Creative Commons image.
2014 has been a crazy year for me. I had to teach Year 8 history. I only made one story sale(thank heavens for the wonderful Sophie Masson). We had an author visit by Sherryl Clark and were offered one for this coming year by the new Stella Schools Program. I did a lot of reading for the Aurealis Awards and read a lot of slush for ASIM and published an issue of ASM myself, #60. Go buy it!
I seriously think whether I should take a break from promoting other people's books and concentrate on my own writing. But I can't not read, can I?
And I am inspired by the wonderful Ambelin Kwaymullina, author of The Interrogation Of Ashala Wolf, whom I meet at Continuum, who also has a full time day job as a teacher and still manages to write amazing fiction. And paint. And handcraft. (Ambelin, by the way, is the one I have to thank for the Stella freebie.) If she can do it, so can I.
Ambelin did a great interview on this blog in June. Do check it out.
I'm hoping that this coming year will be a good one. Even though we're having to jump through ever more hoops at work, I will only have small classes and once I get them organised I may be able to focus more on the writing and look after my students in the library.
So, have a great NYE - I'm meeting my nephew David and his daughters Dezzy and Rachel at the Astor Theatre for the very last Rocky Horror Picture Show before they are closed down so the owner can make a fortune selling it as apartments. I don't do midnight any more, not since Dad died, it depresses me too much, but Rocky Horror will be good. And no champers either - a half glass of fizzy wine and my head fuzzes up and I say stupid things. Anyway, with daylight saving, who can tell when it's midnight? :-)
So here's a December 31 meme for you.
On This Day
The usual lot of battles and horrible stuff, so I found some quirky items for you in Wikipedia.
1759 : Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum. And the world gets a new beer! Wonder if the lease price has gone up?
1853: A dinner party is held inside a life-size model of an iguanodon created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Sir Richard Owen in south London, England. Will have to check this out. What a way to spend New Year's Eve, eh? And typically Victorian era over-the-top.
1907: The first New Year's Eve celebration is held in Times Square (then known as Longacre Square). This has, as I needn't remind you, become a tradition.
2009: Both a blue moon and a lunar eclipse occur. This was a sad year's end for me, as my Dad had just passed away. I went to bed early and as there was a storm that night, I missed the lunar events, I'm afraid. But an interesting thing anyway.
Only two writers/editors I'm familiar with, so I've added actors I respect.
1937 – Anthony Hopkins, Welsh-American actor, director, and composer. Didn't know about the American. Time to read his bio.
1943 – Ben Kingsley, English actor
1945 – Connie Willis, American spec fic author and one of my favourites. If you love spec fic, do read The Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing Of The Dog, all those time travel stories, and Passage, which was a great story about near-death-experiences taking the form of finding yourself on the Titanic.
1949 - Ellen Datlow, American anthologist and author. Does a lot of themed anthologies, including fairytales. Pity she only takes commissioned work... Sigh! But her anthologies have given me a lot of reading pleasure over the years.
In today's news
A lot of depressing stuff, but one item I liked, the discovery of the world's smallest species of goanna, at only about 23 cm in length, in the Kimberley. She's on display at the Museum of Western Australia and yes, she's alive, I checked. I hope they find her a better place to live and a mate to cheer her up.