Sep. 2nd, 2018

A Tent for Two

When Forsia came for Tia she was sitting by Leo's bedside. She put the boy's hand down abruptly, as if to hide something indecent. Then she blushed, annoyed at the reflex. Stupid. Affection isn't indecent.

“How is he?”

Tia turned and smiled awkwardly at the woman leaning on the door jamb.

“No change. You've been looking after him?”

“I check on him every hour. There's no change, but there's no deterioration either.”

“Small comfort.”

“Better than none.”

Forsia walked closer and crouched near the edge of the bed. Deliberately, she met Tia's eyes. “Trust me. Comfort is worth taking.”

Tia swallowed, more obviously than she intended, her throat suddenly dry.

“You make it sound like a shopping trip. Or a robbery.”

Forsia laughed. It was a rich, contagious laugh, full of sympathy and appreciation. For Tia, it was a tangible thing. She made a small, amused sound. “What?”

“Nothing. You're funny.”

“Not often,” Tia returned, dryly.

“I doubt that. Will you come by tonight?”

And just like that, she was asking the bold question. Forsia took what she wanted—like a shopping trip, or a robbery. Tia found herself missing a breath, as corny as that sounded, and also jealous, just a little, of the ease of her boldness.

“I don't know. What about Leo?”

All her resolve and that brief surge of happiness disappeared when she looked down at Leo's body on the cot. She rubbed a heavy hand across her forehead, wincing quietly.

How can I be thinking... when he's like this? I'm a horrible person.

“Hey.” Forsia touched her knee briefly. “It's alright. I'll leave it up to you. No pressure.”

It wasn’t pressure that led her to Forsia’s tent later that night, but attraction. She felt it too strongly to ignore, and after hours of warring with herself, she had finally given in to reckless curiosity. That was how she found herself greeting Forsia’s knowing smile with a shy lift of her shoulders. That was how she found herself ducking as she entered the small tent, a tingle of breathless desire in her belly as she brushed past.

“Not much to show for myself, I’m afraid,” Forsia murmured. “I tidied a little in the hope you’d come by.”

Tia sat on the edge of the bedroll, and Forsia lowered herself down beside her. They sat awkwardly for a moment.

“Do you like sleeping in a tent?” Tia asked.

“It's hardly a proper bed, but I'm used to roughing it.”

Tia rested her weight back on her hands. “So you travel a lot?”

“It's part of the gig.” Forsia shifted too, crossing her legs under her.

“What is that, exactly?”

“My gig? Tag-along medic for the Rydiri diplomatic mission. We sort of rotate through the capitals every few months. Keeps the government fluid.”

“Do you have a favourite place?”

There was a pause while she mused. “Rydiri. It's home. Next to that, the Diard. I love how wild it still is.” She turned towards Tia. “Do you?”

Tia smiled faintly and let her knee touch Forsia's knee. “I love the desert. I always have.”

“Yeah? What do you love about it?”

“The open sky. The grandeur, and the loneliness that makes you really consider your place in the world.”

Forsia laughed and angled closer. “Poetic. And what's your place in the world then?”

Tia fell silent, as aware of the question as she was of the slight trembling in her knee where it brushed Forsia's.

She was staring straight ahead when Forsia leaned around and kissed her on the mouth. Her lips were dry and soft. After the tiniest hesitation—Do I want this?—Tia moved her lips.

“Is this ok?” Forsia whispered.

Tia could only nod. The tip of a tongue pressed against her teeth and she opened her mouth to it. Every movement was oddly specific, catalogued by a part of her mind that hadn't expected this. She hadn't kissed anyone in so long. Forsia's hands drifted up, hot and firm on her shoulders. She tugged at the neckline of Tia's shirt, pulling the sleeve up and without thinking about it, Tia lifted her arms. She let Forsia pull it over her head. Then they were kissing again, more intensely, clumsily at first and then hands found skin, lips trailed down cheeks, throats, collarbones. Tia pulled back just long enough to say, “You too,” tugging at buttons, and Forsia chuckled breathlessly.

