With thanks to Nalini and Helen!

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Nalini and Helen kindly popped over a couple of photos of the convention so I have created an ”Event” to store images in as they arrive. You can find it here.

Gruffalos and The Risky West Wind

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Catherynne M. Valente is a multi award winning YA author currently trying a new form of publishing. You can read her new novel ‘The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making,’ chapter by chapter, here. It’s a really engaging read so far and the author is offering readers the chance to read it and pay only what they think it is worth. 

I think its a great idea, and I hope that this author gets paid, although after what happened with Tad William’s Shadowmarch (I paid to read it as an online novel and it was never delivered so I felt pretty ripped off) I will prefer to pay when I have enjoyed the story to its end. 

The Guardian has also put up two wonderful clips about The Gruffalo series by Julia Donaldson. The artist who drew the Gruffalo, Axel Scheffler, says A Gruffalo should look frightening but cute.’ I dig Julia’s monster hands. Perhaps only Isabelle Carmody’s are better. ^^


Conscription Report

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Conscription was once again an amazing conference. Like a few other attendees I was hit by a goo plague that had me wanting to sleep more than was conducive to general con fun. However, even the unremitting goo was not enough to really diminish this event. Each year I am amazed by how much I get from the conference, and how inspired I am when I come away, and this year was no exception.

It was a longer event than usual ; Julie Czerneda ran a writing workshop for a couple of days with support from Nalini Singh. It was good fun; I particularly enjoyed being shut in a room full of people with limber imaginations and seeing what came out of the mix. As always there was lots to learn from people who are further along the road than I am. I don’t think I will stop attending such things – Mundens has said he now finds them repetitive  - but even when stuff you know comes up its useful and whole books have come out of some of the exercises I’ve done at cons. So: all good and if next year there are similar events I will be there!

The con itself featured old friends (its almost a con – reunion; its like having an extended family you usually only see once per year and then let the good times roll! Its so good to catch up!!), and making new friends (heres a shout out to Julie and Roger, Nalini, and Robbie and Dee!), as always. For me at least, roman legionaires were new to the mix, as were the awesome mad scientists. Best wearable art costumes ever in their steampunk glory. I hope I find some pics. *gently pokes anyone reading this who was there* My own pics will be added when I eventually find in which area of my boxed up household I have stored a camera cord. ^^; Here is one aspect of the social life at cons they don’t often tell newcomers about – the judicious application of torture – in this case Tee Morris being tortured by me!

Of course, I was hugely chuffed that both Helen and I won Sir Julius Vogel Awards, Helen even winning two. Nalini also picked one up so our table at the Award Ceremony was in great form. I gave my acceptance speech with Salmon Rusdie (in hiding in NZ since the findamentalists put a spratwah on him). 

Who is he? He is the six foot long salmon made by Maree Palevitch so that Julie Czerneda could beat Kevin Maclean over the head with it during the opening ceremony (as you do). I bid for him at the auction held yearly in support of the conference. Along with S. Fishdie came the privilege of having a character named after me in Julie’s next fantasy novel, consultation on the scene/s ‘Sally McLennan’ is to be in (I have begged Julie not to kill ‘me’ too horribly!) and a signed copy of the book. Also, of course, care of Mr S. Rushdie In Perpetuity. Which is a very long time. I expect he may make odd appearances at future conferences. A huge thanks to Mundens for somehow fitting the big fish in his luggage.

I’m trying to think of a way to sum up the weekends workshops but, as always, too long after the fact they become a blur of knowledge absorbed, laughs had, and inspiring moments. I’m still feeling the post conference glow and yet missing the people.  <3

Happiness is a Pointy Thing

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I’m thrilled to let everyone know that Deputy Dan and the Mysterious Midnight Marauder won the Best Professional Publication Category of the  Sir Julius Vogel awards.

Woot! This has made my Mum very happy.