Tag Archives: holidays

And just like that, the holidays are ending…

Two weeks pass like the blink of an eye. At least I didn’t lose most of the break to Teen Wolf like I did LAST break, but a full week of gardening apparently sucks your time just as much as an addictive TV show :) The skip was absolutely chockers by the time it was picked up on Friday last week; I don’t reckon we could have fit even one more stick in! And the yard and gardens looked SO much better for it. But I don’t want to have to do that again – it’s just not my thing…

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In between the yard work we managed to sneak in some socialising – first up was a great get together (the deck warming!) at Donna and Matt’s place, which was just delightful. An ever-changing guest lineup as people came and went throughout the afternoon, with much excellent conversation and food! We also spent a morning with Karen and her kiddies, with lots of baby cuddles at last! Miss G had stroke clinic for swimming three days both weeks, and Master D had daycare, so it was just me and Master J and Master M for a lot of the time. Husband rolled in and out briefly, between work and Tassie trip, and Granna and Grandpop arrived around lunchtime Friday, just in time for me to head to Conflux!


The view from the deck at the deck warming…

I was one of the guests of the Conflux 11 convention, so went in for the opening ceremony late afternoon. MC Laura Goodin did a lovely job opening proceedings, and I had a chance to catch up with a few people early on. I had a little car drama (mechanical issues) when I went to pick up Dirk Flinthart from the airport, but managed to not be too late to collect him! I then took advantage of my night alone at the hotel (was joined my Miss G for the rest of the weekend) and crashed out very early indeed – it had been a big week.

The convention saw me on a heap of panel items, but we started out on Saturday with the launch of Striking Fire by Dirk Flinthart – Dirk arranged at the last minute to have wine delivered and we managed plastic cups to serve it in, alongside the chocolate I had organised. We also had a prize draw of the Dirk books plus a tote bag and notebook, and it was a very convivial and fun launch!

Photo by Cat Sparks

Photo by Cat Sparks

After lunch I had an insane five panels in a row, and it was a bit like that for the whole weekend! Thank goodness for Elanor and Miss G, who took excellent care of the FableCroft sales table while I was not there. It was a wonderfully interesting program (thanks to Leife Shallcross) and I hope I didn’t repeat myself much! Luckily my fellow panelists were erudite and articulate and they all went pretty well, I think. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and though I didn’t do any of the evening socialising (except a brief sojourn at the banquet with Miss G), I still got lots of time to chat with friends, get to know new people, and be inspired by the writers and creators around me.


Photo by Cat Sparks

Short Story Markets
The Editor’s Diary
What about Who?
Cranky Ladies of History
The Appeal of the Superhero
Guest of Honour Talk: Tehani Wessely (thank you SO MUCH to Cat Sparks for interviewing me for the GoH talk – she asked awesome questions!)
A Big Enough Audience
Paying for our passion – writing sacrifices
Alternate Publishing Options
Literary Awards and Judging
Book Promotion
Words of Wisdom
Closing Ceremony and Awards

See Cat Sparks’ fab photos of the convention at her Flickr, here!

Once the convention was over, we had the rest of the week for family sorts of things. This included Miss G turning 10 (where on earth has THAT decade gone?!) and an impromptu bowling party – she had swimming for four hours in the morning, so I sneakily arranged to pick up a couple of her school friends to join us for bowling. The look on her face when they popped up out from the back seat of the car when we picked her up was delightful :)

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Mum and I got some quality shopping time in, and Grandpop and the big boys variously got some fishing (although didn’t have much luck with the catching – not really the goal though, I reckon…) and we enjoyed just hanging out. Husband was home briefly and we managed to get the mechanical issues quickly sorted out for the car he drives back and forth several hundred kilometres per week, as well as duck in a find a new phone for him before he disappeared into the sunset again! Making the most of the short periods of time we have :)

And now it’s the last day of the holidays. Granna and Grandpop have gone off for a bit of a driving holiday on their way home, and I’m working through a few last holiday jobs and tidying up before back to school tomorrow. I think I’ll call this break a big success!


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It’s holidays again!

Time really does speed up as you get older, I’m sure of it. I mean, yes, I had two weeks off work post-appendectomy, but still, term 3 absolutely flew by and here we are again at school holidays. And if every day in the next fortnight is as productive as today, by gum I’ll be taking over the world!

