I'm forced into a position I hate. I have to write a complaint letter. Not about a faulty product (and the makers of the sonic screwdriver I bought at Swancon, I'll be getting to you shortly...) but to the KSP, an institution I am very fond of, and with whom I've been in a relationship of mutual benefit for a few years now.
Because the woman who runs a writing group I attended for almost 2 years took exception to some of the contents of my collection, and instead of speaking to me directly, wrote 2 pages of what I can only call hate mail, handed it to Lyn, said "See Lee gets this." and disappeared into the sunset.
No return address. No way to engage in a dialogue. Just sputum and bile, leaving Lyn and I feeling attacked and unwelcome at an event to which we give a lot of attention and care.
Now, I'm not exactly a delicate little wallflower, here. I'm not so blind as to be surprised if I offend somebody, or if what I write hurts or causes a negative reaction. What I write is often very dark (and not just the fiction: it's the afterwords that caused the offence on this occasion), and I am aware that I have a personality which is large, loud, and generally uncompromising. I've received hate mail from my own relatiuves, fer Pete's sake. And I've had friends call me obnoxious, and ask that I change my personality or they'll refuse to hang around with me. It's not like I haven't noticed, non?
But in each of those cases I've had some sort of right of reply. And in each of those cases, it's been just me, not Lyn, that's had to bear the pointed end of the stick.
So: a letter of complaint, to a group of people I like, because one of their members is a coward, and unprofessional, and is undertaking a deliberate attempt to spoil my reputation within a body I turn to for workshop work and residencies (Oh, it's a good letter, folks). What would you do, if somebody came into your workplace, and tried to break down the way you make a living?
Some days, to misquote the great Emo Philips, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps in the morning...
A COFFEE, WITH A MONDEGREEN TO GO
We were lucky enough to catch up with two of our fabourite people for coffee during the week: Michelle and Adrian Bedford. As always, the conversation was warm and relaxed, but we were rewarded with a happy moment when Adrian misheard Lyn say 'remedial massage' and spent a fair part of the conversatiuon wondering what sort of career she was going to have in media massage.
Send your suggestions ina sealed envelope...
I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS
The kids have been with us this week, for our half of the school holidays, and goddamn, I'm loving it. I've been out with the boys, riding our bikes down to the beach to climb rocks and discover a whopping great treasure trove of fossilised shells and eggs (summer, hammer, chisel, oh yeah baby...). We've watched Godzilla movies ("We shall call the red one Baragon!!!"). We've made art, and framed the pictures we painted last time we were all together. We've picknicked and watched the kids going mad in the surf. And I've laughed more in the last week than I have in a long time. It's been exactly what being a family is all about. And on Monday night it has to end.
Still, when you have photos like this, the memories really do last forever:
A pretty good definition of familyThe bright side is: Aiden is with us full time now, where he was wanted to be for quite some time. And while he's sad to leave his Dad's house, well, if we actually undertake every plan he wants to now that he's here, I confidently predict he should leave home by the time he's 43...
BIG WHOPPING CONGRATULATIONS, CONFETTI, AND A FACE FULL OF CAKE
As of now, our good pal Stephanie Gunn will be a married woman. (And I'd like extra credit for never once referring to the occasion as a Shocked-Gunn wedding...)
Well done, Steph! Have one on us!
Drink, we mean...
OOOOH, BOOGIE BOOGIE
There's been some interesting discussion on the Southern Horror mailing list regarding horror movies, and remakes thereof. So it was with interest that I settled in with Luscious and the boys to watch Blake's movie of choice tonight: David Cronenberg's remake of The Fly. Well, truth be told: I settled in to watch it. Lyn & the boys settled in to look at the inside of their blankets and ask me when the scary bits were over.
It's damn good, I was happily surprised to see. The special effects and storyline stand up remarkably well twenty years later, and while Geena Davis is nothing to write home about in the acting stakes, Jeff Goldblum's performance is hypnotic. If you've not seen it in a while, there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours.
HOW TO SWEAR WITHOUT ACTUALLY DOING SO
So: Seth brundle (Goldblum) opens up his bathroom cabinet to store some teeth that have just fallen out, and we see that he's been storing his own body parts for some little time. Someone who shall remain nameless, but who was actually Blake, points to a curiously shaped nubbin of flesh and says, in a proud happy voice:
Ewwwww. It's his first syllable of cockateil!
Mother scolds. Bonus Dad collapses in laughter. They swap. Brother spends whole time laughing his ass off...
As of Monday, my darling wife will return to full time studies, where she will spend the next 6 months learning to become a professional masseuse. Because she's in the later half of her 30s, and has realised that she wants to spend her working career doing something which rewards her personally as well as just financially. It's a brave move, and I couldn't be prouder.
She's come a long way over the last 3 years. When I met her she was a loving, self-sacrificing woman who automatically put herself last in every situation. Now she has a fierce streak of independence, and understands that her happiness is important to those around her, and that those who love her want to see her fulfilled. She's always been tough, and stronger than she realised, but now she has found the self-belief that allows her to express herself and her needs.
I can't wait to see her flourish and grow throughout this new part of her life. I'm extraordinarily proud.
WORDS AND PICTURE (or WHO'S A RIDICULOUSLY PROUD DAD, THEN?)
Ahhh, children. You just can't predict what they'll learn next.
Who'd have thought the darling little boy who so cutely refuses to learn to say 'Mummy' would so quickly seize upon 'Shutup' as his next word?
And, because I'm a self-indulgent dad, a picture. Because he's beautiful, and because I can :)
The most beautiful little boy in the world