Fare Thee Well 2012
It has been a while since I have blogged, for good reason. I have been busy getting hitched and honeymooning!
2012 has been a very big year for me, probably starting when we bought a new house in April. I am not even exaggerating when I say it is a fixer-upper. When you walk through the front door you have to navigate a gigantic hole in the floor, which holds an enormous rusty spiral staircase. It has taken us until now to get the new plans drawn up for approval. I bet you can guess what we will be doing in 2013…
A huge highlight of 2012 was my book deal for WHEN THE WORLD WAS FLAT (AND WE WERE IN LOVE). I woke one morning to an email from my agent and sleepily read it – expecting another rejection. Lo and behold, I discovered I was becoming a Strange Chemist! I am thrilled beyond words to have been picked up by Strange Chemistry, thanks to editor Amanda Rutter. You can continue to expect brilliant books from this publisher in 2013 – especially when mine is released in September! Lol!
It is not all fun and games, of course. Just mention the words International Tax Identification Number or ITIN to any foreign author who earns an income from an agent or a publisher in the US. You will be met with a shudder or a groan or even a nervous breakdown – not kidding. An ITIN is necessary for payment of your advance or any royalties, unless you want to lose thirty per cent of your income to the IRS, but you will need a chainsaw to cut through the red tape.
My ITIN application involved posting my passport to the US Embassy, along with a bank cheque, to gain an Apostille. Of course, my passport was about to expire, which meant I had to apply for a new passport. The delay meant I had to part with my passport only a month or so before my overseas honeymoon. EEK! There was also a complex form to fill out and other evidence that needed to be compiled and attached. I have a friend who has been refused an ITIN three times and counting. It was thankfully a case of first time lucky for me! Now I just have to worry about filing my first US Tax Return.
Of course, while this was happening I was also planning my wedding and honeymoon to my partner of ten years Craig. We got married on 23 November at Old Parliament House in Canberra. I think I spent the six months leading up to the wedding wishing we had eloped. I had dramas with the alterations to my bridal gown, right up until the week before the wedding. I had to exchange the bridesmaids gowns at least three times due to issues with size and stains. A number of wedding invitations went AWOL in the post after the addresses rubbed off in the sorting machines. I was still looking for dinner candles the week of the wedding. AND to top it off my dog had an allergic reaction to its vaccinations two days before the wedding and had to be rushed to the vet again for a shot of steroids.
OF COURSE, the wedding itself was wonderful – just see the pics below.
We also had an amazing time in Japan. I HIGHLY recommend it as a holiday destination, as well as our wonderful travel agency Experience Japan. We travelled to Tokyo, Kyoto and went to stay in a traditional ryokan to experience the hot springs and see the snow monkeys in Yudanaka in the Japanese Alps. And we also went to Tokyo Disneyland. I have been to Disneyland LA, Disneyworld Florida, Euro Disney and have also been on a Disney cruise to the Bahamas. After Disneyland Tokyo I only have to visit Disneyland Hong Kong!
I also became a dual citizen of Austria in 2012. I have always been considered an Austrian national as my father is Austrian. The process to formalise it and get my certificate of citizenship and passport involved jumping through a thousand hoops though! Aber Ich bin Osterreicher jetzt.
AND I worked my guts out in my day job and earned myself a promotion, which has been fantastic, but very full-on!
All I can say is hand me a wine and BRING ON 2013!