Sunday, October 30, 2005

Big sigh

I love my husband. It's because of him that I even manage to negotiate my way through each day. If it weren't for Battboy I don't think I'd even bother getting up some days.

Feeling quite low right now. We've got friends coming for dinner, yet everything's going wrong. My recipes aren't performing properly, the house isn't getting any cleaner and the children are both clingy and whiney.

Lee is off, dropping the Triffkids at their father's house. I hate it when they leave, especially when I haven't really had the chance to spend any time with them. I raised these children for 12 years. I did a bloody good job of it too, yet I'm treated than little more than a baby-sitter in their life. This weekend I didn't even get that, as my mum looked after all five kids for the weekend.

I know this post is on a bit of a downer. I try to be upbeat and happy most of the time, but sometimes I fail miserably. I just can't bear it when they go. I hate it too when either Lee or myself drop them off by ourselves, because I haven't got his arms around me to make it better.

No, I have to try and find some happiness.

The wedding was lovely. Sonia looked beautiful and Grant was as cute as ever.

The thing about weddings is, they're a reminder of the good things in your life. I kept looking at my wonderful husband and thinking how lucky I am to have him with me. I fell even more in love with him yesterday. I couldn't imagine life without him.

On another positive note, I had a number of people come up and congratulate me on the success of "The Memory of Breathing". I'm incredibly proud of that story. I only hope I can do as well on the next story. I've got three coming out soon. "The Hanging Tree" appears in the next Borderlands, "Hush" in Shadow Box and "Edges" in issue 9 of Shadowed Realms. I'm working on a vampire piece at the moment that has me really excited. It's just finding the time to deal with it. It's a sensitive story that looks at the pain a woman faces through miscarriage. I miscarried a baby 15 years ago and I never really got over it, so I'm directing all my memories into this story.

Okay, another downer, but I have people arriving in an hour and a house that is demanding attention.

Have a nice week.

Friday, October 28, 2005

New review

It's been a while, but I've finally put up a new review on IMHO.

Read my impression of Sophia McDougalls' Romanitas Here

Monday, October 24, 2005

The best laid plans

I had such big plans for today.

Connor was going to be lovely and play at my feet while I:

Wrote a review
Critiqued a manuscript
Did some yoga (he was going to sleep for that)
Wrote 500 words on my latest short story
And blogged about the meaning of friendships

Unfortunately Connor has done nothing but whinge and whine and has not wanted to leave my hip all day. As for sleeping, that's for the weak.

If I can quote my 11 month old son

Waaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!! (Which is baby talk for, "Bring me another espresso, Mater.")

I've done nothing today but hold the baby and watch Charmed.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! (Which is mummy talk for "I want my life back!)

I can't get anything done today. Even as I type, the short bald one is standing at my side, crying and reaching for the mouse.

Have a lovely day

PS Friends are cool. There, one thing accomplished. Not as long as I'd wanted to make it, but the best I can do with an extra set of hands upon the key board.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Ever had days...

...when you feel so proud you could just curl up into a ball and squeeze yourself to death with the sheer pleasure of it all?

I have a severe sinus infection at the moment. This means an ongoing sore-throat, headache and ear-ache.

Nurofen and Telfast are my friends.

So, as you can imagine, when my daughter's end of year Dance Extravaganza came up yesterday, I was less than enthused.

100+ semi-competent teens jumping around a large stage to the raucous howlings that makes up todays hip-hop and r&b while 200+ assorted parents, grandparents, siblings, neighbours, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers clapped their happy little hearts out for 3 hours was not my idea of a good night in. I'd just had the kids returned to me after a two week hiatus and just wanted to chill with the family before the rush of the weekend.

However, Cassie is at a rather trying age, and I had to show her that I still love her, despite EVERYTHING, so I bought my ticket, popped her in the car and drove the half hour to Midland. We, naturally, arrived 2 hours early because Cass had to dress, gossip, rehearse, gossip, primp, gossip and preen, with a touch of gossip. Apparently a friend of hers had declared herself to being bi-sexual and this was BIG news! (I had a quiet chat in the car with Cass afterwards telling her that all teenagers have uncertain feelings as to their sexuality at this age and that she needs understanding and support, not gossip)


Cassie is beautiful, witty and wise. She's also hormonal, moody and monstrous. She's having a crisis of faith after 12 years of being raised in the Jehovah's Witness religion and is playing around with Paganism (Yes, Chaosmanor I would like you to chat to her :))

After three years of being judged for leaving said religion, I've decided to adopt a 'live and let live' attitude. As long as it does no harm, then leave it alone. I did, however, want to find out why Cassie wasn't considering returning to the Witnesses as a possible option. I wasn't pushing it as a preference, just probing where her thought processes lie.

