Category: Fun


So I have just done one of the most amazing things I’ve ever participated in. Why am I posting about this on what is primarily my writing blog? That’s easy, because writers need to experience new things and sometimes step away from the books to clear out the head.

What is GISHWHES? I got asked that a lot over the last little while. In short it is the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen. It was created by an actor as, I believe, a way to do silly things, help charity, change lives and create community. It grew beyond his wildest expectations.

I’ve wanted to do it for a couple of years and so made my mind up that I was going to do it this year no matter what. (Sadly they have said this is the last year, hopefully, and I know I’m not the only one hoping this, they will reinvent it next year). I met someone who had done it before and was happy for me to join her team, a fact for which I was incredibly grateful, as having someone with experience is a good thing.

The best way to do this is to set out to have fun. Teams can be local or international, the competitive teams are international due to the fact challenges have to be done in a variety of locations, though you don’t need to do all the challenges.

Sure I’m a competitive person but I kind of figured first time out let’s not go in thinking you’re going to win. I’m glad I didn’t because that meant I could really focus on what I wanted to get out of it and that was fun, charity work I’d been meaning to do (good intentions however are not as effective with me it turns out as a deadline – that could be the writer in me), and push myself out of my comfort zone.

Now I’m no stranger to pushing my limits and my comfort zone, I am not a sporty person yet I’ve done two Tough Mudders and a Spartan race, both so far outside that zone that Wondered at my sanity. This was a little different and a whole lot sillier. The most insane thing I did was buy an inflatable couch, take it to the beach on a choppy, stormy day and try to surf on it and I did it, I actually got to my feet.The Unicorn Mafia (1).png

I also sat in my hammock in a storm, complete with hail, whilst drinking wine and reading, I wrote a 2000 word essay on the best way to fall pregnant for the 10th time (something I have no experience in, nor any intention to have happen) and then published via twitter at 140 characters at a time. I designed and made silly items, I held up signs of support and strangeness and annoyed my kids. I also got the opportunity to help the homeless and support a women’s shelter, two things that I have been paying lip service to doing for longer than I care to admit.

This event that lasted only a week had me up late at night researching, creating and cursing. It had me up early on my days off doing things I never would have dreamed possible. It has given me a few regrets, I really wish I’d been able to pull off a ballet troupe having a bar fight and bikies on a bouncy castle, and I wish I’d received a response from the cancer support organisation, but you can’t have everything.

What did I get from it though, I’m sure people wonder. Also an easy answer. I got to push myself into places I’ve never been before and it is always good to get yourself out of the rut we often don’t realise we are in, it can bring a refreshing to our lives and allow us to get back into the ‘normal’ with a greater understanding of ourselves and a revitalised attitude. I gained a sense of satisfaction of achieving things I set out to do and from helping others less fortunate than myself. I made friends locally and around the world and became part of a community of people who understands that in unity lives can be changed.

I take from this last week a joy, satisfaction and some incredible memories. I was so tired by the end but I didn’t care. Near the end my hubby said he could see me crashing, and that had nothing to do with cars, or tiredness but to do with the fact I’d interacted with so many, I am not by definition a people person, and so I have spent considerable time, when not at work, over the last few days with my head in a book, someone else or my own. I have a clearer head and a passion to get some more tasks done and write more from the wonderful world I have created in my head. I feel refreshed.

Would I do this again? In a heartbeat. I long for another chance because I think having done it once I have a better understanding of what is required and what I can achieve. Thank you The Unicorn Mafia for allowing me to be part of your team, you’re amazing.

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Long Past Due

So SupaNova was weeks ago and I said I’d write about but somehow I got to here and I haven’t done.
I have been so busy with my writing. Which is a good thing believe me.
The June ‘Nova tour was awesome. It was always going to be, I can’t tell you how many of us were so excited when John Barrowman announced that he was coming. That was a huge draw card, Stan Lee was big for Sydney and that was one reason for me to do the double but seriously John Barrowman was in my top 5 of all time, celebs that I wanted to meet. Was it worth it…
What do you think?
Seriously though try these for size:IMG_0947




Yeah I know awesome right!!!

