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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Posts Tagged ‘raeli’

The Shape of 2013 (how it was)

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

I wasn’t going to do one of these this year. 2013 has been a bit of a crazy, scattered blur in many ways. But then I read my 2012 post and was so pleased I had noted things down for future reference. And then I remembered that I won a Hugo which is, you know, quite extraordinary and belies my general impression that I spent most of this year chasing a 4 year old and recording podcasts.

I did totally spend most of this year chasing a 4 year old and recording podcasts. It was a family and friends sort of year, occasionally punctuated by books, short stories and a whole lot of Doctor Who. There were hospitalisations and dramas, all of which are (KNOCK FREAKING WOOD) behind us now. ( I still don’t feel I’ve properly caught up after my pneumonia bout back in September! If I owe you an email, please remind me) It was a tough year in many ways, and a stupidly slack year in others.

Mostly, we came through it intact.

Here are some good things that happened to me:

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Things To Be Excited About (Writing and Parenting Edition)

Monday, October 14th, 2013

I missed out on the fun & professional inspiration of Genrecon this weekend, which would normally have been pretty depressing, but I got to hang out with my snuggly family and watch a bunch of black and white Doctor Who which was quite a major consolation.

In any case, without a convention to kickstart the last quarter of the year into gear, I have to find my own inspiration!

Firstly, I’m super excited by the first Twelfth Planet Press crowdfunded book, with Julia Rios joining Alisa as editor. This is Kaleidoscope, a book devoted to contemporary fantasy for YA readers which reflects the diversity of the world we live in. I’m writing a story to submit to that (as well as a bunch of other books) right now, with four deadlines between now and December. Eek!

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Ice Warrior Fashion Week

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

It’s been a weird week.

I gave my talk on Wednesday night with Lian Tanner – between us we chatted a lot about creativity, about keeping score as writers, and what with one thing and another we kept coming back to the ridiculously high standards to which we end up holding ourselves.

I walked outside afterwards in the rain, and breathed in cold air with my flu-damaged lungs, and something went, click.

The next day I was taken into hospital by ambulance with what turned out to be pneumonia.

So, from being completely devastated and exhausted by a week of my children being sick, and then me being sick, and then school holidays piling down around my head, I ended up with a bizarre four days in a calm, empty hospital room with my own nebuliser and access to Fox Sports. Oh, and barely being able to talk for more than a sentence or two at a time.

It’s not the rest cure I would have chosen at all, but apparently it was what I needed!

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Fear Them [WHO-50—2006]

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

2006 blueIt is a rainy Hobart afternoon and four children (my eldest daughter, my godson & his two brothers) have just finished watching Fear Her. After a bit of squabbling about who was the villain of the story (Chloe Webber? The Isolus? No, no villain at all, the alien was just lonely!) they settle down to answer a few questions about what they have just watched.

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Worst Witch Week!

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

photo(16)You know what? A lot of kids assemblies at school are pretty dire. When you’ve gone to a lot of them – especially with a wriggly, unhappy toddler dragged along – it gets to a point where there’s only so much school spirit you can really muster, for the promise of seeing your own child stand up for 10 seconds holding a painting.

But Children’s Book Week is the school event that I most look forward to, and I always enjoy. Raeli went as The Worst Witch this year, which is especially lovely because those are the books which have really kicked her into Love Love Loving to read chapter books, as opposed to merely tolerating the process as the second-best option after comics.

She not only dressed herself this morning, in the long witch dress my mother found for her a year or two ago in a second hand shop (it is one of the best purchases she has ever made Raeli – so useful!), but also showed a marvellous sense of attitude and initiative. Sure, the black hat was a bit ragged around the edges, but that only made it feel more like it belonged to Mildred Hubble! And yes, her hair is short, but she carefully chose the volume in which Mildred’s hair is hacked off and restored with a spell. At school, she delightedly showed her teacher how the soft toy tiger who was “playing” Tabby was completely unable to stay on the broom – just like the real thing!

Her attitude was really extra-appreciated when her beloved broom fell to bits and we had to use sticky tape to fix it. ALSO AUTHENTIC FOR MILDRED.

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The Best Excuse for Cake

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

raelimummybirthday2013So it’s my 35th birthday! It was a pretty chilled out day. My presents so far have mostly included chocolate and tea which is most pleasing and appropriate, though I’ve also received a couple of rather lovely pieces of crockery for my new (super old) kitchen dresser: a gorgeous Persephone Books bowl featuring a pomegranate design from Alisa, and a TARDIS teapot from my honey.

Raeli gave me a beautiful piece of artwork – a sketch depicting our family in the Trojan War, playing Sparkly Monopoly, napping together (that is, me and the girls piled on top of each other reading books while their Daddy naps deeply beside us which is ENTIRELY ACCURATE), and a family portrait of us as fairies.

Lunch, some actual reading time (shock!) and I also probably spent more time than I should have working on a post about A Song of Ice and Fire. I got a single lovely child free hour thanks to my honey taking Jem for a walk to buy CAKE.

