Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Short and sweet

I will blog about the awards, but Lee is after the computer, so I'm going to quickly throw down some of my quickest impressions.

I was thoroughly drugged by the time we boarded the plane in Perth. My lovely doctor understood my phobia and gave me knock out drugs. This meant I slept for most of the four and a half hours. I did awake for the turbulence, but settled again quickly.

We arrived at 6am and I don't remember much at all. Kate Eltham and Rob Hoge took us back to their place. I made polite conversation for about 2 minutes then took myself off to bed. I don't actually remember leaving the loungeroom.

I don't remember Lee coming with me but he must have because I woke up next to him at about 10am. We went exploring and I bought HEAPS (I'll post about it later).

We arrived back about 6ish with 2 bottles of wine. Kate was there. Lots of other people turned up. Kate cooks a fabbo lasagne.

I flirted with Sean Williams. He's lovely. He's gorgeous. I love him.

There was the news I'd been nominated in 2 (TWO!) Ditmar categories.

I started to feel unwell, but put it down to still being drugged.

I went to bed. I don't remember Lee coming with me but he must have because I woke up next to him at about 7am.

I woke up on Saturday and realised I was SICK! Really sick. I am allergic to Brisbane. My slight sniffles from the night before had turned into a raging sinus infection.

By Saturday night I was totally ill, but got dressed into my super-sexy dress and stepped out with my beloved.

The awards:

Did I mention how ill I was? "Please let me win" I prayed. "If I win I can go home to die and no-one will think anything of it."

I didn't win.

Bugger. I had to stay where I was and be all cheery or else I was going to appear as the world's worst loser.

Lee won! Yay! At least half my smile was real. I am so proud of Lee and was happy he won.

Garth Nix told me he'd read my blog.

But I was still sick and not getting any better. By 9:30 I'd decided my smile had done the trick and we could head home.

Some lovely friends of Rob and Kate's could see how sick I was and offered a lift home.

I went to bed. I don't remember Lee coming with me but he must have because I woke up next to him at about 6am.

There was a bar-be-que, there were people, there was food. There were congratulations and commisserations all round. The name Ben Peek came up. I shrugged it off. I don't know the guy. I don't care. Memory has garnered me 7 nominations. Not bad for such an terrible story.

I went to bed. I do remember Lee coming with me because we chatted for hours about our weekend and confessed that we missed our kids and couldn't wait to get home to them.

By the next morning the Claratyne had kicked in and I could breathe again. My head was still pounding, but that's why God invented Panadol. Between all the drugs I mustered the strength to do another walking tour of Brisbane. We lunched at Toscani's, usually our fave Brissie place. This time we were rather disappointed. Then we drugged me up again and got on the plane to Perth.

And now we're home. Yes, I'm still drugged, but no longer sick.

Fave people this weekend were:
Rob H
Robert D (he's so funny)
Rjurik. I fell big time for Rjurik. He is so sweet. And cute. And talented. All that, and he plays the piano too.
Ben Payne
Karen Miller
Trevor Stafford
Chris Lawson.

I met a lot of sweet and lovely people and it was nice to be surrounded by such good will.

Friday, February 17, 2006

My memory of Memory

Well, it's been a year (or there abouts) since The Memory of Breathing was published in ASIM 17. Now, if you believe one source, you'd agree that I should be ashamed of producing such rubbish.

But I'm not.

Memory has been very kind to me.

I'm a new author. Prior to Memory, I only had one publishing credit to my name. I'm sure that if you asked anyone what that story was, only about 4 people would be able to tell you, and two of them published it for me. Memory entered the public consciousness and there it has stayed.
TMOB was written as a coping mechanism. I'd just lost three of my children in a terrible custody dispute and I couldn't face a life lived without them. I had two choices. Put my head in the oven, or work out my grief through the process of writing. Our oven turned out to be an electric one, so I turned to my laptop instead.

Memory is raw grief. It is about having someone else make the big decisions regarding the life of your child. It's about standing by and watching a third party take them over and tell you they can't be with you anymore. It's about doing the best to hold on to the people you love, and losing.
Memory was written at a time when my belief in myself as a mother had hit an all time low. I'm not going to explain why I lost my children. It no longer matters. What matters is that, because of Memory, I survived the ordeal.

A lot has happened since I wrote Memory. I recovered my self-esteem enough to decide to have another baby. I recovered my self-esteem enough to decide to adopt Lee's child (I can start proceedings in November). I recovered my self-esteem enough to fight my ex-husband for Aiden's return AND I won! I recovered my self-esteem enough not to bother retaliating to the recent bad review (which I saw only an hour after I'd been called a bad mother by my daughter). I still suffer from terrible depression and panic attacks, but I no longer feel that I want to die.

I'm glad I wrote Memory. Good press or bad, it's still being talked about one year after publication. It has been nominated for multiple awards and has received excellent reviews. Rich Horton has mentioned it on his 'favourite stories' list. Twice! He also put it on his recommended reading list when it appeared.

Yes, Memory has been wonderful for me.

I just hope the next story I write does even better.

While we're on the subject, Borderlands Issue 6 is out and Lee and I are in it. My story "The Hanging Tree" was actually written and submitted to Borderlands before I'd even thought of writing TMOB, so don't even think of making comparisons :)