Successful, but challenging…

There are times when it’s difficult to reconcile the differences between various aspects of your life.  So far this year has been successful, but challenging. Since returning from World Fantasy in Toronto I have sold four new anthologies, including finding a wonderful new home for my ‘best of the year’s series, been commissioned to edit a special issue of a magazine I love and respect, worked with my colleagues and dear friends at Locus on eight issues of the magazine, recorded 26 episodes of the Coode St Podcast with my partner-in-crime Gary K. Wolfe and several episodes of the Last Short Story podcast, had Gardner Dozois call two of my books the best science fiction and the best fantasy anthologies of the year, attended a terrific convention in Canberra, been incredibly fortunate to have two of my books win the Locus and Aurealis Awards, and been nominated for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. I also saw Bruce Springsteen live in Sydney, a fine Elvis Costello show, a good Rickie Lee Jones show, and half of a You Am I gig that I was happy to see. With a little luck I’ll see more. And, of course, Miss 11 got into the Gifted and Talented Program, which made me almost insanely proud.

But, at the same time things have been difficult and challenging for me at my day job. Nothing seriously wrong, and I am very fortunate to work with a great group (from my director to my manager to my immediate colleagues), but it’s not been much fun. I’ve also had a string of minor health problems, starting with what looks to have been a nasty ear infection that has left me with slightly damaged hearing and permanent tinnitus (and caused me to miss a best friend’s wedding), a blurry right eye caused by the collapse of the collagen layer at the back of my eye (something that can happen when you get older and are very short-sighted apparently), and a sore neck. They’ve all slowed me down, and worn away at me. As have some unnecessary and unfortunate complications to do with my editing.

Some or all of this will come right, and there are good things ahead. Today Springsteen tickets go on sale.  Seeing him next February will be huge. I am going to London and Brighton in October, which I think will be fantastic (even though getting ready for it feels like a slog), and there are family birthdays and celebrations.  The family is going away for Christmas, which should be terrific. And in January I’ll be turning fifty, which I’m definitely not looking forward to: lots of talk of parties and celebrations, but I feel mixed and unsure about it and may prefer just to let the day go past unnoticed. Who knows?

Either way, it’s been a time of feeling tired, stressed and worn out. That said, while I’m perfectly willing to whinge a bit on my blog, I look at the challenges facing others and know how comparatively lucky I am.

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