February 22nd, 2009



I'm sitting here in floods of tears watching the Black Saturday Bushfire memorial service.

Bad things will always happen and will sometimes happen to you. Mistakes will always happen too and will sometimes be made by you. What really matters, what truly shows the character that you are made of, is what you do immediately after and in the time following. That, to me, is where it counts. That's when you find out who you are and what you are made of.

Overwhelmingly Australians pulled together. Across Victoria and across the country we pulled together - however we could, with volunteers, with empathy, and with financial support. There wasn't even debate or question about it. It just happened.

And our friends from across the world pulled together with us too - American Firefighters flew in to help contain fires, reciprocating our firefighters who have flown to California in recent summers. I heard too that a village in Indonesia sent financial support to show how they appreciated Australian support during the aftermath of the Tsunami.

I didn't catch all the service, but I did hear the final two songs - which sent me over the edge:

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on Earth we come.
We share a dream, but sing with one voice,
I am, You are, We are Australian.

And proud to be, too.

I'm watching the Prime Minister hug people as they leave the service. Those kind of images will remain with me, I think, for a while.

I'm yet to promote angriest's Fan Fundraiser for the Bushfire Appeal:

Hope is a new multi-part fanzine raising money for bushfire relief in the Australian state of Victoria. It is edited by Grant Watson, with contributions donated by writers, artists and fans in Australia and from overseas. It is supported by the Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation (WASFF), and has received assistance from the Film & Television Institute of WA, Supanova and Big Finish Productions.

Issue #1 is now available in a PDF edition in return for donations. How much you donate is up to you - a minimum of AUS$5.00 is reasonable.

If you wish to subscribe to the entire series (potentially it will be five issues long), then a donation of at least AUS$20.00 is recommended.

Hope #1 contains contributions from Mo Ali, Sophie Ambrose, R.J. Astruc, Lyn Battersby, K.K. Bishop, Matthew Chrulew, Stephen Dedman, Mark S. Deniz, d.n.l, Paul Haines, Simon Haynes, Kathleen Jennings, Ju Landeesse, Damian Magee, David A. McIntee, Simon Petrie, Andrew Phillips, Gillian Polack, Robert Shearman and Daniel Smith. The cover is by Rebecca Handcock.

Hope #1 contains 46 pages of fiction, non-fiction, artwork, and even a comic book script excerpt!

You can make a donation to the project via Paypal by clicking here:

Once you've made a donation, please confirm it by e-mailing Grant at fanboy@gmail.com, and letting him know whether you were after just the one issue or the whole series as it's released.

If you're leery of donating directly to Grant, to subsequently donate a huge bunch at once, then e-mail him some kind of receipt or screen capture of your donation to the Australian Red Cross and he will trust you and send out the PDF.

Limited print copies are available, if dead trees are your thing. If it's a print copy you're after, let Grant know in your e-mail along with your address. Though obviously PDF is preferred to keep the production and postage costs down but the option is there.

Please promote Hope on your own LJ or blog - the more the info spreads, the more money we may raise for the people of rural Victoria.



That island from my dream from the other night featured in my dream again (no cheese consumed yesterday).

I was looking through a travel brochure with a travel agent who was visiting my house and I saw a picture of what could have been it, and it had a large cruise ship docked alongside. I mentioned that I had dreamed of the island, and discovered that the island was called Solaire, and was located in the CM of Montgomery.

Does that mean anything???



It's my 33rd birthday on Friday. I like my milestones. I like the way they make me take stock. Last year, 32 was really hard for me. I'm not sure why - or rather, I know very well why. It was my first birthday that would see me single in years. Being single at 32 reminded me that I was not where I thought I would be by now - married with children, established in my career etc. And that meant of course that ... I should be unhappy with how my life was going. And finally, I think that I knew that the coming year was going to be hard work - emotionally and otherwise - in terms of getting over the ex, putting some sort of life together and not being unhappy that I was kind of back at square one of Life.

Of course what I know now is that 32 was AWESOME! That not only was I not back at square one, but that I would find lots of ladders to climb up along the way and would find myself much further along in the game than I thought I was. Because of course, what I discovered, is that none of the things that I thought mattered, actually did, and that happiness is found and measured quite in quite different ways.

Frankly, that's pretty good use of a year.

33, by comparison, doesn't feel at all scary or horrifying. In fact, I'm appproaching this birthday as heralding an era for personal liberation and happiness. A time where I will once and for all throw off all my personal (and other people's) expectations, live a life not according to a plan, a life free of markers and comparisons that grade its success, and embrace living fully in the moment. Always in pursuit of genuine and lasting happiness.

I was just at my parent's house because they wanted to give me my birthday present - a brand new, super deluxe, fangled frying pan! I will master the omelette. Oh yes I will. We talked about many things whilst I was visiting. Mostly I guess how I have learned that there is no value in peering into other people's lives with rose coloured glasses and that just because someone has something that you want, that doesn't mean that their life is perfect or any happier than your own. In fact, probably, I am happier than a lot of people that we know in our wider community. Fancy that! Me being single, n'all!

