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Long time, no blog

After I tweaked my website a few months back the blog kind of disappeared and I bought into that whole ‘blogging is dead’ thing. But I kept thinking about it, and the thoughts niggled in the back of my mind.

I have no idea if you missed me or not, but I missed this, so I’m back!

I’d like to tell you lots of wonderful news, but I don’t have any. I’d love to say I’ve been crazy-busy getting my next book ready for you, but I can’t even say that either. Life has been full and busy but it’s not leaving me with a lot of space for writing. This space seems to get increasingly small the closer we get to LexiCon.

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For those that might not know (because I haven’t been talking about it a whole lot on here) I’m the co-chair of this year’s National Science Fiction and Fantasy convention – and it’s happening in just a few weeks now! OMG I have convention packs to make, and a million things to organize, including many things to feel pre-emptively anxious about, such as pronouncing things correctly, speaking in front of a hundred and fifty or so people (insert pukey face here), and meeting best-selling, award-winning author Seanan McGuire (I keep trying to tell myself she’s just a person, but she’s an incredibly COOL person and I’m bound to say stupid things or be incoherent due to the aforementioned stress and panic).

I’m so grateful that we have some awesome people on our ConCom to make the task less daunting, most of us had very little experience going in but *knocks on wood* it all seems to be coming together quite nicely. Fifteen days til I head to Taupo…

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End of April, start of May – stars for writing, hearts for not being awful to myself

Just so you don’t think I’ve been completely flakey, I HAVE been doing some work. It’s just that the amount of said work is shrinking.

I had really high hopes of getting the nearly final draft of Kotahi Bay #2 done before Convention, but I want to produce quality and with my brain the way it is right now I just can’t guarantee it.

Here is photographic evidence (of the work, not my mushy brain).

 

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Au Contraire 2013

I had hoped by now that I’d have something coherent and intelligent to say about my weekend away, but I really don’t feel like I do. It could take me another week, or more, to fully process the whole thing. But I thought it was better to say something, than nothing at all.

It was amazing.

I drove down to Wellington on Friday, stopping to catch up with a friend in Palmerston North on the way, and then arrived in Wellington a mere half hour before the Regeneration book launch. It was dark, and drizzly, and I went the wrong way, and then was doubling back when I managed to find a car park and decided to walk to the hotel as I thought it might be quicker (it was!). By the time I made it to there I was feeling pretty fragile and emotional, but I bumped straight into Anna and she showed me where the launch was. I saw some people I hadn’t seen in years, and finally met other people in person, and I signed books! (haha, it had never even crossed my mind that I might be asked to do that – super cool).  It was kind of surreal, really! I grabbed a burger with Anna for dinner and then pretty much stayed in my room.

It was a big day. First time being so far away from my babies. First time in… over seven years that I’d been anywhere out of town that wasn’t visiting family. First book launch. All these people, and then on the other hand being alone, in a room, just me! Just, massive, on so many levels for me. The hibernation was super important because it meant I got my home sickness out of the way and Saturday I could launch myself into attending panels, meeting more people, having great conversations and just enjoying myself in general.

The most valuable thing for me, I think, was making those connections – finally getting to meet people face to face after years of online interaction, and having it more than confirmed that NZ is truly a great place to be a writer. I have always been an advocate for the groups that we have in NZ, for the work SpecFicNZ does, for the important conversations that need to happen to raise the general public awareness of the fantastic speculative fiction writers we have in NZ. Meeting up with all these writers really boosted that feeling.

These are really awesome people, awesome writers too, but awesome people who love what they do, who have unique ways of viewing the world and bring those to the page. And I got to soak that up through the weekend, both inside the Con and out by catching up with a couple of other writer friends who weren’t attending. It was amazing.

Where I live there are very few writers, and I certainly felt the loss on Monday when I had to pack up and come home. Oh well, there is always next year, right? lol I’m still working on getting ‘back to normal’ though it feels like it has gone out the window entirely. I’m hoping that next year I am actually capable of taking notes and making a more intelligent post, but this will have to do for now 😉

If you’ve never been to some kind of convention or conference where you can connect with other writers, then I urge you to give it a shot. Making those writer connections is super awesome. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone, say hi to new people, ask questions, feast on the shared passion of writing. It’s totally worthwhile.

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Updates

So… I have been pretty bad with the blogging over the last couple weeks, but I swear I have good reasons!

I’ve actually been busy with writing. My new novella is sitting just over the 8,000 word mark and growing every day, I’ve had my results back for my first semester paper and got a stunning A- (best mark I have had in ages! And considering my ridiculously busy life, I was pretty chuffed with myself), and am now gearing up to head away for a weekend at Au Contraire.