It wasn’t all Barrowman, there were plenty of other awesome people.




Then there were my Perth pics:


Of course these people were only part of the reason that ‘Nova is such a big thing for me, the real reason is these guys

For me ‘Nova has become a group of people I catch up with several times a year, who I have a bunch in common with. They are people who accept that part of me that embraces the fantastical, that wanders through the make believe. I love my weekends with these people.
The best bit is it fuels me.
As a writer there are ebbs and flows in the process. I suppose when you’re a published author you have deadlines to keep you in line. When you’re like me and just working towards that goal there are only self imposed deadlines. And to an extent they work. It can be hard to constantly be self-motivated though and we all need things in our lives that refresh, reinvigorate us. For me acting and ‘Nova fill that roll, though it’s been too long since I’ve been on stage. At the moment I’m refreshed and part of that is to do with ‘Nova, another part is to do with the fact that someone really likes what I’ve written so far and sometimes a positive word is all it takes to ignite a fire under your butt.

Thank you everyone from ‘Nova you are awesome and I hope you know it.

So Many Things

So many things to write about and just no time at the moment.
The first and foremost reason for that is the last two weekends were spent indulging my geeky nature as a vollie at SupaNova. I spent time in the photo booth in both Sydney and Perth and met some amazing individuals. I’ll post about that in more detail when I have time to upload my have pics.
Also I have possibly have some exciting news, I hope. If all the stars align and it does become real news then I will definitely keep you updated.
For the moment though I really have to get my head down and my fingers flying across the keyboard.
If dreams are to come true I am a firm believer in the fact that you have to work hard for them. Sure some people don’t, but with most of us, you never see the blood, the sweat and the tears. Believe me dreams are built of all three.

It’s That Time

It certainly is. It is SupaNova windup time.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of volunteering at a SupaNova interstate.
I’m sure there are heaps of people who wonder why on earth I would do that, but here’s the thing, I’m not the only one who did it.
SupaNova is one crazy family spread across the land of Australia. The people who vollie are awesome.
It is no secret though that this round of the con was plagued with some last minute cancellations that just couldn’t be replaced but you know what… So What!. It was still a wonderful time and the celebs were great.
My voice wasn’t as tested as my home Nova as the crowds weren’t quite as vocal but that doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy themselves, I heard some wonderful feedback about the event. Me I had some really fun times.
So lets start with the obligatory signed photos.

This one is just going to wait now until I can have some other autographs added to it then it will be truly awesome.


And now I’ve started a Middle Earth Collection (this one has the potential to get ridiculously big). Bring on Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch oh and Sean Bean and the awesome Viggo – a girl can always dream.




Also the problem with going to these events and having actually had your first photo taken with someone means you kind of feel the need to add to that collection. (Or maybe that is just me.) Of course it is worse when you have a picture with one person from a favourite show because if you haven’t already started a show collection it can be easier to say to yourself ‘I can’t really afford that this time.’ Sadly for me I have an addictive personality, as my hubby can attest to (fortunately it manifests in geeky paraphernalia and feeling the fitness burn) which means now I’ve started it’s way easier to say, ‘just one more’ than, ‘I really shouldn’t’.






The thing is I get that actors have to work and sometimes have to cancel, in no way do I begrudge them that and I don’t see why people do, the actors don’t belong to us (their fans), they have to work, they have bills to pay and families to look after. I think we should just learn to enjoy the ones who can make our con circuit, and lets face it some of them may surprise you. Mark Addy was such a wonderful man, so friendly and fun, I was waiting for the next line to start for the photo booth and was dancing to some random song I could here and he started grooving behind his signing desk along with me. Was a fun and abstract highlight.


I also get to meet some writers, and this cheeky fellow is Jay Kristoff, to my total amusement we were staying in the same hotel and though the temptation to stalk him may have been there I totally behaved myself and stayed civilised, you may never know what that cost me.

