Thursday, October 11, 2012

Out and About!

by Anna Campbell

I've just had a wonderful week swanning around (yeah, that's a pun as will become clear if you check out the photo a little bit lower down!) Victoria.

It actually wasn't great timing as I've got a book due and my launch for SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE'S BED is going on right now. But the National Gallery of Victoria was having a huge exhibition about Napoleon. Given that Napoleon is the major historical figure of the first quarter of the 19th century and that's the period I write in, I really couldn't miss seeing it. And it closes this weekend so it was now or never.

So I girded my Napoleonic loins and flew down to Melbourne for a weekend of museuming, mainly at the NGV which has a wonderful permanent collection heavy in decorative arts, especially English. Heaven on a stick for a Regency writer, as you can imagine!

It took me a couple of days but I did the complete permanent collection (apart from the fashion and Asian galleries which weren't open). I feasted my eyes on beautiful art and ceramics and jewelry and furniture and glassware. Stunning stuff all round. Must say the feet objected to all that museuming, though. I was walking like a duck (a swan? Nah!) by the end!

I also did the Napoleon exhibition which featured an awful lot of gold. In fact, I had a gilt headache by the time I got out. Clearly Monsieur N wanted to show the world that he'd arrived and he did it in the flashiest style possible. Among my favorite pieces were some exquisite snuffboxes in diamonds and gold. The sort of thing we all have lying around in our top drawer, of course!

I've got lots of photos to share with you guys over the next few blogs, but one of my favorite pieces from the NGV was this stunning suite of Regency furniture. Can't you just imagine Sidonie and Jonas lounging around on these? I sure can!

I also caught up with a stack of wonderful friends, including wonderful medical author Sharon Archer who features in the photo at the top of the page. And I had lunch with a whole crowd of Melbourne authors at the gorgeous Langham Hotel on the Monday. Made a complete pig of myself of course!

Here's a photo of some of those authors. From left to right, SuperRomance writer Emmie Dark, young adult writer Ebony McKenna, rural romance writer Cathryn Hein and historical romance superstar Anne Gracie.

I got lots of photos of the lunch, so I'll probably do a blog just about that so you can see all the great writers who live in Melbourne. Well, at least those who could make the lunch. It's school holidays down here at the moment. A couple of the regulars couldn't be there, sadly. Although they were present in spirit!

And now for the swan section of this blog!

It was quite a swanny visit. Not only did I regularly cross Swanston Street in Melbourne, I went to SWAN LAKE at the Victorian Arts Center on Friday night. It was a beautiful new production from the Australian Ballet, using the traditional elements. That suits me down to the ground (or the water!). When I go to SWAN LAKE, I want swans, I want a prince, I want pretty dresses, darn it! That was a lovely way to kick off my weekend in Melbourne!

Here's the last photo for this month! From Melbourne, I went to stay with Sharon outside Ballarat and we had a lovely morning wandering around the botanical gardens there. I took SOOO many photos so flower pics are going to grace all my blogs and my Facebook page for the next few months. Here's a sample. Isn't that pink lovely? They have lots of beautiful mature European trees there so it was like being in an English country garden in spring.

So that's been my recent excitement. What have you been up to lately? Been anywhere nice? Oh, and if you are traveling, I can recommend SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE'S BED for your suitcase! Gold goes with everything! LOL!

16 comments:

  1. Napoleonic loins? Anna, my mind is boggling.

    Loved the photos, especially of the swans and of the Melbourne girls.

    Me, I've been away to the mountains with the family for a few days' break (and came home exhausted of course) and am just putting the final touches to some tweaks my lovely editor has suggested on the current book.

    Congratulations on the release of SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE'S BED. I see it's powering up the bestseller charts. Saw it at number one yesterday on Barnes and Noble - woohoo! It's a corker of a story so I'm not surprised readers are grabbing copies quickly.

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  2. Hiya Annie! Lovely to see you here. I had a lovely time away - and the trusty camera accompanied me all of the way. Fantastic news for your fans that we've got a new Annie West to look forward to. Thanks for the congrats on Rogue. I'm absolutely stoked that it's finding so many friends out there. The B&N Regency romance list number one was a lovely surprise.