"Do you still believe in God?" I ask her.
"I don't know. I think so, but I want to explore all the possibilities. I've never known anything else."
"Nor do 99% of the population. Everyone is raised with their parents ideals, and then make up their own minds later as they experience life. Or not, if they find they just don't care."
"Well, I want to look around now so I can make an informed decision."
Fair enough.
"I'm just a little surprised because you had developed such a personal relationship with God."
A pause of about five seconds and then:
"I used to have a personal relationship with my imaginary friends, Honour and Telly. Eventually I grew out of it."
She blinded me with logic.

Proud moment number two!

We shall now return to proud moment number one.

So, I've got two hours of nothing to do, so I head down to a local food hall for sushi and a glass of red wine. Yes, I know, preservatives in red wine exacerbates sinus problems and yes, my head ache went up a notch, but I enjoyed it anyway.

7:30 comes and my former father-in-law and I settle into our seats.

The first three numbers come and go and I do the dutiful, clap-clap-clap thing.
Then it's the fourth number and my little girl is up there, all jeans and attitude, dancing her way across stage. I can see the hard work and determination and I have that first flutter of pride. That's my baby and she's good.

A few more numbers and my suspicions are confirmed. No-one has got it as together as my Cassie. Yes, their steps might fall with a little more precision and their execution is a little more perfect. They may even have better timing. But there's something missing, some essential something. Oh, well. I guess their mothers are impressed, anyway.

Then she's up there again. This time it's ballet and she's gliding and leaping to "Something Wicked This Way Comes."

She's breathtaking. My little monster of short experience but large opinions is dancing with grace, poise and dignity and my heart breaks. She's so beautiful.

Hence proud moment number one.

Side bar:

A note about my former father-in-law. In my marriage I felt extremely close to Jon's parents. My own weren't much to write home about, but I developed a closeness to my in-laws and missed them greatly when Jon and I separated. Fortunately G and I have maintained a good relationship and chat easily when together.

When I was six months pregnant with Cassie we all went to a bbq for the son of a friend of theirs who was getting engaged. It was a hot January day and I was hot and tired and the baby was kicking the hell out of me. Just when I couldn't take much more Jon's dad pulled me close and let me rest my head against his shoulder. I dozed for a couple of minutes, all I needed to refresh myself and keep going. I've been fond of the man ever since.

Last night, as I watched Cassie kicking her way around the stage in her flowing black skirt I remembered that moment and decided, it was worth it.


Here it is.
Proud moment number three.

People have a short patience span when it comes to Aiden. I think he's remarkable. Intelligent, caring, sensitive, funny. When it comes to what makes the human race special, he's the whole package (rather like my beloved). He has strong moral values but sometimes gets sidetracked by the vagaries of life.

Cassie and I arrived home just after midnight. Connor woke up during the night, hungry and in need of attention. He woke up again at 5:45 for much the same reason, plus a bad case of nappy rash for good measure. I got him up and undressed him whilest running a lavender bath.

Aiden, bless his golden heart, comes into the bathroom and says "You're tired mum. I'll look after him while you get some more sleep."

Just repeating it makes my eyes water. What did I do to deserve such a lovely child? He bathed Connor, held him while I dressed him and then fed him Weet-bix and a bottle. Then he played with him so I could go back to bed and have a bit more of a lie-in.

Naturally, I had to blog about my wonderful children instead.

They are just amazing.

And now, Blake has just woken up, come and given me a big hug and kiss good morning.

I'm having a good-child-day!

Have a lovely day yourselves.

Several hours later: In news just to hand we have a new contender for quote of the day:

Cassie when caught swearing in front of her non-swearing mother:

"Oops. Oh my god. Sorry. But, but, well it doesn't mean I don't have a good vocabularlary (sic)"

Unexpected results

I'm Batman

I did one of those silly memey things. I even skewed my answers a little so I wouldn't end up as Batman, after all, it's all so obvious. And yet, here's the answer:

(Just in case I mucked up, it's says I'm the Caped Crusader himself)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Outside our demographic

Warning: I hope I don't offend anyone by the terms contained in this post. I don't seek to upset anyone and if I do I apologise profusely.

