Madcap Adventures and Distracting Hijinx

On GenreCon 2017 & Taking Off My Convener Hat For A While

My post-con hair frightens me and refuses to be tamed

ONE

I usually roll in here the day after GenreCon and post my thoughts about the conference, but this year I’m caught between either saying too little or too much and so I’ve left it until after I chatted to my boss.

GenreCon 2017 is my fourth go-around with the conference and it’s easily been the biggest, bringing in 240+ writers over the weekend and selling out the State Library venue. That’s a far cry from the 130 writers who showed up for the first conference in Parramatta back in 2012.

I set out to deliver a 2017 conference that would make the best possible argument for keeping GenreCon around when QWC’s management committee and CEO considered their future projects. The result wasn’t a flawlessly run con – no event this size ever will be – but it is definitely the best possible argument I could set forward. 2017 was a year of phenomenal guests, a year where the volunteers of years past solidified into a core team that most attendees will never truly understand how much the conference owes, and the year where the conference (to my knowledge) delivered on all the key points it needed to deliver on.

It’s not a guarantee there will be another – it’s impossible to do that two years out, when working with a non-profit that has a management board, a reduced funding environment, and a small staff – but I feel like the best possible argument has been made with 2017.

TWO

Every GenreCon, we send out invites to a guests because we’re convinced they will show up and kill it. Every year, the guests who elect to come show up and do exactly that, which has the incredibly benefit that it makes us look good simply because we had the common sense to recognise people who were a) smart, b) talented, and c) willing to give generously of their time and experience to help newer writers. A huge amount of thanks go out to this year’s GenreCon Guests: Nalini Singh, Delilah Dawson, Amy Andrews, Angela Slatter, Claire Coleman, Dan Findlay, Emma Viskic, Garth Nix, and Sean Williams.

Thanks also go out to the numerous writers who volunteered to be part of the program, the editors and agents who took pitches at the conference, and to the enormously hard-working volunteer crew who made up the GenreCon Ninja Team. Few people realise just how essential the latter are in making the weekend work, and they aren’t shouted anywhere near the number of drinks they deserve for the hours they put in on behalf of other writers.

THREE

I’ve made three attempts to write this post and deleted all of them, because I keep dancing around a fact that I haven’t been keen to acknowledge in public: if QWC conference runs in 2019, there is a good chance I won’t be able to step into the role of convenor in the same way I’ve worked on the previous four. The end of 2019 when GenreCon would run coincides with the time I’m meant to be delivering my PhD thesis, and I want that thing delivered before my scholarship runs out. My involvement in a 2019 con would be focused, rather than over-arching, with the goal of passing on things I’ve learned over the past five years so that someone else can carry the conference the rest of the way to the finish line.

On one hand, I do not envy them that job. GenreCon is always hard work, and the logistics of putting everything together takes up a huge amount of mental real estate that means it often spills over the hours set aside to work on it. I’ve always been pretty sanguine when that meant giving up other things, but it’s a trade-off that gets harder and harder over time, and it’s made worse by the fact that the con doesn’t end with the con. There’s still the post-game reports that need to be written, the attendee surveys where we figure out what went right and what went wrong. Paperwork and clean-up and conversations and forward planning.

For all that convening GenreCon is a fantastic gig, I doubt I can give up that mental space and still finish writing a thesis. It’s been hard enough to give up that mental space and keep The Birdcage Heart on track for release at the end of the month, despite the fact that many of the stories in the collection were previously published and there’s a minimal amount of work required to get the book over the line.

On the other hand, I do envy them. There are few things I’ve done in my professional life that have been as satisfying as running GenreCon, and especially building it up to the point where hit this year. It was the gig that kept me at QWC for many years, and the gig that brought me back when I resigned as the manager of the Australian Writers Marketplace last year. There is no doubt, when 2019 rolls around, that I will look back and wonder if perhaps I was a little hasty – perhaps it will be less work than I think, or I could just get more done on the thesis in advance…

I plan on ignoring those thoughts, even if part of me will eel a little selfish for choosing to chase after the title of Doctor over working on something that helps two hundred and fifty writers. The temptation to go back and convene “just one more” is always going to be strong, but there’s a danger to sitting in a role like that too long. You become set in your ways right about the time you want someone to come in and look at things in a new way. .

I think 2017 was a pretty good year for my run to end on. It may not have been a perfect conference – no event of this size ever will be – but it feels like it was the best possible conference I could run and it hit all the goals I wanted it to hit.