Then they were tumbling backwards into the pillow. Forsia slid down Tia's body, trailing kisses down to her navel. She hooked fingers into Tia's waistband and gradually pulled her trousers down. They vanished over the side of the bedroll. Then her hands were back, palms curving around her hipbones, and Tia sucked in a breath.

Forsia looked up briefly, her eyes glinting in the moonlight, then lowered her mouth again. Tia moaned involuntarily. She felt kisses on the inside of her thighs, slow and deliberate, taking their time. So quickly they had reached this point. She was still trying to catch up—with mouths, with tongues, with bare skin. By the time Forsia reached her most sensitive places, she wasn't thinking at all anymore.

Forsia's mouth was sure and incredibly warm. Moisture trickled where it touched, and Tia pressed herself into the place where Forsia's tongue rippled across her edges.

“Slow down,” Forsia whispered, amused. “Just relax.”

She heard rustling as Forsia moved her hand up. Then there was a firmer touch, circling and pressing at her, gliding wetly inside. Tia's hands dropped to Forsia's hair of their own accord, tightening as her body pressed down.

“Oh yes,” she heard herself say, and was momentarily aghast, ecstatic, delighted with herself.

“We're not near done yet,” Forsia's voice was gravelly, in control, and full of colours. She pulled away and Tia whimpered, only to feel hands stroking her chest and a whole new clamping wetness when Forsia maneuvred her legs around Tia's. Forsia dropped her hands lower, onto Tia's hips, and pulled her across her lap until they were intertwined, scissored around each other. And Tia began moving.

“Slower,” Forsia murmured and gentled the instruction with a new rhythm, rocking slowly, even as she pressed her lips to Tia's neck. She smelled of Tia's own body, salt and tangy, and Tia's legs trembled with the rush of arousal. She was moaning again, and any instinct to catalogue anything had long disappeared. Her forehead dropped to Forsia's shoulder and she made blind movements with her mouth, barely in control, just wanting to taste, to respond, to any skin within reach.

Forsia slid her hands lower, where their stomachs pressed together, and further. Tia made room, and somehow the position worked. The fingers, so inelegant in the daylight, filled her, stretching her, stroking inwards, even as their bodies slipped together. Forsia's breasts were large and bare, and Tia pressed herself into them. The sound of them slapping lightly against her chest made her wild and she curved her hands, stroking blindly and then thumbed the nipples until Forsia gasped, “Not yet.”

The movements between her legs quickened and the back of Tia's throat started to ache. Sensation swelled, hot and rippling and Tia threw back her head as she felt the nearness of orgasm. She balanced on its edge, and then, frustratingly, it retreated. She tried to get it back with firm strokes of her hips, but that only made her grimace. In a split-second choice, she gave it up as a lost cause and bridged through to a feigned finish. Shuddering, she threw her arms around Forsia, holding on while her body twitched around the fingers still deep inside her.

She was panting, slick with moisture, as Forsia coaxed their bodies sideways. Tia sprawled limply atop her. Close enough. In the moonlight, Forsia was smiling, and her breaths came fast in the air between them. Worth a tiny lie, Tia thought languidly.

Forsia stirred. “You can wait a minute,” she offered.

Tia shook her head, even as she rolled over and lowered her face. She took a steadying breath, cupping the curves of Forsia's breasts, and let her tongue set its own pace. It curled around the undersides of her nipples, and then pressed flatly down until the muscles of Forsia's stomach clenched under her and she moaned. Tia started to slide down, an incredible sense of control suffusing her, but Forsia stopped her. “Not that.”

“Why not?”

