A Slow Blink and You’ll Miss it

December 24, 2009 at 5:10 am (Uncategorized)

Definitely a fast year. A week out from the end of 2009, it’s safe to say that one flew right by. Writing Christmas cards this year felt odd, uncanny beyond what’s usual; I kept thinking I remembered writing someone or other’s card already, only to realise that was last year. Maybe it’s because in many ways this year replicated 2008. If last year was the year of hard graft, so was this. If last year was about redrafting the manuscript, so was this. If last year was about trying to get pregnant, so was this. I don’t think I’ve ever had two years resemble each other to so great a degree. Twin years. Let’s not try for triplets.

There are several things I’d hoped for this year that didn’t come to pass, and their stubborn non-arrival made 2009 feel like reliving 2008. I’d hoped to get some kind of traction for MS #1. I’ve done a year’s more work and yet have gone backwards as far as conventional measures are concerned. After starting the year with a shortlist placing, I’ve ended it not making the recent longlist. After starting the year with an agent requesting to see the full MS, I’ve ended it with that same agent having passed on the manuscript twice. Ugh.

But there were many pluses to the year, too. Dr F found and removed my endometriosis. Lady Alzheimer found happiness and appropriate care at St Andrew’s. The Darklings went from strength to strength. Volunteer Reader gave me some tough love. I was asked to be a guest blogger on the Varuna Alumni blog. My freelance career recovered from the hideous lows of the GFC. Llew and I actually managed to have a holiday together – in Shanghai, no less. I started MS #2, and it was shortlisted in its very first foray into the big wide world. I’ve read terrific books, including more Australian fiction in this year alone than probably across the rest of my life combined. I’ve gained new blog friends and celebrated over a year of friendship with others. And to all of you who spend time here at DoctorDi, any time at all, whether you post comments or prefer hiding in the shadows: THANK YOU. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you all make a profound difference to my writing life in particular and my well-being in general. You make working alone far less lonely, you make being rejected far less miserable, and you make spending many hours in a silent room much, much more amusing. Without you, I fear I’d give up, shrivel up and go belly up. I’d have gone dangerously mad by now, so thanks, I owe you more than I can ever repay.

Have a wonderful break, all. I’ll return Monday 4 January – let’s press on, shall we?



  1. Lilian Nattel said,

    Have a wonderful holiday. I’m so glad to hear of all the good things that 2009 brought. As for the others–some things take longer than a year.

  2. David said,

    Have a lovely holiday, and I hope that 2010 has an end-of-year list that has at least one dream come true. Love you!

  3. litlove said,

    Have a wonderful Christmas, Di! And the wheels of fate will turn – just a question of (a little more) time. I’ll bet everything will happen at once in 2010. 🙂

  4. Pete said,

    I’m still thinking in Christmas metaphors so my wish for you for 2010 is “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!” And I think LL is right again – it will most probably all happen at once.

    I’ve loved being a reader here at DoctorDi HQ this year. And now that I’m finally getting round to my review of Brothers & Sisters I’m thinking of the general paucity of cultural exchange between South Africa and Australia. Your blog is probably the most contact I have with Aussie cultural life and spending time here definitely makes me want to read more Aussie fiction. Have a lovely holiday!

  5. Fiona Wood said,

    Sounds like a huge year, Doctor Di. Belated Happy Christmas, and all the best for 2010!

  6. Grad said,

    Happy New Year, Diddikins (and Llewie, of course). 2010 will be a good year.

  7. piereth said,

    You’re the most inspirational writer. You have had a year with more posses than negs – good on you!!

    Keep on grinding the words – if we can be grist to that particular mill, so much the better. We love you and your song from the South – keep it up, girl. All the very bestest to you, Llewie, the Darklings and MS #2 – and your ovaries, as well! xxxx

  8. doctordi said,

    Aren’t you all wonderful? Truly, you make the very best blog friends, and you make me feel so lucky.

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