I’ve been a bit patchy in my communications of late. It’s been one of THOSE years – the kind that you want to put behind you. I’ve had some health stuff going on, the kids all left home, my friend lost her daughter, and other things happened that I won’t burden you with – so I’m looking forward to 2015 to start fresh.
BUT, 2014 has also brought some good things. I’ve decided to focus on them rather than the other.
I worked most of the year at the University of Queensland both tutoring and project managing WRITE101x. Both those jobs were very rewarding, and I got to spend time with some wonderful colleagues. It was also good for a hermit writer like me to get out in the big wide world on a regular basis. I discovered that I like educating a whole lot more than I knew, and that it fitted well with the mentoring, coaching side of my nature.
I also committed to another season of basketball coaching: this time with u/18 girls. It has been enormous fun, and I find myself more connected with basketball than ever.
Some other highlights were the QWC’s Year of the Novel – 15 writers over 5 masterclasses – what a fantastic bunch they were too, I was blessed; and the Writer’s Victoria masterclasses which complemented that experience (and I got to check out Geelong and meet more writers).
What suffered more than anything this year was my own writing. I’ve only written half a novel and finished a first draft of an already half-written SF screenplay. It was a struggle to do that much. Sadly, it’s the creative side that suffers first at the hands of fatigue and negative events. I guess, I should be pleased that I got that much done.
Possibly the biggest highlight of the year was being awarded a scholarship to do my Masters in Philosophy (by creative practice) at the University of Queensland which begins February 2015. I’m delighted to have Dr Jo Robertson as my thesis supervisor and Venny Armano as my creative supervisor. The thesis is on the topic of future feminism as envisioned by female SF writers. I can hardly wait to start the reading for it! To support that, I’ll be writing a feminist SF novella (Pharmakon). Kim Wilkins and Ros Petelin were a great help in getting me organised on this application, and I’m indebted to them both. Also to Louise Thurtell who wrote the most stunning reference for me. Love you Louise!
The year finished with me being awarded a Distinguished Australia Alumni Award from my alma mater, Curtin University. This is HUGE for me because it recognised my influence on Australian women writers in fiction and science fiction. I couldn’t be more proud. I feel like I have achieved some small legacy. It brings me a far greater sense of satisfaction, humility, and joy than any monetary gain ever could. It re-energises and nourishes me. Thank you Curtin, and the people behind the scenes who put this into motion.
I also am so fortunate to have some wonderful friends, colleagues around me. To my Escape Club team who are more family than anything else, I say thanks. Love doing this stuff with you! To Tara Wynne and Paula Weston, thanks for keeping me on the straight and straight. To my bball ladies, the company is always outstanding! To Trent, Alex A, ROR-ettes, and all my writing compadres – we’re still surviving and need each other more than ever. To Tracey W, thanks for all those moral support sessions – you always make me giggle. To Ju, Kendra, Fel, Nicola Scott, Missy and all my distant friends – love you!! To the kind and generous Foxen family for the love and care of my so-far-away boy. Mostly though, to my sister, brother, my kids and to my husband – thank you for giving me a reason to get up and going on the bad days.
So here are my resolutions for 2015 and you can hold me to them!
Finish my novel (Peacemaker #2 – Dealbreaker), progress my MPhil, practice being fundamentally calmer, visit my youngest son in NYC, coach, educate, and mentor whenever I can, take the Escape Club to a wider teen audience, spend as much time as I can with friends and family, and above all to continue to give of myself where I can and to take pleasure in the little things.
Please share with me about your year and what you hope 2015 will bring for you.