Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

The year, the decade

Crucially, this was the decade towards the end of which I turned 60 and became officially an older person. .It was the decade in which I had to come to terms with mortality rather brutally as I lost a large number of friends and most of my older relatives. It was the decade in which New Labour, which I had always disliked and seen as something of a menace, proved to be something far worse, and in which the American Right turned out to be just as nasty as I had believed in my most paranoid moments. It was the decade in which the leadership of most nations failed colossally to prevent the degradation of the environment. It was the decade in which a lot of my personal chickens came home to roost, and in which I managed to sort a lot of them out. I got used to hardly ever drinking and managing my diabetes; I also managed to improve areas of health like blood pressure and cholesterol in which I had not had a problem to begin with.

It was a decade in which I made a lot of friends through the internet and discovered that I like leading large parts of my life on line, and yet it was also a decade in which I made sure to have a social life. It was a decade in which I first of all let activism slide for a bit while I healed from the health crisis at the end of my forties, and then prioritized stuff from the trans community over the civil liberties and anti-censorship stuff I had been concentrating on previously.

It was a decade in which I published several books and wrote several more - I created a career for myself as some sort of cultural commentator and also started the multi-volume novel which will almost certainly be the thing for which, if at all, I am remembered. It took me several years, but I finished the first volume of it - though there will probably be four. Earlier in the decade I wrote a lot of fanfiction, and am still rather proud of most of it; when friends intervented and told me that I should be back doing my own work, I said that fanfic was proving the way forward for me, that the post-fanfic Roz would be a better writer. This was said partly as a way of getting off the hook, but proved largely to be the case.

My domestic life and emotional life - I don't write about that here and don't plan to start now. I am, however, happy.

So, this year.

One very bad thing happened. Abigail died suddenly and I will never entirely get over it. Each time a close friend dies, you think, that's the worst, and it never actually is. Lorna Sage's death hit me hard early in the decade, and Selena in 2004, but Abigail had been my friend, and for a while my lover, and her slow decline in the last few years of her life was an agony all of itself which her death made even more terrible. There was never going to be a happy ending - and some of that may have been my fault, but probably wasn't.

An unforeseen consequence of Abigail's death was an acceleration of my drift back to poetry over the previous year or so, and apparently a drift towards performing it in public. I don't know what will come of this and am fascinated to see it. Part of what amazes me is how different a poet I am to the one I was in my 20s - I used to be very English and ironic and now I am strident, polemical, almost American. How very odd.

Work has remained pretty much the same - reviews, reader's reports. It is a routine and is what I do - probably the most influential of the things I do in some ways.

And I made new friends and saw a lot of old ones; I discovered just how useful on line social media can be for getting things done.

Oh, and I came to terms with the controlled hysteria of Baroque opera and added Handel and Vivaldi to my pantheon of operatic composers. I fell in love with Vivaldi generally a year or two ago and the operas suddenly pounced on me and took me by the throat. And then I decided to give Handel a proper go - and realized that it was the oratorios I did not like, saving of course The Messiah, and Saul, and Solomon. The operas are intelligent conversation pieces in which mad people shout at each other; what's not to like?

I just acquired Cecilia Bartoli's disc of arias written for castrati by minor composers - now that's an amazing and strange disc of special effects music...

Books, film and television - that's probably another post and I need to go make minestrone.
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