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Monday, March 29, 2004

Gigglefest

Had the kids home for the weekend, which is always wonderful. On Saturday they went to stay with my best-friend Sharon and her two children for the day as Lee and I had to attend his brother's wedding (more about that later). The kids all love Sharon to pieces and had a fantastic time watching videos. Cassie and Sharon's son Sonny are very close which is cute to see. Kirri-Lee adores Erin and uses her at every opportunity to get out of her homework. We're often told "my Killalee". Sharon is brilliant with children and works in Children's Services as a counsellor.
We took Sonny and our oldest three to The Great Escape on Sunday while Erin slept at Sharon's. They had a blast while Lee and I sat and discussed the things we enjoyed about the wedding (the cake was fabulous) and what we'd change (not involving our three year old in the actual ceremony).

The making of Mr and Mrs Battersby

On Saturday Lee went off with Scott to prepare the wedding venue. Lee arrived two hours before the wedding so the two Battmen could...
Sweep the jetty.
With one hour and fifty minutes left, he took his extremely nervous brother to KFC for lunch.
In the meantime, I'd been invited to Amanda's to sit and drink champagne with them as they got ready.
I arrived two hours before the wedding and...
Brought the champagne
Organised Harrison's bath and dressing (and redressing :)) ritual
Applied Amanda's mask
Poured the champage
Did everyone's finger and toe nails
Stripped Amanda's mask
Applied her makeup
Poured more champagne
Entertained Harrison and Zara until Zara was taken off to be dressed at Amanda's sister's house
Poured more champagne
Styled Sherie's hair (a friend)
Got dressed
Took photos.

And we were only five minutes late!

Scott thanked me during the speeches which was nice.

The reception was nice. I got to know Lee's cousins a lot better and it was nice to catch up with them at anything other than a funeral. Scott and Amanda don't have a lot of money, but they made the most of what they did have.

I wore a strapless red dress which looked brilliant, but was totally impractical on the cold Perth-autumn night. Fortunately their step-mommy had a black jacket in boot of the car which looked great with the dress and kept me warm. Lee looked so sexy. He wore navy trousers, a dark blue shirt and had his ultra-curly hair straightened and slicked back: ala Joel Shepherd or, if you prefer, John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. I kept looking at him and thinking "Wow, I love you." It's lasted until today (Monday) but he has to wash it today. We're now thinking of lashing out and having it chemically straightened for the Big Holidays. It costs a fair amount, but if it lasts the three weeks we're away it'll be worth it.

Tri-lingual

Cassie spent the weekend trying to talk Lee and I into speaking pig-latin. This morning on the way to day care/school we had a big discussion about the true language of Pig-Rome. Apparently, there's been a split and the Pig-Romans have become two provinces. The north (or, as Lee and I termed them, the Orthodoxie) speak in the dialect of taking all letters up to the first vowel and shifting them the the back and adding the usual 'ay'. Eg:Through becomes Oughthray. Those from the South (the Reformists) take only the first core sound (eg st, sh, ch, th), move that to the back and add the 'ay'. Through, in this case becomes Roughthay. By the time we got to school, we'd all made up stories about this boy named Omeoray who'd come from a Northern family but had fallen in love with a Southerner named Ulietjay. It's a classic tale of ovelay, uicidesay and upiditystay.

Lee and I hail from the north. We realise that the Reformists are taking over. One day we're going to be herded up and sent to oncentrationcay ampsay, the Urembourgnay Awlay will be passed, forbidding mixed marriages. It will be very very adsay. Eventually, people from over the border will invade Pig-Rome and set us all eefray.

On that note I will bid you an
Ondfay Arewellfay.

Take care :)

Monday, March 22, 2004

Soccer's about to start...

...so I'll keep this brief and to the point.

ASIM 11 is out and I'm now officially an editor in print. I'm so excited. I received my copy this morning and it's wonderful. It looks good and I'm feeling so proud of myself. I'm just holding it in my hands and feeling like a proud mummy all over again.

