March 11th, 2008

Willow

The madness is over

Biiiiig thanks to kathrynlinge who read my selection criteria like 45 times and never once complained. And also to editormum who read them and then wondered who the hell I really am! I lodged the application today, a whole day early just so it was off my plate. And am enjoying the not working on it right now.

I then rewrote my to do list. It's an accomplishment to fit them onto 3 A4 pages plus 1 (list for the Get Stuff Done project) instead of 4 A4 pages plus 1, right? Sometimes things get weird when they only stay as thoughts inside my head but I kinda panic about what would happen if the to do list was just 1 page long. Like, what would I do with my time? I say this knowing a lot of the things on my list are things that need to be done and then will be off the list, things that will create more things on the list by doing them and that soon, I might have something entirely else to do with my time *whistles*

So ahh ... yeah ... that's my day, I think.
Willow

New Ceres Issue 2

I havent really commented on the Ditmar nomination ballot yet but I am really proud to see New Ceres Issue 2 make the Best Collected Work category. That looks like a pretty tough category this year and I don't remotely expect to win.

However, taking a step back, I'm very proud of this issue of New Ceres. As well as Best Collected Work, New Ceres Issue 2 just made the Tin Ducks ballot, Lucy Sussex's "Mist and Murder" made the Sir Julius Vogel Awards short list and Stephen Dedman's "Sufficiently Advanced" made the Tin Ducks shortlist.

In celebration, I thought I might offer this issue for the special price of $3 from now till the Ditmars Awards ceremony.

And in case you needed greater incentive to purchase your very own pdf copy of this zine, let me tell you what it's about.

Lucy Sussex picks up the thread from Tansy Rayner Roberts' La Duchesse story from Issue 1 in "Mist and Murder". Pepin and La Duchesse get called out to privately investigate a ghostly apparition and end up getting involved in a murder case. Sussex picks up Roberts' characters as though they were her own and runs off with them. (And might I say, fans of the Pepin/La Duchesse team should look out for Issue 3 where Roberts picks them up again and then does very very very naughty things with them.)

Stephen Dedman takes us into the world of the brothels on New Ceres and how they work the system to use their technological advances whilst still flying under the governmental radar. What I love about "Sufficiently Advanced" is how easily Dedman slides into the New Ceres world - he captures the coffee houses and the atmosphere perfectly. Plus, he's just a wee bit naughty with the way he couples the sexual worker with female liberation.

Jay Lake has a really moving piece called "Tower to the Sun" about the final moments of one member of the Golden Monks and how he plays the political game, right up to the very end.

And finally, Cat Sparks brings us "The Bride Price". It's my personal favourite of Sparks' work from last year. When I read it the first time, it made me cry. It's the story of one New Ceresian man shopping for his bride - offplanet and looking over girls bred specifically to be rich men's wives and still have some maturing to do. It's his ride home though, back to New Ceres, where he really learns something about life and maybe about love. (I secretly hope Sparks will write a sequel to this one day).

Alex Pierce turns her hand to a fictional review in her "Theatre Review" in the Prosperine Times. She beautifully captures the Prosperine High Society whilst delivering a quite comical retelling of the Shakesperian performance.

And for the next two weeks, you can check these stories out for the lowdown bargain price of $3:






Willow

Taking a moment

Back in December I gave myself 6 months to get my shit together. It was a big ask but there were no other options. I was doing this. December was a pretty bleak time and I guess I could really have gone either way. I hadn't hit rock bottom and I just didn't want to. I also didn't want to give the ex the satisfaction of breaking me, even though, truth me told, I had been pretty darn broken for a long while.

"Getting my shit together" was an enormous task with some really big goals. I didn't document them all here, some of them are just too personal. But it turned out, it wasn't a matter of fixing a couple of things - get a new job, buy a house, get back out into the dating world. *Doing* these things alone was not the task, and without doing the full task, I don't think I could have done any of those things.

"Getting my shit together" turned out to require a multi-faceted approach - tackling something like 15 different things, ranging from highly personal self esteem issues to work matters, personal health and well being, financial ... a whole huge thing. And it also required me to put myself first every single day, no matter what. And this turned out to be one of the most challenging things of all - so often I have found myself doing things because other people wanted me to or to make other people feel better - how I felt not being that important. And it's interesting how much other people don't like it when you just stop doing that and when you stop responding to emotional blackmail and when no matter how loudly the other person stamps their foot, you still put yourself first and are unapologetic about it. And I had to do this.

I don't think I would have come as far as fast if I had done otherwise and I wouldn't have come to a point where I can reach out to others when they need me. I was just so broken before. I can hardly believe how far I have come - and most of the progress is on the inside, you may not even notice it. But I stand here, into the 4th month of this 6 month deadline and actually, I'm starting to think I may very well do it. I may just have got my shit together for life. For Life! I can't even really contemplate it, yet there it is. The true test I guess is to not fall apart in 12 months time or whatever. But I guess I *have* come so far when I no longer really feel like I have been sent all the way back to the beginning. I actually think I am further ahead than I was in October 2007. And that's saying a lot.

It's been hard, I won't deny it. I've seen some pretty dark days and the abyss has winked back at me more than once. But I can honestly say that I am happy and have been happy for more days in a row than I can remember in a very very long time. And I'm starting to really start ticking things off that How to do Life Checklist. And I'm only 2/3rds done!