May 02

Swancon and Perth (well, quokkas mainly)

I have a confession to make: as usual, I tried to cram a holiday in and around going to a convention. When will I learn, right? It just seemed like such a pity for the husband and I to fly across the country and not do holiday things, you know? So that’s what we did — Swancon AND a holiday. And it was wonderful, and it was exhausting.

Swancon feels like a blur now, and I’m a little late compared to everyone else who has written so many wonderful con reports, so I won’t say much. There were some fantastic highlights in that blur, though. The release of Dead Red Heart was a world of fun. I got my copy of After the Rain too. Two books with my stories inside! How exciting! Here’s Navi, not really volunteering to pose with them, and looking less than excited:

Navi with books

(what does she know? She bites the heads off cockroaches)

Other highlights of the convention? Seeing so many wonderful folks I just don’t see enough of, and meeting a whole bunch I know online but hadn’t yet met face to face. Glow sticks! A good excuse to drink a lot of wine and g&ts!

I participated in my first ever panel. I was a bit on the nervous side, and shared the table with two wonderful people with so much knowledge and talent, so I didn’t really say as much as I should have. But now I know I can sit up there and talk to a room full of people and not dissolve into a mess, so that’s a good thing. I also did a reading from Debris — I read the first chapter, slightly abridged to fit into my allocated time. Now THIS was exciting! Yep, started off with nerves but I really enjoyed myself. I think (hope?) the folks in the audience enjoyed it too.

Other highlights include the Future Imperfect Art Exhibition. The Ticonderoga party. The launch of The Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines. Now, I’ve been a fan of Paul’s writing for a long time. I was thrilled to meet him, and even more excited to grab a copy of his book, and have it signed. I started reading it in the airport on the way home from Perth and damn it’s a good book. Seriously disturbing. And wonderful in a way that made me think about what I write, and how I write it, and where I draw my ideas from. Favourites so far are ‘Her Gallant Needs’ and the title story, ‘The Last Days of Kali Yuga’. My advice, buy this book while you can.

What else? I watched (most) of the short film of Kaaron Warren‘s story ‘A Positive’ (Kaaron’s another whose writing is so disturbing, but so addictive). ‘A Positive’ is a favourite of mine, and I was enjoying the movie until some rather unfortunate food poisoning cut my viewing time short. Sigh.

Well, I’ve probably done enough con rambling. But you get the idea, right? I had a GREAT time.

In between convention activities, the husband and I did holiday-related stuff. Well, sometimes all we did is try (Perth has an uncanny ability to completely shut down on a public holiday) but we made the best of it, and enjoyed the beautiful weather with a lot of walking and free-bus riding.

Here’s me, with Perth shining ever so nicely in the background:

Me at Perth

The best holiday activity of all was catching the ferry to Rottnest Island. Rottnest was stunning:


I may have forced my poor husband to cycle further than he really wanted to around the island, but this is why. Quokkas! Look at them!


I mean, come on, they’re worth a little sweat and pain, aren’t they?


Yeah I know, I’m a little obsessed with them.

Overall I think I would have preferred to do one OR the other — attend a con or have a holiday. I felt, over the week, that I couldn’t commit enough time to either of them. And that wasn’t entirely fair to either — to the folks who put on such a brilliant con, or the husband who flew across the country to spend time with me. A lesson learned? Who the hell knows?


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  1. Janette

    Oh, I LOVE Rottnest! Went there years ago and still remember feeding quokkas. Pause for wave of nostalgia. Awww.

    Swancon sounds wonderful, would have loved to go but just couldn’t quite manage it. So sorry to miss your panel and WORSE, to miss the reading from THE BOOK!!! 😀

  2. Joanne

    I did miss the company of my Orbiteers :)

  3. Rabia

    Oh, how lovely you look. Almost as cute as those quokkas. 😀

  4. Joanne

    *almost chokes on coffee* Thanks Rabia :p

    Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

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