze for the next couple of weeks though, as it turned back cold here, and after warming our blood in 30-35 degrees for the QLD trip, it was a bit of a shock! Since then, I’ve marked two batches of assignments, started work on writing a new university unit for a new course, published nearly three books (and fixed issues with some others), started a new publishing project (surprise surprise), read eight zillion books for CBCA judging (so far behind, trying furiously to catch up!), started organising two more birthdays (M10 and Bubs coming up next week-ish!), written (and co-written) and edited essays on Doctor Who, helped husband with a bunch of stuff for his new projects, and gosh so much else I can’t even think. And I’d best get back to it! Hopefully won’t be another month before I manage another post!

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So remember those germ buckets?

Between them and the marking, I’ve lost the last three weeks even more comprehensively than the month before that! Time, what is it? I had two batches of marking come in with pretty much the same deadline, and started a new sessional job as well. Naturally, that’s when the kids dropped like stones. Poor Master Ten ended up in the emergency room for five hours with suspected appendicitis (it wasn’t , but they couldn’t rule it out – still don’t know whether it was appendix related or something else!). As husband was away, that meant I too was in emergency room. With baby and Master Three in tow (managed to farm Miss Seven off to a friend’s, where she stayed overnight, which was great). And no book, no iPad, a dying phone and no charger – very poorly prepared! We got through it. All the boys were really very good, so I must be doing something right!

Poor Bubs wasn’t 100% at the time, and he went downhill pretty quick. I thought initially it might be teething, or maybe a lingering issue from his ear infection, but it just hung around and hung around. Temps, a nose that was so snotty he couldn’t even FEED properly on one day, and generally grumpiness and clinginess. Eventually took him to the doctor, but he said there was no infection so just had to persevere. So we did. At the same time, while husband was away, I sleep deprived myself in order to break the baby of the nighttime waking habits – the first two nights were awful, but things did improve and now, it seems, we have a baby who sleeps from about 7pm to between 5 and 6am – which is totally something I can live with! Should have “fixed” him months ago!

And in there I wrangled four kids, got started on the marking (very very slowly) and tried to keep up with CBCA reading and FableCroft work as well. Something had to give, and that was housework! Bit the bullet and got a cleaner in for a couple of hours to fix the house enough I felt happy with the baby wandering about on the floors. Which he is doing TERRIBLY CAPABLY – we now have a proper crawler, and a flipping STAIR CLIMBER! I ordered a stair gate for the big stairs which arrived yesterday. A bit of peace of mind, though the two small sets into the lounge/study are still a little concerning – not so much the going up, but the recent attempts at DOWN are downright frightening. I think it will most likely end with tears, and can only hope not blood or broken bones!

Then, right as I was ramped up into the last three days of marking, I started to feel unwell myself. Initially thought it might have been wisdom teeth, then it migrated around my jaw and settled in my throat. Owwwwww. A few terrible nights’ sleep, lots of pain, mild temps and feeling of nausea. Panadol got me through the marking though, and though I did go to the doctor, was again told no infection so nothing to be done but treat the symptoms. *sigh*

Anyway, that’s all done now. Still have sessional and forum monitoring, but no marking for a couple of weeks (before another blitz). It looks like I have a contract to write a new unit for one of my unis though, which is pretty cool. Even cooler is that the bulk of that work won’t really start until the main marking is over, which is good! And somewhere in there, I have four books to get out in the next six weeks, and of course CBCA reading continues, as does Aurealis Awards wrangling – busy busy! But what’s new? :)

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Where does time go?

I’ve had trouble getting anything written here – I blame visitors, school holidays and the fact I’m blogging elsewhere! We’ve had a very social few weeks which has included multiple sleepovers, a Tansy & family overnight visit, a fishing day out, an Emma & B visit, a job won and lost for husband, Helen & J for two nights, a couple of movies, and LOADS of extra children and chauffeuring about of ours in their busy social schedules! I wanted to get lots more done than I did, but well, didn’t. I’m working now on unpacking the final boxes in the study, doing the filing/tax, and unpacking the boxes in Bub’s room and finishing the sorting of the clothes for keeping or handing on. There are still quite a few more stealth boxes in various hidey holes. At least a couple I can’t unpack until I get a lovely display cabinet. Almost all the books are unpacked. I think a couple more might be yet more clothes (probably mostly for discarding). And there’s a few jammed with toys (again, many of which can be passed on). What’s in the rest? It’s an adventure in unpacking, because I don’t know!

And time is running out. The marking will start to roll in soon, and then I’ll be turning over assignments and other uni work until at least November. Need to get a wriggle on!

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Looking for the silver linings

My husband took a redundancy package from work last week. He’s been there over five and a half years, which is like a lifetime in mining! He pretty much saw it coming, and was more cranky that they made him fly in to work only to fly back home again the same day, than about the actual redundancy. Well, he was disappointed in a few other things too, but not actually sad to give up a weekly cross-country flight on the rubbish roster they’ve been on this year, and the “politics” of the job. And financially we’re in good shape, so there’s no stress about job hunting just yet. Still, it’s the first time both of us have basically been stay at home parents. Ever! Wish us luck :)

But there was an immediate silver lining as a consequence – I got to attend the Aurealis Awards! I was cancelling flights on Wednesday afternoon when it suddenly occurred to me that I could go, with just the baby to worry about. Lots of flight credits meant no out of pocket there, and the hotel had rooms, so I booked – as an added bonus, when I rang my aunt to let her know I was coming on a flying visit, I ended up with lifts to and from airport, and a babysitter for the afternoon/evening! I’m very spoilt :)

Had an absolutely excellent time, although it’s never long enough to see everyone or chat properly. Still, it’s enough to recharge the creative batteries and catch up, however briefly, with friends. And meeting people face to face for the first time is a highlight!

Cat Sparks did her usual brilliant job of capturing the action, but here’s a couple of photos I got of folks “frocking the Aurealis Awards”.

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Rivqa, Lisa, Angela & Kirstyn

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Donna & Kate

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Thoraiya & Joanne

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Richard & Daniel

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Cathie, Katharine & Cat

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Kate, Kaaron & Deborah

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