Dinner AND a show

Went to John and Calli's for dinner last night. I provided Canneloni and they provided their pool. Lee did the dishes. Pirates of the Caribbean provided part of the entertainment along with a delightful "Mahjong Western" of which name escapes me.

Will post more tomorrow. Soccer awaits.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

A Hard Night's Day

Lee's brother Scott is getting married next Saturday. Last night, Lee packed Erin up and trundled off to Scott's for a new-age Buck's Night - Pizza, Wrestling and looking after 3 babies. I met Amanda and a few of her friends at Han's in Carousel. Knowing that I'd be driving myself and Amanda home, I stuck to drinking one stoli (an avid bourbon drinker, it's nice to splash out on something different every now and then) at dinner and one cocktail at Yvonne's (Amanda's best friend) about two hours later. I can't tell you the name of the concoction because it contains bad-boy words but I can tell you that it has the word "Cowboy" in it :) Lee spent about five minutes trying to get me to tell him the name of the cocktail but I couldn't. I guess no matter how much you try to change your life, some things remain ingrained.
I went along, sure I'd be out of my depth, and armed with the excuse of my recent operation if it all became too much. It turned out to be a fantastic evening as we all took it as an excuse to become totally girly. I admit it. I'm a girly-girl. When you barely make 5 foot in your heals and have a size 3 shoe, there's two roads you can take. You can either 'cute it up' and be a girl, or go totally against the grain and become a tom-boy. I learnt early on to take the first option.
So there we were drinking (me on Solo by this time), chatting about babies, exes, current loves, trends in hair, our weight, weddings past and weddings future (see the two future Mrs Battersbys playing it up) and discussing what we're wearing on Amanda's big day.
Lee, I need money :)
Needless to say, Amanda and I walked through the door at 1 am.

A Hard Night's Day Part II


Mindful that he had to be up for Erin at 6am (I got up to her yesterday morning), Lee packed us off home straight away. Except that he isn't. Up, I mean. I had a terrible night's sleep. I had a panic attack at one stage and became too afraid to sleep in case I died. I have a theory on this which I'll share further on. Erin woke up twice, once for her dummy and the second time for her dummy and to have the fan turned on. She's the only child I know who has a 'comfort' fan.
So when she finally did wake up, I was already half-awake and got up to her.

Hence the rambling :)

Death

Death has been a strong component of Lee's and my relationship. I met most of his family at his mother's funeral and the rest of them at his step-father's.
Lee lost a lot of family members in the space of two years, including his wife Sharon and his mum and step-dad. As a result he is quite protective of me.
Recently he had a vivid dream involving a game of hide-and-seek, silver men, hiding me under a bed and in a cupboard, and kangaroos that first we kill off and then turn into our children (as in ours biologically, not the ones we have). My best-friend Sharon (see 'Coincidences' in the next section) has some brilliant dream books. Yesterday I rang her and asked her to look up the meaning of all these symbols. Basically it told us that after all the stress of losing his wife and then my having the operation, wanting to have a baby, my kids going over to live with their dad etc, Lee is trying to cope with his fear of losing me, especially as a result of child-birth.
Then last night at dinner Amanda shared her feelings about Sharon's death and how it affected her, Lee and the rest of the family. I tried to be positive and point out that Lee is happy now and has a promising future ahead of him with a woman who adores him. Amanda and I get along pretty well, but I feel that last night was the first time she learnt to like me for me and not just because I'm Lee's future wife.
Actually, and this is quite funny looking back, I spent the whole night talking about the big, hairy guy and at one stage stopped and said, "Wow, I sound obsessed, don't I?"
We have been accused of bordering on the co-dependent, but hey, it works for us :)

Coincidences

In this freaky world that I live in my absolute best-friend in the world is named Sharon. So was Lee's wife.
Both their initials were SB.
Lee's Sharon (for want of a better reference) has a mum named Lynn.
My Sharon has a mum named Yvonne. (My middle name)
They were born two weeks apart.
Sharon my friend has a daughter named Kirri-Lee and another named Cassie.
I have a fiance named Lee and a daughter named Cassie.


