C13: Friday (Day 1, Part 1): Reading ‘Down Among the Sticks and Bones’

Morning and early afternoon: Did supplies shopping (Pepsi-Max cans, these yum WW Coconut Bars, long-life milk); had Subway for lunch; put up venue maps and programs; last-minute committee meeting (played with Legos); packed conbags as long as my back held out.

When my back stopped working around about 3PM I went and flopped on the floor in the Dealers’ Den. Justin from Slow Glass Books had already obtained permission from Seanan to sell copies of her new novella, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, beginning from when the Dealers’ Den officially opened at 4PM on the Friday. Usually breaking street date is a no-no, but considering we were launching the book at the convention it was an exception.

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C13: some things I counted

  • Times I used the lift from ground to first floor instead of the stairs: 6.
  • Times I cried: 1 sad, 1 happy/sad, 1 happy
  • Nights I pulled the spare blanket over my head because it was so bloody cold: 1
  • Nights I kicked all the covers off because it was so bloody hot: 1
  • Times I looked at the time and thought ‘I should really be in bed’: definitely lost count
  • Times I was woken up by construction across the road at 7AM: 4
  • Times I wasn’t woken up by construction across the road at 7AM when I really could’ve been up at 7AM: 1
  • Naps I had: 0
  • Times I had Boost Juice instead of Up & Go for breakfast: 1
  • Times I had Up & Go for breakfast but then caved at 11AM and got a McMuffin: 1
  • Restaurants that made me homicidal: 1
  • Hot chips that made me feel like they’d bitten my tongue: 1
  • Times I babbled at Hespa and transposed words in my sentences: at least 5
  • Amazing people I met: all of them
  • People’s names I totally flaked on despite having known them for years: 1
  • Panels I had cancelled: 1
  • Number of people who asked me for info on the cancelled panel: 5
  • Number of seagulls that Seanan summoned with her bucket of hot chips at the zoo: 45-50.

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Continuum 13: Thursday (Day 0)

My Continuum 13 started earlier than some people’s (although, to be fair, for committee the next year’s Continuum starts sometime during the previous Continuum, if not earlier) as I got a message from Tole on Thursday morning.

‘DAYNA’S CAR HAS BROKEN DOWN.’

Dayna was supposed to be picking up our international Guest of Honour, Seanan McGuire, from the airport; she was flying back into Melbourne after attending LexiCon in New Zealand. So the car being broken down was less than ideal.

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Four more sleeps til C13

Well, yes, for most people Continuum 13 begins on Friday the 9th of June.

But I am not most people! I am Super Secretary!

(How much sleep have I had? Answer: not a lot.)

Checking into the hotel a day early to give myself time to settle in and not be doing what I did last year when I checked in on the day of the con and was instantly thrown into the hurly-burly. Although having said that I’m helping pick up one of our Guests of Honour at the airport (bag-carrying!Lauren).

I’ve been so busy putting the conbook together, making badges and signs and I don’t even know what else, I’ve probably forgotten most of it. Oh! Gravestones! Every good Maskobalo needs gravestones. I’ve discovered it’s harder than you’d think to get blood to stay on lace, and planned most of my wardrobe down to the last sock.

And there’s still so much to do! I’ve got to re-dye my hair, laminate the signs, actually pack my suitcase, triple-check my food budget, and schedule a time where I can go lie face down on my bed at the hotel with MTV playing and just pretend I don’t exist for a little while. Each day is end to end planned out, but there’s always time for a mini-breakdown, right?

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A long overdue update

Wow hey hi it sure has been a year and a day since my last update, huh…

Yeah, I know, right, I graduated with the Master of Communication (with Distinction, I shall have you all know), so why have I been so quiet?

Thing is, as well as the MComm, I also have a Master of Depressive Brainweasels, which is to say that I spent most of the latter half of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 struggling to do All The Things. Finish the MComm! Get The Fear Collectors self-published as part of that! Start a new full-time job in a different department in September! The list goes on; I’ve been feeling like someone is periodically dropping bricks of pure condensed stress on my head. Hoppy ship, as my friend Iggy would say. But a year is far too long for anyone to leave their website unattended. I had to clean spam out of the corners before I could post.

So! Here are some writing news updates from me.

