Remember January? That halcyon, golden summer last year, when I committed to blogging here every single week during 2012? No? Good. I don't remember it, either.
So it's been a busy* semester. And next year is looking similarly frantic, but there are a lot of good things happening.
Probably the biggest one is that our little family is on the move! Okay, we're not going too far, just across Canberra, but a week or so back we found a lovely house in one of the suburbs that we've always looked at and sighed wistfully. Just for good measure, it was exactly within our (recently much improved) buying capacity. So we bought it. Looked at it for the first time at 2 O'clock on a monday afternoon, put in an offer at around 2.45, and had it accepted just after 3.15. By 5.30 we'd signed up to sell our existing place with the same agent (she's nice. We like her...) and by 6.00 we were sitting on our couch, rather dazed, saying things like 'Well. That was unexpected.' to one another.
Now we're having fun trying to sort out our finance during what is, effectively, the christmas shutdown for most of the financial industry. But it's all looking very positive, anyway...
Other news: My clever wife also submitted her PhD last week. (Yes, you're correct. We did go and buy a new house just 7 days from her submission date. If you're going to put yourself under pressure, you might as well go the whole hog, we figure...) This meant that the two of us spent most of last weekend editing and proofreading furiously. I personally checked every one of just over 33,000 words of footnotes, including thousands of individual references and case citations. Took roughly 16 hours. We finished up at 3.00am monday morning, nipped home for a refreshing 4 hours sleep, then got back to the finishing touches and printing so that Min could hand it over at 2.30. Then we went and had a drink.
So now it's just a horrible wait for the results.
And, come the start of next year, I'll be writing again, too. My plan is to knock out books 2 and 3 of 'The Hunter', hopefully by mid-year. (book 1, in case you're interested, is still with my Agent in New York. Fingers crossed I'll have some news on that front sometime early in the new year...)
After that it'll be time for some academic writing, preparing for a conference I'm off to in Holland next year in August. I'm also editing (and contributing) to an academic book on questions of truth and honesty in Children's and YA literature.
Plus, of course, next year I'm going to get back into blogging more seriously. Really. Proper blogging, too - not just these newsy posts that nobody except my mother has any real interest in.
In the meantime, though, I've got a bit of last minute shopping to do, so I'm going to sign off here. Chances of me signing back on anytime before mid January are pretty small, to be honest (I've got about 18 months worth of house renovations to do in roughly 3 weeks!) so I'm going to thank all my readers for their interminable patience with me this year, and wish everyone a Happy Festive Season - however and whatever you celebrate - and hope you all stay safe.
*Busy [v / adj] bizē: full time teaching load, revising next draft of next book, supervision of 5 Phd and 3 honours students, presenting keynote addresses at 2 conferences, helping wife prepare and submit her PhD thesis, organising and running a birthday party for 15 sugar-loaded 4-year-olds, buying a house, selling a house, grading and moderating roughly 350,000 words worth of student work, marking 2 PhD thesis, running masterclasses in sydney, occasionally exercising, being father to an increasingly-energetic little boy, re-discovering Lego.