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  3. Wow, number one on the Barnes & Noble list?! Congratulations! I'm so happy for you, Anna!

    Talk about a jam-packed week in Melbourne! Springtime in Melbourne is stunning. Looks like you definitely made the most of the outdoors as well as the indoors.

    My most recent trip was to L.A. and San Fran back in July/August, which now seems like aeons ago! I need another holiday already. Maybe to Melbourne this time!

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    1. V, sadly it was number 1 on the B&N REGENCY romance list. Still, it was very nice! It was lovely being in Melbourne in spring although the weather was really dodgy. Really hot and humid one minute, freezing like Antarctica the next. So glad you had a great time in America.

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  4. Hmmm, you came out of the Napoleon Exhibit with a "gilt headache"? You sure it didn't have anything to do with breakfasting and gasbagging with your Italo-Melbourne friends? He he he.

    My most recent trip was to the RWAus Conference at the Gold Coast. I don't need to tell you that I had a blast :) It was my first trip to Queensland and hopefully not my last!

    Congrats on the release of SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE'S BED! And More congrats for your number one ranking on the Barnes & Noble list!

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    1. Serena, thanks for the congrats - I reiterate, it wasn't on the B&N list as a whole. They have a whole stack of genre lists and I was number on the REGENCY list! Nowhere near number one overall, sadly. But very nice to be top of the genre list at the time! Didn't we have a fun breakfast? What a great chance for us all to catch up.

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  5. Hey, Anna! I had the most excellent time swanning around the gardens with you! The birds here put on an excellent show for us, didn't they! I'd love to think of a really clever pun here... but I'm feeling a bit feather-brained. :-p

    Congratulations on SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE'S BED ranking number one on Barnes and Noble! How fabulous is that!

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    1. Sharon, thanks for the congrats. But I wasn't number one, it was a specifically Regency list - nowhere near number one overall. The swans got a bit scary when I got too close to the chicks. Laughing at you feeling feather brained! That's me all the time!

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  6. Anna, looks like you had a marvelous trip to Melbourne. How wonderful you didn't have to travel to Europe to see the Napoleon exhibition.
    I envy you your lunch at the Langham, that is my very favourite hotel.
    Congratulations on being a number one bestseller on the Barnes & Noble charts with SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE'S BED, I'm so excited for you!

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    1. Kandy, it was very nice being the number one REGENCY ROMANCE at B&N for a short time. I printed out the page to keep for the souvenir album. Lunch at the Langham was amazing. I wished I could move in and just eat forever. It was that good. It was lovely catching up with everyone too.

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  7. Anna, oh how I wish taking a trip to Melbourne was something I could just swan off to. But alas, even though it is on my wish list, it is not something I could do. But I spent a long weekend with my fam cousin and her family. It was Thanksgiving here in Canada this past Monday and we ate lots of Turkey and Ham and pumpkin pie.. On Saturday my cousin and I went to see the Musical "Sister Act".. we both loved it. We had lunch and enjoyed each other's compamny. Something we don't get to do much these days.. But it was a nice break for me and I know it was for her.

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  8. Kathleen, lovely to see you! When you come to Australia, Melbourne is definitely worth a visit. Hey, happy Thanksgiving! It sounds like your break away was lovely. Like you, I got to spend some time with people I love when I was away, people I see far too rarely these days.

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  9. No trips but a couple of events recently:
    we attended a benefit jazz performance
    presented by one of our area junior col-
    leges and participated in our parish's
    annual festival. I'm on the festival's
    money-counting team. That was much fun,
    being surrounded by all that type of
    "greenery!"

    Greatly enjoyed all the photographs! A trip
    to Australia has long been on my bucket list,
    your lovely photos help feed my interest.
    Keep them coming!

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    1. Pat, so glad you're enjoying the photos. I've got a stack more - the day at the Botanical Gardens was just too beautiful not to go snap happy. Sounds like you've had a few nice occasions lately too. I bet all that 'greenery' was nice! And you don't even need rain for that! ;-)

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  10. Thanks to everyone who swung by to hear my traveler's tales. See you all next month!

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  11. Been stuck at home for almost a year now. Busy studying and working at the same time. I'm so burnt-out already. :(

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