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Sunshine on rough seas




The weird times keep on rolling, and life somehow continues. My partner watches the news religiously and I find myself running away. The pessimist in me enjoys it too much. Truly, we don’t know what’s going to happen yet, but we’re trying. Depending on what day you get me, I can be super morose or upbeat about it all.


Today, I’m in an especially strange place. Thanks to a call I got this morning that my nephew’s heart surgery (scheduled for 4 June) has been postponed. I’m feeling seasick from the emotions. On high and happy, down and upset, then impotent frustration, and up and down again. There’s a reason we call him our little Ali, that kid is just a joy. He’s also getting exceptionally spoilt, as evidenced by the requests for him to ‘send him Spiderman’ the last three times I’ve called. Little turd.


I was going to apologise to you, dear reader, for my down tone, but you know what, stuff it. Rather than fight this feeling, or try to spin everything into a positive, I’m going to see if I can make you seasick too. I never said I was nice.



*Twirls evil moustache* Come with me on my month-long sea voyage. Mwuhahahaha!



I had an awesome talk with Aimee Lindorff this week for the Aurealis Award short-listing: https://bit.ly/2AizdKZ Truly, one of the best yarns I’ve had yet, so fun! Which is saying a lot for someone as shy as I am. I find these things exhausting, not because of anything specific, I just feel drained after. It’s how I’m built.


I’ve spent swathes of time marking. Something I find excruciating. I love the face-to-face time with my students. The thrill of discussion and debate, watching concepts land and take root. That’s my pay-off, the cake I get each week. Marking is the price I have to pay for the fun of eating the cake. And to be frank, COVID-19 has stolen it from me, the greedy cow.


Last week my partner and I celebrated twelve years together. I still can’t comprehend that number. He is truly my partner in all ways. I am so lucky. And so is he lol ;oP


I spent weeks reading my latest middle grade reader to my nieces and nephews at night. They’d all crowd into a single room – four kids with their mother and grandmother – put me on the Bluetooth speaker, and off we’d go. My mum caught a recording of the discussion the kids had after we finished the story. Their excitement was infectious. I plan to keep that recording with me always.


I drowned in anxiety about my PhD novel, but fought my way through, finally finishing the first draft at 75,000 words. The joy of that carried me for a week before the inner critic resurfaced. Now she’s torturing me about the exegesis. I wish I had her stamina and commitment, I’d be unstoppable.

I’ve been too zapped to write lately, but I feel like my soul might be crying out for it. I know the kids are as desperate as I am to return to the reading. Maybe after the marking and paid work gets done? And hasn’t that just been the tagline of my life.


Maybe that’s why I’m doing this now, to write something. Anything. Even if it's depressing and no one reads it. If you somehow made it this far, I still won’t apologise. I just hope you and yours are safe and well in these strange times. Maybe write yourself a list of what you did this month, if only to remind yourself of all the positives in life. It helped me.


Thanks for riding the waves with me. I hope you find your sunshine on rough seas, or at least a cool raft that brings its own light.



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