Tag Archives: fun

The Year That Was

It’s inevitable. With the end of each year, comes the long lists of achievements, the dissertations of regret,  the (sometimes even longer) and lists of resolutions for the upcoming year.
I promise I’ll stop this. I promise to do that. I promise…
I promise I won’t go on forever.


I have a few – mostly related to a desire to have spent more time with family, less time procrastinating instead of writing, not being rich enough to visit (or help bail out) friends and family interstate and overseas, wishing my health was better and I could wrangle my anxiety more efficiently.


This year we farewelled John Hurt (I will always remember him as the War Doctor), Carrie Fisher (It’s going to hurt when I finally get to see the new Star Wars movie)  and Bill Paxton (in so many of my ‘go to movies’, he almost felt like part of the family).

This both broke my heart and filled it up again:

Sometimes it’s harder to remember the good things (I think the bad seems to overwhelm us – living with anxiety can do that, particularly this year – but I  promised myself I wouldn’t get political in this post)…

I highly recommend creating your own ‘Thankful Jar’.  Though I’ve forgotten to add some things during the year, it still served it’s purpose. Spending the time, at the year’s close, unfolding each note and re-living the happy moments is worth the wait. Most of the best memories involve family, friends and unexpected kindness. To all those involved: thank you for making my year a better one.


This year was mainly consumed with writing.

Work completed:

I managed to publish my third book in time to sell at Supanova Adelaide. ‘The Illusioneer & Other Tales’ was also a significant milestone – the final in my first ever trilogy series. (available from Amazon, Book Depository, Bookworld, other online stores and direct sales from the author (me).) I also did the photography and cover design.

My short story, Mrs Hudson Investigates, was accepted into ‘Where’s Holmes’ anthology. This was published on 1st December and is available from Amazon and Book Depository. Hardback and eBook should be published in early 2018.

I’ve also submitted a dreadpunk/gaslamp short story to another anthology. (Wish me luck. I should find out early 2018).

Work in Progress:

I’ve almost completed the first draft of ‘The Department of Curiosities’ – a steampunk adventure with a heroine, mad scientists, traitors and secrets.  But I’ve been sidetracked with a new project (in a new genre – cosy paranormal mystery, set here in Adelaide). I’ve finished designing the cover and am working on internal artwork .

I attended some conventions and events:

This is a huge achievement for me. I get anxious each time I prepare for an event – braving the crowds and dealing with people is a constant battle between wanting to socialise and the urge to run away and hide in a blankie fort. Anxiety sucks!
It is exhausting, even when it is with the people I love, and takes me a few days to recover after each event. This year I attended:

  • Salisbury Secret Garden
  • Oz Comic Con (the final one in Adelaide)
  • Nullus Anxietas (Discworld Convention, Adelaide)
  • Steampunk Festival at the National Railways Museum in Adelaide, where ‘The Illusioneer & Other Tales’ was launched.
  • LibCon at Burnside Library
  • Supanova Adelaide
  • Christmas Gift Market at Tea Tree Gully Library
  • and a talk on Steampunk  for the Aus Sci Fi group.

I made some stuff:

I love creating (including writing). It both bares and replenishes my soul. This year managed to make some costumes and took more photos.

My favourtie costume was my TARDIS corset and skirt. I had help with toiling the pattern at the ACG corset workshop. Other favourites were my steampunk Wiked Witch of the West (Oz) with my flying monkey and my tea cup holder for belt – made with some construction help (hammering) by my Dearheart (as my wrists were playing up again.)


Steampunk also featured prominently this year (not surprising at all, really). This year saw the Scribblers’ Den (steampunk writing forum) move twice, with the sudden shut down of ‘The Steampunk Empire’. Thankfully we are now ensconced at ‘Welcome to Steampunk‘. This is an amazing group of writers, from all over the world, who support each others’ work. Love you guys! If you are a steampunk writer, come say hello!

Upcoming in 2018

2018 is full of all things new – I’ve got a new look banner and business cards and have already updated the look of my webpage. It was feeling ‘old’, making me feel dowdy and less professional. Now I feel invigorated each time I add something new.

I’ve started two new book series (as mentioned above) and will be attending my first interstate convention (as an author). Look out for me (and the Adelaide indie author group) in the Artists’ Alley at Melbourne Supanova. I’ve already booked for Supanova Adelaide and plan to launch a new book at Steampunk Festival next year.

One thing that has been lacking this year is work on my garden. So I declare one of my resolutions is to re-connect to the earth, tend my garden and reap the benefits of the endorphins.

Happy new year to you all.
“Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.”

photos and costumes ©2017 Karen Carlisle
Ball photo ©2017 Steamkittens
Quote from Doctor Who:Twice Upon a Time.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

It’s that time of year again – when the house is strewn with tinsel, tacky festive jumpers and t-shirts are excused (and almost obligatory – I’m wearing one right now) and idiot-drivers flood the streets in search of a last minute bargain buy.

Yesterday, I had the misfortune of having to make the dreaded trip to the local shopping centre (I picked the smaller one, thinking it would be safe) for those last minute fresh food items that could not be purchased earlier. Ha, big mistake!

The aisles were seething with grumbling shoppers. Like ants, they swarmed and crowded me in, suffocating me. My head span. My heart raced (and not in a good way). I struggled to breathe.  My darling Dearheart braved the lines, purchased the required items, scooped me up and drove me home.

Panic attacks suck!

Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas.  It wasn’t to blame. I’d thought the local shops would be safe. Less crowds.
How wrong could I be?

I consoled myself with a (free) massage and am now safely ensconced at home and won’t be surfacing again until Wednesday at the earliest.

The tree is trimmed. The annual influx of Haighs’ Christmas baubles and chocolate bells have been hung. The presents wrapped (I’m not allowed to touch any of the boxes in case I guess what they are… sigh).

It’s Christmas Eve – time to relax and enjoy. This year I’ve endeavoured to start a new family tradition – taking a page from the exceptional peoples of Iceland:  jólabókaflóð ( the Christmas Book Flood). On Christmas Eve they exchange books and spend the rest of the night reading and eating chocolate.  Oh, bliss!

From now on this will be our Christmas Eve tradition.

On Christmas Day, we’ll celebrate by attending church. We’ll have a leisurely lunch, phone all the rellies interstate and watch the Christmas episodes of as many TV shows we can find in our DVD library. It’s tradition!

Thank goodness the heat is holding back until later in the week!

Boxing Day is also a public holiday here, and what better way to celebrate than with Doctor Who? (Only two more sleeps!) This year we have a new Doctor. We’ll be recapping with a marathon viewing of this year’s season. And filling up on leftovers, no doubt.

How do you celebrate the Christmas season?

I’m lucky to have a loving family, a roof over my head and good friends. And I wish you, Dear Reader, such happiness. Enjoy the festive season – no matter how you celebrate it. It’s been a long year. We all deserve a little joy in our lives.

So, to you all: I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

And so does Viola.

Photos and art: ©2017 Karen Carlisle.


Photo Friday (and Video): Supanova Adelaide

Hi everyone,

Another convention has come and gone. My new book was available. There were lots of amazing costumes, I science-squee’d over Dr Karl, met some Aussie authors and caught up with friends. There’s even a video.



Katie, Kylie and I all had our third book just published. 

And the promised con video:

photography and film/video ©2017 Karen Carlisle