Thanks to everyone who made that happen, this year and in all the years prior. You lot are fucking awesome.

Things You Should Be Going To In April If You Are In Brisbane And Into Spec Fic

It’s rare that I leave the house for reasons that are not gaming, uni, or terrible movies, but next month I’ll be making the effort twice to support a couple of spec-fic-type happenings taking place in Brisbane. And since I don’t want to go to these places and hang around, all awkward and knowing no-one, here’s a heads up for people who may share my interest in all things science fiction, horror, and fantasy who might be interested in coming along.

LAUNCH: CAT SPARKS’ LOTUS BLUE and THORAIYA DYER’S CROSSROADS OF CANOPY
Where: 
Avid Reader Bookshop; When: Thursday, 13 April, 6:00 PM; Cost: Free (but preregister)
Why should you be going? It’s rare that spec fic writers from outside Queensland launch their books locally, and even rarer when the authors of those books are published by overseas presses. Sparks and Dyer are both great writers and they’re coming to town to co-launch their first novels into the world. Register you interest in attending at the Avid Reader website.

THE SCIENCE FICTION BOOK CLUB Featuring Jodi McAlister and Maria Lewis

Where: Avid Reader Bookshop; When: Monday, 24 April, 6:00 PM; Cost: $7.50
Why should you be going? Despite the name, this is an in-conversation with the two guests led by Brisbane author Trent Jamieson. More importantly, it’s being touted as the first of a monthly series, which means that even if I weren’t interested in what these particular authors had to say (for the record, I totally am), I would go and support the series on the principle of USE IT OR LOSE IT. If you don’t support this sort of thing early, when it’s vulnerable to lack of numbers being seen as lack of interest, it doesn’t stick around.

I’ve wanted something like this to exist in Brisbane for a while now, which means that I will plan to be there the last Monday of every month with fucking bells on. Tickets and details available on the Avid Reader website.

PSA: How to Contact Peter About GenreCon

I spent today back in the QWC offices, annoying friends on Twitter by vague-tweeting about the behind-the-scenes GenreCon stuff that was coming together. I also spent today fielding a bunch of queries about the conference…some via official channels, and some via Facebook, personal email, and in-person queries.

So, futile as it may be, I am going to strap on my grumpy pants and put this out there as a reminder: if you have queries about this year’s GenreCon, your best bet is emailing the shared GenreCon email address used by the whole ninja team (who are doing a lot more of the work this year) or my work email if you’re wanting to talk to me specifically.

I’ll admit the lines between writing-Peter and GenreCon-Peter are frequently blurred, but they do exist. GenreCon is a gig I do that requires a lot of putting aside me and working to advance the careers of other writers, so I rarely rationally and calmly when people ask me to keep doing that via communication streams that are basically used to manage my writing career.

The times when I’m happy to respond to queries via my personal email or, worse, via Facebook messenger basically come down to:

  • When the person asking the question is a really good friend. I know that seems kinda ambiguous, so here’s your rule of thumb: Have I drunk coffee at your house? Have you drunk coffee at mine?  If the answer to either of these is no, you probably don’t know me well enough to ask about work stuff on non-work time without pissing me off a little.
  • When the questions are about running a con in general, rather than this con in particular. I am totally fine with people contacting me to ask questions about how I program conferences. Because those questions are about me, not the job or what you are hoping to get out of the con, and I am egocentric enough to like talking about me and find it a valuable use of my non-work hours.
  • When you are an agent/editor/publisher with whom I have (or want) a professional relationship. ‘Cause, yo, I ain’t stupid. I spend far more of my life writing than I spend running a conference, even if it’s GenreCon that gets the most attention throughout the year. Also, because anyone in this category usually has a pretty good instinct about crossing professional boundaries from their own experiences with writers.
  • When you are a current or former invited guest of GenreCon. ‘Cause, honestly, if you’ve been an invited guest of the conference you’ve worked your ass off to make me look good as an organiser, and you deserve to inconvenience me as much as you goddamn like. And if you’re a current guest, I’m largely counting on you making me look good come November, and the same logic applies.

Everyone else, honestly, use the email addresses linked to above instead of social media messaging or my personal email. You are more likely to get an answer, and I am less likely to dream of punting you into a vat of boiling magma and unleashing a swarm of ill-tempered bass with fricken’ laser beams on your ass.

