January 15th, 2017

Some thanks (and also some whinges, because I'm at that stage)

My life is still happening too quickly for comfort. Also, I keep losing handholds. It's not easy right now. My life is on fast forward and for every small good thing that happens, I get three large bad things.

I want to thank a few friends for making big differences. Other people get thanked in other places but these people in particular need thanking here and now, because they're the reason I'm not drowning in the impossibility of events. There is no reasoned order in these thanks and I'm pretty sure I'll wake up at midnight and think of something else that I should have said. I need a cuppa, though, and to edit for another hour before bed, so this is the best I can do.

I've not talked about all the events in public because my life is back in soap opera zone, and honestly, it's all a bit much. The people in my life matter now more than they ever have, for they're what keep my rocking boat (and my mixed metaphors) stable in some very rough waters. Being alone can be difficult at times like this, so the fact that I'm seldom lonely and even more seldom desperate is a tribute to my friends, wherever they happen to live.

Every single one of you who has supported me on Patreon, read and talked about my novels, chatted with me on social media, come to a talk or a class by me has made a professional difference to me as well as a personal one. Doors shut for me where they should open - this is Australia and this is a difficult time to be of my age and of my background. Your support reminds me that I'm good at what I do and that it's worth persevering. The financial aspect helps me add just that much more to my life, as well. As I keep saying, the 'that much more' this year will be Continuum and WorldCon. As I also keep saying, I'll keep on working on finances, because to have a break from the incessant battles here, and to give a paper and be on panels and spend quality pub time with friends will then help me keep going when life does its thing on my return.

The friends who give me library lifts and hospital lifts and appointment lifts - I can now do these things myself (and, in fact, I do, as will be attested tomorrow morning, where I will daringly do it all on foot, without a single bus), but it makes it so much easier emotionally to have friends with me and to know there's help if I need it. I didn't realise just how much the weight of 2016 bore on me whenever something medical comes up. This weight is getting lighter because of your support.

I don't get a vast amount of public affirmation. This is going to continue at least until I find new homes for my books, and probably after that. What this means is that when someone says something like S said to me privately the other day (that people should be considering History and Fiction for a Hugo, not just a Ditmar) it means a great, great deal. I generally don't get considered for awards, so being told that something is worth it makes me feel much better about, in this case, all that time spent on something that will neither bring me money nor job. (The job it was likely to bring got scuttled by our lovely cutbacks to universities - I'm still getting interviews and I'm still not getting a job - I guess it's possible, but right now, it doesn't feel possible, which means the comment that the book is considered that good by some readers is rather more important to me than it would be if it were just another academic publication. Not many people will read it, so it's not going to be on lists. But it's nice to know that a friend whose brain I trust thinks I do work of that quality. Likewise when L told me privately I was the best book doctor she's ever seen - this means so very much. (And I am now thinking of myself as a book doctor - more of the timelordliness)

Another bit of affirmation that means a lot comes from the editors and writers who've supported me the last few days. I suddenly have four books out of print and several more that had homes and now don't. Two of these novels were just barely beginning to be seen and both included things Jewish, which took some courage in the current climate - now I get the public knowledge of being Jewish without readers getting access to the novels, which kinda sucks. The behind-the-scenes support I've been getting has made just the biggest difference to my capacity to keep looking for solutions and to deal with inevitable downsides. This is one of those moments when individuals in our industry really shine, in a gentle and supportive way.

Thank you all!