calissa: (Default)

The railing behind the sculpture overlooks the platypus pond at Tidbinbilla's wetland sanctuary.

The hot weather continues unabated. The aircon has been getting a work out and I've been tearing through the ice. I really need to get organised and make myself a proper batch of iced tea. But despite my complaining, I'm managing fairly well. I've had a few aches today which may suggest a storm might arrive tomorrow. A quick look at the weather bureau seems to confirm this theory. The rain will make it muggy, but the garden will welcome the water. The vegetable patch is looking a little wilted.

Work continues. After complaining how difficult I'd found writing my first review of the year, I was a little amused to discover it took me half the time to write my second review of the year. This was despite them being of comparable length. I really should learn to cut myself some slack.

Today I actually managed to wrangle a little spare time to deal with some non-urgent admin-type stuff. And promptly found that I was making more work for myself. One of my tasks was to voted in the GUFF race. GUFF is a fan fund that will be sending an Australian fan to Helsinki for WorldCon later this year. There are four nominees. I was talking with one of them on Twitter around the same time I was voting. It was about another matter entirely, but I found myself thinking about the time I ran for NAFF (which is basically the same thing, but to AussieCon rather than WorldCon). I'd offered the other nominees a chance to guest post on my blog. I figured the same thing might be useful for GUFF. So, I contacted all the nominees about being interviewed and they agreed.

On one hand I wonder why I do this to myself. It's not like I don't have enough on my plate. On the other hand, I think this is something that will be of interest to the community.

The drawback to all this work is that I've been skimping on time for my own writing again.
calissa: (Default)

I'm trying a bit of a different style of blogging here, so I hope you'll bear with me. It may end up being a bit scattered.

The teabag holder above was a recent gift from a friend. Despite rumours to the contrary, I still use teabags fairly frequently and (unbeknown to my friend) had lost my tag in my tea at least twice in the preceding 24 hours. The fellow above was one is a set of four, each a little different and all very useful.

Blackberry season has begun. My in-laws presented me with a large container from their bushes. They disappeared at an alarming rate--Sahaquiel and I vanquished the last of them this evening, aided by copious amounts of vanilla ice cream. The blackberries are a little tart this early in the season, but that's just the way I like them.

The weather has been hot. Not Perth hot (also known as face-of-the-sun hot), but unpleasant. It usually cools down here at night, but not lately. Everyone has been walking around like zombies. It's particularly cruel, since most people returned to work this week after the Christmas break.

Speaking of work, it was back to writing reviews this week, and wow, do I feel rusty. It took me a bit longer than usual to write up the first one for the year. It's so easy to forget that reviews have their own style and conventions that I need time to remember. I'm hoping the next one will be a little easier. (I'll find out tomorrow)

I got my email to say I can get started with my nominations for the Hugo Awards. I've got a few thoughts about what I'm going to nominate and my usual grumbles about the domination of the field by the US and the UK. But before I can start on that, I really need to get the last of the reading for the Aurealis Awards done first.
calissa: Macro of a jonquil (Spring)

Last weekend, Sahaquiel and I made it out to Floriade, the local flower festival. It was much later in the season than we usually go. Perhaps for this reason--or maybe all the wet weather we've had--the displays were even more spectacular this year and turned on quite a show.

Photos ahoy! Um, there are kind of a lot... )

I think next year we will go later again and see what it's like.
calissa: Macro of a jonquil (Spring)

I'm back to writing blog posts this week, but made the most of my holiday last week by heading out to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve with my family. I think my sister knew I was looking for a chance to test out the camera on my new phone.

Wattle in the wild )

Sculpture )

Fungus & moss )

Landscapes )

All in all, I had a lovely day and really enjoyed spending time with my family.
calissa: Macro photo of a clover leaf covered in frost (Winter)

A couple of weeks ago, I met some friends out at the National Arboretum. I didn't take many photos, mostly because it's winter and many of the trees are deciduous. However, the grounds also harbour the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection. Despite (or perhaps because of) the grey weather, it was crowded, so I only managed to snag a couple of photos.