There is another highlight to the con. My con family. I have met people just as happy to be called fan boys and girls as I am. People just as crazy about some things as I am. In this case though I’m not just talking about those who attend the con but they can be pretty awesome; for example I’ve had people buy me throat lozenges because they know I’ll be spending a second day shouting and encouraging them to get excited, I’ve also been sung to and laughed with. But no, I’m not just talking about them, I’m talking about you crazies who volunteer your time to make sure the con can go ahead. You know who you are. I am particularly fond of those who I get to work with in the photo booth. Our boss is awesome and we are a team, together we have fun and make sure everyone gets the chance to get pics with who they want. My con family is a place I feel at home away from home. I love it.

PS I did manage to get some writing done too. Not much I admit but a few words is better than no words, I’m sure you will agree.

SupaNova ’13

Well it was most awesome.
That really sums it up.
I didn’t work the bookstall this year. Me I volunteered, I had thought maybe my experience in dealing with difficult people would mean I might get to be a PA, but that’s really the top, only experienced people get to do that. So I was pretty happy when I ended up working in the photo booth. I figured I’d get to see most of the celebs a bit and I was supposed to be able to get to two seminars.
Imagine my slight disappointment then when I discovered I would be so busy volunteering that I wouldn’t get to any seminars. However there was a big bonus right from the beginning. I really liked H, the lady running the photo booth. I thought right from the beginning that working with her would be huge amounts of fun.
Turns out I was right.
Conventions are great fun. They give me the chance to indulge the geek part of myself that is sometimes not really able to be let loose. I got to briefly meet one of my fav all time writers, Raymond E Feist.
Also met Jay Kristoff and got him to sign my books – didn’t get a pic with him though and wish I’d had to think of asking for one.
Then of course was this:
Knights 4
My teen self thoroughly geeked out at this:
Hoff 1
My Firefly fangirl loved this:
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And this:
Wash 1
Then who doesn’t want to get strangled by a Princess:
I also got a LOTR signature:
Karl 1
So for a whole weekend I was around my own people. Shouting out instructions and trying to keep people moving and positive about the wait time. By the sunday I got applause and throat lozenges and even a song. I told a heap of people to breathe and saw more than a few tears.
I was fortunate to meet nearly all the stars. I got to speak to the Phelps twins, joke with the Merlin boys, get into a couple of group shots with the amazing guests and wonder if they had an over 6 foot height policy for the male guests (boy did I feel short), though there were a couple of a more normal height.
All up it was a flat out busy but great weekend. Made better by the fact I got to work with some awesome people – you totally know who you are guys. I am very much looking forward to next year.
Being a fangirl or a geek puts you in a community that seems rather accepting of certain eccentricities and for me that is a great thing. It means I can truly embrace the part of me that loves to escape reality and just hide elsewhere for a while.
Also being around that much positive energy and fandom is really refreshing for the creative soul at the core of me.
I love my SupaNova experience and now you all know it.
I am inspired.

Comic Con

I had my Comic Con and it was wonderful. In fact I think it may have gotten me through what became an incredibly full on week at work. I only had thursday off.
Here are a couple of things I want to share.
General Jack O’Neil with me and hubby.RDA! 2
My fave X-Men.
Enough said.
This is a sexy, sexy man.
JMo! 1

So I added to my signed pics and started a new collection of prints from illustrators.
This was such a good day.
My week hasn’t been just getting through work on the Comic Con buzz. No I managed to find time to write. I started one day thinking about a couple of scenes I thought might be necessary. Throughout the course of the day one of those scenes became quite an extended piece of writing and a crucial moment for my characters. I felt so good at the end of that writing session. Sure I wish I had more time to work on it then but life and work goes on. The key to writing when you have another job which you are required to do to pay the bills, is write when you can and don’t push too hard. If you push too hard you will wear yourself out on many levels, everything will suffer and you will have to walk away for a while. I don’t like having to walk away so I try to get my stuff all balanced, of course that is much easier to say than do at times.