Instead of answering, Forsia leaned up and kissed her hard on the lips, pulling her down again. Then Tia was straddling her. Hands curled around Tia's flanks, urging her higher, and Tia was quick to respond, bemused and eager to try. She settled on Forsia's face, half balancing on her knees, half supported by arms that tightened on her as she found, to her surprise, that she was growing wet again. Forsia's mouth opened and Tia felt light-headed as she arched her back. She reached backwards, letting her hand find the place between Forsia's thighs.

Oh. She was wet and deep, and the difference in their bodies was a delight. She feels so different from me. Where Tia's night explorations had always been over slender flesh, thin folds and sharp edges, Forsia’s body wrapped her hand, sliding around all her fingers. Tia spread her hand and felt muscles tense and then loosen under her touch. The gust of air from Forsia's moan rushed between her legs. It sent shivers up Tia's body. Her toes tingled and she moaned, double-layered by sensations—her hand inside Forsia, Forsia's tongue inside her. As before, it wasn’t climax, but it was lovely, and thrilling, and sweet. She let herself flow into the intimacy of it. Her thighs strained as she held herself gently over the wet pressure of Forsia’s face.

Their movements were awkward and perfect, slick wetness, muscles straining, Forsia rocking under her. With her free thumb Tia found the right place and began stroking. Forsia actually cried aloud. “There!” And Tia pressed hard over the spot, a curving sweep of tightly focused pressure, and then they kept going, and going, faster, until finally Forsia writhed up into her, her hands pulling Tia tightly close, as Forsia’s whole body seized up.

When she let go, breathing heavily, Tia rolled off her and stretched out alongside. She ached, and her pulse raced in her neck. A minute passed, both of them silent as they regained their breath. She was caught off guard when Forsia slipped a hand between her legs again, stroking lazily.

Tia laughed. “Oh god, no more. I'm worn out.”

Forsia said nothing and shifted closer, spooning her from behind. The large arms curled around her, and Tia let herself sink into them. It's ok. It's allowed. You're not doing anything wrong. You're safe. The hand between her legs slowed to a gentle rhythm, then an occasional caress, and eventually stilled altogether.

“Thank you,” Forsia whispered, oddly diffident. She sounded grateful, and Tia felt it as a slow glow in the place where her breath met her cheek.

“You too.” Tia smiled into the dark.

*

Tia awoke to sun glinting through the tent flaps. She turned her head and saw Forsia still asleep beside her. Her face was slack in sleep and her body, though muscled, was rounded everywhere—breasts, shoulders, stomach. Tia felt almost fond and oddly calmer than she had been in weeks, maybe years. She shifted her legs, feeling only a slight twinge from her injured one. Even that small movement was enough to make Forsia open her eyes. She smiled and her eyes lit with a sleepy glow. Her hand slid over Tia's bare shoulder.

“Good morning, lovely.”

“Morning.” She smiled back, even as a restless energy built up inside her. She sat up and hugged her knees. Forsia pulled her hand away and her expression faded, growing still, faintly distant.

“Did I do something wrong?”

“Nothing at all. It was great.” Tia couldn't meet her eyes.

“But?”

Tia hesitated. “But it won't happen again.” She didn't mean it to sound so curt.

Forsia actually flinched and took a moment to gather her words. She looked away at the far wall of the tent before saying, too casually, “Why not?”

“I don't think I'm going to be here very long.”

“Where are you going?”

“Away.”

“And the boy?”

A frustrated clench of her stomach made her feel ill. She's right. I can't leave him behind.

She shrugged and swung her legs off the bed, hiding a wince. Forsia noticed anyway, and leaned forward, reflexively putting out a hand. “Do you want me to¬—” She cut off and an annoyed expression flitted across her face. She's remembering to be hurt, Tia thought.

“Forsia, I don’t know what to do.”

“If you expect me to sit on him indefinitely while you wander off, that’s not going to happen. I’m sorry.”

“Fine. Then I guess I need a new plan.”

Tia hated the closed-off sound of her own voice.

