Dec. 31st, 2015 10:01 am
pene: (Default)
What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
Wrote a novel. travelled to the US with kids. Spent time with Emily’s whole family without Emily, watched my kid play football for a div 1 team, went to the North Shore of Oahu, went on a giant inflatable water slide, hmm played a winning grand final of football.

Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t make any last year. This year I want to:
1. work out how to be less cross with the kids. The trouble with that is the reason I’m cross is lack of sleep and time. And my time is full of kids, work, writing – all of which I consider essential. So it’s hard to work out how to manage it all. I think January will help, when I have no work and so that stress is less
2. be kinder and more understanding of Robbie. I can be so creative in my understanding of strangers and friends and then so rigid inside my head with her. Most of what this needs is awareness so I’m halfway there. I think if we go to dinner more often, just us, I will be all the way there.
3. cook more
4. go outside a lot without a plan.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
I live the kind of life where babies happen frequently to other people. But I think only my Canadian colleague and friend Jenny is close to me and gave birth this year. To Etta.

Did anyone close to you die?

What countries did you visit?
The US.

What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
A bit more mental space please. Just an hour or two or three where no one needs anything.

What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I never answer this question well. I finished my first draft of my novel early in September. I received editorial notes and saw mock ups of the cover early in November. These things are all important and amazing but the date is unimportant.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Novel. I love it and it was hard and who knew I could write original characters and want them to be so happy.

Also our family is all delightful and balanced and open and loving and I didn’t achieve that but we all have a hand in it.

What was your biggest failure?
Well, I did not make budget at work very often and am behind for this year. Also I yelled at the kids and was less mentally generous to Robbie than I’d like.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not memorably

What was the best thing you bought?
Joss’ football coaching closely followed by trip to the US.

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Cary and Joss are wonderful little people and I am proud of them all the time. Cary’s creativity and warmth and enthusiasm and friendliness and certainty are a joy. Joss’ good sense and thoughtfulness and sense of humour and resilience and kindness and competence equally.
Warner came out as trans and I am consistently impressed by him and his self-care and outward-looking-ness and wisdom. I’m fortunate to count him a best friend.
Stulti and Corinna and Jude generously bolstered me and edited me and cheerled and were willing to brainstorm.

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Sometimes my own. But more Tony Abbott, and even more every person involved in the fact that so many police people do not face charges for killing black people in the US and here.

Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage. Does that count? Also US trip, football coaching, caravan, game systems, vet bills.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Surfing, football, Hawaii, writing, Kurt Hummel, taking photos, Joss’ football team, the ocean, playlists, our cat,

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Maybe about the same. I’m generally happy.
ii. thinner or fatter?
fatter maybe? Not much.
iii. richer or poorer?
My family’s earning less money so I guess poorer.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Being kind. Writing the second book.

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying about why people unfollowed me on tumblr.  wishing people would stop bothering me the second I sit down.

How will you be spending Dec 25th?
Spent it on breakfast with my family, a visit with an old old friend, lunch at the club, driving to Kiama.

Did you fall in love in 2015?
With characters maybe? My own and other people’s. Also I had a growing and expansive adoration for my kids and several of my friends. And am still in love with my wife.

How many one night stands?

What was your favourite TV programme?
Look Glee isn’t my favourite but it’s completely my favourite.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nope. I’m disappointed in someone but it’s no one here and will go away.

What was the best book you read?
Huh. I read a lot of Interlude Press books (many wonderful) and some Georgette Heyer. Aside from that I mostly wrote.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
I just make mixes all the time and few of them are new to me. But I wandered about Sydney with Josh Pyke and then refound his summer music <3. I also rediscovered Something for Kate. Again.

What did you want and get?
A finished book, remarkable children, good connection and love with Robbie, travel, calm at work, creative friends, thousands and thousands of words, more confidence in some things.

What did you want and not get?
Time. Mental space. Understanding at home.

What was your favourite film this year?
Um. I don’t see many films. I liked Big Hero 6.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Immeasurably… a lower budget at work without a drop in salary? Nice dream.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Hmmm. Knee-length skirts and t-shirts, lace-up boots, odd socks, lots of patterned scarves, hand-knits and greens and black and stripes and sometimes pigtails.