As mentioned in a previous post, I recently made 2 new friends. J and I did our training together and as a result I met K, her best friend. I've also had the pleasure of meeting M at a party at K's last weekend.

Last night the four of us decided to get together. K asked J, M and myself if we'd like to have dinner with her and a whole group of other women at Pancho's in Belmont. The group we were meeting went by the title "Pink Lounge". Or possibly "Pink Couch". K did tell me what this meant and warned me that I might not find it interesting. I assured her that, as I'm rather devoted to my husband, I don't tend to go out in order to pull, so sexual preferences were not a problem to me. K and M are happily of that persuasion, J and I aren't. For me it was a chance to get dressed up and go out with women. No pressure. No need to impress.

The night out began when we arrived at the restaurant. We were greeted at the door by a young waiter who basically eyed us up and down and then turned to J and announced:
"You're outside your demographic."
J, understandably, was appalled. Who was this man to decide who was straight and who was gay? It was an affront.

It was a long night full of conversation, mainly about Gay Pride and my children. I enjoyed myself, and got to know M a lot better. I've grown very fond of J and K and look forward to many more such evenings.

Geek Trash and Treasure

Yesterday Battboy and I took boxloads of books to sell at the Geek Trash and Treasure. We sorted the books into piles of 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 lots. I hoped to basically earn enough to pay for our entry fee of $10 and a snack for Lee, Erin and myself. We did better than that. We made nearly $100 (about $80 after snacks, purchases and entry). Yay us.

The surprise sale of the day? The entire Anthony Robbins (Robinson?) motivational series for $2. I was sure we'd be dumping them in the bin on the way out.

And we bought...

Not as much as I expected. A toy dragon for Erin. A plush tigger for Connor. A few old pulp magazines for my beloved and myself. I really wanted the palm pilot M-Squared was selling, but Lee gave me a choice. That, or a new dress for the upcoming wedding.

Another day, another flea market.

My brother and sister-in-law visit flea markets every weekend and always come home with some amazing treasure. Inspired by yesterday's success and not willing to face up to housework, Battboy and I decided to head to the Maddington flea market this morning. We bought: a large wicker basket for Connor's toys for 50c, a Buttercup doll for Erin for 20c and a working camera for...wait for it... free! Apparently, because it's not digital it's not worth anything.

But the best buy cost us a whole $2. It's a game called "Man Bites Dog" and, if I can quote my teenage daughter (and I think I can), it's hell fun. Basically, take five cards, make up a headline using the words therein and earn points. First to 500 wins. Battboy and I are addicted. In fact we're about to play again.

Flea markets are fun. They're a way to stick your nose into other people's lifestyles just long enough to mock them.

Final word on the subject: 70's weddings had a lot to answer for.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

There can be only one reason

My life SUCKS!!!!

I'm sneezing uncontrollably

I've gone through two boxes of tissues since Saturday

I'm continuously rubbing the roof of my mouth with my tongue. I even wake up to find myself at it

I've now got blisters on the roof of my mouth

My forehead, nose, lips, cheeks, neck, ears and hair are itchy.

My fingernails are itchy

I want to die

I want a razor blade.

There can be only one reason.



Ode On A Tissue:

Plaintive tissue, so serene.

Any minute now you'll be...

Sorry, the rest of the Ode On A Tissue has been smudged by the Sneeze On A Tissue.

More creative lines about my affliction

There was a young lady from Huntingdale

That had a nose as big as a whale

When she did sneeze

They all felt the breeze

Was less of a wind than a gale

There was a young lady from Perth

Who ummmm let's see

The only thing that rhymes with Perth is smurf, so we'll just stick with the first limerick. Maybe I should try some Haiku?

A sneeze in the arch

Way of life beckons to my

Indecent calling

I never mentioned it would be good Haiku

From the psychiatrist's couch.

Yes, it's my mother's fault.

Here are five reasons why.

  1. She was a teenage mother (ie: at 16 barely able to look after herself let alone a baby)
  2. She smoked throughout her pregnancy
  3. She smoked throughout my childhood
  4. She smoked in the car ( I think smoking in the car is child abuse)
  5. As an asthmatic herself, she has crappy genes

Have a great day. I'm off to take an antihistamine and head back to bed.