I have a new psychologist (well, she was new in September, she’s less new now). That’s not a writing update per se, but she’s told me I have to accept compliments, even if it’s just with a ‘thank you’. So when people say nice things about me, I have to at least say ‘thank you’. It makes me think about the things they say, even if what I think is ‘augh, they’re just saying that because I was stupid enough to mention the compliments thing and they’re checking to see how often I can accept a compliment before I explode in a burst of tightly contained self-deprecation’.

This includes writing compliments. Compliments like seeing my story ‘Tea Party’, from Defying Doomsday, on the very-long-list for the Aurealis Awards. It didn’t come near the shortlist, but someone who was not me liked it enough to put it there. Plus Defying Doomsday itself is up for Best Anthology, and ‘Did We Break the End of the World?’ by Tansy Rayner Roberts is up for Best YA Short Story and Best SF Novella, which makes me absurdly happy for her. I’m genuinely just happy that someone thought of me to put me in the list at all.

Thank you.

Compliments like seeing ‘Tea Party’ again on the super-long-list for the Ditmar Awards, along with The Fear Collectors–again, because someone who was not me put them there.

Thank you.

And compliments like when I asked A.C. (Andi) Buchanan if I might submit to Capricious three days after the deadline. They said yes, as long as I had the MS ready, which I hurled at them (via email, not physically) about thirty seconds later. The real compliment being that ‘Island, Ocean’ was accepted and will be published in the Gender Diverse Pronouns issue of Capricious, due out in October.

Thank you, Andi. I promise not to be an authorzilla.

And thank you everyone who supports me in so many ways with my writing. I will try to keep doing it, because on the days where my brain is buried cerebellum-deep in weasels and fog, those compliments can be the one thing that keeps them at bay.

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Defying Doomsday cover reveal!

The amazing Tania Walker has provided the absolutely stunning art for the cover of Defying Doomsday. It’s gorgeous and chilling but not without hope, just like the stories inside.

Check it out on the Defying Doomsday blog!

I also got to check the proofs and can confirm my story looks lovely all nestled in with the other stories of the end of the world and what happens after. Also my author bio looks fantastic in the back right in there with Seanan McGuire’s. (Massive fangirl moment right there.)

I’m so glad that Tsana and Holly have been so patient with me in terms of getting my story ‘Tea Party’ into shape, and I’m so honoured to be in there with so many incredible authors.

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Fourth Annual Bisexual Book Awards

I am stunned and honoured that The Triad Trial is one of the finalists in the Erotic Fiction category for the Fourth Annual Bisexual Book Awards. I’m proud to be representing Less Than Three Press in that particular category, and I’m delighted to be included with the calibre of other writers on the list!

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Status update: The Fear Collectors

I’m currently working on first-round edits for The Fear Collectors, my horror-fantasy-ghost-story (I’m terrible at genres) that was acquired by Stephen Orsmby at Satalyte Publishing very shortly after I won the 2014 ASFF amateur short story award (by very shortly I mean he snagged me straight after the awards and asked if I had anything I could show him, and I spent a sleepless night trying to decide what!).

So that’s where that’s at–open in Word right now, glaring at me accusingly as if asking what I’m doing on the internet instead of writing.

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Acceptance: ‘Tea Party’ in Defying Doomsday (Twelfth Planet Press)

I am super duper utterly thrilled to announced that my short story ‘Tea Party’ will be a part of the Defying Doomsday anthology!

Defying Doomsday collects together various stories about disabled characters in a post-apocalyptic world. I don’t want to give too much away about my story prior to publication, but it’s set in Australia post-climate-apocalypse, and the main character is dealing with chronic depression and anxiety (a bit like me).

Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench are the editors and they have been amazing and patient with me as I got the story from where it started to what it ended up as, which took a bit of wrangling. I can’t thank them enough for their decision to include me in the collection.

I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS. Check out the table of contents to see which fantastic authors I’ll be rubbing (metaphorical) shoulders with!

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‘Pictures and Memories’ cover reveal!

I was lucky enough to score Aisha Akeju as my cover artist again for ‘Pictures and Memories’, which is a ~10K short to be released on the 2nd of March next year. She brought the same beautiful touches to this as she did to The Triad Trial cover, and I look forward to seeing it up on the LT3 site. In the meantime, here it is:

Pictures and Memories

It’s set in India during the Holi Festival of Colours, and Aisha absolutely nailed what I was picturing in my head!

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