A piece of home

My sister is here. There are not enough words to express how glad I am for her presence. To finally be able to let go of control, to be able to cry my heart out and to know the warm shelter of home’s loving presence–it is a tremendous gift. I’m thankful for the generosity that has made my sister’s presence here a reality. Until she arrived, I had no idea just how much I needed the physical presence of someone who accepts everything without any judgment or any conditions. I am grateful beyond words.

There is a lot to process–as someone once said to me, you might be surrounded by so much busyness that you hardly even have time for grieving. There’s still a lot of paperwork to do, a lot of sorting through things–there are still car keys that need to be found, but it’s restful knowing that my sister is here. I am surrounded by love–her presence here is the tangible proof of that love.

In the future, I may have to make a lot of difficult decisions. Do I still want to remain in The Netherlands? Is this place still home for me and my children? Do we still have a future here? These are questions that I sometimes think about, but (as my friends and my sister reminds me) these are not questions for now. For now, I must focus on the necessary things. Paperwork must be done. A gravestone must be ordered. Christmas season with all it’s painful reminders of an absence looms before us.

Will you marry again? My younger son asks me.

I sit him down and talk to him.

Listen to me, I say. I can’t predict the future, but I know one thing for sure, that having been loved so much, I’m not willing to settle for anything less. I have you boys and you have me.

I can’t say what tomorrow will bring and as a good friend reminds me, I must never shut the door to possibility, but right now, in this moment, I believe that we’ll make it–just the three of us.

I should be able to title posts more creatively…

I’ve started reading stories from the Paul Harland Competition. For the non-Dutch SFF crowd, the Paul Harland Competition is a Dutch-languaged Short story competition in the SFF/H genre. I read for this competition last year and agreed to read again this year, mainly because I find myself quite impressed by organizer Martijn Lindeboom’s vision for Dutch SFF scene. I’ve divided the stories into batches of ten and am reading them on alternate days. That’s all I’m saying at this point. 

Thanks to everyone who supported What Fates Impose. We reached full-funding on Friday. It’s been quite an experience and I enjoyed being part of this kickstarter.

Another anthology that I hope reaches full funding is “Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond”. I remember seeing the call for subs sometime ago and thinking: I don’t care if they pay or not, I want to be in that. Looking at the toc, I feel very very lucky. So many people I’ve admired are on that ToC. I can’t believe I’m sharing it with them. Bill Campbell has put up an indiegogo campaign to pay for Mothership. I hope the campaign meets with success. Please feel free to signal-boost.

Finally, my elder sister has resigned from her job and is taking a sabbatical year. I’ve asked her if she’s up for reading and reviewing books. I have a load of books that I’ve been meaning to review, but never get around to doing and my sister is quite the bookworm and an excellent critic to boot, so I thought I’d ask her if she’d be willing to do that. Happily, she said yes. 

I’m working on the design for a book blog called Chie and Weng Read Books where we basically talk about books and why we like them or why we don’t like them. Since my sister has got this strong personality, I anticipate some clashing in the future. When we were younger, we always fought over who got to read what book first. It should be interesting.

Finally, I continue to write words for the Clarion West Write-a-thon. I can’t believe it. I’m in a three-way duel with Dutch SFF writers Floris Kleijne and Bo Balder and I am lagging behind. Oh well…you know what they say: slow and steady. Feel free to cheer us on and sponsor one or all of us. 

Thanks to my sponsors. I’ve been very inspired and your names are immortalized in the fictions that were born during this battle.