It may not seem that huge, but you try talking to your fiance's mother-in-law about your best friend Sharon :) Then extrapolate that situation when your child, who is actually the child of the deceased daughter of the mother-in-law, talks incessantly about "Aunty Sharon".

Scott and Amanda got engaged about the same time we did. They decided on a date a little later, we had ours picked before we actually got engaged. We got together with the family and announced our dates. They're getting married Saturday 27th March 2004 at 4:30 pm. Ours is Saturday 26th March 2005 at 4:30pm. It'll be weird going to the wedding on Saturday, knowing that a year from then, I'll be married again.

Well, I think that's about it for now. I hope your week was wonderful. We're at John and Callisto's tonight. We providing dinner, they're providing the pool. An evening to trade gossip on our respective trips while sipping Metheglin isn't the worst way to end a week.

Take care

Oh, my goals achieved:
Edited for Luke from the Word Thirst group.
Walked two days
Had two alccie free days
Didn't send out a story, but have two for next week.
Redrafted Civvie Street and received wonderful comments on it from the KSP SF
Didn't write 2000 words. Apart from the re-drafts, didn't even write 1 word. Managed to delete 109 from Civvie Street though :)
Critted one story for KSP SF.
Have read half of God's Callgirl (significantly more than two chapters and a possible reason for the lack of words written. At this stage my recovery still has to come first.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Where to begin???

Well, Lee's covered so much of our last few days, that one is almost tempted to say; "What he said."

However, there is some stuff I'd like to share from my perspective.

Albany

Albany was brilliant. We arrived Saturday at 11am and by 2pm were wondering how feasible it would be to set up home there. In the end we decided against it. Our writer sensibilities couldn't handle the constant spelling mistakes and grammatical errors that were littered throughout the town. Albany is a tourist town. Sign posts marking tourist spots are EVERYWHERE. I think the one person they need in town is a proof-reader. "Cupachino" is one lovely example. "Frolic with the whale's." Is another. The whale's what?

Got some lovely souvenirs. Lee's become as fond of candle culture as I am, so we spent one hour on Saturday arvo shopping for something special. In the end we chose a gorgeous rainbow coloured one that smells divine. We took it back to our room and used it in the spa.

Spas. Oh how I love them. Relaxing and rejuvenating all at the same time. Battboy and I go away fairly often, and always ask for a spa. If they don't have one, we go somewhere else. This hotel had a spa in our room. We ate dinner at the hotel on Saturday and decided to take our cheese platter and wine to our room. (A small aside here: If you're ever looking for a great place to stay in Albany, don't go any further than Ace Motor Inn. The staff were wonderful, the food brilliant, the rooms well maintained, and of course, there's always the spa.)

I bought myself not one, but TWO new necklaces. One was from WhaleWorld (one of the best tourist places I've ever been to) and the other was from the Deer-O-Dome. The first I bought because I saw it as we went in and it jumped out at me. I knew I had to have it or I would die. We actually went in twice, once on Saturday arvo and again Sunday morning. I bought the necklace on Sunday as we were leaving. The second necklace is actually a cross section of antler deer on a strap. It's the coronet, the point where the antler meets the skull. One part of it is bone from the skull and the other is cartilage from the antler. I loved the Deer-O-Dome.

Big, pointy teeth

One of the best parts of the Deer-O-Dome was it helped me to overcome a long-held fear.
Guinea pigs.
They terrify me. They squeak, they pee and their eyes fall out due to terrible viruses when you're an impressionable seven year old.
I went in to the DOD, armed (with carrots) and ready to deal with my guinea-pig phobia. By the end, I had my own little band of miscreants, following me around like I was the Pied Piper. And not one lost eye amongst them.

But wait, there's more...

