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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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TGIF!

I am very much feeling like I’ve worked a full week! lol and I can honestly say it’s a long time since I’ve done that (not that raising three beautiful girls and running the household and trying to write is not time consuming). So I am definitely looking forward to the weekend – not that it’s going to be quiet, but it does mean that at least Hubby is home to help with everything.

I feel like we’ve accomplished so much in just a few short days, and am ready to start slowing down a little bit. The huge task of contacting authors has been achieved with stellar results so far, and now it is on with reading and selecting and planning for all the behind the scenes stuff that goes into putting out a book. And trust me, there is a lot of it!

On that note, we have a website live now for the Anthology and you can check it out over here. There will be a new post up shortly with a very exciting announcement, and hopefully I’ll have a facebook page sorted for it shortly which will be helpful for keeping people in the loop and also for figuring out how many people are interested in getting their hands on a copy. It’s for a great cause!

In all of the rush and bustle of the last few days, my own writing has certainly taken a back seat. But I am admittedly feeling a tad overwhelmed (in good and bad ways), so I’m going to make sure I take some time tonight to touch base with the story I am working on.

The Comfort of Wood is a fantasy story that has been sitting around for awhile now, and it’s well overdue for completion. I’m hoping to finish the second scene tonight, and then keep working on it from there. It’s the only totally new scene, so it will take me a little while. It’ll be nice to get lost in a fantasy world of my own creation though. Free from earthquakes, free from sadness, free from the huge loss that our whole country is feeling.

Anyways, signing off. I feel the need to give my girls some more hugs. My heart aches for all the families affected by the earthquake, but cuddling those girls of mine makes it a little easier to handle.