Launch Day: ‘Tis the Season…

Yay! Thanks to the amazing Paula Roe, I’m soon to have two new websites and I NOW have two new blogs! I won’t tell you what happened last time I began a blog, other than to say three sniffer dogs are still searching for it in cyberspace – along with a cache of wonderful photos that will never again see the light of day. I also hold grave concerns for the aforementioned sniffer dogs…

But that was then and this is now. A brand new now, with brand new blogs and I feel it’s quite appropriate that I should be launching these blogs – yes two – in the midst of what I call ‘The Conference Season’. Just like ‘The Seasons’ of Merry Old London, this is a time when breathless, blushing, brand new authors make their ‘in-person’ debuts into the public arena. It’s a time when past debutantes gather and refill their creative wells – and ‘big’ sturdy goblets; to learn, gossip and recharge.

Okay – so it’s a long time since I could be called  Conference Virgin, but then again, it’s been a long time since I could apply the term ‘virgin’ to anything… But all that aside, this is conference season, so who cares? We kick off the season with the RWA conference in late July, this  year held at Orlando, Fla. This is a huge affair and while I don’t get over very often, it’s an amazing experience and always heralds the opening of the season to me. Two weeks or so later we hit the the big Aussie RWAust conference, held this year at Coogee Beach and which was totally amazing as always. (More on this in weeks to come.) And of course, running in sync with this is the expertly run Clayton’s conference that just gets better and better every year.

Barely three days after we close up shop in Oz, the exodus to NZ begins (at least for some very lucky authors) to attend the RWNZ conference. Are you seeing why I call it the season? Yeah – well just wait – there’s more! Three weeks or so later – and really before I have time to blink, let alone prepare, begins the Brisbane Writers Festival, which for me means the CYA conference run by the gorgeous Tina and Ally. So, now we’re September and no, it’s not time to put your feet up yet because then there’s SCWBI that will close up September for me.  Of course that’s just me – I also know that directly after the Coogee conference were a couple of Speculative Fiction conferences held both in Sydney and Melbourne that many of my friends attended.

It’s a crazy, frenetic and wonderful time, even if like me, you only manage 3 of the many on offer. That said, the 3 I’ve chosen will still see me reaching for the bourbon, the Bex and a bed! They’re exhausting and exhillarating; times of excesses of everything except sleep.

Since Coogee, not surprisingly the one question on everyone’s lips – whether they attended or not – has been, “What was your conference highlight?’

You’d think the answer would come in a flash, but you know? I’m still grappling with that one. Was it seeing amazing friends I adore and yet see only once a year? As MC I was privileged, both before and during the conference, to spend time getting to know the wonderful speakers and presenters, so naturally I have to add Deb Dixon (my new BFF) and Vicki Lewis Thompson (beautiful lady and reformed stalker) to my list of highlights. Additionally I gained some invaluable insights into the Oz publishing scene. Yep, I’ve got close to 60 books pubbed here but the kids publishing scene and the grown-ups publishing scenes are very different and it’s a new learning curve for me.   Was it the new contacts I made or the exciting requests I garnered from my pitch sessions?

Or was it that I came home in a steadier boat than the one that carried me there? Writing is synonymous with isolation, and that’s a scenario that can quickly do your head in.  Doubts plague us and make us question what we do and why we do it. But there’s nothing like a gaggle of excited authors all together under one roof to remind you that a) you’re not alone and b) you might be crazy, but you’re in good company.   

So thanks for dropping by to help me launch the blog. If you have young readers they might like to pop over to the Running With Pens Blog – which is my Kerri Lane blog. Stay tuned for the launch of the websites that will quickly follow. 

And if I could pose one question: What was your conference highlight? Can you pinpoint it? Go on! Show me up! I dare you…


30 Responses

  1. Welcome to blog land – well for the second time! I have to say one of my conf highlights was definitely the MC *big grin* but after that Jessica Hart gets my vote! That woman was hilarious!!!

    • Rachel – you are one of my heroes! Thank you – she says blushing. And OMG – I am sooo ticked that I missed Jessica! Everyone’s saying she was fantastic. You know we need to bring back the tape! Taped sessions! Weused to have them once. Let’s start a chant…

      Thanks for deflowering me with this blog and being my first ever comment on the new blog. And if I lose this one – then you go down in history with it!