Deer. Everywhere. Huge beasts of things. And their cute Bambi-wannabees. I patted real life, there in the flesh, animals. And I didn't scream once. Okay. Maybe once, but that was when one of the bulls charged the fence. The amazing thing is that the keeper told it off and it backed down.

Lots of piccies, but no idea how to lead you to them unfortunately.

It's Lyn and Martin month in the SF world

I'm the editor of not one, but two magazines out this month. ASIM 11 was at the printers as of last week, and Ticonderoga is now officially online. The first story we bought is Martin Livings' "The Art of Suffering", which I like to think of as our 'flagship' piece. I'm especially proud of this story. It arrived on my desk while I was searching for pieces for ASIM. I fell in love with it and snaffled it for issue 11. I wrote to Martin and told him I'd take it. Then, due to some politicking, had to write back and ask for another story instead. I was so disappointed because I felt it was one of the best pieces I'd read in ages. Then I decided to get involved with Ticonderoga. I kept thinking about Suffering and put it forward on behalf of Martin. Fortunately the other editors agreed with me and I managed to accept Martin again. I love all the authors in my issue, but Martin feels a little special, because with all we put him through he remained patient, professional and kind. So not only have I got two mags out there with my name on it, I have Martin in both of them.

And while we're talking SF

I've managed to align myself with John Parker's Wasteland enterprise. Lee and I thought of taking over the running of Borderlands last year, but after a realistic look at our schedule, decided against it. We did, however, let it be known that if anyone else was thinking of taking it on, we'd be interested in joining them. John and Calli put their hands up and so we gave them the nod. This is cool. Working on a project with such good friends should be a scream.

That's what I'm loving about the SF community. I've made brilliant friends in my writing/fan life that I wouldn't have made otherwise. John and Callisto, Russell and Liz, and, of course, the big, hairy (yay!) guy. Not only are they friends but now they're colleagues. This is so brilliant.

And this week...
Due to our trip to Albany, Battboy and I didn't get to write our goals until last night.
These are mine.
-Edit for Luke (young guy who's writing his first novel. I'm sort of mentoring him)
-2 walking days (one done already)
-2 alcohol free days.
-Send out one story
-Redraft Civvie St (Lee's line-editing now as I type)
-Write 2000 words
-Crit KSP
-Read two chapters of God's Call Girl (which I bought in Albany. I sat down to do my 2 chapters yesterday and managed 5 instead)

Have a fantastic week. Take care.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Holiday, anyone?

Battboy and I have a kid-free weekend, so we decided, for a change, to stay at home. No going out, no people over, no writing groups. Just us, relaxing for a change.
Pressure off, we let the week roll over us, until yesterday. Suddenly our no-plan weekend became a very planned weekend. We're off to Albany tomorrow and I'm excited. I've never been. I figure an early night tonight and up at six to be out of here by seven.
Life is terribly exciting in the Triff-Batt household.

Barbershop duet

Cut Erin's hair this morning in preparation for her visit to her grandparents. These are her maternal grandparents, so I'm always aware of a need to 'measure up'. Can I accept that I never will? Of course not. Last time we sent her there she came home with a hair cut. Determined not to let them have anything against me, I decided to do it myself this time. I've done this before, no problems. This time it was a disaster. You know there's this point where one side is shorter than the other but you know that if you even it up it's all going to be too short? I reached that. I nearly cried in frustration. No matter how I cut it, it wasn't sitting right. Erin has wavy hair, so naturally, I'm cutting it nicely but its springing up to different levels. Oh well, as I told her, the difference between a good hair cut and a bad one is three weeks.


Countdown

Exactly four weeks from now, Battboy and I will be breakfasting and getting ready for our first full day at Swancon.

The big day
Our wedding is now 1 year and two weeks away. I've started looking at dresses. When I married Jon I chose a cream lace skirt, bodice and jacket set with a handkerchief hem (very 80's). As much as I love that outfit, this time I want the traditional white dress. It's the only part of our wedding that's likely to be anything approaching 'normal'. My little bro is a chef and has offered to make a croquembouche wedding cake. Our venue will be wherever Swancon happens to be. And of course, we have "The Honeymoon That Dare Not Speak Its Name." (The National Convention is being held a few weeks later in Tasmania, but as my first honeymoon was in Tassie...)