Forsia shot her a new glance as she pulled the blanket up over her chest. “What are we doing here?” Her tone was all confused accusation, low and gritty.

“I don't know!” Feelings were seeping in with the morning, and whatever peace she had found was giving way to rivulets of anger, shame, helplessness, guilt.

Forsia moved forward in a single heavy movement, pinning Tia's upper arms.

“Seriously, what are you doing here?”

Irritated, Tia tried to push her off. “It was never going to be permanent.”

Forsia snorted. “I know that. Doesn't mean there can't be a bit of respect.”

Tia jerked. She looked, really looked, at the bold eyes, freckled cheeks, strong shoulders braced above her. With the sunlight shining in strips across her face, it seemed her hair sparked and the scars on her arms glinted almost silver. Making a huge effort, Tia reached a hand up and stroked the hair back from her face. “You were lovely, ok?”

Forsia's cheeks pinked, but she didn't move.

Tia let her eyes fall closed. She could feel Forsia's fingers digging into her arms, and the faint stale odour of morning breath.

She startled when she felt lips on hers. There was a clumsiness to the kiss, and an intensity that asked to be matched. Tia knew she couldn't match it, but the rush of desire in her chest wanted a simpler outcome. It was a question, and Tia answered it, rising up to meet it.

Then Forsia put a palm on her sternum and lay another against her cheek. “Stop,” she murmured. “It's getting late. I need to check on your boy. And I have other things to see to.”

Tia bowed her head, disappointment followed by embarrassment that she was disappointed. She tried to hide it; in a bedroom after sex, there is nowhere to hide. She felt her cheeks warm and reached a blind hand out to touch Forsia's arm. “Later?”

Forsia shifted her weight sidewise and rolled off the bedmat. “Sure.” She dressed quickly in last night's clothes and only then turned to face Tia again. “Tonight?”

Tia caught her lower lip between her teeth. “Depends on Leo.”

“Good. Great. Let's go see him then, yeah?”

Then, visibly hesitating, she ducked her head and dropped a kiss on Tia's hand.

Tia didn't have the wit to respond in time, and before she knew it, Forsia was out the tent flap and gone.

Sep. 19th, 2016

[No Subject]





Goodreads Book Giveaway




The Matchstick Girl by Suzanne Hocking




The Matchstick Girl



by Suzanne Hocking





Giveaway ends October 22, 2016.



See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.







Enter Giveaway


Nov. 14th, 2014

International Coming Out Day 2014




It's never exactly the right date (Oct 11) when I write one of these annual posts, because the date is never the reason I'm writing. An event will happen unexpectedly somewhere around this time of year, a prompt that will suddenly fill me with fire. This year it was a book (Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan - highly recommended). I know from long experience that that fire only lasts so long, and if left for another minute, another hour, it will dwindle. Soon enough, the urge will pass, until something that was ephemeral and urgently pressing for existence will sputter out, unremarked upon. The sadder part is that it was surely something essential, something pivotal, lost forever. I've grasped similar moments before - skived off a class, interrupted a good night's sleep, delayed a deadline, because I just had to leap on the spark and fan it to life right that second. It was always worth it. I remember those moments. And I remember the ones I missed, and wonder what they might have been, what impression they might have lit in the underbrush of life. Ignored, each one is just a wooded patch of dirt like any other patch of dirt where a campfire might have been.

Campfires are about intimacy and common warmth. They are about connecting with others or yourself around a central source of heat and half-light. Every time I'm stirred to write one of these yearly posts, it is in the hope that it will be like a campfire. A centerpiece for a conversation, for shared feelings, for kindredspiritship (shh, I know that's not a word). I write them because I know what it's like to feel alienated, and some part of me is always seeking reassurance that that's not the case anymore, that I'm not alone, and in turn, I'm seeking to impart a sense of belonging to others. People who survive on self-validation alone are rare creatures, I suspect. For the rest of us who rely on a sense of connection, whether with one person or with many, emotional support is key. To be sent away, or denied access, forbidden the chance to belong, that is rejection.




