October 6th, 2009


home from Conflux

and knackered. I stayed up to 11.30 or so last night, which was 2.30 my body clock time.

The plan was that I would be home too late for my parents to collect me from the airport so Benji was going to sleep an extra night with them and mum would drop him off on the way to work this morning. But, I missed his face! So I called and it wasn't too late for me to come get him last night after I got home.

Awwww .... lots of licks to my ankle whilst I was talking to the parental unit about the con.

I really did miss him!

Con report later.


Conflux Picspam

All photos taken by Cat Sparks, here is evidence I was at Conflux 6:

chrisbarnes, deborahb and I at the mass book signing, deborahb signed a few copies and we mostly misbehaved:

Opposite us, on the other side of the room, Rob Hood was sitting with Alan Baxter at a table signing their books and I heard Rob pull his schoolteacher voice on someone! It was the very first time I heard him do it and it was totally legit and scary! Loved it!!!

deborahb signs paulhaines copy of A Book of Endings. If you look closely you can see that she signs her name over her name. It unsettles me.

Here I am knitting in the Dealers room and talking to Lorraine Cormack, who is sitting next to me. We caught up on all things ASif related as well as debriefing on our lives. There was a looooooooot of down time in the Dealers room and I finished knitting that sock. Sadly I hadn't brought a darning needle in order to sew up the toe and was prevented from casting on the second sock. I had to ... work ... the rest of the con, instead.

Rob kept me company at the Dealers Table for a lot of the con. We had a nice little corner actually. There was a lovely couple next to us on one side for the first half who were fun to get to know. And after the first day, Bill Congreve moved to be next to us on the other side. Much happened. Most of it stays at the con :P

The rest of Cat's photo stream can be found via her: catsparx.


My Conflux 6 Report by girlie jones

I've been procrastinating writing this all day. I've been oscillating between having too much and not enough to say.

My trip over to Canberra was unpleasant - it was the red eye, I think I am getting too old for the red eye flights. I tried to sleep for the flight from Perth to Sydney but whilst lying back with my eyes closed, I started to feel very unwell and had maybe a panic attack? Or some kind of dehydration reaction? I remembered my mother saying something similar happened to her the other day from fasting so managed to hit the bell and order a water as there were stars in front of my eyes. I felt sick, and faint and short of breath for the entire flight to Sydney. I had to sit with my "head between my knees" which on Virgin Blue was sorta just more than upright and the person in front of me kept wanting to lean their chair back and so kept banging their chair into my head. For a couple of hours. Fun, eh?

And then I was fine when I got to Sydney. The transfer was quick and I was amused by a cantankerous old lady who cracked me a wink as she walked down the aisle onto the plane later. The Sydney to Canberra flight is 25 minutes! OMG! And then I discovered this quirk of Canberra - sharing of taxis. It was kinda weird. Not just people in the queue checking to see if others were going the same way but even my driver asked me if it was ok to see if anyone else was going out my way. Weird.

I arrived at the hotel at 9am. No sleep. Felt grotty and gross. Wanted to shower and nap (I never ever nap). And they were full the night before so told me I couldn't check in till 2pm. 2pm!! I wandered down to the Dealers Room to register etc (I wasn't allowed a name tag - sorry for those of you who didn't know who I was!) and found my spot. I was unpacking my suitcase, undies and whatever on show , when Marc McBride came over to chat and have a look at my etc. I was soooo tired and didn't know who he was, and just wanted to shower and go to sleep. He was very lovely in keeping me company and ignoring my vagueness and still talked to later in the con (hopefully I was not too dismissive and rude! Ugh). I was totally set up by like 9.15am and sat behind my table till about 12.30 when I was done. I went to the reception and got them to get me my room (I think she could tell I was going to be hassling a lot til I got it). And finally got to shower and sleep.

I came back to the con by 6pm I think and got to say hi to the crew (incl finally meeting jo1967. And we all went out for a really lovely Indian meal. Us vegetarians and difficult people (me, Paul Haines and Jo) got sent down one end and the banquet eaters sat at the other. Was a good meal and a lot of fun AND I got to eat Rob's dairy and glutinous dessert. After dinner I think we went back to the con and tried to hang out at the bar but they closed early and we all went to bed.

