Saturday, March 26, 2011

Laugh. Cry.

This has been the weirdest month of my life.

On a personal level, living through the earthquake has made me very nervous, sad, depressed and exhausted. I knew I would be ok once the bone-deep exhaustion began to pass and I could start walking and biking on my broken foot again, but the near to mid-term future is going to be a very sad time in this city's history to live through. So many lives, beautiful spaces, buildings and livelihoods lost, so many wonderful places now just memory.

But I'm doing better than I thought I would. Every day is a roller coaster of emotions. I can have a good day.  I can have an AMAZING day (like I did yesterday). And I can have a terrible day just by seeing the daily devastation and living the stress around this city.

On a professional level, it's very hard to wrap my head around what's happening with my writing at the moment. I have written very few "new words" because of the earthquake. My concentration is shot, and I hate the excuses I'm making for myself. I am a little jealous of some of my writing colleagues I see powering through their word counts - one of my (local) writing colleagues has been talking big time about self-publishing and prepping a novel manuscript for submission to a publisher. That's incredible, I'm so pleased for them! I really envy their ability to focus at a difficult time. As I've said before, people deal with stress in different ways. Some get hyper focus. I can't. I can't sit still.

For more kicks and giggles, let's not forget the rejections keep on coming too! Plus, I know I'm going to fail one of my month's "To Do" things - I had very much planned to submit to Wily Writer's SpecFic NZ competition, but I haven't been able to finish my planned piece in time, and I don't have anything else available or up to scratch  (unless I get an appropriate (?) rejection elsewhere in the next 4 days). Seriously frustrating, that one could have been big exposure.

Then I get a surreal day like yesterday. An SJV nomination. It doesn't feel right. I might not make the final ballot, but...I keep asking myself if it's too soon, is it a fluke? I don't have many other sales under my belt, nothing professional or SFWA worthy. I know it's a good story, and the nomination is on the strength of that story alone. However, my writing as a whole is very patchy, and my lack of sales an indication somewhat of that patchiness. I'm still in the learning phase of my writing career, and an award nomination could make my ego get away on itself. I know I'm good, I've have the POTENTIAL to be great, but I've got  LONG way to go yet.

The strength of "Tuatara" of course also got me into "Tales For Canterbury", of which I'm eternally grateful to Cassie and Anna for. Look, I know I'm no Gaimen or Williams, Marillier or Lowe. I'm not even on the level of my friends Lynne, Ripley and Tim who have pieces in there! I know I'm me, and I hope people recognize the potential. Another thing that makes me so happy and weirded out about getting into TfC is how I'm sharing page space with some AMAZING authors. I'm having a geeky wee brain explosion at being in a book with  ArenaNet employee Angel Leigh McCoy! I mean, seriously folks, if you told me a year ago I'd be in a book with someone who writes for my FAVRITE GAME EVA I'd faint from laughing.

I'm trying to wrap my head around this: if the earthquake hadn't happened, I wouldn't be in TfC, my first meatspace publishing endeavour.  It makes me laugh and cry at the same time - it's the happiest and saddest time of my life. How is this possible?

A ginger cat, with it's ear against a calico kittens head, is listening to what it's brainz might have to say
Wow. She's right, I CAN hear the voices in her head...


  1. If it helps, remember that there are a lot of incredibly wonderful people (oh and me) who care for you a great deal, and are here to support you no matter what happens.

    It's going to be a while before you can get yourself fully back on track.

    OK - so I'm not directly affected by all this trauma, but I do think that people will look back on this and marvel at their strength. At how brave they were, at how loving, and how indominatable their spirit was, and still is.

    To have so many "rejections" at a time when you can barely cope with just day to day life must be so incredibly draining.

    And don't forget - as well as being in TfC is a success for you, it is also a success for everyone else too. They get to read a great story, and money gets raised for people who need it.

    Hugs, my friend, just hugs.

  2. And there's my quake brain kicking in. I'm so consistently banging on about what a success for me TfC is, I keep forgetting to say what an awesome job Cassie and Anna have done putting it together, and how great it is the money is going to the Red Cross earthquake efforts. It's a charity I really do believe in. I am thinking those things, promise, they're just not making it from my brain out through my fingers.