Rejection. It's an ejection, and then it's a repetition of that loss, a re-ejection, because it keeps happening over and over again. Whether memory or a new reality triggers that visceral forcefield, the feeling of being pushed away is the same. It's there in the bad times, and it's there in the good times too - each in their own way are reminders of what you no longer have. All campfires cast a shadow. Anywhere intimacy and acceptance are on clear display, burning brightly, that shadow falls, triggering flashbacks of deprivation, absence, abandonment, the cold, the dark, unwanted, alone. Worse than simply being blocked off, ejection implies a state of having once been inside. How much worse it is to have intimacy and then be expelled from it.

I just typed "family rejection" into Google Image Search and LGBTQ+ issues were in the majority from the very first image. I didn't even have to make the connection. It's there already.



In 2014, coming out as LGBTQ+ still means rejection for so many people, still means being ejected from the intimate support group you've known your whole life simply for loving someone or for being born into the wrong body. 40% of homeless youth in America are LGBTQ+. That's a staggering statistic. To have no home is the ultimate form of rejection. To belong nowhere. To have been cast out from every possible sanctuary. To have no hope of finding one.

I can't really talk about suicide this year. It's too raw a topic. But consider it written that being rejected for who you are opens a pit of despair to which, for some, only one solution seems possible. LGBTQ+ suicide rates are disproportionately high and they are preventable.

Q: How?
A: Don't reject someone you love for being queer.

Most especially don't reject your children. They will never fully recover.

Of course, I'm speaking to the wrong audience. Anyone reading this is going to be strongly on the side of diversity and support anyway. Therefore, a message of awareness is a bit beside the point.

Instead, I'll extrapolate and make the assumption that at some point each of us will encounter someone who is suffering from rejection. One of the most basic salves for rejection is acceptance. It doesn't matter where that acceptance comes from, only that it's there. It doesn't even matter that we recognize the need for it when it crosses our path, only that we exemplify it in our daily life. You never know when you'll brighten someone's day, or provide a ledge to grip when their pit seems unscalable.

LGBTQ+ acceptance is of a specific kind and not difficult to apply:
  1. A stranger smiling at two boys or two girls holding hands on the street.
  2. A medical professional saying "he or she" without prompting when the subject of a date/partner/spouse comes up.
  3. A coworker, in a conversation about the holidays or Mother's Day or parents in general, allowing space for people who don't have close or even civil ties to family.
  4. A friend listening for a while after you've been triggered into doubt and sadness.
  5. A team leader defusing derogatory remarks about gender and sexuality.
  6. A teacher using inclusive language (e.g. pronouns) and perspectives on the future (e.g. gay marriage) in everyday conversation with students and parents.
  7. A school peer speaking with casual ordinariness about a LGBTQ+ family member.
  8. A passerby wearing a novelty slogan t-shirt.
  9. A store with a rainbow sticker on the door.
  10. An octogenarian slyly revealing a same-sex kiss or affair in their youth. "We all did that once, dearie, or wish we had!" (true story)


The list goes on. Often it is our subconscious actions and attitudes that make a difference without us even knowing it, to people we will probably never see again, for whom our smile or words or novelty slogan t-shirt eased the pain of rejection. There is a place around a campfire for all of us. No one should have to feel on the outside, unwanted. Of course we all do from time to time. But that doesn't mean the feeling is deserved or permanent. Be kind, rewind discrimination. The simplest gestures of acceptance can help heal the damage caused by abandonment.

Jan. 25th, 2014

Unexpected Nomination

Whee! I've been nominated for fic awards! What a nice surprise to find in my inbox today.



Blood and Fire is a short piece I wrote yonks ago, and apparently it has garnered me a little attention.

