Tag Archive: Friends


Power of the Creative

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A couple of days ago I woke to a social media feed filled with messages about what Stan Lee had meant to people from all over. I too added my voice to this. The worlds and characters he gave us spoke to so many and allowed many to realise they aren’t alone, that they can dream and achieve and that they should never let the naysayers have the last say.

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Stan is not the only person to speak to the heart of people. I have just spent another fortnight volunteering at a pop culture convention and it seems to me that society needs its creatives for it is they who can speak to the heart of matters more freely than others can bring themselves to. It is the creatives who nuture hope and dreams in those of us who feel we don’t quite fit in with what  society says is acceptable.

Yes I am fortunate that I have met many actors whose work I admire but ultimately that is not the reason I do the conventions. My reason is family. Not blood family but family none the less.

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My vollie family and regular con attendees have given me a place I feel welcome. I know this is not a feeling that solely belongs to me. Often those of us who feel we don’t quite fit, function just fine in ‘normal life’, we go to work we get on with our lives but at home we hide in worlds that come from other people’s minds. 

Characters show things we go through and this tells us we can’t be the only person struggling or experiencing something. Characters told me it was alright for girls to be smart, to be heard, to fight, to not be limited by what others say is acceptable behaviour, and that it is okay to break the mold. They let me know that perfect is a crock and life is messy but to be embraced in a manner that is true to self.

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I sometimes wonder at the reactions of people when they meet the actors who play their favourite characters because I think surely it is the characters they love not the actors. I’ve never had the same visceral reactions that some fans have. (However I did have a total ‘ OMG that just happened moment’ when I was kissed by the gentleman who voices Optimus Prime – and it was more to do with the gentleman himself rather than me being a fan of the Transformers.) Even though I wonder I sort of understand, because when someone shows you that something is okay for you to feel or be, it is a powerful thing.

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Personally my attachment is to characters rather than anyone who portrays that character. My attachments are a visceral thing; I swear at them, cry and laugh with them or because of them, I draw back into their worlds when I need to comfort myself, I become thoroughly invested in their lives. My goal as a writer is to create characters that other people like, or even better love. When I write it feels as though my characters talk to me. I don’t plan when I write, my characters tell me where they want to go. They are my friends. It seems natural to me that characters have life, they need life to speak to others. I only hope that in the course of putting words to paper that I do them justice.

I hope you’ll buy my books (Becoming and Steps to Destiny) at Amazon, {the links are Au but you can buy they from any region} if you haven’t already, but even if you don’t, do yourself a favour and buy someone’s book, go meet a new character today, you might be surprised at the outcome.

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Life is an Awfully Big Adventure

Well it is if you want it to be I suppose.
And I want it to be.
I love my family. I love my wacked out, crazy and at times surreal life. Of all things that could happen one of the things I would hate to become is boring.
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Don’t get me wrong, some parts of my life are incredibly boring.
A writers life can be, at times, very solitary, even when you have a family and a full time job. I’m simply not much of one for going out and partying. I would much rather stay home and curl up with my hubby watching something, with my head stuck in a good book, or with a pen in hand and a notebook in front of me. I like it like this but others would find it boring.
Of course for me writing is anything but. Writing gives me the chance to escape into some amazing and fantastical places and situations. I also like to practically choreograph my fight sequences and I am blessed with a hubby who is more than happy to work on that stuff with me. On any random night we could be working out some unarmed combat, a knife fight or a sword fight. So I suppose it’s not always boring.
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Life though continues to be fun though. It can be exhausting and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I work in a high stress job and I play in the land of celebrity and pop culture.
Volunteering at SupaNova is an amazing thing for me. I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful actors and voice actors. I have some fun stories to tell. I have also been blessed to see fans meeting their favourite performers, it can be an incredibly touching thing. I would dare anyone to meet Peter Cullen (the voice of Optimus Prime and Eeyore), watch him with his fans and not become one yourself. I even now have a favourite dwarf. I have seen people cry and scream with delight. Say what you will about fan boys and girls but indulging in their fandom is an adventure for them and they will get the chance to say they have had moments of great joy.
It is also through this that I have made some incredible friends. In fact for me they have become very much another family to me. They get me, well bits of me that other people may not understand. That could be the key.
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In some ways many of us strive to be understood. We may say we want to be accepted but acceptance comes from understanding. Work people in my life understand parts of me, they allow me to be freer in regards to some parts of my personality than other work environments have. Let’s face it I do rather like the word ‘no’, and many jobs don’t like you using that word. Theatre people and Nova people understand the dramatic, and sometimes fangirly side of me. Of course people from both those sides accept the other side of me and it is that acceptance that really allows me to be free to enjoy the adventure in my life.
On nights like this I realise just how lucky I am. I wouldn’t say I have a lot of close friends but the ones I have are special. For those who have come into my life and who have opened their arms and accepted me, for all my quirks, moods and eccentricities, I thank you. As this year draws to an end and a new one begins, with the promise of some awesome new adventures, I look forward to sharing these with them.
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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.
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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:
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My teen self thoroughly geeked out at this:
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My Firefly fangirl loved this:
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And this:
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Then who doesn’t want to get strangled by a Princess:
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I also got a LOTR signature:
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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.

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!!!