callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
So, next year my family will have no income. Again. We did that earlier this year, and we've only just gotten back to the point where we don't owe any one money from that time, and we've paid off the debts and stuff that we accumulated. We were finally going to have a month without Christmas or Birthdays or door payments...

Except not, I guess.

The IT industry is a funny thing right now. We didn't feel the GFC so much at the time, but we certainly seem to be feeling the after effects. Not that it's actually over, as far as I remember it being reported. It's caused some real uncertainty in IT, and we've been working from contract to contract with the hope of a permanent position. The promise was lost, however when the mining companies started to take a hit too, and so no permanent job for us.

So now I am looking for a job too. Full time, interesting, stable... I can do a lot of stuff. I am flexible, self motivating, and a pleasure to work with. But I haven't worked for someone else for almost 8 years. It's not a black hole of time by any means. I have written novels, sold lingerie, run my own business, written manuals, developed an online home business, worked on the Board of WASFF for many years, volunteered at the school, seen some bits of America, sold short stories... I know all this because I have been writing job applications and going over my CV and wondering.... if I am enough.

I have to work out so much stuff. Do I want to try for a career? If so, what career? I have to start at the bottom again, and can I start in a way so I don't die of boredom while I learn from the ground up? Will anything I have done before be useful or valued? Am I hire-able? Can I get a stable job? Is any industry stable these days? What's the point in sorting out what *I* want when really, my family *needs* the stability over the possible career? If IT is as unstable as it appears to be, there has to be an income stream into the family that is constant and reliable. I would love to do temping for a while and do all sorts of things and see what's out there but maybe I just need something steady instead?

This is just the beginning of the job search. I have potentially months to go before I get hired. I struggle with the reversal of power in this situation; I want to be the one who does the research and picks the company to apply all my attention to, and when you're talking  career level stuff, that used to be the way to get your job. But these days I think I have to apply the scatter shot approach. Apply for as many low level jobs as possible in the hopes I get something. Anything. Whatever!

If Chesh manages to get his contract sorted out, there's going to be times when we're *both* working. And it's not even for the money, in that instance, that I need a job. It's the stability. I find this an odd position to be in. The last year has definitely had a lot of trust in it, that we'd find a suitable contract at a suitable rate and a suitable time, but the 9 weeks without pay earlier this year kind of destroyed that trust. This time when it was confirmed the permanent job would not be appearing, and that no contracts were being renewed (John had suspicions) we both hit the ground running. I bought half a cow. John started applying for a minimum of a job a day. I already remember the recipes and the meal plans to minimize food costs. I cried a bit, to be doing this again.

But this is life. :)

And the food is the least of our worries, in a way. I can do things with 10 kilos of rice and 10 kilos of mince to feed us for a month if I had to. The food is not really an issue. It's the bigger things that are going to bounce and worry me. I should start making lists and if we don't have a contract organized by January, I should start ringing companies and asking for suspensions. I don't want to. It's so much fluffing around and so annoying and so... so... embarrassing. I will ring anyway, and I know my cheeks will burn with something which could just be labelled shame. But whatever. I am not ashamed that I need help. I think it's more that I know people make judgements, and that I can't help that and I am powerless and I have to ask the powerful for help. It frustrates me and makes me angry that I'm not the powerful one. It's easy to be benevolent when I have the power. :) less easy when i don't.

I'm not the most graceful of people, that's certainly been proven lately. At least my bratty behaviour seems to be under better control. Hurting the people who love you is never a good thing.

Hurting people trying to help is also never a good thing. This is all just temporary, and I am secure in a web of love and loving people and I know we will be fine. nothing really has changed - we have food on the table and a roof over our heads. Yet something indefinable has changed, and the future seems more uncertain. I'm working through the future and trying to shape what I can but the ground is shifty and difficult to rely on. I need to harden the underlying supports to my family, and that means I can't just pull the wagons close and wait it out this time. I need to get out there and attack the problem. :) I need a job.

I have many worries. Maybe I should stick to writing about one of them at a time.

I find the whole jump from feast to famine really also very disconcerting. We will go from zero income to potentially thousands a month, especially if we're both working at the same time. Such a huge difference! I have to incorporate that into any plans for next year too. Everything is so uncertain. It's weird that there will be so much money coming in, and that we won't *need* it all. I am hoping to save it, keep it, and do stuff... but what? London or new home? Bali with the kids? Brisbane, Melbourne, Tasmania?

This also affects our hopes and plans to move. We won't be able to get a houseloan while Chesh is between contracts, and we can't use any potential job I might have because the banks won't allow for it until i have had the job for 6 - 12 months. Apparently because John has been in the same industry for years and years, his contract work is ok to get a house loan with. We're sitting on 130K of equity that we can't use.

