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Nov 21

A full (and at times crazy) weekend

I’ve done a lot of sleeping this afternoon, and I don’t feel guilty. Not in the least. Because this weekend has been full, and at times crazy.

It all started Friday morning, with a strange squeaking noise in my car. While the noise had been there, in the background, for a few days it had suddenly grown loud. So like a good girl, I called my mechanic. You see, I had a Freecon to attend in Bankstown that afternoon. At the best of times that’s a significant drive (from Coogee, on a Friday afternoon, in peak hour, on Sydney roads) let alone with the ‘squeal-rattle-clunk’ every time I accelerated or changed gears. Not only that, I was due to give a reading that afternoon, at the Freecon. The first time I’ve ever been on the other side of a panel, and I was already nervous.

So, I rang the mechanic, described the problem. He said, after a pause, ‘can you bring it over right now?’ Like a good girl, I did. After some frowning, revving the engine, and consultation with his minions, mechanic determined that something was going very wrong inside the engine itself. He couldn’t let me drive it, and while he would do his best to fix it by the afternoon he couldn’t guarantee it. I spent the rest of a hectic work day contemplating a long ride in public transport (and wondering how I’d get home late that night, without shelling out even more money — and that would be a LOT of money — on a taxi). But the wonderful bloke came through, and even delivered my car (newly fixed and back to its normal, safe-to-drive self!) just in time to make it to the Freecon.

None of this had helped my newbie-nerves though. I was lucky enough to have the support of my fellow writers: Thoraiya Dyer, Matthew Chrulew and Jonathan Walker, and got through it without making too much of an idiot of myself. I hope. The stress gifted me an aggravated sciatic nerve, and I think I complained a little too much about my back that night. But, seriously, by that stage it was very sore! I returned to Freecon for Saturday morning too, where I caught up with some wonderful friends, and hopefully made a few new ones. The Freecon is a small event, different to any of the other cons I’ve been to, but full of the same passion for sff. We heard Nicole Murphy, Alan Baxter, Pamela Freeman and Richard Harland read from their work (and boy, was I glad I’d already done mine — no one should have to stand up and read after Richard! Ever!). Unfortunately I couldn’t stick around all day, but I certainly enjoyed the time I spent there.

Today has involved a lovely lunch in the sunshine for my mother in law’s birthday, cat torture (well, I’d call it grooming, but from the sound of it, they consider it torture) and naps. Lots of naps.

Tomorrow, revisions begin in earnest (with a break for a much-needed massage).

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