Also known as the day I got a bad shock and a good shock.
There were huge storms throughout Brisbane and the surrounding area the night before, and the Glasshouse Mountains got the back end of it. Thankfully, in a little bit of good luck, my hosts got their loose gravel driveway tarred just the day before, so managed to reduce quite a bit of the inevitable damage. I was just hoping that today, the waters would have been cleared so I could get into Brisbane without too much trouble.
I’ve been planning to go home next year for about a month for quite some time. Mostly to see people, but also to get my drivers licence since living in Oz without one is a nightmare, and it takes 18 months to qualify here. However, because I am a complete ditherer, I’ve left it till now, and when I went to book the flights, knew I was going in with a heavy financial burden about to hit me. I was going through an agency rather than independently mostly so I could check up a lot of deal flights, and get a multi-flex pass so I could change my dates if I needed shorter/longer when I actually got there.
Managed to get my flights, plus a week in Bali as I’m coming back, but they were about $500 more than I’d really been hoping to spend. I nasty vicious surprise considering I’m still paying of New Years in Sydney – these 2 things have eaten up a lot more of my savings than I was hoping, but at least Sydney is a one time thing and I REALLY need to go home then. Just have to be a little more frugal with my days and find paid work as soon as I can.
Since I’d had to come to Brisbane, figured I could do the tiny amount of Christmas shopping I needed to, and maybe go to the museum which had a few pretty interesting exhibits on at the time. Got a little distracted by the cultural centre when I found a free exhibit about The Lion King musical (costumes and sketchbooks etc) since it was currently on at the theatre…and then saw a guy half dressed as Squall from Final Fantasy 8. Not something you see every day.
Come to think of it, I’d seen quite a few quirky or interesting outfits that morning, and when I started taking a closer look, was nothing quite a lot more fandom t-shirts and…yes, that was a Maleficent walking down the street.
A few quick questions later, I discovered that living in the middle of nowhere had dropped me off the convention radar. Supanova was in Brisbane this weekend, at the convention centre 10 minutes away.
I take one look at the museum, and then head after the cosplayers. The Scottish convention Auchinawa had just been held so I’d been a little low, some Aussie convention feels might just take the edge off. Braced myself for the line, found an ATM, paid the $32 entry fee and headed into nerdvana.
I’d been to Perth Supanova earlier in the year so knew more or less what it would be like. Its essentially the London Expo’s with a much heavier emphasis given to original crafters (there’s a lot of self published books, jewellery, clothing etc) rather than big businesses. They are there, but its very easy to find stalls with something truly unique.
The biggest issue of course is that there’s thousands of things I want, and none of them I can A) afford, and B) actually travel with. So I had to wander and try to keep my pockets heavy. Didn’t really work, as I’m always a sucker for a good book, and in between talking about publishing to a few people ended up with one book from Penguin and 2 self published novels that looked genuinely good. Also grabbed a calender that I thought would make a good gift for someone, and a notebook that I shouldn’t have gotten, but has a fantastic cover and couldn’t resist.
My favourite stand though was Make it Sew, which was selling fandom related fabric, which I thought was the best idea ever. It was mostly western fandom, but they’d used the fabrics to make this fantastic My Little Pony quilt. I’m not a fan, but know quite a few people who are, and it seemed like such a great idea for a gift. Didn’t buy the kits, but will definitely keep the store in mind for whenever I go home and want to do something creative.
There was also Black Milk Clothing, a business that a friend happens to love, selling quiet a few stretchy clothing items (including an awesome Cinderella dress I’d have loved to get if I’d had the money). This fandom printed stretch fabric seems really popular here – there were several stands selling this kind of clothing so I’ll have to keep more of an eye out for it. At the end of it, the only clothing item I buckled down and bought was a Frozen sweatshirt, since it was really thin and I could use something long sleeved for the evenings that hasn’t been shredded by birds yet.
Also got to one panel – which was about self-publishing a novel. I’m pretty old school with publishing (half the reason I have a publishing degree) but even I’m willing to admit that its something I should get more knowledge about considering how easy it is to do now. A very informative panel which was actually a lot more useful than I expected. Most of the information was Australia focused, and did involve a lot of ‘duh’ things, but very, very helpful.
Also caught the first half of a panel about taking a script and putting it on screen (by a gentleman called Scott Baker, who has worked on things like The Hobbit and is a published author himself), but had to leave in order to get my train.
Its too bad I didn’t look into it earlier and try and plan my weekend accordingly. But thanks to the flights and Sydney, I really can’t afford to come back on Sunday – despite some really interesting panels being available. In fact the whole weekend has some great looking panels – not to mention the Madman National Cosplay Championships on the Saturday, but its just not doable. Its $50 each time to come (not including food and what I inevitably buy while running around). Have to just appreciate this little taste and see if anything pops up online panel wise.