I have nothing else to add to this post yet. It's just random rambling as I think and process. At least I am now at the point where i can think and process. I don't feel too stressed yet, but that might come later. Right now I am seeking ways to plan, to envision and to be prepared for what's coming. This year (2012) I think had some underlying themes of TRUST and FAITH. I'm not sure if I have learnt the lesson yet or if it's still ongoing. The word REDEFINITION is coming up a lot. Maybe it's time I redefined my family and the way it functions. It's time I redefined the roles we all play. It's time to redefine who I am again in an external sense rather than internal. It's time to redefine what my kids do and how they function in the family.

Goodbye 2012. I won't miss you much. You sure had some highlights but you sure had some lowlights too. 2013 will be better. :)


callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)

Supernatual fic and Haiti

http://amazonziti.dreamwidth.org/51772.html

I've linked this so I can go back and read it again in future. This is an overview post about the 'Caught Between The Earth and Sky.'  It's a fantastic summary too, and it's helped me to think about some stuff. In my selkie porn, I had a tsunami, and it was gently pointed out that a tsunami at that point in time would be unwise at that point. I changed it, but didn't grok it, and in the wake of this fic, I have a better understanding. I didn't think of the tsunami in my story as an echo of the Tsunami, however I think I should have. As a white cisgendered person safely on the other side of a TV, for me a tsunami is a very different thing to a Tsunami. It's an interesting feeling of shame, to figure this out. I expect that my learning around this is not actually deep enough though. I'll keep reading, and thank all that's holy, that there are people out there who are willing to keep talking, and to do so in ways that eventually I might understand better.

Other things of learning:

http://kaigou.dreamwidth.org/140665.html

This is yet another instance of people spelling things out so the people like me have some insights where we previously didn't. I've learnt a lot from this first post, and I am currently reading through the next one now. I know I can never get everything right, but what Kaigou talks about is the sort of thing that adds depth and reason to writing, and to all arenas of characterisation. It's not just the specific examples they talk about, but authors do need to think 'why does my character use THIS over THAT,' and the econonies of novels. I'm aware of trade in my fantasy, but it's another area I want to bone up on. There's so much I enjoy learning about that gets applied to my writing - economics, social sciences, all sorts of interesting things.



callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
Dalek Boy's Questions )
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
In light of [livejournal.com profile] cassiphone 's recent discussion on what books by the opposite sex you like, etc etc etc, I have some questions too.

- What authors and/or who are the opposite sex to yourself do you hate? Why? Edited to add - THAT YOU HAVE READ.

Now, my interest is in the WHY more than the authors/books, so just tell me what pisses you off endlessly in books you have read. I'm including this caveat because I can not remember the name or the author of some of my most hated books. I just hate them from afar. Except for Stephen Donaldson. I always remember how much I hate him. 

callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Linda Hamilton)
There are stories and there are stories.

Chaosmanor tells exciting stories, full of exotic animals, violence, weaponry, sex and life. And I ruminated on the nature of stories because mine have none of the above, and in a way seemed to be very boring, a beige painting next to something big and splashy and wonderful.

My stories have no exotic animals, very little weaponry, some sex, and much talking. Talking talking talking.

When my friend first told me he was very likely going to jail, I spent some time staggering under the knowledge of this. It's not an easy knowledge to have. It came in dribs and drabs, pieces from too many jigsaws to make sense of.  He said to me: I would prefer you don't know the details. I need somewhere I can be me until I go in. I said: fine. But it wasn't fine, and I struggled to allow him this sacred space of my own home whilst he was a "me" which wasn't really him. Eventually, I became so stressed I lost my milk and spent too much time unable to cope with simple things. This was not acceptable.

He said: I will tell you if you ask me.

So I said: Tell me. But I can't do this without some coping mechanism. Let's walk.

I asked him to tell me his story. And as we walked, it occurred to me that he should be grateful to me. Every person involved will have their own story, their own point where they cut and pasted and took part of the story and made it their own. The police would have taken their parts of the story, the people involved will have taken their parts of the story, and the chance to tell his story from beginning to ending would be rare. My own story is as complex as his and the notes interweave like an opera. But I remained as silent as I could, asking questions for more details and knowing he was too caught up in the moment to understand the full value of the gift I had offered him.

Maybe in a few years I'll ask him again. He's not going anywhere. He got six years, maybe four and a half if he's a good boy.

Stories are the way we say things to make sense of the horrors around us. Sometimes I stagger under my books. I'm telling stories of the women in the fantasy novels. The powerful ones, the miserable ones, the beaten ones, the married ones, the mothers and the virgins. I wonder what I'm staggering under to spend so many thousand words exploring these women.

We tell ourselves stories because sometimes the reality is so huge, so big, so daunting, we can't cope. We tell the story differently each time, savouring the parts that bring us something, and rewording the parts that don't meet our needs. Eventually we face the story and somewhere along the line, we've become big enough, wise enough, adult enough, to be able to accept the story, and take it into us and make it a part of ourselves that no longer needs to be told.

Maybe that's what I'm doing. I'm making myself bigger so I can absorb more women's stories. I'm telling these stories to help myself cope with the horrors that are already too close to home.

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