Flowering apricot and grevillea )


Apr. 2nd, 2016 07:20 pm
calissa: (Default)

Contact2016, the 55th Australian Speculative Fiction Convention, took place over the Easter long weekend. I've got a report coming up on the EGE blog, so I won't say too much about it. I had a blast but there really is no place like home. The photo above was taken on the flight over there. I made sure to get window seats on both flights and spent a good portion of the journey with my nose pressed against the window as I ogled the clouds. I spotted some cumulonimbus on the way home and experienced some interesting turbulence that caused us to drop elevation like a roller-coaster.

Fortunately, I made it home safely on Tuesday and have spent the remainder of the week quietly recovering. I didn't do too badly with sleep, managing to get a reasonable amount on most nights of the con and sleeping another nine hours the night I got home. However, my upper body was pretty sore after lugging around my book-filled bags. I got a massage on my first full day back and while it helped in the long term, it made me very sore in the short term. I'm glad my muscles have settled down.

I've done a little work this week, mostly consisting of writing up my con report. It has been light work, though. All of the effort that I put into the blog prior to Contact is now paying off--I have 2.5 weeks' worth of posts lined up, meaning I can take next week off. I figured I'd need the recovery time. I'm not quite sure what I'll do yet, maybe do a heap of reading (since Mt TBR is getting out of control) and catch up on S2 of Agent Carter. I'm struggling against the urge to catch up with all of my friends. I'd really like to, but I was peopled out by the end of the convention and it will take longer than I'd like for me to recover my social spoons.

One thing I don't miss about home is all the smoke. There's a lot of preventative burning at this time of year and the smoke triggers my hay fever. Scratchy throat, sinus headache and fatigue. Ugh. It makes for pretty sunrises and sunsets, though I hate being cooped up in the house all day. I really hope it wraps up soon.
calissa: A stalk with drying grass seeds sits in the foreground with a golden hill and blue mountains in the background. (Summer)

(View from a lookout. Ah, summer.)

As per our tradition, Sahaquiel and I visited the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve on New Year's Day. I didn't take very many photos this year because it was a very hot day (even though we went in the morning) and I didn't feel I had any fresh perspective to bring to it. However, the lizards were out in full force and I was able to snag a few pictures.

If lizards give you the creeps, best steer clear )

Not a lizard )

Deadlines are currently chewing up all my time, but I hope to get back out there soon.
calissa: A stalk with drying grass seeds sits in the foreground with a golden hill and blue mountains in the background. (Summer)

A merry belated Midsummer to everyone celebrating it. And a merry Yule to all my friends in the Northern Hemisphere.

I took yesterday off to mark the occasion and spent some time cooking myself pancakes and contemplating the looming spectre of 2016.

The weather here has been all over the place. We had 37 Celsius over the weekend (with a minimum of 20 in between). However, the last two days have been much cooler and grey, with some rain. My vegetable garden is lapping it up.
calissa: Macro of a jonquil (Spring)

Aaaaallll the way back in September, I attended the local flower festival. Just to make things confusing, this was separate from my visit to the tulip farm I attended around the same time. I've been meaning to post the photos for months.

Here they are )

Tulip Top

Oct. 25th, 2015 04:36 pm
calissa: Macro of a jonquil (Spring)
Back in September, I managed to get out to the tulip garden just outside of town. Of course, I took photos.

Lots of photos )


Oct. 14th, 2015 06:59 pm
calissa: (Default)

My arum lily is in bloom for the first time. It now has not one but three flowers and it makes me smile each time I see it.

This week has been all about getting back into routine. I went from birthday to Conflux to house-sitting so quickly that I feel like I've barely had time to breathe. I enjoyed all of those things (well, perhaps not the house-sitting), but I am so glad just to be home and to be returning to something approximating daily life.

Email has been a bit out of control, so apologies to those of you to whom I owe replies--particularly those of you who sent birthday wishes. I'm still wading through the backlog. And not only wading through the backlog of email, but of To-Dos, blog reading, and paperwork. I've been managing to keep ahead of my blog schedule for Earl Grey Editing, but it has been by the skin of my teeth in places.

