Monthly Archives: September 2009

More holiday fun – except now it’s more like work!

Yesterday I took the kids to the shops, to buy Master Six yet another new pair of goggles for swimming lessons next week – he got two pairs for swimming lessons a few weeks ago and managed to lose one pair (the expensive ones, naturally) and the other set simply didn’t work for him. Also managed to find some ginormous swimmers and boardies for me, as I’ll take Missy Three in the pool too while he’s got lessons. Will not be pretty, but at least I’ll be decent! We also picked up some bits and pieces for Missy’s birthday party goody bags – essential shopping that!

I then took the pair of them to the lovely new cinemas next to the shopping centre and we watched "Shorts" – only two toilet breaks for Missy, which is good, and we saw most of it – kids both enjoyed it, I didn’t hate it, win! 

Today was the first day of the national library conference – I broke my Perth public transport virginity and caught the train up – very easy and not too crowded for most of the journey up to Perth. Not quite so nice on the way home – Royal Show traffic I’m guessing, cos I left early to avoid the peak travel time, to no avail. Was packed, and I was most cross to see the amount of teenagers sitting in seats while there were lots of adults, elderly and pregnant people (ie: ME!) standing! Rude little shits.

Enjoyed the day otherwise – program is pretty good, some great speakers and lots of food for thought! I’ve been merrily tweeting it today, forgetting I’d made my Twitter private – changed the settings tonight so hopefully will actually be useful to more than one or two people on my Tweet buddies list tomorrow!

Off to get organised for tomorrow now – and update some Last Short Story spreadsheets!

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Holidays the second

Sunday was spent not achieving much actually. I’m sure I did stuff, but I dunno what it was! Took Miss 3 to her friend’s house for friend’s party, and had a nice chat with the family and visitors. Master 6 and I came home and he attempted to have the first swim for the warm weather but completely chickened out, much to my amusement. Picked Missy up about 6ish (after a quick nanna nap), and came home to feed kids, put them to bed, then watch Watchmen (thanks Bigpond Movies) while turning a PDF of New Ceres Nights into an RTF. In 2.5 hours I got through <2 stories. This could take some time. If anyone knows a better way to convert PDFs to USABLE rtfs, I’d like to know about it! Because I’m transferring from approx A5 PDF to A4 doc, I have to go through at fix all the unnecessary hard returns (and add in the tabs, which have disappeared shard it! And I can’t just use the original rtf files because all our final edits/proofing was done on the InDesign files after layout. Sigh. Just takes time I guess.

But that’s pretty much the only thing I’ve done this last two days that was even remotely on my list of jobs! Today we changed Master Six’s VacSwim course to the short course days, which now means instead of nice early classes we’re mid-afternoon, which kind of sucks, but anyway… Also went and drove around the train station carpark to check parking prices (nil!) so I’ll be public transporting to the ASLA conference this week! That’s right, I’ve NEVER been on the train here! I’ve done it in other cities, but not here, so it’s a big adventure really :) Not much else achieved today, except I finally vacuumed the car (which needs a far stronger vacuum than mine is these days – think I might need to get it professionally detailed after so long neglected) and that’s about it!

So very little achieved on the job list front, but some productivity, sort of. And I forgot to put Last Short Story and Aurealis judging reading on the list, which is something I’m doing and can tick off daily!

Tax
X amount of book reviews (X being an unknown value, but I’m pretty sure is currently <5)
Enjoy house settlement!
If house settlement is enjoyed, organise new aircon, freestanding dishwasher and perhaps pool equipment.
Marking – four assignments
Go through clothes and bedding and get rid of a bunch
Sell boat (this may be a problem with husband and son, but seriously, we’ve had it TWO YEARS and it’s NEVER been used! Hubby has no boat licence and the boat is no longer registered! Waste of space…)
Get WA drivers’ licence – yeah yeah, been here two years now…
National Library Conference (three days)
Organise and have Miss Three’s 4th birthday party! Have bought invites, have pressies, just the party really. (booked venue and wrote party invites, ordered special balloons!)
Entertain children!
TPP jobs (Fictionwise, newsletter) (minimal progress made!)
WASLA newsletter
Finish slushing and finalise Spec Fic for Kids lineup!
Last Short Story reading
Aurealis reading

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Aurealis Awards closing soon!

It’s that time of the year again. Aurealis entries close at the end of October. I’ve been finding YA novels and short stories that are eligible for the category I’m judging and pass them on to coordinator Ron Serdiuk to chase down, but authors and publishers need to make sure they’re on top of this too – doesn’t matter where in the world something was published, as long as it is first published between November 1 2008 and October 31 2009, is spec fic of some kind, and written by someone of Aussie affiliation! Details below, so get your entries in!

Hi everyone -

This is just a quick email to remind you that we have only just over a month to go before entries close in the Aurealis Awards 2009 process.

To be eligible for entry, works must have been written by an Australian citizen or permanent resident and first published in English between 1st November 2008 and 31st October 2009.

Go to our website for further information – www.aurealisawards.com

Or you can go straight to our online entry form – http://www.aurealisawards.com/form.php/aurealis/begin

While all works are given fair and equal consideration, it’s in your own best interests to enter – ASAP!

Our judges appreciate the time to give each work as thoughtful and considered a response as possible rather than being deluged at the last moment. And contrary to urban myth, entries received near our closing deadline will not be “fresher” in the minds of our judges and therefore, not be likely to place higher.