Anyway, I found out something huge. I finally found out what happened to the dog that I shared with the ex. Amusingly, the conversation went - I can never know what happened. I just couldn't bear it - with me then finding out that my mother has known all along! And didn't tell me cause I didn't want to know. And here it is - he took the dog to the RSPCA and Sabby was very quickly rehomed to a family. The lovely dog has been with a family for the last year who loves him and hopefully feeds him properly and walks him everyday and gives him lots of cuddles. Sabby loves to snuggle and loves big proper hugs - he puts his paws round your neck and asks for them.

And all this time, I've been worrying about him in the heat and wondering if he is getting enough contact time. And all along he's probably been fine. Guilt over not taking him myself in the split has stopped me from getting my own dog. But now I know at least that the dog is not suffering by being cooped up in that house with that man. It's an enormous relief.

And then of course this - what kind of man makes a point of rescuing a dog in the first place and then just hands him into the RSPCA because he can no longer be bothered with him? What kind of man can not love his dog? The answer of course is, the kind of man you don't feel sad anymore about no longer being with. If he can't love his dog ...

People have told me it takes half the time you were with someone to fully get over them. It no longer hurts me physically to see photos or things that relate back to us and that time. At the beginning of this year I picked up and finished a craft project I was working on on our last boating holiday before the split. I hadn't been able to bring myself to even look at it before then. So too, I am only just now being able to actually go through the remaining boxes I packed and brought when I moved. For such a long time the reminders hurt. Now I think it's just stuff that has to be sorted and tossed or assimilated into my life and him forgotten about. It feels good to be so removed from it, I think.

Yesterday I was sorting through computer files on the desktop - there's a folder called [ex's name] and I hadn't been able to bring myself to look at it before now. They are folders of photos - of him and of us. And I finally looked through them yesterday to see if I should just delete them or what. And there's this photo of us from 2005 on a Saturday night on the boat, moored at Freo - we used to go with friends down the river, to Freo, have fish and chips (I hate fish and chips) and ice cream (I'm lactose intolerant) every single weekend back then. I looked bloody cold. And tired. And he is nibbling at my ear or something and I am looking at the camera - and he looks happy and I look ... unhappy, or unimpressed. In 2005. We were only about 3 years in then and I already looked unhappy. Looking at that photo yesterday I thought: there's nothing to be sad or regretful about. Not if that's what I looked like *in* the damn relationship.

So ... I guess still further liberation and casting off of that time. And it feels great! And hopefully now that will mean I can further unpack and clear out the physical baggage I am still hauling around from then. And properly move into this house and my life. Both of which I love.

And I am determined that this birthday will be the first in 4 years that the ex cannot and does not ruin. He still ruined last year's. But this year I shall have good friends, great shoes, and fantastic things to do. I am taking the day off and treating myself to a hot rock massage, steam and facial in the morning. Drinks with friends in the evening. And then a lovely long weekend.

And this year will be even more AWESOME than last - and that's a tall order!



I made sushi last night. I can't remember the last time I made sushi - possibly before I moved out of home. How hideous is that! I don't know why I stopped. Don't think the ex liked it. And yet I think I left my sushi rolling mat with him? Go figure. Or it was OCD related - I had a thing about rice for a while. Anyway, yesterday I did a proper grocery shop, with fruit and vegetables and a week of planned meals and everything, and I had a hankering for sushi. And now, I am fully eqipped to eat sushi whenever I want! Yay!

And then I had sushi for breakfast too!! (I ate at noon) And it felt so good to be back being me before the not-me period.

And now, I have a pasta bake in the oven which I shall freeze in serves for meals for later. Feels good to be back doing this again. Taking care of me, body and soul.

Much better too to not be ambitious, do one dish today, casually. Tomorrow I will make an eggplant curry. And a leek and feta quiche later in the week. If I do it gradually and planned, I think this could be a sustainable and good lifestyle change. I'm excited about it today, anyway.


What did I get done today?

(Still working for a couple more hours yet, and just hit my groove)

1. Got a new frying pan from my parent's as a bday present!
2. Found a new bunch of WIP knitting projects
3. Baked a pasta bake - dinner, lunch tomorrow + 7 frozen meal serves
4. Edited Coming up For Air
5. Reedited Smuggler's Moon
6. Slushed 2 Shiny submissions
7. Updated ASif Daily News
8. Proofed King of All and the Metal Sentinel

hmmm ... got a bit to do here.



I gotta take a break from reading Deborah Biancotti for a couple of days.

Just finished proofing "King of All and the Metal Sentinel" and after the news of my own dog today, man this story rips out my heart. Mighta brought a tear to my eye too (and it has a happy ending, this one).

Biancotti has a way of seeing straight into the soul of people and stories. She's not interested in the icing and dressing, she is far more intrigued by the truth and the heart, or lack of heart, of things. And that commitment to the harsh truth, the raw humanity that she sees in people and rips out and puts front and centre - it's gritty and honest and unflinching. And it hurts - sometimes in bad ways and sometimes in bittersweet ways. But ... damnit she takes no prisoners.