Update (yes, I’m still alive!)

Well, I did say I’d probably be on hiatus for a while, but I didn’t expect it to be a full four and a half months!

Let’s see… April was, as you would have seen, really wall to wall singing, interspersed with grant writing at work, political blogging at home, Easter, and the sort of low-key birthday celebrations that one can fit in around quite so much madness.

Easter eve and Easter Day. Egg design by my niece, aged 3 1/2.

Political blogging took me all the way up to mid-May and Eurovision, for which we had our usual multiple parties (including the 5 am couch and doona party), rather marred by the very disappointing election results, and everything that followed from them. And then at work I had another surprise grant application due at the end of May, and an event to run, after which I took a week off work to sleep, basically.

Eurovision dessert – cherry tart inside a cupcake inside a cheesecake; rainbow popcorn for a Pride event at work, signs of hope, and a motto for the ages…

June was more events at work and more general exhaustion, and at the start of July, Andrew and I went up to Olinda for a relaxing long weekend in the Dandenongs. It was extremely cold and wet, but we had a proper wood-fired stove for heating and a lot of Hugo-nominated short stories and novelettes to read aloud, and we only set off the smoke alarms once, so all in all, it was a success.

There was also a lovely walk through the Mount Dandenong Botanical Gardens on the way home, which was beautiful despite the wintry weather. And we had a really lovely evening out at Dine Divine, which I will blog about separately.

In the botanic gardens

In between all of this, we’ve been having fun and games with minor house repairs and renovations (we are trying to do them one at a time, which is slow and annoying, but since every single one of them has involved lots of rescheduling and faffing around, it’s probably for the best that we haven’t been trying to juggle more than we have). We also had a bit of drama with replacing our old fridge, which was dying – but then the new one kept killing off all my vegetables (they were going limp within days), and it took several months to resolve this and get a fridge that actually worked. Also, getting the new fridge into the house up the narrow stairs was a bit of a feat of physics and engineering that we didn’t really need to do twice…

In May, I also got the news that a short story I’d written had been accepted for publication at Mysterion, an online magazine for speculative fiction with Christian themes, which was very exciting (and also a bit uncomfortable, given that our government picked that moment to start asserting very loudly that to be Christian one really had to be homophobic. Which is theologically unsound and frankly appalling, in my opinion, but that seems to be a much harder point of view to get across than the opposite.). So I got to learn a bit about the editorial process, which was interesting, and my story, Saint Denis and the Pot of Basil, was published in late June.

Paris by day and by night.

Then on July 12, I got the news that I was accepted as a staff reviewer for Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. Which is super exciting, because I’ve been reading that website for at least ten years now, and it’s pretty amazing to get to be a part of it.

… which I’ve barely done a thing about yet, because on July 15 I flew to Paris for a three week holiday in Europe! I got back a week and a half ago and I’m still jetlagged, but I’m hoping to put my travel diaries up here as I have time.

Germany – South and North…

So that’s been my life over the last four months. As you can see, it’s been pretty busy and something of a roller coaster. I have no idea how much time I’ll have for this blog going forward, though I will try to be here a bit more often. But obviously, I’ve now developed a whole other set of writing commitments, and having managed to professionally publish one story, I’d really like to see if I can make a habit of that sort of thing. And it’s not as if work is going to get any less busy, much as I’d like it to. I keep having dreams of going part-time, but it’s not very feasible, more’s the pity. So we will just have to see how things go…

In Copenhagen…

What’s been going on in your lives?

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