We encourage entries from as far and wide as possible – so please help us by spreading the word!

Regards

Ron Serdiuk
Aurealis Awards Coordinator 2009

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Holidays!

Started the holidays out with a bang yesterday (we had an extra day for being a Catholic school :) ) – the kids both had school/daycare, so I dropped Master Six at school in the morning (second time all year!) and them Missy Three at daycare, and hied off to the shopping centre for a ME day! Got my hair done (new hairdresser on recommendation of a work colleague – very nice, but a bit dearer than I’m used to!), a pedicure, a facial, had lunch with the girls (and one husband, who is completely un-intimidated by five women!) and shopped! Was awesome.

Today we mostly spent at home, other than a quick trip to the grocery store (unimpressed with the "night" fill bloke who knocked Miss Three over with his massive trolley in the middle of the busiest hour of a Saturday – night fill means NIGHT!), but got the kids’ rooms completely cleaned up to start the hols, and all the washing caught up, which is a nice start. Also updated a few spreadsheets I’d got a bit behind on and a few other bits and pieces jobs – trying to have a productive fortnight as there’s lots that needs doing!

Hopefully, will achieve the following in the next two weeks:

Tax
X amount of book reviews (X being an unknown value, but I’m pretty sure is currently <5)
Enjoy house settlement!
If house settlement is enjoyed, organise new aircon, freestanding dishwasher and perhaps pool equipment.
Marking – four assignments
Go through clothes and bedding and get rid of a bunch
Sell boat (this may be a problem with husband and son, but seriously, we’ve had it TWO YEARS and it’s NEVER been used! Hubby has no boat licence and the boat is no longer registered! Waste of space…)
Get WA drivers’ licence – yeah yeah, been here two years now…
National Library Conference (three days)
Organise and have Miss Three’s 4th birthday party! Have bought invites, have pressies, just the party really.
Entertain children!

ETA: TPP jobs (Fictionwise, newsletter)
WASLA newsletter
Finish slushing and finalise Spec Fic for Kids lineup!

Lots of little jobs involved in all that I guess. Fun!

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Mini-reviews #12

Ah school holidays, how I love thee! Gets me all motivated and caught up!

The Book from Baden Dark
, James Moloney, 380pp. – I’m not really commenting on the Aurealis judging books I’m reading. But I read it :)                                               
White Star, Beth Vaughan, 252pp. – More romance novel than fantasy. Had a bit more polish than debut predecessor "Red Gloves" but was a bit obvious I think. Enjoyed the characters.

Fragile Eternity
, Melissa Marr, 389pp. – I kind of object to this being billed as YA, as the characters don’t behave or "feel" YA – even though they are in the right age range, they act in adult roles and don’t make teenage choices. I found it hard to feel anything much for the characters, as this is the third in the series, and I wasn’t all that invested. Not a bad read, and I daresay if I’d read the previous two, I would have enjoyed it more. Review coming from Fiction Focus.

Evernight, Claudia Gray, 327pp. – Best YA paranormal I’ve read in ages. It’s well written, got a good, if not unique premise, and the first half of the book was very cleverly put together. I really enjoyed reading it, and will be seeking out the following books with high hopes.

Raven’s Shadow
, Patricia Briggs – Briggs is a gifted storyteller, and her fantasy duologies are a great example of this. She provides unusual fantasy fare, not following the traditional formats, and I love it.

Raven Strike, Patricia Briggs – The second of the Raven duology, this book is a solid sequel and should not be read without having read Raven’s Shadow, but both are excellent.

Without Warning, John Birmingham, 560pp. – I’m a huge fan of Birmo’s World War 2.0 trilogy, and when I came across this I snapped it up. I’m so pleased I did. It was tightly plotted alternate future history, sublimely executed and just awesome. Loved it!

Circus of the Damned, The Lunatic Cafe, Bloody Bones, The Killing Dance,
Laurell K Hamilton – Okay, so I managed to run out of books. I had nothing new on the shelf that was jumping out at me (in fact, I think there was only one or two books there anyway!), so I decided the Anita Blakes could do with a reread. I often tell people the series is great til the fifth or sixth book, so wanted to prove it to myself. For some reason, books 1 & 2 are missing from my collection (ack!) so I started with book 3. And was absolutely amazed by a) how NONE sex there is! and b) how much of the original worldbuilding and characterisation changes from the early books to the later ones. I didn’t realise how much of her original premise Hamilton ignores later in the series, but it’s really obvious on the reread. Still, these early books are good solid stories, with great characters and interesting ideas. Book 6, the power and sex games start, and I think it’s downhill from here. Have a bunch of new books today though, so I won’t be rereading any more for a while :)

The Eternal Kiss,
Trisha Telep (ed), 416pp – A great collection of paranormal YA shorts, a lot of which actually focus on the downsides and darkness of vampirism, rather than the happy "Twilight" type! A very strong collection. See standout mentions over at Last Short Story.

Troll’s Eye View, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (eds), 200pp – A very pretty book to read, and some fun and creepy short stories here, looking at traditional fairy tales from the darker side – the villain’s perspective! See standout mentions at LSS, but a solid collection overall for upper primary and lower secondary ages. And some grownups :)

Holidays! So no doubt more soon :)

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