And I will repeat my message from 2015: Facebook messenger is a damn stupid way to engage in any kind of professional correspondence. Particularly this year, where my social media time is minimal, at best, and shit is just going to be flat-out missed.

And for those who have read this far looking for updates or news about GenreCon…well, things will start moving pretty rapidly from this point on. Today was spent locking down budget, making final decisions, and writing the first few bits of marketing copy, so news should start hitting the internet over the next ten days.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go spend a few hours playing Batman: Arkham City.

Crazy Thoughts

Tomorrow it will be eight weeks since I started on antidepressants. Since then I’ve cycled through three different types, found one that seems to have manageable side-effects, and stuck with it long enough that I’ve actually had to go back and refill a prescription. This is, apparently, a good thing in terms of seeing the effects kick in and…well, yeah. While I’m not conscious of things being different, every now and then I’ll look up and realise things are different.

I also spent a lot of time catching up with friends I don’t see often over the weekend, which meant I found myself talking about the depression and the meds a bit more than usual. And I discovered that I’m extraordinarily bad at it, in a lot of respects, because I keep describing things that sound kind of terrible and being all, actually, it was awesome.

Case in point: there was two-week period at the beginning of July where I was on a set of meds that made things considerably worse rather than better. I started having panic attacks. I became very aware of self-harm, suicide, and property damage as the potential solutions to problems. I ceased to be in control of my internal monologue. For eight straight days a part of my brain would whisper things like: you cry every time you drive somewhere; this would stop if you didn’t have a car to drive anymore – you should set the fucker on fire. You keep curling up on your floor and shivering like a crazy fucker – if you put a knife through your palm, at least there would be reason. You forgot to do any writing today, and feel a little worthless – good thing you live beside a train line, huh?

I knew this wasn’t normal. I knew these were crazy solutions, induced by the meds, but my brain would loop back to them over and over. That line of thinking was the first cab off the rank when trying to deal with…well, anything. I knew better than to act on them, but finding myself back at those solutions over and over got tiring.

I spent much of that week desperately trying to hold conversations with people via the internet just so I didn’t have to listen to my subconscious suggest shit anymore. Or avoiding conversations with people, because I didn’t have the resources to hide the fact that this was going on in my internal dialogue.

And yes, it was horrible and not a lot of fun to go through, but…look, in hindsight, it was a useful thing . There was a part of me that still wondered if everyone around me had overreacted a bit, up until that point, and suddenly it was very clear that things were really not okay. I stopped fighting the idea that I might be depressed, and started putting the energy spent wondering look, what if it’s just  mistake into well, this is a thing and I do not want to be back here. How do I start managing this better? 

And that meant my habit of using work and writing to try and run away from the faulty wiring in my skull wasn’t really any viable anymore. There was no chance of running away anymore. The crazy had caught up. Amid the panic attacks and the desperate conversations and the quiet evenings where I’d remind myself not to go near the knife floor, there was also a sense of relief.

Over the weekend I got asked if antidepressants had affected my writing any. It’s probably too soon to say that for sure, given that I’ve only just hit a month on an antidepressant that isn’t fucking with my head or causing ridiculous amounts of side-effects.

But the last week and a bit have been kinda awesome, now that I’m settling in with my current meds, because it’s the first time in years that I feel like I’m working towards something with a writing project, rather than running away from something.

It seems like a small distinction, but it’s bigger than I could imagine eight weeks ago. I’m kinda curious to see how things come together in the coming months.

Floor Star

Technical Difficulties. Please Stand By.

I went to a con. My brain is not working. I have a presentation to the board of the Writers Centre tonight. I want to lie here and moan about sleep. I want to get up and write about the con. I want to finish a short story and go start rewriting my novel. I want to read all the books I acquired, which was comparatively little for me at a con, and it will still keep me going for the next year.

I want to write follow-up emails for the unfinished conversations. I want to say thank-you to a bunch of excellent moderators who chaired panels I was on, and excellent moderators who chaired panels I went to see and really enjoyed. I want to talk about how important cons are, and how important they aren’t in the scheme of becoming an SF writer. I want to write big, detailed posts about SF and masculinity, and large-scale story structure, and small-scale story structure, and Die Hard.

I want to do so many things. I’m not doing any of them. Instead, my morning is best summarised with this:

The Spokesbear is disappointed in me.

But then, he always is.

See you tomorrow, peeps.

