Category Archives: Me

The holidays are over, and what have we done?

Well, for starters, I spent SEVERAL DAYS driving several children across three states. We left on the first Wednesday of the holidays, and surprised Mum & Dad by turning up on their doorstep, which was fun. Then my husband decided he didn’t need to be in Tassie after Saturday, and I thought “Ooh, good opportunity to share the driving!” so he flew up to Toowoomba. Which mean I drove 3 hours to collect him, then 3 hours back. Which was fine, because I thought, well, instead of leaving Tuesday as I’d planned, we could stay the extra day then just do the trip in one day on Wednesday. HA! No no, instead, he says “Why don’t we go to Byron Bay and visit Marty & Kath? Today.” So we packed up the gear and drove to Byron Bay, and stayed Monday and Tuesday nights with them. Thing is, it’s about as far from Byron Bay to Canberra as it is from Miles to Canberra, so that was an extra day’s travelling tacked on. And THEN he says, “Oh, and I’m taking a new vehicle back to Canberra for the business.” So now do I not only have an extra day’s travel, I ALSO NO LONGER HAVE A CO-DRIVER! *sigh* I still love him though. Anyway, so all that meant instead of getting back to Canberra on Wednesday, we got back Friday late afternoon. Which THEN meant I lost those extra couple of days I’d planned to work. Ah well. I got a fair bit achieved, including some more boxes unpacked today, all the washing done and the kids’ rooms cleaned. Plus some edits and a few other bits and bobs. Not as much as I’d hoped, but enough I don’t feel I wasted the holidays!

 

  • Edits for many, many stories. Announce and advance a couple of other projects in the works. Apply for a grant. (all FableCroft things) – got a bit of this done. We published Tansy’s first collection of essays, 50 Roman Mistresses and are almost finished with another collection as well, which is great. Got started on edits, and announced the tables of contents for INSERT TITLE HERE and PHANTAZEIN.
  • Interviews for a blog project. Done!
  • Write about eight zillion reviews (books and TV). – Erm, well, we did publish one Doctor Who review and two Eddings Reread reviews. Though I had many many more to do…
  • WA School Library Journal layout. – let’s not speak of this.
  • Application for Google Teacher Academy in Sydney. – half done, but not advanced since going away.
  • Sort and dispose of several boxes of toys. – Nup.
  • Catch up with friends. I can claim a little of this, but they are QLD friends, rather than Canberra ones! Really missed seeing some of our new local friends. Will have to devote some weekend time to that! Did get a cuppa with Donna yesterday, which was nice!
  • Paperwork/tax stuff. – ahem. No.
  • Keep up with emails – Not too bad!

It could have been worse. It could have been better. If we hadn’t gone away, I would have got loads more done, but you know what? We had fun. And the kids would have been bored staying here! Hopefully next hols they’ll have some friends they can spend some time with here, but I think we made the right choice.

 

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Keeping me honest

photo (38)

photo (37)

My holiday plans kind of went askew, because I decided to drive up to Queensland to spend a few days at Mum & Dad’s farm. The kids are having a ball, and though the temperatures are pretty frosty in the mornings, the sun is gorgeous! Master 1 is spending hours at a time outside, playing with the dogs and wandering the yard. Master 4 has decided he can’t be shown up by the baby and has overcome his concern about the dogs and also playing nicely, AND he caught the first fish of the holiday, much to Master 11’s disgust. Miss 8 spent the day at work with Granna on Friday being helpful, and has adopted one of the dogs as her personal friend. Master 11 has been fishing and bike riding with abandon and he and Grandpop have just disappeared to an offsite fishing spot, so he’s super happy. Of course, two days of driving (more than 1100km) and another two days of driving still to go home again has enshortened my break somewhat, but I’ll keep plugging away!

In the interests of keeping me honest, here’s my holiday list again, with a WHOLE POINT ticked off!

