Jeez. Not sure anyone still reads this blog, but what the heck, here be recent happenings, for posterity and because I feel so bad I haven't updated LITOZA in ages!
It's not a case of laziness or a missing muse as much as Work, Family And School Ate My Brain And There Was Not Enough Grey Matter Left Over For Creativity.
Honest! I've written about half of Chapter 23. It's coming along, I promise. And I have no intention of abandoning the fic, it's just that finding the time is very difficult.
I did a bunch of things over the last three months. The fact is that a lot of it took a lot outta me. Here it all is, in no particular order.
(1) My daughter turned six. Naturally I took her and five friends to Luna Park. Ye Gods! Thank the Nine Realms that two other mummies came with me to help with the kid wrangling. As it was, I lost my voice only a little. BETTER THAT THAN LOSING ANY CHILDREN. Nah, they were great. Most excellent, well-behaved little girls.
(2) Co-organised an academic conference (and survived to tell the tale). I don't know how people in event management do this on a regular basis. I'm pretty sure our entire organising committee lost weight from stress! It was worth it, though. My boss did a great job. We ended it with a harbour dinner cruise on a private vessel. I am pleased to report that none of our delegates went overboard amidst the revelry (though we did break into 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' during dinner...until I hid the microphone and when that didn't work, hid the batteries). I delivered a 50-minute presentation to a room full of experts that also contained the 'founding father' of my field (and somehow managed NOT to pass out). Seriously, I have MAJOR public speaking anxiety that I suspect only prescription pharmaceuticals and extended CBT will alleviate. In my case, I jumped in the deep end and learned how to swim. It worked.
(2) Was made co-chair of an amazing organisation in my field (still coming to terms with the wow of this). I think this may mean I finally need to get some business cards printed.
(3) Dealt with my daughter's unexpected school-related anxiety. Any parent knows what I'm talking about when I describe how gut-wrenching it is to have to separate yourself from your distressed child. Horrible.
She's heaps better now, but damn, it took A LOT of work and she's the bravest little girl ever. We did lots of practice runs to school, made checklists and there was cake involved after a successful day. Everything's better with a slice of cake!
(5) Co-wrote a neuroscience paper with 'Alec Mercer' (the real one). He's like, REALLY smart. And pretty cute, too. But don't tell him I told you ;)
(6) I was on the event photography team at the Australian Museum Eureka Science Awards (like the Australian science 'Oscars'). Here I am on the left, pictured with Australian food blogger extraordinaire and photography guru, Simon from The Heart Of Food. Red carpet, dinner, champagne and scientists letting their hair down to celebrate their colleagues. I was in heaven!
(7). Wrote another paper in my field and signed a publishing contract with Springer to co-edit a volume of works from the above-mentioned conference. Still pinching myself. We have some wonderful authors contributing chapters. I have a boss who is very generous with opportunities and two doctoral supervisors who are the most amazing and brilliant women. I don't know why people like these seem to have so much time for me, but I am most fortunate.
(7) I killed zombies and then became one myself at the second annual Humans vs Zombies survival game (my daughter was livid that she couldn't go). THIS WAS EPIC. This was the most fun I have had in..well EVER. Eight beautiful hours of blood, guts and adrenaline. Three hundred humans to begin with, three anonymous 'origin' zombies (so you can't trust even your team mates), teams in SWAT gear, teams in camo, men in wedding dresses, Italian Generalissimos, Nerf guns and swagger. My team brought the swagger, ahem :) I tried to channel Linda Hamilton, though it turns out I have the fitness level of stale lamington. On my team were two bankers and our resident neuroscientist. No brains were dissected in the course of the game, but we did crap our pants and run a whole lot (see previous comment about lack of fitness). Still, not too shabby for our first time playing against what were essentially 296 young, fit, university students. We were part of the final 40 survivors, dying about half an hour before evac. That deserves a pat on the back, I'd say!
(9) And finally, this isn't something I did or had much to do with, but Australia got a new Prime Minister and I am sad to report, it's not this 'Tony'.
Anyway, in summary, for those following LITOZA. Chapter 23 will be ready soon. Here is an unedited snippet:
It was thirst that did it. For a while, she drifted in a neutral place where her senses occasionally registered light or muffled sound. Eventually, however, her thirst forced her to awaken. Her tongue felt as dry as cardboard. She sat up against mismatched pillows. One pillow was more of a cushion, really—covered in brocade with twisted, red piping. Wherever she was, it was clearly not meant to be the medical treatment center of Amarov’s fleet. There was nausea and dizziness, but it was not overwhelming. It was almost a disappointment not to be afforded at least a few minutes of disorientation, which would have given her time to acclimatize to…well, things.
So many things.
She knew she was on a ship in Amarov’s fleet, and perhaps in some kind of scientific laboratory, seeing as the site had not been fully prepared to treat patients. It was pointless to avoid inspecting her wound—the gunshot was not going to go away and neither were the stitches, which she now examined. They were neat and healing very well, covered under sterile, transparent film. She was wearing a, white nightdress that seemed to consist mostly of frills and flounces. It was huge, but it was clean and made of cotton. It would do.
Zedtown 2013 Photo by Jeremiah Yaoenberg at Sydney University.