Wednesday, 5 March 2008

I'm ba-a-ack

It's been 9 months since I last posted. In September 2007 my computer hard drive crashed, and I lost everything. It's taken a long time to get myself up and running again to my own satisfaction, and it's only been this week that I even remembered I had a blog. I've just spent over half an hour finding it, because I wasn't even entirely sure what I'd called it. So. Let's catch up.

I'm still working for the New Zealand Poetry Society, still the Area Coordinator for Mensa in Wellington, and still have my delightful youngest daughter living at home, though she has been entirely engrossed by the lovely Johno for the last 6 months or so. It's a record for her, and I hope it lasts for a lot longer, as they are really cool together.

The second youngest daughter is in her last year at university, and still lives with Penelope. They've been together for over 3 years, and look like lasting a long long time.

Daughter number 2 is still in England, and no longer talking about coming home to live (though she will be here for the first three weeks of April - yayyyy). She has a French boyfriend she recently moved in with, after going out with him for a year or so, and he's not keen to move to New Zealand as he can't make enough money here. He's an accountant, but we'll try not to hold that against him. They're talking about having children, and might move as close as Sydney, which is tolerable.

Oldest daughter split from her partner of 8 years last November, and has just had her work hours cut, so she is very poor (still waiting for her benefit to start!) but considerably happier. They have stayed friends, which is what they both wanted, and the children spend considerable time with the ex. Until either of them meets someone else, this is a good arrangement.

Writing poetry has taken a back seat for a while, though I am managing to get some done. The Academy, my support and cheer leading group, is now meeting on the second Wednesday of every month, so that's a good incentive to knuckle down. I came fourth in an international poetry competition, based in the UK, over the summer, and had a poem accepted for an anthology about parenting. So I'm feeling very encouraged.

One thing I turned out to be very bad at is fund-raising, and our grant for the next financial year is half what we need to operate at, if I am to continue to be paid. So after the end of March my income drops below subsistence level. I have started selling things on Trade Me, and although it's hardly a living at this stage, it's a start.

I have found it very difficult to keep up a twenty hour week this year - my mental energy has been pretty ineffectual. I just keep sitting at the computer every afternoon, hoping to find the strength and discipline to actually get a decent amount of work done. Not always successfully. The basics are getting covered, but I have a huge number of emails that I have to make myself respond to, and I am simply mot enthusiastic about giving my all to a job that doesn't look like lasting. So I'm going back to my motivational books - the ones I read when I was dysthymic for all those years - in an attempt to convince myself it's all worth doing, even with minimal financial reward. Trouble is, I haven't succeeded in believing that poetry matters enough to enough people to spend my time/life on it.

When I started, I imagined building the Society into this big national organisation that actually had some credibility. For a while it looked like that was going to be possible, but then Creative New Zealand gave us half what I asked for, and I got discouraged. I'm easily discouraged, and I wish I wasn't.

So far I've sold 2 books and a bag of stock food on Trade Me. Watch this space!