  • Edits for many, many stories. Announce and advance a couple of other projects in the works. Apply for a grant. (all FableCroft things)
  • Interviews for a blog project. Done! Well, the first part, anyway :)
  • Write about eight zillion reviews (books and TV).
  • WA School Library Journal layout.
  • Application for Google Teacher Academy in Sydney.
  • Sort and dispose of several boxes of toys.
  • Catch up with friends. I can claim a little of this, but they are QLD friends, rather than Canberra ones! 
  • Paperwork/tax stuff.
  • Keep up with emails – already struggling with that, but please bear with me! Actually, I’m happy with where things stand for this, despite the blow out of travel days. 

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School holidays

It’s school holidays and I feel like I’ve kind of fallen off the internet in my mad efforts to get ALL THE THINGS DONE in the two week break before ploughing back into my full-time and full-on job. I’ve spent most of the first few days cleaning, washing clothes (had to wash two boxes of clothes that got damp – luckily discovered before any damage was done!) and unpacking/moving boxes around. Also managed to get my hair done today (at LAST) and the kids got haircuts yesterday too – all looking very smart now. So, what else do I plan (hope) to achieve before school goes back?

  • Edits for many, many stories. Announce and advance a couple of other projects in the works. Apply for a grant. (all FableCroft things)
  • Interviews for a blog project.
  • Write about eight zillion reviews (books and TV).
  • WA School Library Journal layout.
  • Application for Google Teacher Academy in Sydney.
  • Sort and dispose of several boxes of toys.
  • Catch up with friends.
  • Paperwork/tax stuff.
  • Keep up with emails – already struggling with that, but please bear with me!

Sure, that’s doable, right?

 

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Hello blog, I miss you

While I do write up over at FableCroft more frequently than here these days, it’s not really at all the same thing, and I miss blogging here! Hopefully we’re getting back on track with our Doctor Who reviews soon, but I’m also going to make a concerted effort to put down more words in general at this place, else otherwise, where’s the proof it all happened? :)

Gosh, scrolling back through the last few posts here (and goodness, a long time between drinks there too!) it seems I really haven’t recorded much at all this year! I suppose a full-time job (and family and everything else on top) will do that to you. So, to sum up:

