Another 1400 words of Nouvelle Hollande completed. I’ve reached the end of Chapter One: a brief one, at 2245 words, but it’s only first draft and there are a lot of holes I’ll backfill later, so it’ll end up being much longer. I’m just glad to have started, after suffering a real case of the confidence yips. Now all I have to do is work out what comes next, and keep going…

But I’ve earnt the right to do some more work on Father Muerte tonight. I’m likely to be less prolific on the short story front for a while: the novel has to be my focus, and I’m using shorts like a carrot, dangling them in front of myself to motivate me to keep working on the longer, more difficult, project.


Erin returns from her holiday with her grandparents tonight, and we’re getting Lyn’s kids for the afternoon as well. It feels like eons since we’ve had all four together (it’s been about a fortnight in reality, but it feels like forever). Nothing is quite the same without the kids around: I can’t wait to see them again. We’ve not seen Erin since we dropped her off the day before Swancon, and when we returned early from our trip it was agreed with her grandparents that it was best for Lyn’s recovery if we left her there for the full length of the holiday. She’s been camping this last weekend, so I can’t wait to see the photos πŸ™‚


Up to 2100 words on Father Muerte & the Flesh today. I love writing Father Muerte stories: dunno how it works for other writers, but I generally have at least a loose idea of where a story is going to go before I sit down to write it, and a lot of the writing process is connecting the dots along the way. But with FM I generally just let the pen do the writing, while I hold the other end and wait to be surprised. And there’s a lot of fun stuff in this one already (that’s the other thing: FM stories get built up like cake– each new draft adds a layer to the story, as I try to cram more cool stuff into the gaps I haven’t filled yet…). By the time it’s all packaged up and put into an envelope this might be the weirdest one yet. (And if Aurealis ever publish #33, with Father Muerte & The Rain in it, you’ll realise what a boast that is πŸ™‚ )


Ahem. I started the novel tonight πŸ™‚

840 words in just under the hour I allowed myself, and I’m nowhere near the end of Chapter 1. So it looks like I can waffle on as much as the next guy πŸ™‚


Only a couple of weeks now until the 2nd issue of Ticonderoga Online hits the virtual stands. The Luscious one was due to edit, as a result of having so recently helmed what is easily the best issue of Andromeda Spaceways In-flight Magazine yet produced, but has been unable to because of the threatened miscarriage. So the task has fallen to me, as editor of issue 3 (Lyn will take over that one if she’s well enough).

So keep some time free on the 15th of May: 2 stories have been chosen, from top-notch Australian talent, and there will be another first rate non-fiction article, as well as book reviews and me spouting opinions left, right and centre in my editorial. And if you haven’t seen issue one yet, get your asses over there and have a read: you just might learn something πŸ™‚


So after much prevaricating around the shrubbery, I started the third Father Muerte story yesterday, Father Muerte & the Flesh. In 1500 words I’ve managed to introduce a new major character, and kill off an old one (no hints, just wait and see).

In typical fashion, having not had an FM idea for ages, as soon as I start on one story I get the idea for the next. Provisionally titled Father Muerte & The Joy of Warfare, it looks to be the first FM story that springs unbidden to me, rather than being the result of finding out a bunch of weird things while I’m researching something else. Can’t wait to see what happens: I’m as in the dark on this one as anybody else…


Fab and groovy purveyor of weird words Geoffrey Maloney is convinced I should gather together my stories and persuade a publisher to put out a collection. Boy I’m tempted, but I’m not convinced I have enough quality on the ground. He doesn’t seem to be giving up, though πŸ™‚

I don’t know whether it’s my own affliction, or whether other writers suffer from it too, but I have no damn idea how good or bad my stories are, beyond the fact they sell or don’t. Anyway, if anybody’s got any opinions, hit the message board or email me: I’m intrigued.


Still nowhere near out of the woods yet. Luscious is still getting plenty of bed rest. We’d love to be hopeful, but things remain too close to call.


See, before I met Lyn, I had an office in my house. And in my office I had three bookcases: one for my non-fiction books; one for the fiction books I’d read; and one for the fiction books I hadn’t read yet. And I knew EXACTLY at what point on the floor each of the overflowing piles merged into the other.

But then Lyn and I moved in together. And merged our book collections. Which meant we had to fit our books into 7 bookcases (I’m not allowed the keep them in piles on the floor anymore…). You think it’d be easy…

I moved in back in November. I managed to fit them all in properly, oh, two and a half minutes ago?

Now to get them in alphabetical order…


We saw a doctor on Tuesday, and she’s ordered another ultrasound for Friday. As of right now, we remain in the positive 50%. Lyn’s still getting plenty of bed rest and taking things easy. We had the kids over yesterday, so we bought Season 4 of Futurama and spent a lot of the day lazing about watching it: nice to have an excuse πŸ™‚

We’re a long way from being out of the danger zone yet, but each day that passes without the miscarriage happening is a day closer to our child being safe.


Our last day in Brisbane today. We spent yesterday in the company of Geoff and Diana Maloney, a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon with two delightful people. We’ve decided to spend as much time as we can, when we get back, persuading them to come over to Perth so we can return the favour.

On the subject of which, we’re heading home tomorrow, rather than going to Canberra and Conflux. The Luscious One had to go to the hospital last night because of some bleeding, and was diagnosed as suffering from a haemorrage (? Durned non-spellchecking public access terminals) in her uterus. It’s resulted in a threatened miscarriage, and we really just want to get home and surround ourselves with family and familiar doctors.

The next two weeks are critical, but if we get through them okay, things should be fine. Right now there’s a 50% chance we’ll lose the baby we call ‘Nemo’, but we’ve seen him/her on an ultrasound, and we know s/he’s healthy, so we’re hopeful.


