Archive for the ‘Crazy shit’ Category

Currently I am living with my partner and his father.

I am pretty much an on the go person, except when I’m not. Recently I have been on the go. Baking bread, trying to weave (both fixed heddle and four shaft), write, bake, teach, study…

I fear I probably need a sedative as I am interesting to watch apparently. Maybe I don’t know how to relax.

Meanwhile, I am finding it hard to focus on the PhD novel. This post is probably an example.

It is just that there is so much to do and life is so short and I know I’ll never get to do all the things…and it makes me anxious!

Maybe I should just take a pill or meditate on what is important and reasonable.

Here is a picture of my 100 per cent Rye bread, first time ever. It’s all gone too. So yummy.

IMG_4680 2

I’ll be posting about my new novella next.


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Wow, just wow!

I took to Supanova like a duck to water. I embraced it like it was a once in a life time experience and enjoyed it immensely. I’ll have to split this post though. This one will be about Sydney and the next about Perth.

Firstly, it was fabulous to be in a place with so many geeks. The cosplay was amazing and some of the people spend ages designing and making their costumes. So much creativity there. Others like dressing up. It’s all good!

In Sydney we stayed at the Rocks and it was rainy and cold. Rainy view of Sydney Harbour

This is the view from the window. Me with the umbrella. Yes those are size 8 jeans!

Donna in size 8 jeans, The Rocks

Donna in size 8 jeans, The Rocks

Me, with attitude and umbrella at The Rocks

Me, with attitude and umbrella at The Rocks

Some more pics of The Rocks, which is a very historic part of Sydney.

This original house is now a museum, The Rocks

This original house is now a museum, The Rocks

Convict hewn step, The Rocks

Convict hewn step, The Rocks

The whole being a guest thing was wonderful and new. Matthew went with me and he spent all his time in artist alley and going to seminars. I was between the Green Room and the author signing tables so we only caught up in the afternoons.

I had a fly!

I had a fly!

My Supanova Guest Pass

My Supanova Guest Pass

I met some lovely people who bought Shatterwing and  Skywatcher or who took away post cards for my ebooks. Thank you so much people!

Jack Dann dropped around after launching his book.

Jack Dann, Supanova Sydney, 2015

Jack Dann, Supanova Sydney, 2015

I was partnered with Keri Arthur mostly as she is an old hand and I was a newbie. Keri has lots of dedicated fans.

Keri Arthur, Supanova Sydney 2015

Keri Arthur, Supanova Sydney 2015

Keri Arthur signing, Supanova Sydney 2015

Keri Arthur signing, Supanova Sydney 2015

On day two the weather cleared somewhat. We had a lovely view of the harbour from the hotel. It’s not often I get to do five star! It was nice.

more sydney

I did get to chat to the other guests and got a meet a great bunch of people. The guests had a lovely vibe. I did put my foot in it but calling Kristen Bauer, Pam! during afternoon tea. She was pretty cool about it. I had my squee moments. Some actors we didn’t know by sight so we were checking the Supanova brochure putting names to faces. Without name dropping, I’ll just say that they were all fabulous and welcoming. We teased Graham McTavish about his kilt! For a Dwarf he is very tall, handsome and has good knees btw). (As an aside there were quite a number of tall people among the guests–impressive!) ( I think that counts as a name drop. Sorry!)

At the start of the tour (Sydney and Perth) the other authors were virtual strangers. By the end of the tour, they were bosom buddies who are hard to part from. Sniff!

Starting out I knew Keri Arthur and Karen Miller. I got to know Kevin Hearne, CS Pecat, Wanda Wiltshire and David Henley in Sydney as well as a re acquaintance with Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta.

Here is a shot I grabbed of Kevin Hearne. He does this author bomb shots and they are cool. So is he and so is his Iron Druids series.

Kevin Hearne, Supanova Sydney 2015

Kevin Hearne, Supanova Sydney 2015

I did a panel with Kevin and Rebecca. It was slightly scary in that Kevin has published 130 books and me…well…not that many yet.

Here are some highlights of the cosplay. There are too many wonderful shots to do them justice.

