Consider us old: my Bonus Daughter Cassie turned 16 on the weekend, which means can officially anticipate grandchildren in any given year from now on (although with no current boyfriend, and a consideration that all the boys she know are "fairly idiots", the actuality of grandkinder remains blessedly distant).
Still, I'm checking out gun shops in the Northern Suburbs, just in case.
16 is a bloody awful age, imho: you're pretty much expected to be an adult, yet receive all the privileges and responsibilities accorded a child; half the time you're so on top of your body that the most complex tasks are like dancing on water, the rest of the time you're lucky to stand up successfully; you're not ready for half the stuff you want to try, and more often than not, the stuff that's forced upon you terrifies you ; everybody around you is more mature, smarter, better around boys (or girls), or just has a clearer idea of what the hell they want to do with themselves.... a pox on it.
Cassie's as angry as a sixteen year old gets, and defence, for her, is definitely the best form of attack. And much of the time, I just want to peel back her skull and damn well force the understanding in. But there are times when she shows the kind of adult she will be: intelligent, hilariously funny, adept, artistically inspired, and capable of great acts of kindness and caring. It's been a bumpy ride, no doubt about it, but there's only adulthood ahead of her now, and I can't wait to see what she makes of it.
What the hell: it was an excuse to frock up-- Luscious and I wandered down to Swancon last night in order to attend the WA Science Fiction Achievement Awards, affectionately (and at least semi-officially) known to all as the Tin Ducks.
There is a reason for the name. I can just never quite remember it.
The Tin Ducks are my favourite awards, for a number of reasons: I've never seen a result I've wanted to argue with; the voting membership is generally far more au fait with the work they're judging than with the Ditmars; nine times out of ten, the nominees are people I know and whose work I respect; I've never won one, and Lyn's won two!
And then there's the Mumfan.
The Mumfan (respectfully, and hardly ever, officially called the Marge Hughes Award) is deeply special-- no matter what comes before it, it is the highlight of the award night, a recognition of those fans who work so hard throughout the year to make Perth fandom an amazing place, out of no greater sense of reward than a love of our community and the genre which brings us all together. At it's simplest, no matter what precedes, the Tin Duck Ceremony ends with a standing ovation for an award for being nice. If the Ditmars are Loves ya, maaaate, the Mumfan is We love you. How can you not enjoy being a part of that?
To all who won last night, my heartiest congratulations, but on a purely personal note, my warmest affections towards Mumfan award winner Sarah Parker and my good buddy Martin Livings, who won Best Long Professional Work for his novel Carnies, consigning me to the runner-up spot. In this case, I can say with not a hint of disingenuity or falseness that I was far more happy to have lost the race than won it. A most apt and deserved recogition for a fine writer with far too much of a low self-image. Told you we all believe in you :)
Oh, and the room party afterwards was a bloody larf :)
A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A FAT BASTARD
A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A FAT BASTARD
Heh. Typical: every year I say I'm going to lose weight, and it never happens. This year I make no promises to myself, and for no reason I can really pin down, I start eating better, get some concerted exercise into my legs, see the doctor and have all the tests done, get on some helpful medication, and lose 13 kilograms in just on 7 weeks.
I've made some big changes this year: withdrawing from much of the inconsequential foo-farah that was clogging up my mental space; concentrating on writing rather than the cat-vacumming aspects of the business (goodbye LJs, goodbye mailing lists, goodbye review sites and message boards, and on and on...); returning my attention to securing our financial health and putting the requirements of the family and house above all other matters; and generally just making a sustained effort to bring a sense of balance into my personal equilibrium.
I'm astonished at how good I feel about life. I have a renewed sense of purpose. I feel inspired. My writing has taken a quantum leap forward- Lyn, my most accurate and uncompromising critic, says the work she's reading now is by far the best I've ever done. I've accomplished more around the house this year than I did in the entirety of 2006. And the weight, well, it's not dropping off. I'm working damn hard-- I climb an average of 35 flights of stairs every work day, I walk home from the train station (somewhere between 40 and 45 minutes a day), and I've started hitting the gym for a high-cardiac workout a couple of times a week. I'm fitter, I'm faster, I have more energy than I know what to do with... I'm sparking, baby :)
I've got a long way to go, as the little graph below shows, before I hit my goal weight. But I've discovered a determination hiding behind a mental corner I'd overlooked before this. It's not a matter of if. Just when.
The next SF convention in Perth is, conveniently, on the weekend of my birthday, the 10th and 11th of November.
That's the goal.
(And just because no petard is worth its weight unless hoisted, let it be known that I, mocker of Big Brother extraordinaire, currently watch The Biggest Loser every night. I choose to call it a spur to inspiration. All those friends with whom I've shared BB evenings over the years, you have earned the right to call it payback :) )