A Request for Regular Readers: Give me a topic

I’ve got a nine-day holiday coming up where I disappear to Adelaide and Melbourne, sans laptop, and will not have regular internet access. Because I love you all and refuse to let my absence from the internet keep me quiet, I’m starting to prepare posts that will go live in my absence.

I have a few ideas for topics, but since I’m already breaking from my usual process, I figure that’s a good excuse to throw a question out there to the peeps reading this blog: what do you want me to write about?

Give me topics. Ask me questions. Set me challenges, if you’re so inclined. The last time I did this, a whole bunch of posts started out with people giving me a single word.

Essentially, if there’s a thing you’d like me to write and/or rant about, my brain is at your disposal. Answers will start going live from the 29th of February.

 

Pre-Conference Thoughts

I’m writing this in the past and setting it to post on Monday. Right now, as I write this, it’s 10:53 on Thursday evening and I’m ensconced in a hotel room at Rydges South Bank, watching the minutes tick by as the start of the conference gets closer.

I’ve seen about twenty people I know this evening, courtesy of Lisa Hannett’s book launch. Almost all of those people started our conversation with some variation on “I’m surprised you’re still standing.”

But this is not the exhausting bit. Even when the disasters hit – and the one rule of running a conference is that disasters will hit – once you get to the night before the conference it’s pretty much out of your hands. You just kinda…hold on. Answer the questions you can, do what needs doing to keep things running, roll with any punches that come your way.

It doesn’t make it any easier to get to sleep.

Partially it’s the nervous energy, thinking about what’s coming. Partially it’s the faint sting of shame, brooding over the things you wish you’d done better. Partially, it’s just ’cause you’re punch drunk, and you feel like you’ve been taking hits and swinging blind for so long that you’re not sure how to just stop.

So you check your email and answer messages. You make notes about things you’d like to do differently next year. You check Facebook and Twitter and even Google+, ’cause you’re brain is looking for things to focus on and sleep eludes you.

Weirdly, this is probably my favourite part of running GenreCon.

And by the time this goes out, the con will be over. I’ll be tired and grumpy and either very satisfied or faintly displeased with the way things turned out, but at this point I’m very sure of the fact that a firm percentage of the writers coming along will be going home with a useful experience.

That doesn’t stop me crossing my fingers, just in case.

See you all tomorrow, once I’ve had some sleep.

On Tour

I’m writing this in a hotel room in Townsville, halfway through a regional tour where I do a series of four different writing workshops in three different cities. Yesterday I was out in Charters Towers, tomorrow I fly off to Cairns. I’ve been flooding my instagram feed with images, which I very rarely do, mostly because I’m in a position to photograph things I don’t ordinarily get to see.

Townsville is rather pretty. I didn’t expect that, flying in. Or when I caught the train out, yesterday. Or when I caught a bus back in, this morning.

I went for a walk this afternoon and kept seeing mountains pressed up against the city, real close, in a way we don’t really get in Brisbane.

Townsville, River

It doesn’t, however, compare the the venue of yesterday’s workshop. The Excelsior Library, in Charters Towers, is built in an old pub after it was burnt down. It’s got that awesome new-library feel once you get inside, but from the outside it still looks like a pub. So much so that I walked right past it a few times, when I first went looking.

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One of the Excelsior’s librarians, Joan, was nice enough to take me through the building and give me some details about its history and how it’s used. A lot of that got turned into notes, ’cause really, that’s the sort of thing that deserves to go into stories.

Today I was doing a short workshop-type thing for the Townsville Writers and Publishers centre iWrite program, which meant I got to talk through a bunch of stuff that it’s useful for writers to know with high school students in the local area. We talked plotting and submitting work and the magic of try-fail cycles, and somewhere in amongst all that there was sacrificing cheese to the dragon-god in order to get a paper-clip and save someone’s life.

School groups, it must be said, are invariably more interesting to talk to than adult writers.

(On the off chance that anyone from the workshop stumbles onto this post, a lot of the stuff I talked about has been previously covered on this blog before, here and here. Sorry we ran long and didn’t have time for questions, but my email is over here if you’ve got a question you got something you wanted to ask).

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It has to be said, this hotel room is perhaps my favourite of all the hotel rooms I’ve ever been in. I have this thing where I basically want my hotel rooms to either be awesomely strange, thoroughly comfortable, or slightly creepy. The current room delivers on all three fronts.

