May 27th, 2009


Things can change -

Things can fundamentally change.

The best way I can tell myself this is observing the fact that for lunch, I just thoroughly enjoyed an avocado and feta on crunchy breadroll. I have spent about 30 years hating both avocado and feta and yet some time last year or the year before, that changed. The slimier and softer the avocado and the saltier the feta, the better. Maybe that's a change in my palate as I have aged. Maybe I finally got adventurous enough. Maybe on a roll and not lying await in a salad to slime me when I least expected it was enough to initiate me. Yet, now I love avocado in a salad too.

It's weird. But the point is, that was something fundamental and resolute about myself for three decades that has totally about-face changed.

And so too, I will learn to love my cv. I will come to a place where I do not cringe, feel embarrassed or want to throw up when looking at it. I will not feel like I need to apologise or explain. I will get there. And it will be soon! Big thanks to RW and neleh13 who are kindly helping me with this and bearing the brunt of "but I suck"-age. I am very grateful that they are willing to help me.

Last night I took a night off TPP and hung out with the Divine Miss B and jbaby77 for dinner and wine and much chatter. I realised that I don't actually talk about work outside of work. It seems to be the norm - talking shop bores people who don't work at your shop. Also, I work for govt and a lot of what I do is confidential or I cannot be seen to be giving my own opinion etc. So, I learned a while ago to just not talk about. (The result of that is when people look over my cv and go - huh! So that's what you do!) But with B and J, we do tend to talk shop and that extends into our own philosophies, belief systems and moral stances on a bunch of things. So it's always challenging and fun and reminds me why I show up each day to work, even if I am starting to feel jaded about it all.

J of course asserted her dominance over Benji the second she walked in the door and he did everything she wanted him to do. INCLUDING going for an enthusiastic 20 minute walk AND getting off the couch when she told him to. Harumph.

All of the above makes me think though. Last year was about getting my shit together - it was about putting a life together for myself, finding a place to live, a job to settle into and a social circle. It was about getting over myself, dealing with all sorts of stuff and becoming a fully functioning adult again. It was hardcore but it was worth it. This year feels a lot like a year of reaping the rewards of that. This year feels like a year about friends. I think I have come to a place where I realise the most valuable thing in my life is my friends - with them, I have everything else and anything is possible. And I am a very very rich person indeed.

And, I need to chill the fuck out more often.

Is that the glass ceiling?

We talk a lot about women in science fiction. How can we break through the 21-23% representation in most ToCs? What is it that prevents more women being accepted for publication? Do SF readers want to read women's stories? And so on.

We had a good chat about it on one of the ASif! podcasts where we talked about Justine Larbalestier's The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction and in that discussion cassiphone suggests that the problem is broader, that it's not just the editors and publishers, it's also the reviewers and year's best compilers and so on who promote what is good and should be read. She suggests that these are often men and push stories for men written by men or push stories written by women that are still about men.

And ever since she pointed that out to me, I have been reading reviews very carefully. And as usual, she is not wrong.

Today, there is a review from Horrorscope, by Mark Smith-Briggs, on Aurealis Issue 41 which is an all female author issue. There is always much discussion about the choice to go with an all female lineup for a magazine. Noteworthy is the fact that there is often much less discussion when the choice is the reverse.

Of the issue, Mark says, "AUREALIS #41 showcases the talents of Australia’s female speculative fiction writers with an all girl’s issue of the premier fantasy, horror and sci-fi mag.

Featuring seven original stories from all spectrums of the speculative fiction genre – Aurealis #41 puts aside the usual contenders to showcase some of the countries up and coming talents. Horror, sci-fi, fantasy and humour are represented in equal measure showing a real diversity that doesn’t pidgin hole our girls to any clichés. Sure, many of the stories feature strong female characters, or bring a feminist take on a situation, but the ``alternate view’’ brings an often refreshing spin to familiar themes or storylines."

The review has a quick overview of each of the seven stories and concludes with the following:

"Aurealis #41 continues its run of good form and is well worth its cover price for those looking to see what our home grown girls have to offer."

Tell me, is it me?

Lately I've been thinking about the outlets to get reviews in Australia for specfic. There aren't many outlets. Aurealis doesn't send review copies to ASif! so perhaps there will be one maybe two other reviews of this issue somewhere else online. I hope those are less patronising.

Swine Flu?!

Just as I posted the last post, there was a Govt ad about swine flu.

Now, I've had OCD and thought about a lot of stuff but maybe I overthink things sometimes? They suggest to contain the spread of swine flu you should cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. ???!!!! Um ... so that would just slow down the spread from people near you on the bus to whomever you shake hands with or give change to or swap shopping trolleys with or who keys in on the ATM after you, then??

Why not suggest you cough and sneeze into a tissue?!

Anyway, the ad says if you feel sick, go get tested.

I feel sick. Do I have swine flu or a cold?