I’m a little tired right now. Today has been really full on. I worked my 12 hrs yesterday but then did a bit more as OT that was tiring but it paid for one of my things at Comic Con tomorrow. I am so looking forward to that.
Yes I’ve been writing. Once I get my office sorted out I’m pretty sure I’ll get better flow happening but I’m writing a bit and any words down on the page is a good thing.
Tomorrow though is Comic Con and it will be a great way to refresh myself. How can it not be. I will spend time with like minded people, celebs from some of my fave shows and memories. The big one this year is Richard Dean Anderson. Yes that is right Capt Jack O’Neil is in town and my geek can’t wait.
Exhausted too. So exhausted in fact due to much of my day being spent working on costumes. I don’t mind though. I haven’t had time to do one for myself but that’s okay, SuperNova is still to come and I’ll hopefully be ready for that.
Thing is it is good as a writer to remember to take time to refresh yourself. Get around like minded people, get around those who can feed your creativity. Take some time out from working and just do something for you.
I expect tomorrow to be very exhausting, I probably won’t get everything done I want because well the munchkins won’t want to sit still for the panels, but you know what I don’t care. I get to feed my inner geek and fan girl and spend time with my family. It is totally going to be worth it. And I am sure I will come back refreshed.
Though chances are it would be more effective if I wasn’t working monday, I’ll take what I can get.

Supernova 2012

This was the post I did just after Supernova a couple of weekends ago, for my review site. I wanted to add a bit to give it a little more relevance for this blog.

I learnt a little something at Supernova. One: that Matthew Reilly’s fans kicked ass over Christopher Paolini’s. Two: Duncan Lay is an incredible example of how to sell your own books – don’t just sit behind the table but get out and approach people, he made so many sales that way. Three: don’t underestimate the power of the fan or an appearance – some people bought entire backlists to get signed even though they already owned copies.

The other thing is – HOW COOL WOULD IT BEE TO BE SITTING WITH THOSE AUTHORS AND MEETING FANS!!!!! Yes I know all caps is like shouting but if you are a writer you know exactly where I am coming from.

So now that is done with I’ll let you get on with the rest of the post.

PS. Before I do that I’d just like to send out a shout out to all Supernova goers because this year broke loads of records.

Okay the thing is I am a fan girl, actors/authors/characters, and I love it. I am totally unashamed of this part of my personality. A great thing about being me is I know plenty of others who indulge in geekdom and fandom as well. I was not alone this weekend, in fact SuperNova Perth had it’s biggest weekend there ever. It was huge and so much fun.

Why am I posting this you may wonder? Well because the sci-fi/fantasy fans are the best. We are avid and passionate. For many of us it starts at a young age, books/comics we love it and we devour it.

This weekend I saw cartoon characters, movie characters, comic book characters, tv show characters, game characters and book characters. Now is the time I will point out that a great many of these characters come from written word formats in one way or another. If you have kids who are avid readers and you want something to challenge them but will not have inappropriate themes, then often fantasy is a good place to go (not George RR Martin though). If you have reluctant readers give them a comic book. Reading is reading, and that is a good thing, and conventions are a great place to realise just how great it can be to escape for just a little while.

I have friends who dressed up as manga characters (they cosplay regularly). They were a huge hit over the weekend and spent much time being photographed by complete strangers. [Manga is something that can be read not just watched – for those of you out of the loop.]

A convention is also a great place to meet authors and get your favourite book/s signed and even find some new authors to try.

JB Thomas, Duncan Lay, Juliet Marillier, Bevan McGuiness, Marianne dePierres, Matthew Reilly, Christopher Paolini

Or see illustrators/artists in action.

The wonderful Marc McBride painting up a storm

One of my highlights was meeting Noah Hathaway who played Atreyu in the film version of one of my fave books as a kid The NeverEnding Story.

My signed pic…I totally geeked out over this.

We who are prepared to geek out salute you!!!