Well, house packing is underway. We have found one place that we're really interested in - so we're off for another look tomorrow, Starting the packing has a twofold benefit - for a start it's going to take forever to pack this place up plus it means we clear some room in the house as this is a big week for the 4MA / AustCrime Fiction "girls" (aka "The Coven" as himself nicknamed us a few years ago - which stuck).
You hear all the "horror" stories about the internet and you hear very little about the good. We all "met" up via the fantastic 4MA - a reading / discussion group where a lot of friendships have been formed over the years, a group which is managed with great aplomb by the best group of moderators around. We talk books a lot, fanatically (the group's not named 4 Mystery Addicts for nothing), but within the book discussions there is a real sense of community and encouragement of that shared experience. Mind you, we don't stray from books for too long - did I mention fanatics?
So out of the interactions online - we've formed a little group of friends many of whom catch up in their respective home states, many of whom gather now for the Writers Festival. Hopefully we'll continue to do this at the Crime & Justice Festival into the future - even though logistically it will be more tricky for us as we head way out into the bush. But this year, Helen from Newcastle and Sunnie from Launceston are coming as usual, and Sally from Darwin is also flying in for her first visit / to join in the fun. We're going to the few events that we could find that interested us at the Writers Festival, but we've got a lot of extra-curricula events shaping up as well. A minibus and driver has been hired for a tour of wineries in the Yarra Valley, some second-hand bookshops have been identified for raids errr visits - and we'll definitely be "doing" Kill City and Readers Feast when we're in town. Andrea from WA is joining us for the second weekend of the festival - as will Kerry from SA, and we'll all be off to the Ned Kelly Awards and then "lunching" big time on the Saturday as there's litte of interest at the festival on that day. That just leaves a few odds hours during the week to fill in - so it'll be Pub Trivia, a bit of touring, a lot of lunching, a spot of talking, maybe a fight to the death Rum Punch and Trivia competition or two and some time spent with lovely people who all share the same fanaticism for reading. I'm guessing a few books will be dragged through the coals at the same time.
I'm running desperately behind in writing up some reviews so I'll try and grab a few hours before everybody arrives later this week - but I have managed to finish a few things on the To Be Read list! Hell's Fire by Chris Simms and The Secret Friend by Chris Mooney have been ticked off, and I've started Pitcairn by Kathy Marks and Orpheus Rising by Colin Bateman sort of shouted louder than Tana French's The Likeness. That leaves Night Work by Thomas Glavinic still on the pile but undoubtedly not far away and the Allan Guthrie books that I want to try. Mind you Adrian McKinty will be at MWF and I've got one of his books here so I might try that if I can. I guess the problem is going to be whether or not we'll be too busy to read much once everyone arrives!