May. 14th, 2013

Pink Shirt Day

Support Pink Shirt Day Aotearoa this Friday, May 17 and take a stand against bullying in our schools. (Does wearing pink pyjama bottoms in bed all day count?)

It's all about context, yeah? Learning how to navigate, manage and resist negative currents is an important life skill. It builds character, emotional resilience, confidence, problem-solving skills, communication skills, the ability to distinguish toxic relationships from healthy ones, and ultimately promotes personal growth. No one is going to grow up entirely free from conflict, and no one should. Schools are always going to be a testing ground for interpersonal dynamics and immature behaviours; to a point, dealing with them IS the point.

Being overwhelmed by unrelenting personal attacks, however, is a separate issue. When a child or teen's character, emotional resilience, confidence, and growth are stunted by a disproportionate amount of negativity (whether in frequency or intensity or both), that is bad. That is bullying. That withers them, turns them inwards, turns them to self-degrading, harmful reactions that can have lifelong consequences.

I was bullied at school. I was a loner bookworm who had books stolen, who was ridiculed, stabbed with a mechanical pencil, set up for cruel practical jokes, had my online accounts hacked, had untrue rumours spread about me, had rocks thrown at me on the walk home, and those are far from the worst things young people have to put up with these days. Fortunately I also had people - mostly teachers, but also my brothers, and the rare fellow student - who stood up for me. Who got my book back. Who ran off the rock-throwers. Who gave me a kind word. I remember them. I'm so grateful for them.

Now, as a functioning member of the adult world, I want to BE one of them. The supporters. The heroes. The dissenter wearing pink pyjama bottoms who empowers rather than minimises the kid who's different.

It gets better.

But only if we pay it forward, pay it back, and paint the town pink.


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Dec. 30th, 2012

2012 End of Year Meme

Oct. 22nd, 2012

Happy Birthday, Aldi!!!!

It's your birthday! And you are amazing! And I love you more and more. And you are looking gorgeous and soon in a couple of days you will be HERE instead of on the other side of my Skype camera. And I love all your new clothes and your presents had better arrive soon and wow look at the hardwood floor in your study! You did all that in A DAY. WHO DOES THAT? You are queen of everything and today you are the most special person in the world and everyone should bow down and worship you and send you thoughtful comments and remember you in their happiness and send you some of it so there are little bits of happiness all floating around you from all over coming together in a cloud of little fireflies. So that's rambly and silly and well-meant and if you are embarrassed by your girlfriend publically posting this YOU WILL HAVE TO DEAL. Have aaaalll the silliness and hugs and presents and cake and wine and you are the BEST. WE WILL CELEBRATE SOON.

May. 20th, 2012

Eeeeee!

OMG. It's official. My novel is shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize! Stephen Fry - STEPHEN FRY!! - and Philip Pullman will be reading it. This is one of the best things in my life ever.

Excuse me while I go dance around the flat some more like some kind of rabid flapping bird.

http://www.dundeebookprize.com/pressdundeebook.htm

Why I love living in New Zealand


A poll from a major NZ news site.

And okay, at first glance 5885 votes isn't a lot, but it's the voice of the people. And when you consider the population of the country, it's a significant cross-section. 

This makes me happy!

Dec. 17th, 2011

New Year's Meme 2011

It's that time of year again. Where the heck did 2011 go? Seriously. I swear it was just February.

Read On... )

Dec. 9th, 2011

Flathunting

Flathunting is hard.

Jun. 6th, 2011

[No Subject]

This song just came onto my iTunes - I still love it. It's simultaneously so cynical and so full of redemption. Reminds me so strongly of older days, and keeps on having relevance too. Craig on a stool in an underground university campus bar. I was nursing a Bailey's among tables set with tealights, mesmerized at how music and poetry could arise out of a man on a makeshift stage just because he strummed his fingers, opened his mouth.