Goal progress
Still recovering, so a little slow in some things. Managed my three days of walking, but ended up pretty sick as a result.
One alccie free day out of the four planned. May manage another one tonight, but as we're away for the weekend I don't think we'll get any more.
Finished Civvie Street. Yay!!! Redraft will be today.
Redraft Memory of Breathing today.
Went to the Word Thirst group.
Have read three short stories out of eight, but am about 1/4 of my way through a book called "The God Stories".
Edited a chapter of Luke's novel.

So all in all, not too shabby. Looking back at it the only thing I probably won't accomplish is the four alcohol free days.

Have a lovely weekend.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Hmmmm where to start

On the face of it a slack day. Little writing, a lot of reading. Huge sleeping.

But...

I didn't write a lot because I was going through an old story that I wanted to send to the KSPSF awards.
I did a lot of reading because one of my goals for the week was to read either an entire novel or 8 short stories from a collection. (I went with two stories of Sean McMullens) and I slept a lot because I had my first day of exercising after the operation (1800 metres around the local duck pond.) I was exhausted and needed to recoup.

Not an alccie free day. My best friend Sharon recently had a wine tasting and I bought some wine. Had two glasses over Dr Who tonight. It's soccer night, Battboy and I like to cuddle up with a drink and yell at the players. We also watched Crumb and discovered that there's people out there who lead weirder lives than we do.

Consideration

I've always maintained that you don't need money to be happy and living with the big (rapidly becoming) hairy guy proves it. We don't have much in the way of liquid assets but we do have a brilliant life. I've been very depressed lately, over losing my kids, over my weight, over deferring uni (again). Lee's aware of this and nearly every day he makes sure to bring some joy into my life. Whether it's telling me why he loves me or giving me a candle, there's always something. His considerate nature and great love are a rock to me in these difficult times.

Into Hell

Took my beautiful daughter Casi to see Meatloaf at the WACA on Saturday. My daughter is one of the most important and amazing parts of my life so getting to spend an evening alone with her was brilliant. We rocked hard and talked heaps. Meatloaf, naturally, was an awesome experience, but the best part of the night was being with my girl. She's an amazing person, a fantastic writer in her own right (Highly Commended in last years KSPSF Junior Section) and beautiful with it (she has my eyes :)) I adore her and couldn't stop hugging and kissing her. I love my children and hate being apart from them. They're intelligent and wonderful and they enrich my life. All four children give me such a sense of completion.

Happy together

Spent the weekend at Sharon's with Lee and the kids. Sharon had gone away to Margaret River with her 'friend' Michael and wanted me to watch her children Kirri-Lee and Sonny. K-L is 16 and is the most amazing teenager I've ever met. S is 13 and is...well...a teenage boy. He and Casi were inseparable for the entire time. They say they're friends but I can see the potential. Sharon and I agree that we wouldn't mind at all.
My boys were gorgeous. They were extremely clingy and stuck to Lee and I like glue with lots of hugs and kisses for both of us. K-L decided that we needed time off and chased the boys off so Lee and I could relax, but at every moment the boys would look for an excuse to sit on our knees and chat. We didn't mind. It's not like we get a lot of chances to be with them. We got some lovely photos of all of us which we've now down loaded to our computer. Battboy's working at setting up a webpage for me, so as soon as it's ready I'll load them up.
And Erin. What can I say about my baby? She's beautiful and lively and a joy. I'm very blessed that not only did Lee come into my life but he also brought Erin with him. I'm her mummy and that's all that's important to her. She'll grow up knowing that she has two mothers but I'll always be mummy.

Finally...

Missing Chesh and Calli. They're in Sydanee for the Mardi-Gras. Wish they were here.

Time for bed. Enjoy the rest of your week.

