Conflux 10

Spectacular artwork for Conflux 10 by Shauna O'Meara
Spectacular artwork for Conflux 10 by Shauna O’Meara

As usual, Conflux was a whirlwind of delights. I caught up with writer friends from all over the country, and even other bits of the world. I attended a bunch of book launches, bought a bunch of books, went to some fascinating panels, and sat around eating pizza & drinking cider & chewing the fat with some fantastically interesting people. Highlights?

The guests of honour were great. Hearing Margo Lanagan talk about her early career, and how she wrote Tender Morsels was a definite highlight and I came away from that one with inspiration tickling away in the back of my brain. Alisa Krasnostein also gave an interview on some of the remarkable things her small press has done, particularly in promoting spec fiction written by women. I found her deeply inspirational as well.

I can’t think of a panel I didn’t enjoy, but the standouts for me were:

  • editing anthologies (one day, maybe!)
  • grief, loss and trauma with Margo Lanagan, Richard Harland, Kaaron Warren and Isobel Carmody (who wasn’t on the panel, but was in the audience and commented on a piece of her work that was read out)
  • describing the journey (a panel on how you describe the world of your story through your character’s eyes), with Kaaron Warren, Russell Kirkpatrick, Simon Petrie and Isobel Carmody.

Even spending time staffing the CSFG dealer’s table was extremely pleasant, as it meant I got to sit and chat with the likes of Kaaron Warren and Rob Porteous.

The convention was a little smaller this year than it has been in previous years, I understand. But everyone seemed to think this was not such a bad thing, as it meant more opportunity to actually connect with the other attendees. Kudos must go to the hero of this year’s Conflux, Karen Herkes Ott, and her small but mighty Conflux 10 team.

I was so inspired by their incredible efforts that I  have ended up as the Vice-President of the Conflux Committee, and will be involved in organising next year’s convention! I have a feeling that’s going to be a heap of work, but I’m kinda excited, because based on the brainstorming the new committee has done already, it’s going to be awesome.

Advertisements

Coming up: reading & panel discussion at Conflux 10

Spectacular artwork for Conflux 10 by Shauna O'Meara
Spectacular artwork for Conflux 10 by Shauna O’Meara

Conflux is on this weekend!! This is the annual Canberra spec fic convention, and lucky for me it has a very strong focus on writing.

I’m participating in a couple of events:

  • On Saturday, 4 October at 12.0o, Simon Petrie will be launching his new collection of short fiction, Difficult Second Album, by Peggy Bright Books. At the launch, some of the other recent titles from PBB will be showcased, including Use Only As Directed. So I shall be doing a reading from “The Blue Djinn’s Wish”!
  • On Monday, 6 October at 4pm, I will be part of the Denouement – the Journey’s End panel with Richard Harland and Daniel O’Malley!

I’ll also be doing my bit to staff the CSFG table in the dealer’s room around lunchtime on Saturday & Sunday, so please come along & say hi!

Gems of wisdom from the Conflux Writers Day 2014

On Saturday I attended the inaugural Conflux Writers Day, a professional development day targeted at spec fic writers leading up to the Aurealis Awards ceremony that evening. It was such an overwhelming overload of amazing information, I had to go into my writer’s cave for a while to think about it all.

The lineup of panellists was outstanding, and the plenary speakers particularly so. I took some gem of knowledge away from every session I attended, whether it was a new revelation, or a different perspective on an old truth. Here’s a selection of my faves:

Joanne Anderton (on creating stories from weird ideas): What if…? So what…? Rinse. Repeat.

Kaaron Warren: Inspiration is an indulgence. Your first spark is your inspiration. The rest is hard work.

Kaaron Warren: Time to write and inspiration – don’t wait for them. Write anyway.

Laura E Goodin (on performance writing): Your job is to suggest, not to portray. Your words are only a scaffold for the genius of others.

Cat Sparks: Write about what you want to know.

Cat Sparks: Most stories are boring rather than bad.

Russell Kirkpatrick: The world you build must be relevant to the characters and the story.

Kaaron Warren: Your head is your special place.

And that last from a multi-award winning horror writer…

9837-Conflux-writers_blk-1024x530