"Stabilize"
Craig Cardiff

protest singers and protest songs
muckrake earthquake sing alongs
all anyone really wants
is a song to call their own

monkey catch monkey throws
hot knife soft kiss overdose
you say beauty fades and i say
beauty grows all around

it's ok, it's all right everything is starting to stabilize, stabilize
we deserve more than this i believe
all the things i've learned not to miss come back in time, back in time

mean words you didn't mean
start scratch film movie screen
cherry bomb the bad parts
cause the bad parts are long gone

change makes and breaks apart
moves ahead and back apart
wake up one day to find
you've become everything you've hated

it's ok, it's all right everything is starting to stabilize, stabilize
we deserve more than this i believe
all the things i've learned not to miss come back in time, back in time
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Feb. 19th, 2011

*points dramatically*

I wasn't imagining things! A thick coil breached the surface of the lake just as I passed, and then there was a big underwater commotion about 5 metres in diamater. There's a serpent in the lake. I knew there was something in there.

Also, I am awesome and did great work on my assignment. Halfway done at least, including brilliant analysis. (I am a nerd and enjoy being in the zone when doing big essays that interest me.)

Also, walks + iPod = happiness.

Also, now I get to reread more Underwater Light *manic obsessed grin*

"I think," Draco said with great deliberation, "that you should crisis her."

"Crisis is not a verb," Harry told him blankly.

Draco waved a sugar packet dismissively. "You know what I mean."

Feb. 13th, 2011

Just Because

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Feb. 12th, 2011

First Week of School

So here we are, at the end of my first week of school. It's my first weekend as a mature student (which I'll be spending as my freelancer self, but that's beside the point) - tadaa. *plants flag*

I really had no need to fret. I have different expectations for the road-time, of course, and that'll come soon enough, but the classroom sessions are unbelievably simple-minded. If I didn't have an 80% attendance requirement, I probably wouldn't be going to some of these lectures. Compared to the curriculum I was trained up in at Queen's, the level of learning here is very basic. The tutors hand-hold like you wouldn't believe. A couple of examples from last week's lecture of fluid balance and eloctrolytes.

1) TUTOR: "I don't want you to have to write too much."
2) STUDENT: "You mean we have to come up with our OWN topic for the assignment this year? Can't you just give it to us like last year?"

Best as I can tell, I'm either the oldest or the second-oldest student in the class. The Swedish guy might be over thirty. But most of my classmates are twenty at best, wee school-leavers, who have very little experience with either tertiary education or being on the ambulance. So I'm miles ahead of the game. The other new guy and me have teamed up, since we have very similar backgrounds as volunteers. Everyone else's inexperience is sort of frustrating. The course isn't exactly designed to challenge them. I'm concentrating on learning my new skills and then practising them rigorously so that I'll perform well on the road.

Speaking of new skills, I'm now more awesome than I was before. By the second day, we were already practising our IVs. And on Thursday I passed my sign-off assessment! So I'm trained in sticking needles into people now. Exciting, eh? *manic grin* I keep catching myself studying people's veins. Possibly that's a bit weird...?

Our first clinical block starts in a week, and that runs for 4 weeks. In that time, I have 8 days worth of ambulance placement time, and the rest is mine to do with as I please (work and do assignments). Basically, from Mar 7-21, I'll have no class or anything. I'm already going back to Nelson on the 9-13 anyway for what was meant to be a short visit. But now there's a chance I'll be able to do my police and ED placements in Nelson, so depending on how rostering works out I may stay longer. We'll see. I'm waiting on news about that. As long as I get to do the ambulance shifts here, for big-city experience, I don't mind where I do my other placements. So keep your fingers crossed.

My flatmate and I are starting to feel more comfortable with each other too. We've had some evenings bonding on the couch with teh cider. She seems pretty confident of my ability to rock the degree, and hopefully I'll live up to her confidence in me on the job as well. She's known as a quick judge of character, so I'm pleased she's trusting me already. And the cat is a sweet little nutsoid who spends all day sleeping on my bed and all evening bringing us moths and cicadas.

