girlie jones (girliejones) wrote,
girlie jones
girliejones

Wastelands II: Age of Iron Con Report

And now my Wastelands wrap up!

How exciting! My first con ever as a guest! I was so honoured to be asked and felt so ill-qualified (and did none of the prep reading that Russ and Liz lent me to cram!) on steampunk. Though it turns out that, yeah, New Ceres is um, yeah ... steampunk-esque. *cough*

Anyway. Embarrassingly I arrived late to the Opening Ceremony - I did my best to get there on time despite my head and neck pains but then got lost driving in the city and so tried to slink in but got nicely pointed at and introduced as I snuck in to sit next to punkrocker1991. And Nick Stathopoulos, who I'd never met before and thus bonded firstly on the prehistoricness of our identical phones (which I love cause I ONLY want to make calls and send texts).

The con was smallish and they were trying out a new hotel. I think the new hotel worked really well - the rooms seemed the right size, were away from the rest of the hotel stuff, had a tea preparation room (which proved crucial to TPP business) and a hucksters room with the registration area and place to sit. Also there was a good lounging area out the front in the lobby and drinks etc seemed available. Parking also was accessible. I was treated to a night at the hotel and was given an executive suite. It was ENORMOUS! I had my own kitchenette, bathroom, lounge and then big bedroom. I would have thrown a room party if I hadn't been so tired!!!

First up for me on my con program was the Angel Rising West Coast launch. Cupcake set up proved hazardous but I think in all it was quite successful. The crowd was intimate but Russell gave a really lovely introduction, declaring that in the future hundreds of people will claim they were at this launch, and I got to launch my good friend Dirk's novella and the novella line in front of my home crowd and dear friends. Then we had coffee and cupcakes. And we of course wayyyy overcatered which meant that we fed and quenched the thirst of the con attendees all day. Several people later came and told me that they spent the day feeling very wired (is it wrong that I am taking that as a job well done?).

After bookselling, which is always a high, and in any case, editormum took care of that (she is FAR better at bookselling than almost anyone I know), we went to lunch with the boy (who came in for my book launch, isn't that sweet?) and Matthew C. I had some Vit C at lunch and that helped. We debated the state of small press in Australia, as we always do at con lunches. And then it was bye to the boy and back to work with two panels - Small Press Explosion and Women in Small Press. Subtley these panels were in fact different and I got a lot out of them. There were some really awesome ideas raised from the audience - about distribution, and branding and so on. I also sat in on Nick's panel on the Titanic. He was so engaging and interesting - I love hearing someone speak about a topic that they are thoroughly fascinated by.

I think I then entertained T and Matt and K up in my loungeroom after they helped bring all the small press gear up from the hucksters room and the launch. And then T, Matt, Russ, Liz and I went off for Indian which was delicious and I got to have a cosmopolitan. But Matt had a very manly purple drink that I so want next time!!

I am ashamed to admit that after dinner, and brief entertaining in my lounge room again, I went to bed very early. I was woken a couple of times by calls -one an emergency but I was too sleepy to remotely function properly (apologies to those involved!)!

Sunday was much more relaxed as I was on less of the program. Had a lazy morning breakfast with kathrynlinge and then set up for the GUFF morning tea. We womanned that table for a good 2 hours I think before I had to think about the Coffee Klatch. I spent a lot of time chatting with people about ... all things writerly ... got and gave advice, and have a few things to chase up. Drank a fair bit of coffee, I bet.

The Coffee Klatch was a lot of fun. Originally callistra and I were intending for it to be a novella pitch session but in the end we did it this way and I think this was a lot more fun. We had about 10 people - all women except for Matt who at first pretended he wasn't there and ate his lunch up the back but eventually the smell of freshly brewed coffee lured him to join the table. That, or the discussion got interesting! Anyway. We sat around the table, had hot drinks, ate freddos and choc chip muffins (that I made but I didn't think they came out the best, won't use that recipe again). And basically chatted. I got to talk a lot about me, which is fun. And I also kind of got a lot of pitches, in a way, for the novella series, in the end. Which was also both interesting and informative! I had so much fun!

After this I basically hung out with Carol, battblush, satimaflavell and Helen and just talked. What amazing women - I always feel so honoured when women share personal stories. I learned a lot and I got inspired a lot by the conversations. And then we finished up with the How to Run Small Cons, which despite the sad tales, have not really deterred me.

And then Wastelands II was over! Very sad. I didn't get to hang out with Nick remotely enough. I haven't mentioned how AWESOME the costumes that people were wearing. So cool! And I also want to thank, callistra and cheshirenoir for inviting and having me as a guest. I want to thank editormum for all that she does and did behind the scenes just "making things happen" and for her boundless enthusiasm. I'd like to thank splanky for including me in the GUFF morning tea. And I also want to thank Matt and kathrynlinge for helping me move my crap back and forth. And to everyone else who chatted with me and inspired me!
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