Red Skull

Red Skull

Female Loki, Sydney Supanova

Female Loki, Sydney Supanova

Boba, Supanova Sydney

Boba, Supanova Sydney

Overall it was a great vibe. I signed books, gaped, talked, drank and ate. We were looked after most admirably by Ineke and the Supanova volunteers and crew. Thank you guys.

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My day job has been rather tense and hectic. I was pushing to get a report out and you know what…I stuffed up. Maybe that was in a small way. Proofing errors and a couple of little things that I really couldn’t afford to do. I thought I was having a stroke or something. The errors weren’t because I wasn’t being careful. I was. The errors happened because I couldn’t see them.

A workmate took me aside. She had lost her mother more recently than me. Her explanation for my lapse made sense. She said that I was still grieving for my mum. I had thought I wasn’t suffering too much grief at all, but I’m pretty good at sublimation or suppression. Her theory was that a good part of my mind was elsewhere. That made sense to me. I’m not trying to suppress anymore. Work moved on and the report cleared. Now it seems that a cloud has lifted. Maybe it’s because we took mum’s ashes to Bondi Beach and let the sea take her away, maybe it’s because I have acknowledged it and maybe a combination of both.

Like most people my mother was fundamental to my existence. She was a source of both pleasure and pain, love and anguish. I also realise that I had been responsible for her welfare for nearly 19 years. All my decisions were made around her, mostly so these last four years. So maybe I should just give myself a break, pat myself on the back and move along.

Tomorrow, I fly to Perth. I’m going to spend time with the lovely, awesome and inspiring Glenda Larke and then we are heading to Swancon for the Easter long weekend. I feel light. I feel happy. John Scalzi and Kylie Chan are the guests of honour. I believe we are going to the guest of honour dinner on Wednesday.

Canberra is turning cool so I’m hoping Perth will offer some warmth. I have some friends and acquaintances that I hope to catch up with. The weekend after I get back is the Canberra Jane Austen Festival and on Saturday 11th the Aurealis Awards. Later in the month it’s my birthday. April is so jam packed.

In other hyperactive news, I’ve been making silk flowers, a bonnet and Regency cross over front dress. Also, my editor sent this photo of me signing at the ARRA conference recently. Technically I was signing as me and Dani K. I’m hoping to put up another author interview soon.Donna signing

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Finally I blog about the launch party to celebrate the launch of Rayessa and the Space Pirates, my first longer form publication. Technically according to Romance Writers of Australia I am still unpublished because Rayessa is only 30,000 words and you need to publish at least 40,000 words I think to qualify. So I’m chasing that goal right now. I also don’t want to be a one hit wonder!

So Saturday night was the launch party. In the lead up I caught a virus/cold/nausea bug that laid me out. Nicole Murphy was suggesting that I postpone it. I was close to deciding to do so. Friday I was still sick in the morning but I started to come right in the afternoon. I also had ideas that I could supervise cake baking and meatball making etc.

Friday night I baked the UFO cake (not decorated) and the base for Yumi’s princess doll cake. Then I flopped into bed.

Saturday well we were all at it. Erana, my daughter, Nicole came at 10 am and Matthew was here. Flat out we were painting props, cleaning, decorating etc. Lucky I had bought a few things in the lead up. I had black sheets to cover my retro eyepopping curtains, painted cardboard tubes, glowing stars, a plasma ball light, disco ball. I ducked out for a red police light etc.

I had to buy the food so I was at Aldi at 8.30 waiting for it to open. Erana and Yumi (6) made the meatballs.

Here are a few shots of the result. Remember this is a kitsch SF, dilapidated space station setting. We figured that Rayessa would have done up this sign and put it at the entrance.

Welcome sign

Then there was the entry. There is a bit of a story about the red tape. I got this set of 5 coloured masking tape from KMart. I tested it on the floor and it didn’t leave a residue. (story continues later).


I’m not sure it translates that well, but after you walk through a black crepe fringe with star shaped lights, you walked in here. I thought it looked awesome. Matthew did a great job on it.


Nicole painted wall panels and made signs. This was in the hall. Basically it’s a very defunct refueling post.

abort buttonEveryone was getting into it. Nicole made this for the wall. I thought it was very cool. Matthew started getting ideas and there were signs going up everywhere and new funky things being created.


