19 September 2010

Ending Alice has a home

Image by kind permission of Mark du Toit   http://www.marktoon.co.uk/blobs.htm

The last few weeks have been long and tortuous, a series of horrible deadlines and urgent requests jockeying for position. It has almost been a flashback to the old environmental health officer days of having a stack of work on your desk, in order of urgency, that you reshuffle continuously as phone calls come in that change the priorities.

In this job, fortunately, it's four projects instead of forty, and the phone calls tend to be more businesslike and less hysterical. Did I ever mention I've never regretted leaving public service? I really haven't.

Nonetheless, it has been a hairy few weeks where I repay my employer for the way they don't object to my normal, rather erratic schedule that twists and turns to handle things domestic and small boy related.

It figures, then, that The Boy had to fall off his friend's bike on Wednesday evening and sprain his ankle. His left ankle and foot puffed up and he has lost two days of school so far, which were covered by The Old Git and a friend. We spent all yesterday evening in casualty when our GP practice wouldn't strap it and sent us off to get it x-rayed in case it was broken (it isn't). It's hard work giving 66 lb's of not-so-small boy a piggyback everywhere.

As soon as we got back from the hospital on Friday night I carried on downloading data from noise analysers, and Saturday and this morning were spent writing reports and creating computer noise models.

With all this going on (why yes, I would like some cheese with my whine), It feels like karma to get an acceptance for a short story in the midst of it. Crossed Genres are starting up a new magazine called Science in my Fiction, and Ending Alice by yours truly is going into the inaugural edition. The really exciting thing for me is that I am getting paid at semi-pro rate. I have received a token payment for one of my stories but up until now nerves have kept me to the free markets. Add to that a lovely personal rejection from SNM Horror magazine that loved Letters to Mother but asked me to resubmit it for a month with a different theme and this feels like a huge step up, and a great position to be in for the start of my creative writing course in a couple of weeks.

So, consider me tired but happy. I've stepped up to all my challenges and life feels pretty good.

I still have to take The Old Git and The Boy out for dinner next weekend to say sorry though. It seems that there may have been a certain amount of snarling along the way. I can't think why.