The Joy of a Fireplace

There is something magical about having an open fireplace. The dancing of flames, the crackling and popping of wood being gradually eaten away, and the soft ebbing glow of coals dying in the darkness of a house in the claws of winter.

The warmth that a fire breathes is not just a warmth you can feel deep into your skin, but it’s also a warmth that chases away loneliness and pain. Something about having a fire going in my house keeps at bay all the things dark nights can sometimes bring about. It is a truly marvelous things, and I highly enjoy the wonderful pleasure of having an open fireplace.

It is a lot of work – I will admit to that.
Buying wood, chopping wood, constantly cleaning ash. It takes a good solid forty-five minutes to get everything ready before I can even start the fire.

That’s not mentioning the amount of time I spent in Summer preparing for Winter. I spent many hours preparing boxes, upon boxes of gathered sticks to use as kinderling and I am VERY glad I did. I have needed all of them to keep me going.

But you know what, when I walk into my shed and pick up another box I prepared in Summer, I smile to myself, so happy that I took the time and effort to be ready for the Winter.

I am sure it will not be forever. Perhaps someday I might get to busy to manage a fireplace – who knows – part of me actually hopes that will happen. But for now, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to enjoy such a simple, fulfilling pleasure that brings me so much joy.

Midnight. The fire is left to slowly fade. The cat is all that walks in the flickering light.

Oz Comic Con Adelaide

Oz Comic Con Adelaide wrapped up on Sunday. I’ve spent Monday in recovery mode. Just chilling. The weather right now is truly beautiful. Autumn. I love Autumn. The sky feels richer in its blue, the air crisp, and the chill of Winter is just beginning to set in. It’s lovely.

It was a wonderful weekend, and I am so grateful to everyone who came along to visit me at my booth, to all those who purchased my novel. Thank you. Thank you so much! It was such an honour. I hope the adventure you have embarked upon brings you great joy as you read it.

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This year my little sister helped with bump-in.
I am immensely blessed to have such a tolerant family, who accept the craziness of my life, and just how much I enjoy what it is that I do and the geeky-culture that I immense myself in. I am sure its difficult, at times, for them to fully understand it, but they accept it and enjoy it along with me anyway.
I wouldn’t have been able to set up without Mel. So, thank you Mel for the help. It really meant a lot to me that you came along. I am SO GLAD we found that trolley and didn’t have to carry the boxes of books.

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Anyone notice that our glasses match our hair colour?

It was my Dad who took the time out of his weekend to keep me company and help man-the-booth on Saturday and Sunday morning, missing church. Dad works away from Adelaide during the weeks, in Whyalla, and only has the weekends home, so as you can imagine, his weekends are rather precious, and he spent his weekend at Oz Comic Con. So, an immense thanks goes to my Dad as well.
My little sister popped in on Sunday afternoon so Dad could visit my grandparents, and she manned-the-booth during the time I did a talk with some fellow indie authors. Which went very well, I feel, and if you did attend, let me know what you thought!

Saturday morning, when Dad and I arrived early — my favourite time, because I can run around freely without a crowd — I skipped happily between all the stalls looking at all the amazing things. I don’t have a great camera on my phone anymore so uploading to social media has become difficult, hence my silence over the weekend.

It was lovely to see so much artistic stuff going on, walls you could draw on, Anime station you can scribble at happily.

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I drew Sami on the Scribble Wall.

It is difficult to leave a booth that is fitted between two other booths. So all the photos I do have tend to be taken from behind my booth once the show starts.
Thankfully I had some visitors.
Deadpool dropped by. Which was awesome.

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And then there was this amazingly well crafted Toothless along with incredible cosplays from How To Tame a Dragon. Seriously. Look at the work they put into everything. They could even ride Toothless. Genius.

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I am always so impressed by cosplay. What people dress up as, the level of detail they’ll go into, and who they’ll come along as. It is magical, inventive, and colourful.

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Half the fun of a convention is sharing a ‘street’ of the Artist Alley with wonderful, creative people who love the convention circuit just as much. I did take a photo of our ‘street’ but it blurred beyond recognition (like I said, terrible phone camera). dsc05023_zpsowaninpq

My Dad said something interesting to me while I was debating about getting an autograph. He said: “This only happens once a year (or twice, depending if I do Supanova), and it makes you happy.”
And its true. To be brutally honest, I don’t have any friends (at least here in Aussieland) in which to geek out over Anime, or Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and gaming. No one to play Dungeons and Dragons with monthly. As Karen said in our talk, ‘writing can be a very lonely job’ and sadly, I’ve just ended up a bit isolated because, one, I’m naturally introverted, and two, my health caused me to seclude myself away.
And it is only now, that I’ve matured a bit more, and learnt some techniques to cope, that I’m trying harder to get out and about — to ‘make friends’ which is *really* hard. If anyone has a magical formula for it, I’d appreciate this knowledge.

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Do things that make you happy.
Go to conventions. Go for walks. Watch a movie. Read a book. Play a game.
Even the tiniest things can bring joy sometimes, in the dimmest of moments.  There can be a flower growing in your garden, a single flower, and it can bring on a smile.
Or, perhaps, this is just me. I do not know.
However, that is what I learnt from this weekend, to remember happiness is still there if I seek to find it.