And then there was Swancon

Con Report – Part the First

Yes, at last I get around to writing my con report – past experience has shown that I tend to leave this for far too long and then end up writing something along the lines of ‘I went to [insert location here] and stuff happened and much of it was awesome’. This time I will try to be better, but suspect we’re just on the temporal border between a good con report and ‘I went to [insert location here] and stuff happened and much of it was awesome’.

So, my flight from Brisneyland was an hour late getting in the air and the-airline-formerly-known-as-Qantas-but-now-known-as-Qantarse did not bother to keep us informed until one irate lady (not me) fronted the desk and ask WTF was going on. Given that we’re now paying more to fly with an airline that now ‘allows’ us not only to check ourselves in, but also to weigh, tag and check in our own freaking luggage, you might think they’d keep an eye on the little things like the customer service requirement of keeping people informed. But no. So, Qantarse it is.

Arriving late in Perth – my main complaint about Perth is that it’s so far from everything except, well, Fremantle (sorry, Perth) – at about 12.30am, which was about 2.30am in Brisneyland time, I barrelled through to the baggage claim and was texting Brain (Lisa L. Hannett, my best friend, fellow collaborator and con room-mate) to say I was waiting for my bag and would get a cab to the hotel soon. Got a frantic text back saying ‘No! Brain, don’t get a cab! We’re here to collect you!’ It seems our lovely publisher, Ticonderoga Russ, has collected Lisa about 7pm and he and the lovely Liz Grzyb kept her amused for a few hours before I deigned to turn up. So, we had a reuinion at carousel 2, along with the delightful and exhausted Jenny Blackford, who had been on the same Qantarse flight as moi.

Russ then drove Brain and I to the Crowne Plaza and left us to our own devices. We checked in and followed our usual tradition of ordering a late night-early morning cheese platter and wine (there being no crème brûlée on the 24hour menu -.-).  We then yapped until 2.30am Perth time then passed out with sleepiness.

Late breakfast on Thursday and then a walk up to the CBD to get some bits and bobs and to continue having a catch-up after not seeing each other since … well, WorldCon last year in Melbourne … and also observing that it’s a mercy for our respective significant others (Chad and David)  that they were not there to hear the constant flow of yapping (all relevant, of course). Much hilarity when we found the mall and the ye olde Englishe jousting clock thingy at the entry to London Court – was unexpected to say the least and appeal to our sense of humour no end. Also, the clock was chiming and the little knights were jousting so we took photos like touristy nerds – no point denying it.

Next, we headed back to the hotel to plot and plan for the collection, Midnight and Moonshine, which is coming out November 2012 so we figured we should write some more of it! We were good writers and set up the table as a desk, chairs and computers and all the writerly stuff … them stared at each other for a good five to ten minutes, completely weirded out by the fact that this was our first collaboration undertaken in each other’s presence. We usually do this sort of thing via email! The temptation was to simply email each other, but we stuck at it and relaxed and started taking notes on one of four notebooks and wandering around talking out ideas (the tidier version of Peter M. Ball’s ‘dancing for plot’ technique) and five hours later we had (a) scoped out a ten story collection and worked out fairly detailed plots for seven of those stories – which led to this sort of self-congratulatory look:

At the end of that session we were, naturally brain-dead, and elected to order room service and watch ‘Red’, coz Helen Mirren with a very large machine gun was the perfect end to the day.

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