All gone now. It had its ups and down for me this year. I felt somewhat disconnected from everyone, a combination of neck pain and real life getting in the way of totally immersing myself in the Con. However, catching up with Tim Powers again was brilliant, as was the reaction to the Alternative History Game Show: they were hanging off the rafters, and the whole thing was riotous. I’m repeating the performance next year, so I’ve got 11 months to come up with a set of even-more-bizarre historical tricks to play. A whole bunch of people told me they had pictures of the thing afterwards: please send!

Other highlights include winning a whole bunch of stuff at the Swancon 30 launch, including a poster each for all the kids; being referred to as “annoyingly prolific and talented” by the annoyingly prolific and talented Stephen Dedman, and as having a “coruscating imagination” by the astonishing Dave Luckett; watching the overwhelming public support for Lyn’s issue of ASIM– at least one member of the Con walked up to her out of the crowd and said it was “the best issue they’ve ever done, and the only one he’s read the whole way through.” The Luscious One was beside herself with happiness after THAT one πŸ™‚ ; and getting a loooonnngg round of applause when swancon 30 announced our wedding will be at their Con! (To quote my stepdaughter Cassie: “Can’t you two stop being nerds for just ONE minute?”). The Aurealis Awards Ceremony was an unintentional highlight: it’s hard not to laugh when not a single winner is at the Convention, and you’re left with a series of people accepting awards on behalf of others. And watching poor Shaun Tan try to work out different things to write as we cornered him and made him sign a big pile of books for the kids was fun, too (Aiden is a HUGE Shaun Tan fan, and when he found out we were going to see him, bailed us up and said “Buy! Meet! Sign! Got it?” We got one, Aidey!!!)

All in all, it was a reasonably good way to start the holiday. Other people will undoubtedly have longer con reports out by now (I’m typing this on the public terminal at the hotel, so can’t be bothered paying 2 bucks per half hour to spend ages reminiscing). Go check them out.


…is hot, muggy, and has the most annoying public transport in the world. Saw the Maritime Museum this morning: very cool. The restaurant at the hotel is cheap, and delicious– it’s hard to hate a city that has so much fish on the menu πŸ™‚ Off to the Queensland Museum this afternoon, before meeting with a few friends from the Vision Writing group at dinner tonight. More sightseeing tomorrow before we hope to catch up with the excellent Brisbanian writer Geoffrey Maloney. We miss the kids like crazy- this is one of those cities that seem built for kids, with playparks and cool stuff all over the place. We’re well on the souvenir trail for them, and we’re sending them a postcard every day: this morning’s one came from the Museum of Brisbane, and tomorrow’s we got at the Maritime Museum. It’s all go…

It has inspired at least one story idea though, so I may have something in first draft form by the end of the week. It’s just that there’s this one building I can see from our hotel window, and it just doesn’t belong with all the other buildings…


Sold Silk to All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories. And they said there’d be no market for haunted time-travelling barrage ballon stories… πŸ™‚ I’m 3000 miles away from the photocopied submission guidelines taped to my office wall, but it strikes me that it might be the last sale I need for SFWA membership. which would be cool, too πŸ™‚

Off to the pool deck now. πŸ™‚


After last year’s Swancon, I swore I’d do no more than 6 panels this year. I promised myself: 6 and no more. It’s too exhausting to be that manic for that long. I need a rest. So when the list of available panels came along I picked 6 and nominated. The Writing Workshop was a gimme, of course: that’s my baby, and I’m trying to establish it as an annual event. And the Alternative History Game Show, after having finally wrested back control of the idea after last year’s effort. And I picked 4 more: nice easy panels that I didn’t have to do too much work to get ready for. 6 panels. Nice, easy, panels. 6.

So how come I ended up on 12? πŸ™‚

Next year I’m going to give in to the inevitable and just accept that I’m too much the panel-whore to resist temptation :))))


As part of the Swancon Writing Workshop, I thought I’d give attendees a little booklet of writing exercises to take away with them. I’ve got a powerhouse stable of writers with me for this year’s workshop: Dave Luckett, KA Bedford, and Tim Powers have all agreed to sit in. Get an exercise from each of them, print them up on an A4 sheet, fold it over, easy done.

I was reminded of that over the last 2 days, as my poor little printer struggled to print out 70 copies of the 18 page booklet I finished up with. Exercises from 22 writers within, and I received some too late to make it into the booklet to boot! Sometimes my enthusiasm resembles a big, fat, petard…


Received an email today from Lara of Geraldton, asking about the Writer’s Workshop. As a postscript, she added: “I’m a big fan of your work. I particularly loved your Father Muerte story.”

Well blimey! Thank you Lara. You can colour me blushing. There’s another Father Muerte story, Father Muerte & The Rain coming out in issue 33 of Aurealis sometime this year. I hope you like that too.


Went into the City to get Cassie’s birthday present this morning. The Luscious One discovered a bridal shop on our travels, and immediately banished me to the nearby 2nd hand bookshop while she went on a girlie-browse πŸ™‚

Whereupon I discovered the magazine rack, and walked away with a bunch of 1960s F&SFs for 2 bucks each.

Original stories by Silverberg, Asimov, Alexei Panshin, Ron Goulart, Leigh Brackett, Damon Knight, Reginald Bretnor, Sprague De Camp, Judith Merril, Zenna Henderson, Poul Anderson, Barry Malzburg, Joanna Russ, Michael Bishop, Vonda McIntyre, Denis Etchison… Avram Davidson book reviews… Gahan Wilson cartoons… Asimov science columns…

Welcome to Fanboy Heaven πŸ™‚