  • Still loving my job – it’s full on, engaging and lots of fun. There are challenges, but I’m enjoying finding ways to overcome them, and there are fantastic opportunities, which I’m loving grabbing hold of. This was a good move.
  • We had a FableCroft book party in Hobart in March, which was fun, and was nice that my parents were there (child-minding for a week!).
  • The CBCA Judges’ Conference in April was interesting – a very passionate group of people and some really hard decisions. As with any other judging panel, but bigger!
  • photo (36)Awards! Delighted to say we won an Aurealis Award for One Small Step in the Best Anthology category at the Aurealis Awards in April, which was awesome – it’s not the first AA something has won, and we’ve been shortlisted a few times, but it’s the first time I got to bring home a pretty trophy! I was also stoked that Jo Anderton won Best Collection for The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, and she also took out the Australian Shadows Award for the same category! Super cool. And at the Ditmars earlier this month, Tansy, David and I were awarded the William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism and Review for our conversational Doctor Who reviews, and because they both got pretty trophies (designed by the amazing Kathleen Jennings) for wins in other categories (yay!) I got to bring that one home too! Are they not beautiful? :)
  • I’ve more projects going on over at FableCroft than I can shake a stick at. Cranky Ladies was fully funded (148%!) in our Pozible campaign in March, and is simmering away with stories starting to trickle in; Insert Title Here is on the bubble, with a table of contents to be announced very shortly (and another special announcement to go with that too!); we launched Jo Anderton’s new novel Guardian at Continuum, and it’s starting to get some reviews around the traps; and there are another couple of things going on that are yet to be announced. SO MUCH GOOD STUFF!
  • I didn’t win NAFF, but I did make it to Continuum over the June long weekend anyway, and had an absolute ball. Only had two days there, but I think it’s possibly the most fun I’ve had at a convention ever! I was certainly on more panels than I’ve ever been on before! Caught up with loads of people, sold some books, learned some things – it was great.
  • Undertook my two CBCA Judge’s talks (one in Launceston, one in Hobart) to small but engaged audiences. Can’t say I’m sad I’m not judging again this year, because I’m still in a bit of “forced reading” fatigue. Hence probably the fact I’m doing a new reread review project of The Elenium and The Tamuli with Alex Pierce and Jo Anderton now – comfort reading for the win!
  • Aurealis Awards will soon open to entries – we’re trying to fix up some behind the scenes problems with the entry form before we go live, but looking forward to another year of finding out about all the great work that’s been published this year.
  • I’ve been gradually getting out and doing a little bit of socialising with friends around Canberra. Had an unexpected movie date with Shauna O’Meara the other day when I took a group of students to watch How to train your dragon 2 (which was fabulous!), so that was lovely, and met up with Rebecca James last weekend and Donna Hanson yesterday. Saw Nicole and a few others a few weeks ago at a Canberra Society of Editors meeting where we talked about our editing processes, and went out to dinner with my library staff last Friday. Still have lots of people I really want to see, but time is against me! I will get there…
  • Probably the biggest thing in the past few months is that the family have made the move to Canberra! With all the time sink and financial expense that goes with an interstate move. We’ve been trying to sell our house since January and FINALLY (having changed agents a couple of months ago) have an unconditional contract on the property. We’re losing a bucketload of money, but at least it’s (hopefully) done now. Holding our breath until it’s finalised though! Of course, that has meant a whole heap of living out of boxes, unpacking boxes, chucking stuff out because why have I bothered to cart it about for so long… All that stuff, but we’re slowly getting there! Just renting now (and for a while, I think) but a pretty good place, even if it can’t hold a candle to our lovely Launceston home :( Oh, and we have a nanny now! Because I have no idea how we would manage otherwise. She’s great, a young lady who used to babysit for us in WA, and we’re super lucky to have her. Kids are all settled into schools and doing pretty well, though we still miss our friends in Launceston. And WA, for that matter! Stupid nomadic family… :)

Is that it? No, of course not! But it will serve as a catch up for now. I’ll try to do better. Really, I will!

 

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It seems I am a NAFF candidate!

I unexpectedly became a NAFF candidate over the weekend, which was a fun trick! That Sarah Parker is a smooth talker :) If you care to vote, for me, the other candidate, or to hold over funds for next year’s race, please feel welcome to do so! Some details below:

Welcome to the NAFF race for 2014. The National Australian Fan Fund (NAFF) was created to assist fans to travel across Australia to attend the National Science Fiction Convention (Natcon). NAFF assists fans to travel to the Natcon and covers the costs of airfares and accommodation. The Natcon donates a convention membership.

This year’s successful delegate will be attending Continuum X: Carnival of Lost Souls (the National SF Convention) in Melbourne over the weekend of 6th – 9th June, 2014. More information about the convention can be found at http://continuum.org.au/c10/

It is expected that the winner will produce a report of their trip, engage in fundraising to support future NAFF races, and to help administer the NAFF race for the following two years.All Australian fans are eligible to vote. The voting process contributes to the fundraising so each vote costs $5. You are more than welcome to donate more than this amount!

Votes are being collected by: Sarah Lee Parker, John Parker (WA) and the candidates. For more information please contact Sarah at callisto@gmail.com. Voting opens Friday 18th April, 2014 and concludes at Midnight (AEST) Sunday 11th May, 2014.

Please make all cheques payable to NAFF or National Australian Fan Fund. Contact Sarah if you wish to pay via Paypal. Direct deposits to: NAFF (NAB), BSB: 083 004, ACC #: 13 949 2150  Cash, in person, is welcome, but not through the mail! Postal address: NAFF, PO Box 249, Pascoe Vale South, VIC, 3044

VOTING FORM AND CANDIDATE INFORMATION

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