In the meantime, summer has been making its presence felt. The temperatures have risen quickly this year and while we do drop back into cooler days, we don't stay there long. The roses are starting to bloom and I've started walking the dogs earlier in the morning. Spring's disappearance hasn't resulted in a corresponding disappearance of my hay fever. I left behind my medication while I was house-sitting and even though it was only for a few days, I really felt the difference.

I have a ton of flower photos I still need to post, so keep an eye out for them. I am determined to get to them eventually.
calissa: (Default)

Macro of a prostrate grevillea 'Bronze Rambler' in flower.

What are you doing/thinking/wondering/making/reading/etc. that you don't normally post about?

Doing: I actually managed to get out yesterday and take some photos, as you can see from above. I've been stricter with myself about not working on weekends, making it a little easier to find time for these sorts of things.

Watching: My sweetheart and I have been juggling a few different shows. He was inspired to start rewatching Supernatural. I'm not quite sure why. We only made it to the 5th or 6th season the first time around, so it will be interesting to see how we do this time around. So far, we're a few episodes into the second season.

We're also rewatching an anime called Yakitate Japan. It's a shounen anime about making bread, is light-hearted and filled with puns.

On the roleplaying end, we continue to stalk Adam Koebel. He's got a Burning Wheel campaign going for Roll20. One of the things I disliked about the games on the RollPlay channel is that some of the players had a propensity towards murder and chaos, perhaps to make things more entertaining or to stir things up. It had the opposite effect for me, making me bored and irritated. I find the players on the Roll20 channel to be much more interesting. They make things difficult for their characters without wanton destruction.

Finally, we're watching a Russian drama called Night Swallows which is, unsurprisingly, based on the very same piece of history as our Night Witches RPG. We're finding some great inspiration and have already learned that we've been pronouncing one of the names incorrectly.

Thinking: There's something about September that triggers my "holy crap, the year is almost over" button. I've been looking over the goals I had for this year to see whether I can realistically achieve them or whether they need to be revised. I've also been thinking a little bit about what I might like to achieve in 2016.

Reading: I'm between books at the moment and I'm not quite sure what I'll pick up next. It will depend a bit on how quickly I get to writing a review of Equilibrium because I don't like to try keeping two review books of similar genres or styles in my head at the same time. So if I want to get started on reading something today, it will be Stormbringer by Alis Franklin because it will be fun and I won't be reviewing it. However, if I don't get any reading time until tomorrow afternoon, I'll read my next review book, which will be Aurora: Eden by Amanda Bridgeman.

Writing: I'm still struggling with making time for my own writing. I'm doing a bit better than I was, but that may simply be because work is quieter at the moment. Anyway, I'm back to plugging holes in Siren Songs.

Wondering: Related to the above, I've been wondering a bit whether writing is something I want to continue with. Editing and reviewing keeps me pretty busy and I've been enjoying it a lot. Whereas I really struggle to convince myself to sit down and so some more writing. And if I do want to continue with writing, what do I want to be working on? Do I want to focus on short stories or novels? Do I want to give fanfic a go?

Drinking: A mix of different teas, but mostly alternating between Earl Grey and Chocolate chai.


Aug. 5th, 2015 07:04 pm
calissa: (Default)

Since it has been a month since I last posted anything personal, I thought I should probably blow the dust off here.

While the day before Imbolc was warm and promised of Spring, the weather didn't stay that way for long. It was snowing on the hills again today and the maximum temperature never quite made it into double (Celsius) digits.

When I last checked in, Wyrd Games had invited me to write a story for their monthly magazine. It was easy to determine this was a kind of audition to see whether my fiction suits them, since my work on their RPG manual had apparently been solid enough. I'd found writing for the latter project to be rather stressful (editing to deadlines is so much easier than writing to them) and had needed some time to recover. So I emailed them to see if it was the sort of thing I could take them up on later down the track. As I suspected, it was. So I'll be checking in with them in mid-October, once I'm through the birthday whirlwind of September and the local sci-fi convention in early October.