      Thanks sweetheart! K xx

  2. Just popping in so you won’t be Nigel-no-friends, daaarling! I hear you pulled off the Lady Godiva act quite well at the conference – or was that you with the pink boa and the peek?
    hugs and congrats on finding the brilliant Paula to help you make a new blog to lose!

    • I though you were chasing cababa boys around Corfu? Or is it only the ones carying plates of lamb? Snort…

      Gorgeous Robyn A offered me a body stocking, but ou know – a la naturel all the way… ‘Did’ have a moment of horror tho when I imagined it might have been a fishnet body stocking. Can you imagine the fallout between the fish holes? How gross… LOL. Now that would have been a room clearer…

      Finding Paula? Paula has been threatening to do this for years! But she is brilliant – especially putting up with me.

      Thanks honey! Enjoy the lamb! And Corfu. Hugs to Keith.
      K xx

  3. Yayay! What a great blog! (I’m sure the first one was too =) ) Yes, you were a *fab* MC. And your offsider was pretty cute too! The conference was just the best! I think sitting between my agent and Debra Dixon at the Awards night, being up for a RUBY was my biggest highlight. But there were so many. Like Author Day and catching up with e-mates I’d never met FTF before and monitoring the YA workshop and the other great speakers and –

    Oh. Okay. I’ll shutup now 😉
    But I’ll defo pop in again!

    Robbie xoxo

    • Gorgeous Robbie – I could listen to you all day! See? there isn’t just ONE highlight is there? It’s like one big highlight from start to fnish. Am I allowed to say it’s like a perpetual orgasm? OOps – it’s said…

      But the RUBY nomination? Yep – think that would def take the cake. Congrats again for being so fabulous.

      Thank you, thank you for joining my party and making it such a glam affair!
      K x

  4. No Kaz, the body stocking doesn’t have any holes except for exit and entry points. Now, if you’d only borrowed it, just think of the pics I could’ve taken. (I’m still doing the decent thing and editing out superfluous curves of the not-so-sylph Coogee Conference attendees.)
    Regarding your comment about Bex. I wonder if anyone is going to ask you what that is/was? I remember those adds in my teens when we used to substitute an ‘s’ for the ‘b’. Ahem. That’s just a bit of living history.
    BTW, congratulations on the rebirthing of the blogs.

    • Ahh – I should have asked more questions! No holes!! LOL. Maybe I’ll try again when I’m actually really syllph-like and not when you make me that way in photos…
      Of course that’ll be the 12th of Never, so I don’t think people need fear or ban the conference.

      Bex? Yes – and of course it used to be a ‘Cuppa, a Bex and good lie down’ didn’t it? I was actually going to type that and then realised I needed something way stronger than a cuppa!! I really only know of Bex because my lovely grandmother lived on them… Strong black coffee and Bex. I still don’t know which was the cause and which was the cure…

      You did a great job as always Robyn. Thank you! And don’t forget Paula and I are hanging out for those photos so we can get the sites up and running! Thanks honey! You’re a trouper! hugs, K x

  5. Oh I love your banner Kaz! And welcome back to blog land! Conference highlights – oh goodness, like you said there were so many – meeting with all my writing buddies, placing faces to name, writing gems from Deb Dixon, the MC making me laugh, workshops extraordinaire. Seriously it was fantastic. I’m off for my next conference with WorldCon. Never been to a Con before, so looking forward to it and catching up with the few RWAus members going during the 5 days.

    E x

    • Hi gorgeous! Isn’t the banner great? All kudos goes to Miss P herself. She nailed me in one hit.

      Thankyou for the welcome back , and I agree with you on every single thing you mentioned about the conference. Altho, the MC didn’t make me laugh… At times she frustrated the heck out of me because she made mistakes!!! LOL But, seriously – yes! Putting faces to names – that’s so cool! And the food. Who could forget the food…

      Have a ball at WorldCon. I so wish I knew what that was… LOL. Such a dodo. But whatever it is – 5 days of it sounds fabbo. (Oh – is that the game thing? Electronics/games/complicated stuff??? )

      Thanks again for dropping by sweets,
      Hugs, K xx

      • How remise of me Kaz. WorldCon is the World Science Fiction Convention….so sort of techy, but basically lots of speculative fiction workshops and writers. It’s also called AussieCon 4 this year as it’s in Australia for the 4th time in history. So had to take the opportunity to go.

        BTW – I think the MC did a marvelous job with all that information she was given. I would have still been there trying to relay it all.

