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I’ve been sitting here all day with the intention of writing up a bunch of posts I want to make. There are a few on a bunch of topics, so many in fact I thought, well, I could queue up for the week so as not to deluge the blog. I have though in fact started only this one. Mostly because I couldn’t decide where to start. And that’s been pretty much most of the day and in fact my week. And it’s not even been too much to do, no idea where to start. I have a list, comprehensive lists, breaking things down into bite sized tasks. Any task to suit any mood. Alas my mood has been to flit with no desire to sink my teeth into anything or indeed to sit still long enough to sink at all.

Take today, I’ve half cleaned the kitchen, half started the laundry, cleaned a bit of my desk, folded some laundry, and sorted a bit of my in tray. But I’ve completed nothing, really. And instead I’ve been sort of consumed by my knitting and the internet. And I still don’t feel much like doing anything even though I have TONS to do. I just don’t seem in a settling into anything type of mood.

I made it into Swancon on Friday and Sunday – Friday was unexpected as we found ourselves with 6 hours to kill between Easter breakfast with C’s parents and Seder night with mine. And I wanted to pop in and see Marianne and drop her in some books. I settled into her interview panel with the beginning of my knitting (above) and thought I’d just stay for that. Zoe interviewed Marianne and I believe it was recorded so perhaps available for listening at some point in time. And it was a really great interview, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I mean, yeah, really lovely things were said about Glitter Rose, and Kendra asked a fantastic question about the book (always so freaking awesome when readers get what you were trying to and/or really think about the work – Marianne described Kendra as a “thoughtful reader” and I instantly decided that’s what I want to be when I grow up and also how lucky I am to have thoughtful readers of the work I publish) but it was just really energising to hear Marianne speak. It’s kinda rare now that I think about it to sit in a big room, for it to be really well packed and for just one woman to speak about her experiences as a writer. An she had so much of interest to say.

After that, I ended up kind of conning – I believe it’s called? I just sort of floated around, got into conversations with people and had not a care in the world. It was great. And C had headed off to the gaming room when we got there and I got a text asking if I was ok and if it was all good to stay and I was happy, he was happy and it was good. I had a brief chat and debrief with Marianne just before we had to head off to dinner and that was that.

Sunday we headed back in – I had two panels on and C played in the magic tournament thingie. I managed to persuade Jonathan to come and join me on my first panel with Helen and Satima on what to do once you’ve finished your manuscript. And then we headed off to lunch with Kathryn and Terri. And after mooching about, I had a second panel which I don’t think went very well and then I headed back to the dealers room where I managed to successfully win the fan art pictured with my knitting above! It’s by Susan Margaret who also painted the Glitter Rose glasses from last year. I think I might love her work :) I’m looking forward to drinking lots of cups of tea whilst knitting and reading in a winter with this cheery set. It was part of a beautiful installation which I would have bought more of but I had no more money on me.

And then I could dodge it no longer. Marianne sat me down and gave me the hard questions to “check I was still on the straight and narrow.” How lucky am I to have such awesome mentors? Something that’s a real struggle is finding publishing mentors in Australia – there’s lots of avenues for how to learn your craft as a writer or editor, all manner of courses and workshops and societies. But so much less, to almost nothing, on how to grow an independent press. I think it would be fair to say in the SF/F scene, most small presses stick around 5 to 10 years. And very few make the leap from small to medium. I’ve been lucky to be introduced to a bunch of people who have been willing to help by answering my questions and to offer guidance. But I’ve been luckier still to have good friends who throw ideas at me and let me bounce off my crazy. Marianne, though, is the one to whom I confess *everything* and who has been keeping me honest and on track so I don’t get too crazy. Or that I at least keep the crazy on the back burner for now. She knows a lot about the business and anyone who had the chance to hear her talk or to talk with her this weekend knows just what an honour that was. I for one am glad I had nothing hidden I had to confess to her face!! I would not have enjoyed that! And it was instead great to talk through with her my plan with the upcoming novels and everything that goes along with trying to make this a real thing.

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