Ends and beginnings, 2016 edition

Author with awardIn the spirit of recounting the good things that happened to me in this global annus horribilis, here’s my year in review. In (mostly) chronological order…

My writing year kicked off in earnest (I’m sure I wrote stuff before then, but I can’t be sure) in March, when I attended Contact. Held in Brisbane over the Easter long weekend, this was the 55th Australian National Science Fiction Convention and I enjoyed it heartily.

It featured the first Aurealis Awards that I was involved with (as judge for SF short story category) and much live-tweeting by me. I also won a Ditmar Award for Best New Talent, which was surprising and inspiring to my work since. (Except for the part where I dropped my pin on the floor of the stage, but I am at peace with my clumsiness.) To the Australian speculative fiction community, thank you for welcoming me and honouring me.

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2015: the halfway point

A woman seated behind a table with two bottles of champagne at a book launch

Rivqa Rafael at the launch of Hear Me Roar. Photo credit: Bracha Rafael.

We’re halfway through 2015, which is terrifying. On the plus side, I’ve just arrived home – energised, inspired and exhausted – from Continuum 11, which I enjoyed thoroughly and live-tweeted extensively, some of which I have immortalised here; photos from Cat Sparks are here.

One of the biggest highlights of the con was, of course, the launch of Hear Me Roar, a Ticonderoga Publications anthology that contains my first published work of fiction. Having my first launch in my hometown meant that my mother and sister were able to attend (+1 naches).

On another note, I’ve volunteered to judge the category of science fiction short stories for the Aurealis Awards. I’m excited to be part of the awards and am looking forward to discussing one of my favourite forms and genres extensively.

That said, I expect it will keep me quite busy, and (did I mention we’re halfway through 2015?) I’ve written nowhere near enough yet this year, so I’m planning to scale back on editing work and focus on writing and reading for the next few months. With that in mind, I will note that this blog, such as it is, will likely focus more on my fiction than editing or non-fiction, at least for now.