What kept you sane?
Joss and Cary, who both make me bananas and keep me sane. Very early mornings. Jo. Stulti. Corinna. Jude. The sky and the ocean.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don’t really fancy celebrities.

What political issue stirred you the most?
Black Lives Matter

Who did you miss?
Jo. My Sydney friends. Emily.

Who was the best new person you met?
Because apparently I skipped last year I didn’t get to say that I met Corinna and stultiloquentia, who are people I respect and like and am interested in so much I can’t believe I get to be friends with them.
And this year Jude - extraordinary creative adorable.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
I don’t need other people’s permission to do stuff.
Also people are so racist. Also the world.
pene: (f : exploded into my heart)

YULETIDE! I can't believe I signed up. Eek. Excited.

Dear Yulewriter,

These requests are in no order and though they're very different, I love all of them equally.

I would rather you wrote a story that you loved and took pleasure in writing than that you tried to fit what you write into a box of what you think I'd like. There's very little that bothers me, and lots that I find impressive. Good writing, a good story or wise consideration of character or humanity completely trumps my interests.

Shelter (2007): I'd love a story set later than the movie, something where Zach and Shaun explore something together, write and paint, take a holiday with Cody, really nut down their little family. Conversations where they consider the future or house rules, niggling arguments and heightened sex, dreamy mornings with one another but not forgetting who they are and all the ways they rely on others. I'd also love to see ways that Zach supports Shaun, the things he brings Shaun that no one else can, while Shaun supports him so sweetly. My love of the source has to do with their physicality and their ordinariness, as well as how clearly and kindly they love one another.

Earthsea: Tenar's and Tehanu's struggle with who they are, how greatness is about small things, how the past is still with them. I long to know more of how Tehanu sees the world, or more of Tenar's sense of detail. Maybe a future story for Tehanu, travelling to a dragon land. Maybe a character studdy of the two of them with Ged looking at them and knowing them. I love the quiet thoughtfulness of Earthsea; the way power isn't obvious and has great costs; I am interested in love stories as well as stories of magic, the way that family and love are simultaneously primary and secondary to other questions.

Thunder Road: Is there any way that Mary and the guy can have a happy ending? Either one of them. I'd love to see their future apart or together. If you can work out a way that this one chance to make it real is actually optimistic that would be sweet. But again, your take is yours and I just want to know more about these ordinary people who probably won't change the world. Feel free to run wild, set it on another planet far from now. Or stick with what it really is.


Whatever you write, I am already thanking you. And you don't even know you're going to write it yet.
pene: (Default)
For me Dreamwidth and livejournal were a personal journaling place. In the old days I posted my fic here, but it was not a fannish journal. Mostly I wanted to post about the sky or the kids or the people I'd seen while walking to the station.

It wasn't a meta or a discussion place. It was my personal journal for 13 years. It felt self-centered, frequently, because it was and I couldn't share other people's stories anyway.

I've long lost my (always limited) ability to create a conversation here.


Then while I was miserable and sleep deprived with (the gorgeous) child number two, I found a fandom. And after poking around I inserted myself awkwardly onto tumblr. But after four to six months I found it sort of delightful. I discussed the show and people would talk back in their own spaces. Everything had a ripple effect. And I found people who wanted to talk to me. I am privileged to have made two to five long term friends and many many delightful acquaintances and cohorts.

That show is over. For now it's still a busy time, and I am ficcing and metaing. I'm also writing non-fanfiction fiction, looking to edit that first novel with a falling-down house full of twenty-somethings and all the world's beaches and researching to start a second with women with shoulders, and thunderstorms, and indie music and the outback.


So I don't know what to do. I'm not worried now. Maybe I should work on finding my people here. Maybe I should facebook or twitter. I'd like to follow everyone I like to every place they are but it's not really practical.

I considered Yuletide but I don't have any tiny little fandoms I am secretly dreaming of fic in. Except Wire in the Blood and Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Those. Hmmm.

Okay. That's the state of my social media :)
pene: (Default)
A meme that I stole from [personal profile] mazily (Hi, love!!) Other people should do this so I know where we can meet.

So what have you been up to? / Major life changes? Same old same old?

Same old. Have celebrated ten years here at the same job. Just celebrated nine years with Robbie. Love our house. Want more time. The boys are 8 and 3 and so are busily being eight and three and glorious and brilliant and too much.