This will be the first time since having Lauren and Natalie that I will be spending time away from my family, out on my own in the big wide world. And while I am SUPER excited about it, and crazy ready for some time ‘off’ from being a Mum, I’m also really nervous about the whole weekend and being away from my babies for so long (yea I know, a weekend isn’t really that long – just remember I home school, and I’m with them ALL THE TIME). I’m going to miss the heck out of them, I can already tell, and if you do see me over the weekend and it looks like there is something wrong with my arms it’s just because I am used to lugging a 3yr old around with me most of the time and my body isn’t quite sure what normal is outside of that. Maybe I’ll just keep them crossed?

I can’t wait to hit the road, I really can’t. I love driving, and it will be really nice to crank up some of MY music, and sing crazy loud. Some of the other rather mundane things I am looking forward to are:

sleeping all night
not starting my day at 4am
not mediating any kiddie outbreaks/tantrums/arguments for a few days
not being responsible for ensuring everyone is satisfactorily fed/clothed/watered/whatever
not cleaning up after everyone
(hopefully) not being yelled at for three whole days
maybe even sneaking in some writing in peace? Who knows.

I’m also very much looking forward to attending my first ever book launch (for Regeneration), meeting people face to face that I have known online for years, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone (and let’s face it, the entire weekend is out of my comfort zone!). It’s going to be an awesome weekend.

I just have to actually make sure I make it out of the house tomorrow, and stop imagining all the terrible, horrible things that could (but never will) happen.

Deep breaths. I CAN do this.

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A good week

This week has been a really good week. Despite us all having colds I am making excellent progress on this revision (only 10 scenes to go!). We’ve been doing lots of fun learning about lizard, more specifically monitor lizards, even more specifically the komodo dragon. I got to introduce the kids to Steve Irwin and we’ve watched his komodo dragon episode like once a day for the last three days. EXCELLENT I say.

Have been planning my youngest’s 3rd birthday party as well which is fun. I love hearing her input. She wants a blue dinosaur cake, a pinata, macaroni cheese, savaloys and sauce, and lemonade, and that’s pretty much it. In all her sweetness, she has made sure to invite all her family members – it’s lovely to have that confirmation that these are the people she loves the most.

I’ve started putting scenes from my novella out for feedback, which has been fun and means I am going over all the beginning scenes again, so it’s kind of like a double revision round, I guess. I’m really liking the way it’s coming together this time, so fingers crossed it won’t need too much more work. I know I could spend weeks poring over it, getting every sentence perfect, but who has time for that? Onwards!

This week has also seen me finish off a short story, which was a lot of fun. I haven’t done ‘creepy’ in a long time. I’d forgotten a) how much squick factor can be involved and b) how much fun it is watching someone as they read your story and just knowing which bits they are up to when they cringe or wince or just look terribly troubled. Muahaha.

Oh, AND I got to okay the ‘galley’ for my short story. That is always so cool! I love seeing how my story will look in the book, it makes me crazy happy!

If all of those things haven’t been wonderful enough, the timetable for Au Contraire was released and I’ve looked through it many times, imagining how my weekend away is going to go. Too much fun!

So, I am one very happy writer at the moment 🙂 Everything is ticking along beautifully – long may it continue. I hope you’re all having a good week too!

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Au Contraire!

I’m going! Are you??

What’s Au Contraire, you ask? Au Contraire 2013: Regeneration is the 34th National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, and the second Au Contraire convention. It’s taking place early July in Wellington!

I have never been to a Con. It was just too hard to try and organize with small kids. But I’ve decided that they are definitely old enough this year and that if I didn’t book and start working towards making the necessary changes in order to go and feel like I wasn’t abandoning my family, I had to make the commitment NOW.

So I did it! And it felt great! Unless I manage to wrangle a trial night away from my kids before then, it will be the first time I’ve ever spent a night away from either Lauren or Natalie since their births. Yup, I am a veritable home body. There has never been a good enough reason to spend a whole night away from them. But this year I am going to be gone for three. THREE WHOLE NIGHTS and the days as well. In a totally different city.

Squeee! I’m going to a convention! I am so excited! I can’t wait to catch up with the writer friends I have met in person before, and to meet a whole bunch of people face to face for the first time. It will be so cool to finally do that. I definitely now feel like I am investing in myself, because there can be no mistaking that this weekend is for me. I’m not doing it for anyone else.

I will be there*, will you? Only another 5 months and a bit to go! And yes, I will be this excited the entire time! That’s just how I roll 😉

*barring any sudden illnesses or disasters, of course *knocks on wood*