        Oh yes, the food….my Greek appetite loved it 🙂

  6. Kaz, how can you be so full of energy after such a hectic time? But actually, apart from the usual exhaustion, I feel exhilerated myself. Conferences will do that to you! And the Coogee RWA conference was another fabbo get together.

    Conference highlight? Too many to name. But hearing Jessica Hart on her plotting process was right up there, as was the tremendously useful session with Terri the physio/writer.

    Congratulations on getting the blog up and running! It’s great to see you here in cyberspace.


    • Lovely Annie – groupie extraordinaire!
      Ahh – another Jess Hart devotee. I repeat: Bring back the tape! Sounds like that session was just wonderful, but then again it’s so hard to choose and all the speakers were brilliant!

      There needs to be a cloning seminar, so we can split ourselves into multiple people and attend ‘all’ the workshops. Or better still…
      All together now: bring back the tape! (or should that be CD? Showing my decrepit age here…)

      Thankyou for dropping by; I know you’re busy and please know your support is very appreciated.

      And me? Energetic? Ha! You know better than that! LOL. But I Am excited – so thanks for joining the party.
      Hugs, K x VGs Rock!

  7. Kaz,
    Great look blog, great banner, great conference, and fantastic MC!
    And now thanks to Deb Dixon I am inflicting more pain on my characters as I try to recover from the post-confernece bug that found me,
    Hugs for a great job,

    • Oooh that Deb!I think she’d a sadist at heart! She’s turning us all into cruel, heartless women!

      And hugs on the bug sweets. So many people took home that little something extra. I’ve actually got a throat thing, so I empathise. Paula rang me today and told me I sounded like a bulldog on steroids. Or something like that… All I remember was that it had something to do with a female dog, but then again she says that to me even when my voice is clear and bell-like.

      Thankyou for dropping by and thank you too, for the compliment on the banner. All hail Paula – she did that. It’s great isn’t it?

      Happy torturing sweetheart!
      Hugs, K x

  8. The highlight? No question, it was the superbly, sublimely sumptuous MC. Have you met her? I first met her when I was a conference virgin and she told me I was gorgeous and I’ve been her devoted follower ever since. 😉 [Plus she recently helped me track down my missing shawl, bless her.]

    As the other Rach said, Jessica Hart *was* fabulous, but the session wouldn’t have worked on tape because it was a commentary to her slides. Fabulous.

    Waving to Robbie! Robbie’s R*BY nomination was one of my highlights too!

    • That Kaz Delaney – she’s a wise woman. Finder of snazzy black shawls and spotter of amazing beauty! And if she has a talent, it’s spotting beauty – internal and external and you Ms Bailey have both in spades.

      Ahhh – do you know, I’ve decided to live here in blogland. It’s so nice here. People are so kind. Is the food good? Oh wait – I’m the host. OMG that means the food will be fabulous!!! I might not cook it, but I will provide the most fabulousness I can find. There’s one provisio – you all have to move in here with me forever. Okay?

      Thank you for making my day.
      Love you,
      K xx

  9. Kaz, what a fabulous blog post (and blog site, Paula!!)

    Another wonderful conference which makes it very hard to choose the highlights – so many, so varied, so fantastic!! The MC of course was effortlessly entertaining 🙂

    And then there was the very funny guy running the ‘stage a fight’ workshop who had comic timing down to an art form – plus a couple of sidekicks who seemed to adore having the undivided attention of a room full of women (what man wouldn’t!!!)

    Of course hanging out with people I’ve met in cyberspace is always great and eating, and eating some more! Can’t wait for next year 🙂

    • Thankyou Helene! What a lovely comment!

      Yes, wasn’t Ray wonderful? I got to know him a bit prior to the conference and he’s the most charming and generous guy. The comedy routine was just a bonus – he was soo good. A little birdie tells me we may not have seen the last of him at our conferences.

      But then – there were so many sessions I missed that were just so great and so many I wanted to listen to. So hard to choose.

      On a personal level, I’m sorry we didn’t get to spend time together. I’ve been hanging out for your book and excitedly bought a copy at the conference. Can’t wait to read it. My reward to finishing rewrites… If my aching arm holds out I think one more day may see me at the finish line… Yay!

      Thank you again!
      K x

  10. I have never visited any conferences like this. For a reader like me it would be nice to meet and see lots of wonderful authors at the same time. I hope I will make it one day.

