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a moment of burnt hat

where have I been?

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where have I been?

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head shot 2010
I thought I should just clear my throat and say a couple of things, since I seem to have vanished myself for the better part of a year.

I've just finished a very difficult academic year with partial success. I took the applied maths exam, results pending, and deferred the physics exam although I've 'banked' a series of very nice marks for the continuous assessments. I expected the year to be tough and it was, and the fact that my father died halfway through did not make it any easier. I've done virtually no writing since last October and I'm only just now beginning to reconnect with my kids, who have been primarily under Steve's care all this while.

I wanted to say a few words about Twitter. I cancelled my account in the run-up to exams because I found that my feed was too toxic at times. By 'too toxic' I mean, too toxic for me and my extremely limited tolerance for bullshit; this is a personal thing. There were people I was in contact with only on Twitter, and I regret that  I have lost those contacts, but it couldn't be helped. Friends had suggested I try using lists to manage what I was reading, but that's too much for me to organize. I like to keep things really really simple.

It's been interesting for me to observe myself thinking about this and making my decisions. For several years, I felt guilty that I was not doing enough to promote my work, that my obligations to babies and young children were interfering with my work, that I couldn't travel, and on and on. I went on Twitter purely because I was advised to do so by friends in the industry. Some things about it were great and some not so great. Every time I would think of leaving some part of me would say, 'No, you're not allowed to do that. You have to be a professional.' It is shocking to me that at the age of 45 I seem to have internalized some notion of what I am and am not allowed to do. Anyone who knew me at 20 would laugh their head off at the very thought. Yet there I was. Asking permission in my own head.

In the end I felt a bit horrified that I was quailing before the 'shoulds' and so I will remain off Twitter for now.

So. I have some things I want to blog about, the first being my recent trip to Sweden and Finland for Åcon 6, where I was lucky enough to be guest of honor. This actually happened in May but it may be early July before I get round to writing it up. These few days were the highlight of the year for me and they rapidly restored my faith in writing and reading SFF, so I want to share with you what it was like. In the course of doing this I will be giving a big shout to the Helsinki in 2015 Worldcon bid.

I should also say that I am on Facebook regularly. I know, Facebook is evil and everything, but it's the place where I can connect with family and old friends, the people I know in real life. It's personal, not professional, and I intend to keep it that way.

I will be writing all summer.
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