Friday, March 05, 2004

A week of meandering thought

I haven't done a hell of a whole lot this week. I've put most of my time and energy into recuperating and only now feel like I'm regaining my life. I really want to exercise, but Battboy won't let me. Two days ago I couldn't walk to the letterbox without pain but now I'm walking around the shopping centre (albeit very slowly).
Writing has been a hit and miss thing. The painkillers cut my thinking to shreds. I've worked towards making up for it today though.

Goals achieved

2300 words on Return to Civvie Street
4 alcohol free days and what looks like being a 5th.
Rewrote The Hanging Tree

Goals not achieved yet
But there are still two days to go in which to:
Finish Civvie Street
Another draft of Memory of Breathing
Send Impossible Clock to Potato Monkey mainly because ASIM haven't dropped it yet.

I should be able to complete the first two this weekend. We're off to my friend Sharon's for the weekend and I envision lots of free time. No housework, kids entertained, Lee busy with his own work (even if I have to whip him. And no, not in the fun way ;))

No walking til Monday. I'm hanging out for exercise.

Have a fun weekend.

Oh, Calli and Chesh. Hope you're having a fab time. I've seen those corset bags and keep hinting to Battboy that he really needs to get me one. I've seen a red leather one that I LOVE! See you when you get back, guys. Love and hugs.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Getting better

If you've jumped here from Lee's blog then you're aware that I'm on the mend. I still feel rather sore and am suffering from a post-operative infection, but everyday is an improvement. Lots of anti-biotics for the next few months (and rest rest rest) but at least I know what the issue was and that it can be treated.

Which hopefully means...

I can try my corset on again soon. I really want to wear it to the masquerade this year. Hell, I just want to wear it for kicks. Love that sensation of being tied in and always going that little bit tighter.

The big, hairy guy...

Aint. Lee's shaved his beard off. I love him no matter what, but I do love that beard. Kissing him now is such a different experience. Not a bad one. Always a good one. It's just - different.

Back on track

Managed my first day of writing work yesterday. I totally rewrote The Hanging Tree. This week has been a haze of pain and drugs (the legal kind) but today I managed one whole day free of medication and managed to edit The Hanging Tree. Yesterday I got to 5pm before I gave in and took some neurofen, but today I'm coping on my own. Work in the public sector is out of the question for the next few months as I recuperate, but hopefully I'll have the opportunity to make my mark in the writing world. Also hopefully, Lee and I'll have had some success in our 'little' venture.

Unfortunately...
I've had to defer uni again. I expected that I'd go to uni from Monday to Wednesday, have my op on Thursday and be back on deck by Monday. I was way too optimistic and greatly underestimated how much pain I'd be in after the op. I had to miss this week, which, when added to the trip to Canberra con, means that I automatically fail. I love uni but my health has to come first. Still, I'll be back on board by next semester.

And the other loves of my life

Saw my other children today. I hate them not being with me. I want them back so much, even if it was under shared care. I don't cope well without them. Erin is wonderful, and gives me so much joy, but that doesn't stop me missing the others.

One last thing

Went with Sheldon, Chesh and Calli to Once Upon A Time In Mexico on Saturday. As I mentioned, I thought I'd be pretty much right by the weekend. I wasn't. Far from. We had dinner first and I had to take some medication to get through that, then we went onto the movie and the pain was still excrutiating so I had more. I ended up taking 4 Panadeine Forte in the space of 1 hour. I was so out of it, I couldn't follow the story line (although I could pick out the absolutely delectable Johnny Depp). I can't tell you what the movie was about but I do know that JD was YUMMY!!!! The funny thing is, I remember people laughing and me going "What? WHAAAAAT????" Lee's promised that we'll see it again when I'm feeling more lucid.
There was one line I do remember. JD made some comment and finished it with 'savvy'. I laughed my butt off at that. Savvy is a Triff-Batt by-word in this house after Pirates of the Caribbean.

Well, I think that's it.

Take care and have fun.
Savvy?

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