For starters, it was obviously not designed as a hotel room. There are all sorts of clues, like the giant air-vent that is just large enough that a slightly thinner man than me could crawl through it, or the set of wooden louvres set into the weird bench-thing underneath the window. Plus, there’s this:

Foorstool of Doom

I’m pretty sure it’s a footstool, intended to be used with the small chair in the corner of the hotel room, but generally people don’t make footstools heavy enough that your back whimpers when you try to move it. Near as I can tell, it’s a pretty solid hunk of wood that’s been polished up to serve as whatever it’s serving as, and while I can roll it pretty good, there’s no way in hell I can lift it.

The room itself is huge, the bed thoroughly comfortable, and the carpet significantly less disturbing than the carpeting in the hall. And I think this is the first time I’ve ever found the desk in a hotel room comfortable enough to work at.

GenreCon 2013: The Aftermath

gc-2013-web-banner

So I’ve been organising a con for the last few months, and now it’s over. GenreCon 2013 has been laid to rest, the attendees have all departed and flown back to their home cities, and my twitter feed is filled with people either thanking me for putting the con on or congratulating me on its success. Which means my life returns, more or less, to what passes for normal around these parts. A least until October 24th, when I fly to the UK to attend World Fantasy and get to experience the whole con thing from the attendee’s side.

The internet is slowly starting to fill with people posting con reports. Some of the ones that have crossed my path are here, here, and here. This is my report, which isn’t really a report, ’cause when you convene a conference, you don’t really get to see much.

Perhaps a more accurate thing to say is this is a series of vaguely coherent thoughts and feels I’ve had since the conference ended.

One

Holy fucking Jesus, that thing ate my life. I mean, there are many projects that are all-consuming, whether they’re work-related or writing-related, but this was like inviting Godzilla into your house to snack on all the available free time.

I am seriously fucking tired right now. But it’s a good kind of tired. I’m building up to some epic napping in the very near future.

Two

In a lot of ways, I’m one of the most visibly faces of GenreCon online, which means I get a lot of thanks and gratitude sent my way when the social medias start firing up (also, this year, an ungodly number of free drinks when I hit the bar; this caught me off guard).

All this gratitude is great for my ego and all, but it’s really not fair – for ten month of the year GenreCon is a conversation between me and my boss, Meg Vann, and for the most part those ten months are the fun part. Once the conference date draws near, however, a whole gang of people come on board to make things happen, and their jobs are actually a lot harder (and way less fun) than mine.

This means there’s a series of people who are getting nowhere near the love they deserve from the attendees, despite the fact they worked their fucking asses off to make the con happen. I spend a lot of time thanking these people for their work, but it never feels like enough, so I’ll do it once again:

To Meg, who helps keep the good ship GenreCon running and helps me steer the mighty beast;

To Aimee, who fucking rocks the on-the-ground admin and masters the logistics that would take me hours to untangle;

To Simon, who refuses to be flapped by anything and remains a quiet centre of calm amid the chaos;

To Sophie, who promoted the hell out of things and worked through a wicked flu to keep things running;

To Megan, who worked booze-free at all the events that had free booze, and thus made the ultimate sacrifice;

To Stacey, who wrangled transport and stepped up to fill the empty spots in the schedule whenever they needed filling (seriously, *have a lunch break*);

To Emily, who switched gears over and over on the weekend, and managed to line up an epic series of interviews amid all the backstage stuff.

To Lizz M., who stepped into the breach more times than I can count, thus earning the gratitude of me and the entire QWC contingent;

and to Lizz G., who walked into the chaos at the eleventh hour, and held her own admirably.

Seriously, all of you, thank you.

You seriously fucking rock, and none of you get the gratitude you deserve for your efforts through the GenreCon weekend.

Three

I said this last year, and I’ll stand by it: when you’re planning a con, the quality of your talent matters.

For the second year in a row, we were blessed with a truly outstanding list of guests. I can whole-heartedly recommend Chuck Wendig and John Connolly as potential guests to anyone planning a writing conference – they were both erudite, thoroughly engaging, and exceedingly fucking smart presenters who brought a great deal of knowledge to the table, and I think almost all the writers who engaged with them came away inspired and ready to double-down on their writing careers.

The same can be said of our Australian guests. We already knew Anne Gracie was going to be phenomenal (I’ve been a huge fan of her advice articles in the RWA newsletter, and pretty much anyone involved in the Romance Writers of Australia is a safe bet when it comes to being a con guest), and the same is true of both Alex Adsett (one of the rising stars among Australian literary agents) and Harlequin Escape editor Kate Cuthbert (we met her at GenreCon 2012 and immediately thought, yep, we’re definitely bringing her back).