This is a shot of the black sheets covering the curtains and a glimpse of a sign done by Matthew and the power generator created by Erana.

Here is a close up of the generator. We haven’t broken it down yet.

power generator

I had created things for the sample bag. I couldn’t get out to buy bags so Erana’s mother-in-law Wendy gave me some bags from her shop. Then Erana got the idea to put a design on them at the last minute. She did a great job. Inside was a small can of baked beans, a sample of hard tack (not as hard or as big as it should have been), a highlighter pen (my other daughter asked me why there was a pen shaped like a tampon in the bag), a little pack of smarties (protein pills), a glo stick bracelet, a space food stick (not shown), a Rayessa postcard, a welcome to Outpost 311 (like on Rayessa’s blog) and her Emergency Checklist.


Here are a couple of tubes. This may be arranged post party. I painted those and I thought it was fun. I had visions of doing movie props and then I tried painting something important and came back down to earth.


The food had a theme too. Asteroids, because Outpost 311 is in the asteroid belt, with a smattering of outpost possible food. I also wanted to cater for friends who were vegetarian, gluten intolerant or lactose intolerant as much as possible. I also didn’t want to go overboard.

So we had beef as well as chicken asteroids (meatballs gluten and lactose free), vegetable asteroids (jacket potatoes) and sweet asteroids (gluten and lactose free chocolate crackles)

We had mining shaft moss ( avocado dip), scum from the reclamation unit (a mustard aioli), spume from the air filter tanks (sour cream) and some other spicy salsas.

Then we had chili beans, green beans, brocolli and mineshaft fungus (mushrooms), lettuce leaves and tomatoes.

This actually was quite filling. And there was the UFO cake.

Drinks. This wasn’t my idea. I wanted to buy a punch bowl with little glasses, but Matthew said you have to serve the punch out of a bucket, one marked with the hazchem symbol.

So, 10429_hazchem_sign


Alcohol was in the hazchem bucket (vodka, a cranberry juice, sparkling grape juice). It was purplish.  The red bucket had a mango and apple juice with lemon sparkling mineral water. It was quite refreshing.

I had a great bunch of people over to help me celebrate the launch of the book. I’d been at this writing gig for 12 years. I didn’t think Rayessa would be the first thing I published, but there you go, you never know. I wasn’t planning on a ‘launch’ per se, rather a celebration. However, Nicole snuck in to my study and printed out an excerpt of the book and I read a bit. I had a lucky door prize, which was a Millennium Falcon USB  memory stick with a copy of my book. However, the USB memory stick did not work. It was bust (I must speak to Think Geek), so I gave one of my Rayessa mugs away and emailed a copy of the book to Sharon Ding, the lucky winner. Nicole had also organised a pass the parcel. It was hilarious what she had people doing. The prize was a three foot long green tentacle. Bob Phillips won that but I think there was some angst because others coveted it.

I had a great time and caught up with some lovely friends. Some couldn’t make it at the last minute. So sad. A big thank you to Cat Sparks and Rob Hood who drove from Wollongong (2.5 hours away). You can see Cat’s photos here.

The party could not have happened without the dedication and hard work of Nicole Murphy, Erana Loftus and Matthew Farrer. Thank you all.

Because I was sick I didn’t get a chance to get a poster printed, but here is the cover again.

Rayessa and the Space Pirates_cvr

Ps. That red tape issue. Well this is what happened. I lifted the tape.


This required methylated spirits and elbow grease.

residue close up

And the red goo got on my hands. I should have worn gloves.  I can’t get the red gunk off. Yew!

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So the launch party went off last night. I haven’t gathered my wits yet, but Cat Sparks has already put up her photos. Beware the nasty space pirates.


The link is here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/42956650@N00/sets/72157632566123458/with/8397518770/

They’ll be more. It was very cool even if I do say so myself. Many thanks to my daughter Erana Loftus for putting in a whole day to clean and design the interior. Special thanks to Nicole Muprhy who slaved the whole day putting up props, cleaning, begging to be fed and support beyond the call of duty and to my lovely partner, Matthew Farrer who also put in a big day getting things ready. Well done us and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Rayessa is officially out there.





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