    • Tessa – thankyou for dropping by. And honey, we’d love to have you at any one of our conferences. Sure, it’s aimed primarily at authors (the workshops etc) but as a reader it’s wonderful to rub shoulders with your fave authors – and trust me – the authors love it!

      Thanks to the internet, authors have more communication with their readers than they used to have – but it doesn’t stack up against having a living breathing fan in front of you telling you’re doing things right. Or not! LOL.

      I guess it’s why so many actors love stage work – because unlike movies, they get instant fan reaction.

      So, I sincerely hope you make it to a conference one day – they’re warm and rowdy but you’ll be made feel welcome. And make sure you come and say hi!

  11. HI Kaz – wow! Great place you got here, babe.

    Conference highlights… hmmm… let me see…. the MC was doing a fine job til she fell off the bloody stage… I told her not to drink on the job! :o)

    Other highlight was the Awards Dinner of course :o) Bu apart from the obvious reason it was great to sit next to John Gumbly even if I did blubber through his speech!

    Unfortunately I missed out on most sessions – but did make the pubbed in Australia panel which was fabulous! Next year…. no the year after I’ll be free to attend all sessions! What bliss!

    So great catching up with you again.

    • Sad thing was it was the breakfast drinking that caught me up seeing as I fell off said bloody stage before 9am!!! More juice/less vodka. More juice/less vodka… Let’s start a chant.

      But just on that spectacular fall? Sweet pea – I was following your spectacular lead. ‘Anything you can do’ and all that … But really I have but one question? Where were you in my minute of need? I felt abandoned and am currently in therapy. It’s the betrayal issue. Ahem Ahearn… I ‘was’ there for you…

      Seriously – great memories. One of my many highlights? Sitting but one away from one of the amazing Ruby winners. Congrats again, honey. I hope the buzz is still with you.
      So – till conference time 2 from now – when we can really play!
      Hugs, K x

  12. more vodka, less juice. more vodka, less juice…
    Oh sorry, is that the wrong way round 🙂

    Now really Kerri, I’m very busy and important – didn’t you get the memo? Much too busy to be catching vodka addled MC’s as they swan dive off the stage 😉
    But do it again in 2012 and I’m your gal!

    AA – still buzzing ….

    • Actually, in thinking about it I shouldn’t have blamed the vodka. Or the bourbon on the cornies. It was that damned Irish coffee!

      So, thanks for the offer, but I’ll give 2012 a miss (from swanning offstage.) Got it sorted; I know what to do now. Drink tea.

      And note to self: Must read memos. Espec. those from v/important people announcing their v/important status so as to avoid future social gaffes.

      Glad you’re still buzzing… Then again, when my youngest was a tot she used that expression to tell me when she needed to find a loo in a hurry. But as long as you’re comfortable – it’s all good.
      Back to edits!
      Thanks for loving me!
      K x

  13. Nobody MC’s a conference better than Kaz Delaney! She’s a warm, fabulous lady and I know that for a fact. Best buddy, Sandra Allan, and I always share a room at the conferences with our best buddy, Kaz, and we always have a ball. It’s the highlight of my conference, as well as the conference itself and catching up with others.

    Love your blogs, Kaz!

    • Awww Max! It’s always fun, isn’t it?

      Thankyou for these wonderful words – and backatcha in spades! it’s a beautiful way to end a long tiring day that’s left me plagued by doubts about my abilities.

      I’m going to head off for a shower and a drink and think about the fun we have and forget – for a few hours – about these revisions. Tomorrow is a new day – and a fresh approach!

      Thankyou darling!
      Love you,
      k x

  14. Kaz,
    Don’t choke on your drink b/c I was reminiscing with Meryl earlier today, about the Awards Dinner at the 10th conference. Do you remember when you had to ‘fix me’ in front of males and females? Old fashioned stepins, and old fashioned clothes to match. My skirt had adhered… And we got away with it!

  15. Oh Robyn, what’s a flash between friends!

    But isn’t it lovely to look back on 20 years worth of friendship? Even more exciting is looking forward to the 20 in our future.

    You are always one of the conference highlights, Robyn; your smile, your warmth and your generosity. The living spirit of RWAust.
    K x

  16. That’s enough of the praise, K, otherwise we’ll go on all night b/c we can’t leave anyone out.
    I lost yesterday to other things so no internet for me, so it’s a wonderful feeling to come back and find messages. Ahhhh, certainly beats the days when I started school and wrote on a slate. At least I didn’t have to chip out letters in stone!

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