Saturday was a slow day in the Dealer's Room. Pretty much only the dealers in the room for a lot of the time. I got to catch up with Lorraine which was great - saved postage on her review books, got to see her growing babe and just chat. I also got to chat to a lot of the other dealers - this is the most important bit of the con for me. I got so many important tips, just tiny things like contacts or things I should be subscribed or enrolled in, that kind of thing. We also went to the mass book signing. And I got to have TPP books look critted. This was actually one of the highlights for the con for me - a few graphics people sitting down with me and nit picking my books. Awesome! I got to ask all sorts of font related questions and learned a lot.

Saturday night I headed out to my friends' wedding reception. Again, had the shared taxi thing, this time from the hotel - some drunk guys wanted to share my taxi. And I don't think that was remotely cheaper but anyway. I got dropped at the front of a dark, deserted venue and it was raining and I wandered in and luckily found the place. I knew one other person there and she and I introduced ourselves to both sets of parents - A's dad asked me if I was the publishing friend! Yay, he gets total points for that!! And then I kind of loitered around with the ah, hen's party friends till the other couple I knew showed up. There were some other work people there which was nice, quite a solid WA contingent. The couple arrived and looked so happy and in love, it was really really lovely. The evening was lovely. I got to sit and chat with the couple I sort of knew, but only through others from work, so now I feel like I know them in my own right. And they are really cool. Our kind of people. Totally interested in both my publishing but also in env stuff (they both work where I do). And that was fun. It was nice to be there for A and M and see their love and joy and to be a part of that. But eventually it sort of ... well, it's hard to be single at a wedding. When the couple I was with were ready to bail, I did too. And wandered back to the con where Alan Baxter told me daylight saving kicked in.

I blame the daylight saving (I double checked with my Dad) but I got all confused in the morning and thought I had a clash on the programme and on the wedding brunch. I ended up texting apologies to the bride and it was too late to go when I discovered that I didn't have a clash - turns out she was late to it too and missed the food! Instead I had breakfast with Cat and Rob at Gus's which was very nice. Sunday trading picked up and I think I made the majority of the con sales that day. I also got to have a meeting with Rob about his novel. And chat to Bill about all things Worldcon traders room. I traded till the room closed at 7 and then rushed out to meet exp_err and homonculous in the lobby who picked me up, took me to a very lovely restaurant and we got to just chat. It was really really lovely. Made it back in time for Nick's birthday thing though I missed the cake and the Ninjaz With Attitude. I hung out a bit after Nick's thing before going to bed.

Monday was trading and being on the editing anthologies panel before packing up and heading home. I was very lucky and Bill offered to drop me at the airport. I ended up there quite early and all the planes were delayed. I also realised I had somehow managed to not buy any books at the con! How did that happen? So I did maybe buy some books at the airport - one on time management which amused me to be reading whilst killing time. The book was great and I got a lot of tips, took a lot of notes and worked through examples it as it applies to me. We shall see how it goes.

In summary: I had a really lovely con. It was small and the trading was not the best. But I got to catch up with a lot of friends as well as make new ones. I had the opportunity to learn industry stuff which is always worthwhile. I got to catch up on friends news and wins. And I got to go to A's wedding celebrations.

I thought a really interesting thing came out of the editing anthology - Cat mentioned how different the small press scene was now to when she started and how quickly that change had happened. I find that really fascinating and I need to kind of think about that a bit more to see what I really think about that. Somewhere else someone called this period of time The Quickening - where *everything* happens much faster than it ever did before.

And also, I got to be around a lot of couples whom I really respect and love. And I realised I am finally in a place where I have a lot of friends who are couples who work and who I can see why they work. People who are just so nice to be around - full of love and respect and empathy and people who fit together. And I dunno, its sort of changing I think what I thought about the whole lurve thing. I wonder if before I just never had that many role models around me.