Despite the fact that I haven't had any work from Wyrd over the last month, I have had jobs from a few smaller clients which have been enough to keep me busy and reasonably satisfied. Plus, there's always the EGE blog to look after.

And life hasn't been all work, even if it has been mostly. There have also been baby showers, weddings, illnesses and deaths (none of which were mine, fortunately). There has been tea, chocolate, books and cuddles with cold doggies.

And now I'm heading off for more of the last few. Hopefully, I'll be able to carve out more time to check in here again soon.
calissa: Macro of a jonquil (Spring)

Happy Imbolc to those celebrating it. And happy Lughnasadh to my friends in the Northern Hemisphere.

I took yesterday off to celebrate, as I have a wedding to attend today. The weather was absolutely divine--golden, warm and full of the promise of spring. Typically, today is grey, windy and threatening rain.
calissa: (Gift)
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it.

I've made it through two family Christmases and will be leaving for the third (and final) one shortly.

I hope the occasion has been as peaceful and joyous as possible for you all.
calissa: A stalk with drying grass seeds sits in the foreground with a golden hill and blue mountains in the background. (Summer)
While the ever-lovely [personal profile] nanila was busy giving birth, I was off at the Australian National Botanic Gardens fulfilling her December Meme request for a nature photograph on any (or every!) day in December.

20141218 ANBG 1 HDR

Creepy crawlies )

Reptiles )

Ducklings )

Wollemi Pine )

Red Centre Garden landscape )

Flowers )

I'm very much looking forward to going back soon.
calissa: A stalk with drying grass seeds sits in the foreground with a golden hill and blue mountains in the background. (Summer)
20141214 Sunset 6 HDR

The sun has just set on the longest day of the year, so I'd like to wish a blessed solstice to all those that celebrate it.
calissa: Macro of a jonquil (Spring)
20140827 Sunflower macro 9 HDR
Macro of a sunflower

Spring has now officially ended, so I thought I'd better hurry and post the last of the photos I've had lying around. This batch features all the non-natives.

In the garden )

Flower festival )

Bits and pieces )
calissa: Macro of a jonquil (Spring)
It's no secret that September is a bit of a crazy month for me. So many birthdays! It also happens to be the month of ALL THE FLOWERS! I took a heap of photos and never quite got around to posting them. I thought I'd better do it before Spring officially ends (even though Spring unofficially ended a month or so ago).

Since there are so many photos, I thought I'd do them in two batches, starting with the natives.

Cootamundra wattle )

Hardenbergia )

Grevillea 'New Blood' )

Grevillea 'Bronze Rambler' )

Hope that bring some colour to those of you battling with winter dreariness (or summer bleaching).


Nov. 12th, 2014 08:19 pm
calissa: A stalk with drying grass seeds sits in the foreground with a golden hill and blue mountains in the background. (Summer)
20140809 Clouds 6 HDR

Summer has arrived early this year. Although the season hasn't officially started, the ground is looking brown and baked. It's funny, all year long I've been wondering whether I should change my summer icon for something a little more obvious--a nice seashell perhaps. But now that the season is here, I can see how perfect the cicada is.

I've begun to slip into my summer routine of walking the dogs no later than mid-morning and watering the garden in the evening. Sahaquiel and I bought a birdbath today, which should hopefully ease some of the stress on our feathered neighbours... once they discover it. I keep peeking out the window to see if they're using it yet.

Today was a day for running errands. I'd hoped to pick up some Christmas cards from the local RSPCA, since my stocks were running low, but they don't yet have any. I know some will argue that I'm just super organised to have started before 1 December. However, I think I kind of need to be with how busy this time of year gets. I can feel the headlong charge to the end of the year happening around me. I'm not ready yet--there's still so much to be done! Where did 2014 go?

Even the day has managed to slip away from me. Already, I need to wrap up on the computer and unwind before bed. There was tons more I wanted to write about, but I think it's going to have to wait for another day.


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October 2017



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