What fandom are you in/do you spend most of your time in?

Glee. Nothing else fannish though I am always happy to read about other people's fannishness.

Where do you hang out online?

Tumblr... http://damnpene.tumblr.com/ which I enjoy enormously for the ways I found myself so simply included in a fandom and for the pretty pictures. I'm half Glee and half pretty pictures of the world there. Plus some other things. Sports sometimes. I am on twitter sometimes as @penehenson and I am on email any time you want to talk to me. And I am trying to spend more time here.

What are you reading?

Mostly poetry and sometimes things people I know have written. Maybe when this book is finished properly I will read other things.

What are you watching?

The Wire. Good show. We are always a million years behind. Surfing. Football.

What are you making?

A book <3 <3 <3

For September I have a bit of glee fanfic that is in progress.

To Yuletide or not to yuletide?

What are you squeeing about today?

Time out tonight. A visitor from NY. Football. People reading things I write. My kids. My book. Surfing. Summer coming!!!

If you could rope old fandom friends into a new fandom, it would be.....

Well, I mean, Glee but it wouldn't suit many of you and it did finish so your timing would be dreadful. Instead come read queer romance novels at http://interludepress.com/ with me? I have many opinions and loves there.

I should really watch/read/dive into _______ and then come talk to you about it!

I am not fannish enough for this meme. But I look forward to hearing more about Sense8 and I think I would like to discuss football (the soccer kind) with everyone.

What else is on your mind?

Why didn't I wear chapstick (TM) yesterday? How the fuck will I get everything done ever? How do I drag one of my leads kicking and screaming and alone to some sort of forward movement about love?

And tumblr user justusunicorns - a dear, kind, sharp man - died suddenly and I am taking point on putting together a memorial from some people. That is a sad but necessary joy.


Feb. 6th, 2015 09:58 am
pene: (Default)
Okay let's do this thing. I think it's time to rebuild my DW existence. It's been too long, I've spent it on tumblr which is a sweet place, but I miss the very few yous who are here and also just having a place where my personal self goes. Maybe I will make some new friends.
pene: (Default)
Look at what happened!

[personal profile] klb made this podfic of a West Wing story I wrote nine years ago for hossgal/leadensky. This is Ainsley Hayes and Mrs. Landingham and friendship and abortion and cookies and frankly, it's far better when klb reads it than it ever was before. I cried, listening.

We Don't Notice Time Pass, read by klb
pene: (Default)
There's a thing where people are asking for input on topics to post about (every day) in December. It's fairly great.

I mean, I post fairly regularly right now. And also it's 4 December.

But if there is something I should address, whether topical or practical or personal, let me know! And I'll do it!
pene: (Default)
theatre-ish people. A question.

Someone is putting on a stage musical. It's a professional show, they aim to take it to Broadway or where they can after opening in a smaller city. they have financial backing through a producer who believes in them. The cast is largely in their 20s. What kind of time would the lead need to be in town for this. Is 4 weeks rehearsal and 4 weeks of show realistic?
pene: (f : exploded into my heart)
That was essentially a perfect though enormously busy weekend.

Friday night was ordinary, Robbie was home late, I was reading to the kids when she arrived, then they went to bed and Rob and I ate pizza and watched Homeland on tele.

Saturday morning was too rainy for Little Athletics but there were a million chores to be done. The boys and I played while I did the laundry and cleaned the house and washed the dog. We did some puzzles, Joss built things out of lego, Joss and I raced Mario Karts. Robbie slept in a bit then got a new car seat fitted. Joss got a hair cut for school pictures. Then it was swimming class for Joss over at the Stadium. After that we whipped home to get everything sorted so we could leave at 6:30 (leaving my little sis Ros in charge of the boys so the house had to be tidy, she's amazingly so).

Joss prefers other babysitters. Our local friends. Mostly, I think, because Ros is strict and less inclined to play hide and seek and keep him up late. But he groans "I know" when I tell him she's his aunt and she loves him and I love her.


We went to Red Lantern in Surry Hills for dinner with two other couples, parents of Joss' friends but unarguably also our friends. They are creative and interesting editors and technical directors and just delightful company, everyone talking and laughing and so comfortable after four years of socialising together over birthday cakes and sleepovers and babysitting emergencies. Joss has good taste in closest friends and we all seem commited to maintaining the relationships.

