October 21st, 2008

Willow

NaNoWriMo

Just wanted to remind y'all that the novella length is excellent for the kind of caper one might get up to with the NaNoWriMo.

*whistles*


(I did NaNWriMo one year (2004?) - wrote my novel. My novel sucks, and is at the bottom of a cupboard somewhere. I'm sure yours will be better.)


Willow

Vote for GUFF

Over the weekend at Wastelands, Kylie asked me if I would like to co-sponsor a morning tea with her (and Nora) to raise money for GUFF. I thought that was very kind of her and we (cause editormum helped lots) provided the hot water and coffee/tea like bits to the morning tea and Kylie provided the cakes and biscuits.

As far as I know, the morning tea raised in the vicinity of $60/$70 and there were a couple of votes cast for GUFF. strangedave gave a nice speech with an overview of the history and point of funds and also spoke on mortonhall and Trevor's campaign since they were not there. Kylie and I both spoke our own cases.

I think I've been a little hesitant to be quite forthright in my reasons and goals for running for GUFF. I think often being in small press can feel like you're not quite a part of fandom and I didn't really want that to take away from my campaign to be the GUFF delegate. But the opportunity to speak out in public a lot at the weekend about Aussie small press and the chance to sit and discuss it with writers, editors and publishers alike refuelled my love and drive for it. I spoke about that at the morning tea and I thought I would repeat that here. Since we all now know that I can bake cupcakes!

When I told my friends I was going to run for GUFF, one said to me that she thought that would mean that I would raise the profile and seriousness of Fan Funds. I wasn't really sure I knew what she meant by that but ... I am loud and I do tend to take things seriously.

My intention, if I win GUFF, is to work on building a bridge between Aussie and European small press. I would be enthusiastically looking to meet and talk with writers, readers, reviewers, editors, publishers and fans of small (and big) press. I would be looking to make connections to expand ASif! both in the reviewers side and in the material that we review. I would be taking our small press over to England to pimp and I would be looking for small press we don't get here to bring back with me. I would be looking to trade stories and experiences from the front lines and I would be looking for writers and new projects (let's be honest, I would be).

That's why I want to run for GUFF. And if that's the sort of thing you think the fund is here to support and foster, then you could support that by voting for me.

But the coolest thing, actually, is that in running in this GUFF race, I have already started doing the above. I have received emails and swapped information with people and have already new contacts and networks. And that's awesome because even if I don't win, I already have!

You can vote electronically or potentially in person: vote via paypal or post a cheque or money order or deliver cash in person to (Ang) ang dot rosin at gmail dot com or (Damien) dmw@pobox.com. Voting ends 24th November 2008 23:59 UTC. (Cost is AUS$10 or 5 Quid). Download a form here Or hit the paypal button to vote online: you'll have a chance to enter your ordered list of candidates. (Also whilst it seems candidates don't have to be, in order to vote you must have been active in fandom prior to June 2006)


But the thing is - you should vote for the candidate that you think will best represent Australasia. And you should vote because it's important; because fan funds are important. Fandom is about the mutual exchange of ideas and the passionate sharing of common interests. Fan funds allow us to do that across oceans and between communities. What an awesome idea and an amazing opportunity. Vote to support the race.
Willow

Crohn's Disease Research

Article thanks to looneymoth that looks very interesting, and if proves true, I shall owe Scott Westerfeld an apology for remarks in my review of Peeps (Luckily for me, the jury is still out!)

Researchers believe the lack of a specific bacterium in the gut may be a cause of Crohn's disease.

A shortage of naturally-occurring bacteria is thought to trigger the inflammatory gastrointestinal disorder by over-stimulating the immune system.


--snip--

The researchers said that if ongoing animal trials prove successful, human patients could benefit from a probiotic treatment with F. prausnitzii.




Willow

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!
Willow

Changing light bulbs is not a feminist issue

Certain males in my life maintain that I am pathetic because I don't change my own light bulbs. Some of them seem to think that *some* females see it as a "male" chore.

Last night I stood teetering on a chair, still barely able to reach my bathroom light bulb that blew last week, feeling a bit dizzy and unsteady and totally unable to dislodge the damn thing just to prove them wrong. And in this position, I realised why I don't change light bulbs, and it's got nothing to do with my sex and everything to do with the facts that I am too short and have no idea what I am doing when all the blood has rushed away from my head and I am about to fall off a chair on slippery tiles.

I discovered a lamp instead and showered in mood lighting.

12PPpink

NaNoXMo

For random_alex who was snooping on kathrynlinge and my comment thread a couple of posts ago.

NaNoXMo is for those who want to join in and slog away at a ridiculously ambitious project in November, that's not a novel. I'm going to be hacking away at editing, mainly, at Twelfth Planet Press. K is going to write a paper. You are welcome to join in and declare your own "X".

I will be itemising out exactly what I need to do to achieve the to do list that I sent K this afternoon when she asked me what I meant by "Editing". It's pretty crazy and spans, Shiny 4 and 5, New Ceres, the Biancotti Collection, slushing (novellas and Shiny), ASif!, Buffy blog and the TPP website. And LSS. I'm going to divide out the itemised to do list and allocate tasks to each day of November. And this will work for me like the 1700 words you need to write a day to do 50k in the month. And it means that I won't be able to fall behind (like you can't in NaNoWriMo).

Should be fun eh?