Kathryn Fox was someone we’d tried to bring to the first GenreCon as a guest (we were thwarted by email problems), so it was great to see here in the thick of things this year, enjoying herself amid the other guests. John Birmingham remained a laconic, entertaining presence at the con and delivered an image I’ll be hard-pressed to forget during the final debate.

I’m exceedingly sorry I missed Peter Armstrong’s presentation about serial publication, which my boss has been raving about for several months (and the implementation of his Lean Pub platform seemed to impress our digital team at work).

Four

If the quality of our invited talent wasn’t enough, GenreCon really thrived on the backs of over ninety writers, editors, and agents who volunteered their time to participate in this year’s program. In the end we could use only half that number (limited time, limited space), but it meant we could represent a great deal of diversity in terms of the genres and experience levels presented.

A whole bunch of people came to GenreCon and rocked it, for no other reason than because they wanted to contribute to the development of emerging Australian writers and help forge the kind of community that makes exists to help everyone.

Seriously, all of you, you fucking rock.

Five

The statistical odds of me attempting to write a romance novel is significantly higher than it was this time last year.

Six

It probably won’t be a good romance novel, but I want to make the attempt.

Seven

When you work a project like GenreCon, you get to see a whole lot of genre-snobbery up close. It happened a few times in the lead-up, whether it was in the abstract (people posting me articles about the difference between genre and lit-fic) or the specific (people making disparaging marks about genre writing in general). That shit, it royally pisses me off, to the point where my blood pressure spikes. In my world, if you want to write, you’ve earned all the respect you need to earn for your ambitions to respected. What you want to write doesn’t factor into things.

The reverse of this – genre writers getting snarky at the lit crowd – doesn’t happen in quite the same way, but it does happen, and it’s a thing I generally try to avoid programming stuff that’ll provoke that kind of snark when we put together the con program. For one thing, I like big L literature as much as I like genre fiction. For another thing, a whole bunch of the peeps I mentioned up in point two? Lit writers. REALLY FUCKING GOOD lit writers. I don’t want them to feel disrespected when they’re giving up sixteen hours of their life to make something run.

Mostly, we get that right.

This year, on occasions, we got that wrong, and it made me a little sad. I get where a lot of the anger towards literature comes from (I’ve felt it myself, in the past, and will no doubt feel it again), but the truth is writers are writers, and the vast majority of writers will find common ground if given half the opportunity to do so.

Eight

The next big GenreCon isn’t until 2015 and I’ve got a whole lot of complex feelings about that. Mostly, though, I’m happy we’re taking a break next year.

Don’t get me wrong, I love running the con, but if I’m being really honest with myself, I have to admit that this year has damn-near wiped me out when it comes to work stuff. I don’t have a good filter when it comes to doing things I’m passionate about, and that means it’s extraordinarily hard for me to come home and switch off when running a con. I may be employed four days a week, but I think about it twenty-four seven (and largely work that often well).

But it isn’t just the all-consuming nature of the work that makes me happy about the every-two-years plan.

It’s the fact that it’ll give us the time to do things better. It’ll let us plan the next conference and give it some more shape, rather than just resting on the things that have let us get to this point. GenreCon grew fast – we had about 70% more attendees this year than the first time we ran things – and sticking with that kind of roller-coaster doesn’t leave a lot of time for thinking things out.

24 months may seem like a long wait, but I’m already looking at ways that the extra time allows us to try some things that are completely kick-ass. We can take a look at all the things we’re doing right, all the things that are going wrong, and really take the time to deliver a quality experience.

And honestly, for me, 2015 will be here before I know it, and I’m already sweating the details of what the conference is going to look like…

How Are You Rocking the Casbah This Week?

Away Message

I’m going to be a bit scarce around the online world this week. We’re launching the all-new AWMonline next Monday (fingers crossed) and there’s a few projects I need to catch up on after focusing all my attention webwards for a few weeks, otherwise the deadlines will sneak up on me and kick my arse.

In my absence, I leave you in the Spokesbear’s capable, if adorably fuzzy, paws. He’ll be here all week, being all intently interested in what you’ve got to say, and we’re both really interested in hearing what’s new in your world. Tell us about your hi-jinx and adventures, peeps. Let us live vicariously through your lives. Show me there’s a rainbow at the far end of the journey.

What have you been doing that rocks the Casbah lately?