Red Lantern was lovely, though very precise about timing (we had the table from 7 to 9pm). Especially good was the way they gave our very own tiny plated vegequarian options for any meat dishes. Also Bess' two bottles of $200 champagne. We headed to a little cocktail bar afterwards and talked over pink drinks.


Then Sunday we packed the pram with our gear for a day and walked down to Summer Hill's street fair to explore jumping castles, bump into neighbours and friends, eat delicious falafel, go to the park and climb. Our neighbours invited us back to their house afterwards so we didn't get home until 6.

Sunday night I made pasta with tomato and ricotta sauce and garlic bread and we watched the disappointing movie The Five Year Engagement. So disjointed. So disappointing after loving the equally quirky and also gorgeous Lars and the Real Girl.

Lars and the Real Girl. We loved it enormously.

And I missed the Australian women and the West Indies men winning the world cup cricket for a night's sleep. But how thrilling that both those teams won - West Indies first world cup win in 30 years.


I become quickly infuriated by the way parents speak online. In person I don't find parents so judgemental, we're all doing what we can, all the kids turn out okay, and my friends range from baby-wearing stay at home to double income frequently away for work but they all have insights and they all love their kids. But online people feel freer to express themselves in "I can't believe any parent would---" terms and criticise the child and the parent or even suggest children should be taken away from parents. It makes me a little bonkers.


There are a couple of men we have been valuing in Joss' life. Of course, my friend Scott, who makes such an effort to spend time with Joss and who Joss adores. But also the local father of two girls who professes that he'd love a boy and loves playing soccer or skateboards with Joss and a neighbour with no kids but with a clear interest in them, who spends ages poring over sciencey things with Joss and talking sensibly with him. As of next year Joss will lose two male role models, his teachers Anthony and David (apparently David knows more about ants than I do...) who are exceptional and thoughtful men who think about the world beyond them and introduce critical and moral thinking and who've brought a lot of good sense and gardening and cricket and vocabulary to Joss. It seems important to ensure we maintain what we can.

Women in Joss' life have also introduced critical and moral thinking and good sense and gardening and vocabulary and cricket, just to be clear I'm not saying this is a man's domain.

pene: (sc : I think we are saved)
I've been newly discovering the pleasure of listening to music on ear-bud things from my ipad while commuting. I feel oddly like I'm in a bubble, and with it I feel the kind of confidence I developed in New York to meet those crowds of people walking wherever I was. Also I get to listen to music.

This morning I listened while reading Mark Sinnett's Some Late Adventure of the Feelings, a book of poems all about his love for S. There are some poems that really speak to me in here.


from Hymn
There is no disproving any of this
unless I go after them, brave the ill-tempered dogs,
the blue heat and steeple chasing rain,
abandon you here, leave you
unguarded. Which is unthinkable.

from Again, With Feeling
It happens in a lifetime over and again _
without knowing, it is the last time.

A restaurant frequented and then
inexplicably forgotten. Or else bright affection
touches no more the deeper, leaping
and skittish places in the body.

from Wishful
I would see you in all the doorways, it's that bad


My playlists

Can't feel the ground - this is crush music
Chapter 5 - writing music
Eeese - cheesy music
Essentially this stuff is dance - but it's not really it's hip hop or trip hop or electronica
Mild day - mostly folky music
Not as brave as you were - fighting action music kind of
Not the girl - music where the women sound like men and vice versa
Once a stone - sort of soul and blues and maybe some electronica
Punk rock hair - music I'd play if I wanted someone to think I was cool
Sweetheart come - where sadness and love meet
Things we're all too young to know - Love songs
Took my love - music from The Voice
Travel - this is just the stuff I liked that day, a list where you can't tell what will come next which is handy for travel
Without measure - more love songs, just in a different order I suspect
pene: (Default)
For the time being I am using this account so that I can check in on people I love for whom this is becoming a primary space. Also so I can make comments without all the anonymity. I like it here, though. The set-up of the access/subscribe circles is far better than the equivalent. So far there are five of you I know. I will have to hunt for some others I guess.


pene: (Default)

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