Except, I have to go shopping for a new dress for Angriest's upcoming nuptials. Hmmmm difficult decision

If I can quote my little girl: "Oooh, Scarewy!"

I recently made a new friend. We met at work and clicked immediately. J and I found we had much in common and have been pretty close ever since. She also claims to be a psychic. She is in fact my second friend to have claims towards psychic ability.

J has a friend K. K and I met one night when J and I went to the pub after work. We also immediately clicked. The three of us have become extremely close. K also asserts her psychic proclivities.

I'm a sceptic, but having spent fourteen years defending my religious beliefs, I don't sit in judgement of other people's spiritual needs.

I'm having drinks recently with J and K at K's house. I'm telling them about the fact that Battboy and I are selling our house and building one in Clarkson/Somerley. I tell them about the house we've chosen and why we've decided to build over buy established. I'm really excited. K looks at me, shakes her head and says "You won't end up building. You'll find the perfect house in your price range and you'll buy instead." Now, my beloved and I have researched the areas north of the river and there's no way we can afford it. C'est impossible. I dismiss her prediction and get on with the drinking portion of the evening.

Another friend of J's joins us (we'll call her J2). We chat til the wee hours before J2 decides it's time to head home. She has a long drive in the morning and wants some sleep. We all hug her goodnight. After she has left K rubs her hands over her eyes and tells J and I "Something bad is going to happen to her within the next few days. She's going to be hurt in an accident of some kind. It's bad."

J and K look worried, I pick up my glass of red.

Another hour or so passes. We play a game, we chat some more. We're girlies and we're bonding. It's all good until K asks "How many children did you say you have?"
"I see you with six. Three boys, three girls."
"No, I have three boys and two girls."
"Do you want to have another baby?"
"Oh god, No! Never again. Not after I went through with Connor."
She stares at me for about ten seconds.
"You're going to have another girl. Her name will be Hope. The pregnancy will be wonderful, not a problem, but it will end in a caesarean."
J nods her head, rubs her arms. "I feel it too. It is going to happen."
I raise my eyebrow, pick up my glass of red.

A few days later I'm lunching with my third 'psychic' friend and tell her all about this. I laugh. She doesn't laugh with me. She rubs her arms, shows me the goose-bumps. "She's right. And it won't be too long."

I smirk, shake my head at my gullible friends, raise my glass of white.

Battboy and I went to K's for a housewarming party. She turns to me and says "Poor J2, hey?"
"What about her?"
"She was in an accident on Tuesday. Both arms are broken in several places and are full of pins. She only left hospital today."
"Oh my god! That's awful! Is she okay?"
"She's in a lot of pain, but at least she's alive. It could have been worse."
I stop and stare at her. "You predicted this. You said it would happen."
She nods and says, "I know. I just saw it so clearly."

On Sunday Battboy are skimming through the real-estate section. We're reading an article about housing prices in various suburbs. Quite by accident we find we can buy an established four bedroom house in Clarkson for about the same price we're selling our three bedroom house for.
"Well, that's changed things," Lee says. "I'd rather buy established now than wait 2 years to build."
And like that it's decided. We take a run up to Clarkson, and sure enough it's true. We can find lovely established houses in our price range. We've changed our minds and have decided to buy in order to settle the family that much quicker.
Just like K predicted.

Needless to say, Lee and I have doubled our contraception.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

What I should be doing right now...

What I should be doing right now is cleaning the house. LJ guy Lonewolf and the lovely Dr Iz are coming for dinner AND we're having our house evaluated tomorrow and Tuesday by real estate agents so I really ought to be preparing for these.
On the other hand, I've just received an email from the wonderful crew at Shadowed Realms. They've asked if they can print "The Memory of Breathing" in their upcoming "Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror: The Best of 2005" anthology. I feel so chuffed. When I wrote the last word on that story I knew I had something special but the reaction to the story has been overwhelming.
I love that story and I'm especially fond of the people who have helped it receive such good feedback. Dave Luckett critiqued it for me, Sally Beasley bought it for ASIM 17 and then gave it a really good edit, thus helping it become even stronger, and LJ guy Angriest praised it at every turn. And naturally there's Lee who always believes in everything I do. He's the best.