A little distance is often a good thing. I attended Conflux 10 in Canberra on the October long weekend. This is the fifth time I have attended the conference and each time I’ve come away happy, tired and a little overwhelmed by the friendships I’ve begun and being included in the network of wonderful writers – both well-know published authors and those, like me, just learning the craft. Added to all this, I was joined by two writer friends from the Eurobodalla Writers and we shared a wondrous weekend, cementing friendship, laughing and learning.
On Friday I attended an all-day workshop run by Russell Kirkpatrick and Nicole Murphy on writing opening chapters that catch the reader, summaries of novels and letters to publishers to catch their attention. All very important skills and a great workshop. That night we dressed up and attended the Hogwarts’ Pyjama party and, along with some fun games and laughs, had far too much sugar just before bed. Saturday consisted of an interview with Margo Lanagan, the launch of several books including Simon Petrie‘s ‘Difficult Second Album’ and a horror short story competition suitably won by Shauna O’Meara. Her story of a WWI pet rat on a battlefield was both charming and horrible. Margo Lanagan came in a close second with a Halloween story. After that we attended the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with music, food, talking, a bit of dancing and, not least, the dressing up. My friend Marisol Dunham won the price for best costume and thoroughly deserved it. The best cosplay group was Tim Napper, his gorgeous wife and son, dressed in Deep Space 9 uniforms. Very, very nice. Sunday, a few more book launches including Donna Maree Hanson‘s ‘Shatterwing’ and Gillian Polack’s ‘Lang (dot) doc’. Then the ‘Around the World in 80 Minutes’ banquet to finish off the day.
Highlights included a kaffeklatch with Isobelle Carmody and a beer meeting with Kaaron Warren. Learned so much including that writers are normal people with some weird brains that I totally relate to. I just hope I can someday become 1/10th as good as these ladies.
At the same time as all of this is going on, I’m completing a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Thoroughly enjoying the course facilitated at Wisdom Learning by a fantastic teacher in Erin Riley. Lots of work involved and I’m doing it so that next year I can facilitate a Diploma Course in Project Management for Wisdom.
Prior to all this there was a wonderful week of babysitting my grandson Elliott and a visit to his cousin Ashlyn in Newcastle. It certainly tested our resources but we did have fun with the grandkids. They grow up so fast it’s hard to keep up.
The Tuesday after the return from Conflux the evening chapter of the Eurobodalla Writers met and we decided on our story for National November Writers Month – each of us doing a chapter. The planning went very well and we are hoping to get it together in a book for our families.
I’ve finally got some time to get back to some knitting and writing and the weather is warming up so regular swims in the pool are a definite benefit of being home. I can now take a deep breath before the onslaught of the Christmas silly season. It’s silly because we end up running about like silly people to Canberra, Newcastle and even Sydney. And then the family comes to us for a few days – which I love. So I’m also looking forward to it even as I know by January I will be well and truly over it.
I didn’t quite get to all the New Year resolutions I made this year but I got to the most important ones – get fit, keep up with the grandchildren, learn some more about writing and writing itself. I finished my novel but now am in editing mode and it’s going slowly. However, it is going so that’s good.
I’m a contented Cat, YAY!