Welcome, 2009!

It’s the first of January, the start of a new calendar year, and a glorious, sunny, summer’s day here. We didn’t stay up to see the New Year in last night – because, with daylght saving, we’d really have to wait until 1am to be correct! – but there’s a bottle of Moet champagne chilling in the fridge, which we’ll have with dinner tonight, to drink to the New Year in style.

2008 had some wonderful highlights: my first book published; the book launch, and dinner afterwards with so many of my cousins, my aunt, my mother and most of my family; catching up with friends and the buzz of the RWAmerica conference in San Francisco in July, and the same at the RWAustralia conference in August; teaching workshops –  for Year 12 students in the UNE Mentor program, and for the New England Writers Centre; meeting so many booksellers at the Dymocks conference in August. And throughout the year, the joys and pleasures of good friends, fantastic family, great colleagues, a beautiful environment to live and travel in, and a wonderful partner and two gorgeous dogs to share it all with.

Yes, 2008 is being recorded as a Good Year. I’m even counting the medical stuff as Good – not pleasant, but I’m definitely lucky that the problem was found before it created havoc or worse, and medical staff at RPA hospital couldn’t have been better.

So, what’s on the agenda for 2009?

  • First up… FTDB – Finishing The Damn Book. It’s due January 18. It may even make it 🙂 (Just don’t count on me being human for the next 2.5 weeks)
  • I’ll be teaching the New Media course at my university in first semester (Feb-Jun), both internal and external students. I’m looking forward to it – there’s some revision work to do to the existing course materials before mid-Feb, and then lectures and online resources to prepare, but as the topics and issues are related to my PhD research, I’ll be making progress on that at the same time.
  • The inaugural Australian Romance Readers’ Convention in Melbourne, 20-22 February. I’ll be on a couple of panels, and book-signing – should be fun!
  • Our outback trip in May – the Strzlecki and Oodnadatta Tracks. This will be our third attempt – in 2007, we got as far as Innamincka, and then it rained and we were stuck there for a week, all tracks out closed. In 2008, we were all set to go again, but my anuerism was discovered the week before we were due to leave. So, 2009 is going to be third time lucky!
  • RWAustralia conference in August in Brisbane, and the 1st international conference on the romance genre just before it.
  • Book 2 – which will have a confirmed title sometime soon – is scheduled for release in September in Australia
  • As Darkness Falls will be out in a smaller-format paperback in Australia in April, and will be published for the first time in the UK in September, and in Germany sometime during the year.
  • Book 3, which isn’t contracted yet, will be the writing focus as soon as book 2 is done.

All in all, it’s a busy year ahead! I’m also hoping, but not definite, about going to the RWAmerica conference in Washington DC in July, and there’s a couple of other Australian engagements which we’re currently confirming arrangements for – more details when they’re finalised!

There will still, however, be time for stopping and enjoying the flowers, as azteclady recommended in comments in my last post. I’m a big believer in enjoying small moments as well as big ones (you may have noticed this… 🙂  ) So, yesterday I took a break from writing to go and photograph a couple of native orchids I’ve seen growing – we usually have more of these on the block, but for some reason (too many wild bunnies munching them?) this year there haven’t been as many. However, they’re still here and there:

Native dipodium orchid

Native dipodium orchid

Dipodium orchid - detail

Dipodium orchid - detail

Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful, joy-filled 2009 – may there be much love and laughter, good health and happiness in the year!

4 thoughts on “Welcome, 2009!

  1. Yay for wild orchids!

    And here’s to all sorts of good things happening during 2009 and each year thereafter!

  2. Bronwyn, I’ve always known you were special. I have my proof now. Anyone who has spent a week in Innamincka (Stuck; why else would anyone stay a week there) and casually wants to return is quite a dedicated person.

    You can’t go out there without doing the full Monty. No one in outback circles will respect you unless you’ve lent on the bar and downed a coffee at the Mt Dare Hotel. —- If you need to ask why? You should be leaving your lounge chair. —- http://www.mtdare.com.au
    http://www.exploroz.com/TrekNotes/Deserts/Mt_Dare_to_Oodnadatta_via_Dalhousie.aspx

    I was out there last year (all of those places). I left a box of Romance novels at the Mt Dare Hotel, for the library. It’s always the thrill to see people lust over hand-me-downs.

    I notice you use Exploreoz. — Exploreoz it will explain how to reach Mt Dare from Oodnadatta via Dalhousie (taking in Dalhousie ruins and Strings), which is worth the trip. — Don’t be drawn into feeding ideas about the full Monty. Dalhousie Springs is much too popular these days, take the swimsuit. A tip; an active author mind could easily stay on the Hamilton Track to Eringa then travel over through Blood Creek to Mt Dare. — Why would a clever author do this? Easy, Eringa (which is deserted now) is the original homestead of Sid Kidman and is therefore the birthplace of the Kidman Cattle Empire. —- http://www.abc.net.au/dimensions/dimensions_in_time/Transcripts/s584358.htm

    Everone knows the original Ghan railway route was through that country. However it’s no longer realised by most, when the old timers talk about driving to Darwin in large vehicle conveys during the war, with many driver being female. It’s the Hamilton Track from Oodnadatta through to Finke (Aputula) then on to Alice Springs that they drove. The place is steeped in history waiting to impress an impressionable mind.
    You could even return via the Plenty and Donohue Highways (though Boulia) thus saving the need to backtrack. —– Sorry Bronwyn I’m becoming carried away. It’s still your blog (and your trip). I may have mentioned before how much I enjoy the quality of your mental stimulation. I hope 2009 returns all the promise it glowed from a distance.

    Eric

  3. And here’s to all sorts of good things happening during 2009 and each year thereafter!

    For you, too, azteclady!

    Eric, I quite liked Innamincka – although 7 days, when we couldn’t go anywhere, and didn’t have much to do, was a bit of a strain. And it was quite an experience, because a police sergeant, a paramedic and a couple of constables were helicoptered in after a few days to manage the 100+ tourists stranded in the area. The first road that opened was back to Thargomindah – we were allowed to travel in convoy, under strict speed conditions, led by the Thargomindah copper – so I can truthfully say I’ve been escorted from Innamincka by the police 🙂 (Does that earn me my outback credentials??)

    I haven’t been to Mt Dare or Dalhousie – yet! Back 20 years ago, I drove part of the Oodnadatta Track, as far as William Creek, then crossed over Anna Creek station to Coober Pedy, and from there up the main roads to the NT. In 2006, we went to Birdsville via SW Qld, then down the Birdsville Track, and had a week in the Flinders Ranges at Arkaroola and Rawnsley Park, coming home via Broken Hill. So, I’ve had a (soft) drink at the pubs in Birdsville, Mungerannie, Maree, William Creek, and Coober Pedy, as well as Innaminka.

    We probably won’t get to Mt Dare this trip, as we’ve got a limited time frame. We travel with another couple, and Bob, who’s retired, does most of the trip planning, after consultation with the rest of us. The complicating factor this time is that I have to fly out from Broken Hill to get to the Gold Coast for a literary festival – so we’ll drive the Strzlecki and Oodnadatta Tracks, cross back to the Hill. Then I’ll leave the others there, and another couple is flying in, and they’ll all head back to the Flinders Ranges for a couple of weeks of serious bushwalking – which I won’t mind missing 🙂 Appearing at a book festival will be much more fun – for unfit me – than 20km+ walks up and down Wilpena Pound!

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