The kids were up early (surprise surprise) but also happily did some tidying up and got ready in a timely manner so we could head out to drop off drycleaning, swing past the hardware store for some gardening equipment, then head to dentist appointments (which I managed to snag just yesterday!). On the way we dropped the car to the lovely Star Wash to be beautified while we were elsewhere (it was SO filthy!) and after our appointments (all good, though we’re looking down the barrel of some major orthodontics for at least two of the kids – and I booked in for wisdom teeth extraction in two weeks, eep!) we even took ourselves to lunch! 

Came home in our lovely clean car, put the little boys to bed, and who knows why but I started in on the gardens again. Master 12 hauled the pruning I started last week into the skip that got delivered Thursday, and I continued with my mission to tidy the darn yard and gardens. For two hours. I don’t even know who I AM anymore!! It’s starting to look a lot better, though I was very cross that the (admittedly cheap) spade I bought didn’t even get through one digging job before the handle snapped! Will be returning THAT tomorrow…

Spent a lovely hour after that colouring (don’t judge me, it’s very relaxing when you have no brain left) and watched the short web series Airlock, a fantastic Aussie scifi production – it was great! 

So what’s in store for the rest of the break? Miss 9 has some swimming commitments (and will become Miss 10 in the second week). Hoping to get Master 5 to some holiday gymnastics again. More garden tidying. A book or two to work on (and several to read). Mum & Dad visiting, which we’re really looking forward to, and flying visits from husband. And I’m guest at the Conflux convention here in Canberra on the middle weekend of the hols, so that should be great! One of the events is the launch of our latest book, Dirk Flinthart’s debut collection STRIKING FIRE – looking forward to sharing that one with people. (You can win a copy or preorder here!).

For now, I think I’m in for an early night – all that fresh air has worn me out!

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Well, that was the holidays

While I know intellectually I’ve achieved a fair bit these holidays, at the same time it feels like the two weeks have absolutely flown by and I can’t quite believe I have to go back to work tomorrow. Luckily I love my job, so it’s not actually a huge hardship, but boyoboy, I needed that break!

IMG_9852So what HAVE we done? Well the holidays started out with a very social weekend thanks to the Aurealis Awards (I storified them here) and lots of catching up with visitors to town surrounding that. We then spent a lovely few hours on the first Monday having a barbecue with friends out at the Cotter Reserve, which we’d never been to before. But after that, other than (twice) daily swimming for the kids, I spent several days decompressing. For a while there, I just couldn’t focus on anything – I couldn’t finish a book, or even an episode of a tv show! I feel like it was a ridiculously busy term, and even though I enjoyed the work I was doing, what with finishing two books to bring out in March and April on top of everything else, plus Swancon over Easter (and a weekend work conference the week before that), I was just fried. I did very little during the first week but read books and hang out with the kids. I had really hoped to meet up with a few people for drinks, but I had trouble even dealing with emails for a few days, let alone real human interaction.

However, by the beginning of the second week, I started feeling a bit more normal. I went to see Cinderella with Miss 9 (it was, hmm, nice. Yep, that’s about it) on the Monday when husband was (far to briefly) home. Master 2 was at daycare each day still, and Master 5 had daily swimming lessons for the holidays, which got us out of the house nice and early each day. He had a teacher to himself too, which was great! M9 had regular squad the first week each afternoon, but three half day stroke clinics Tues/Wed/Thurs of the second week, so we spent a fair bit of time shuttling back and forth to the pool.

I had some goals for the break, and I’m actually pretty pleased with what I got done.

  • cleaned bathroom ceiling (took about half an hour after I put it off for several months!)
  • cleaned bathrooms
  • cleaned out and sorted all the kids’ cupboards
  • cleaned up kids’ bedrooms
  • sorted out bookcases and displayed pewter and crystal at last
  • completely finished washing/folding/ironing AND putting everything away
  • organised 2013-2014 tax for accountant (at LAST)
  • sent out a bunch of books to purchasers and reviewers etc
  • set the ball rolling for some new publishing projects
  • facilitated playdates for children
  • watched an AWFUL lot of “television”
  • saw Avengers: Age of Ultron (with the bigger kids)
  • rebuilt the FableCroft website
  • read a bunch of books
  • started the process to call for judges for the 2015 Aurealis Awards, and worked on a few things behind the scenes
  • spend an awful lot of time on Twitter and Facebook
  • hung out with the kids

There was probably more, but that’s what I can remember!

IMG_9804And now I’m back to work for what will probably be another busy term (they always are!) but should be lots of fun too. I have a staff retreat the second week back, which will hopefully keep my batteries charged. Once more unto the breach!

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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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