Jem went through a slightly frantic and stressful (for me) art period in the afternoon – MUST MAKE ART MUMMY – which involved clue and paper curls and cutting random bits of paper and oh gah, artistic children. Lovely but also messy and inconvenient. I am proud of her love of art but there are times when I just want her to go watch some nice tidy television instead.

But the really cool thing is that before dinner, my whole family gathered together and watched all 5 episodes of The Mind Robber (1968) with me! I’d always thought that the ‘books and fairy tales’ theme of this story would make it a Classic Who my girls were likely to enjoy despite the whole black and white thing, and I was right! Not only my three-year-old Hartnell fan Jem watched rapt but after one episode of casually playing Minecraft while glancing up occasionally, Raeli was hooked too.

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Baby Give Me One More Ribbon!

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

ribbon scarf closeA delightful package in the post today. Doctor Who convention Gallifrey One is legendary for its ribbon exchanges between fans, and I was completely squeeful when Erika and Deb of Verity! told me that they had organised a Verity ribbon for this year’s convention.

It says “Brilliantly Opinionated.”

“Make sure you save one for me,” I seem to remember saying, or something along those lines.

WELL.

What they did, those splendid women, along with our fellow podcasters Liz and Katrina, and Katrina’s fellow podcaster Nicholas (AKA THE RIBBON MULE) is they collected as many Gallifrey ribbons as they could, just for me. I was so excited that I kept the parcel un-opened until I had picked Raeli up from home (getting her in the right frame of mind first by playing her the section of the Ood Cast album Dirty Little Geeks in which Laura Sigma sings about going to Gallifrey and COLLECTING RIBBONS BABY, GIVE ME ONE MORE RIBBON UH-HUH).

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What Geek Girls Wear (Is None of Your Business)

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Superheroes are hot right now. So hot, in fact, that some of the merch (occasionally) gets targeted at girls.

When sparkly pink and black retro Batgirl, Supergirl and Wonder Woman t-shirts first turned up in the girls section of Target a couple of years ago, I bought them for my daughter Raeli because I thought they were awesome. Luckily, she agreed with me, and they came at the beginning of a long and fun (and occasionally frustrating) journey of discovering comic book heroes together.

For the next year, though, the only superhero t-shirts I found were “for boys” and though I grabbed a couple I thought she would like, she immediately recognised the dark blue and black code as not being “for her” and rejected them. (she has since got over this and I suspect still regrets the loss of the awesome plain black Batsymbol t-shirt that her younger sister wore as a dress for 3 years because it was enormous on her)

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Too Many Pirate Captains

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

A friend of mine likes to point out to her children when they are having idyllic childhoods. Picnics by the river, cuddling piles of squealing kids on a trampoline, gingerbread daleks at Christmas. IDYLLIC CHILDHOOD. Of course, they never do stop and appreciate the moment for what it is – but maybe, maybe pointing it out to them will freeze a photograph style image in their head that they can pull out as an adult.

It also gives us a chance to let the usual layers of maternal guilt slide away for a few minutes and appreciate that, sure, we do so many things wrong, and so many other things just to get by, and there’s no such thing as perfect parents or perfect children, but right this second, we’re doing a good job and they are good kids, and these are the bits we want to remember when they’re glued to Playstation 2020s and grunting unintelligibly at us.

There are many days of their childhood that are so far from idyllic, with the TV blaring and the kids wanting (or actively trying) to kill each other, the days when the lack of a cup of tea can be the difference between making it to 6 o clock or everybody falling in a heap.

“Look, idyllic childhood moment, over there! You go run after it while Mummy has a sit down and breathes into this brown paper bag.”

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Glueing with Peanut Butter

Monday, September 17th, 2012

I have been working on my novel edits, honestly, even if they have brought along with them the most titanic attempts of procrastination than I have ever experienced before.

My favourite clanger that I caught in the manuscript yesterday is that if you’re going to use the metaphor that a character “glued himself” to his computer it probably shouldn’t be in the same sentence where he had just made himself a peanut butter sandwich. I just couldn’t stop staring at that sentence! It’s been there for YEARS.

My major achievement for the weekend, though, was something I have been fretting about for, well, years. When we moved into this house seven and a half years ago, with a brand new baby, we came from a compact 2 bedroom unit to a sprawling four bedroom house with lots and lots and LOTS of cupboard space. Naturally we exploded into the house like a cannon, filling every available corner with our (apparently compressed far too tightly) stuff.

The house was so big to us that we spent the first year or so of it living in only half, heating only half (turned out doing that saved no money btw) and sleeping with our baby in the master bedroom at the front of the house. The three bedrooms at the back were, well. Storage. Okay, a couple of studies and… anyway. We were especially cavalier with the built in cupboards because there were so many of them.

When we finally moved little Raeli into her own room at the age of two and a half (we malingered on the decision a bit because we didn’t want her at completely the other end of the house to us – took ages to realise we could move down there too, into one of the little rooms) we focused on the important things: a big girl bed, space for her toys, and so on. Kids have a lot of stuff, it’s true, but she was still tiny and certainly wasn’t going to be using hanging space any time soon.

The room was hers but the cupboards were basically still ours. As indeed were all the cupboards.

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