So that's that. Now who wants to volunteer their arms? (Willow does.)

Feb. 3rd, 2011

Love Meme

Taking my cue from [info]crowgirl13, I'm linking to this year's love meme. I get attached to the people I care about, and I value the opportunity to tell you just how much and why, so I encourage you to make your own threads too.  I also like to feel the tug from the other end of the line on occasion, so feel free, without expectation or pressure or judgement, to say something into that pair of old tin cans and string I've got strung up between our attics. 

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Feb. 2nd, 2011

Peptalk from my iPod

"You'll wake up tomorrow and wrestle the sorrow that holds you down today." - Melissa Etheridge, I'm The Only One
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Jan. 31st, 2011

Moar Photos

Hey folks!

Updated photos of my neighbourhood here.

I wasn't able to get the ones I wanted of the cafe, 'cause it was closed by the time I got there, but the rest of the walk was beautiful, as you can see. I love these shady winding walks.

I've taken a liking to the street signs around here. "The Companionway." "Discovery Dr." "The Sounding" - that's my favourite. It reminds me of whales or dolphins or bats using sonar to find their way in unknown waters... which feels appropriate enough. Of course they're actually all named after vessels from James Cook's fleet, but I shall adopt them for my own use all the same.

And here's two pics of my room, now upgraded to "furnished" status.


Jan. 30th, 2011

Wellington: Day 3 & 4

Yesterday started with the now-familiar feeling of not wanting to get out of bed, but I can cheerfully say that it got better as soon as I got up. I made the decision to put my walking shoes on and go exploring the neighbourhood. Boy am I glad I did. The little village shopping centre is at the end of a 15-minute walk that passes through hilly parks and suburban houses, all beautifully landscaped, and takes you around a pretty lake before arriving at the hamlet. There are ducks on the lawn and in the reeds, with free stale bread offered by the bakery. There's a small library and a coffee shop, where I ended up spending the next few hours. I got myself a guava juice and spent a while on the couch working on my novel. The complimentary library of books beside me included Dragonbone Chair and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and LotR. I could easily spend my time there just flicking through old friends. And then they tempted me with a fresh cinnamon bun slathered in brown sugar icing, so I picked one up to go on my way out. Yum.

Then out of the blue Theresa texted me saying she and her bf were in Wellington for the weekend! She's due to fly out to Australia on Monday, so they decided to make a good time of it. We met up and spent a few hours catching up and exchanging ambo stories before they took the train back downtown. So I wasn't lonely yesterday after all.

In the evening, I curled up on the couch with my laptop and season 4 of ER playing on the dvd player, while I chatted and played games. It was blissful.

Today I slept in till late, and was planning to take the same walk back to the village with my camera. Alas, that didn't happen. Instead I did some work, and then ended up going shopping again for the rest of my furniture and room needs. I'm up to date with bed linen and school supplies now. At the moment I'm looking out the window at a gorgeous sunset over the hills...



and I might watch some more ER tonight. Tomorrow, my tip-shop stuff gets delivered, so that'll be exciting. I can really finish making my room nice!

My housemate disapproves of Harry Potter and all YA/children's books, however. So that may have to be a point of debate in the coming months!

A week till school starts now. Hopefully I'll feel less in limbo when that comes around. Honestly, it's probably just that I have time on my hands all of a sudden. I just had what one could legitimately call a 'weekend' - as in two days in a row where leisure activities are prioritised and commitments are social and/or pleasurable in origin. I wonder if I'll get used to this?

Wellington Photos

I didn't get a chance to do the neighbourhood circuit with my camera, but for now, here's what the place looks like. I really did luck into a great deal.

Venus Place

ETA: Obviously, my room still has some ways to go. The tip-shop table and dresser arrive tomorrow, and today I spruced things up with a duvet/sheet set. More pictures of my room to follow.