COLLAPSES IN A SOGGY HEAP

It’s done. All 10, 975 words of Manuscript Found Upon the Body of a Hanged Soldier, finished, prettied up, and sent to the groovy Angela Challis for the Fading Twilight anthology.

Werethylacaleo Carnifex. It may not roll of the tongue, but it’s bloody to fun to write about ๐Ÿ™‚

Next goal: Nouvelle Hollande in the hands of agents by the end of September. I’ve got my beta reader feedback (thanks guys!), and a few changes need to be made, but I’ve got no other writing projects planned for the upcoming month, so I should stroll it in.

Good God, could a routine be re-establishing itself?

Y’ALL COME ON DOWN, Y’HEAR?

Friday September 9th, 6.30pm, at Fantastic Planet bookstore: froodmaster author-you-should-have-read-by-now Stephen Dedman launches his new collection Never Seen By Waking Eyes.

Everyone who knows us, knows what I think of Stephen. Which is why I was honoured beyond measure when he asked me to say a few words at the launch. The trick will be choosing which superlative to begin with.

Although I could always resort to the traditional “Your Honour….” ๐Ÿ™‚

AULD LANG SINE CURVE

Nothing happens on a Tuesday.

Seanie rang.

I haven’t seen Seanie since I flew to Sydney for his wedding in 2003. I’ve known him a lot longer than that. 16 years in fact: my oldest, longest, best friend. Living rebuttal to anyone who thinks I can’t keep a friend once I make one ๐Ÿ™‚

He was in town: along with wife Terri, and kids Jessie and Ellie, he’d driven from Sydney to Boyup Brook in a 1984 Ford Laser. (This car is so damn tough it could take on Nazis!) It’d taken 11 days, all up, and the move they’d planned hadn’t worked out, so they were in town for a night on the way to the train station for the trip back to Sydney. Would we be in if they dropped round? Would we?

I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed the boy. It’s been seven years since he moved to the other side of the country. Apart from Luscious, I don’t think there’s anyone alive who understands me as easily as he does. We have the world’s most disturbing synchronicity going, like, eerie, man. Met on the first lecture of the first day of the first year of Uni, and it’s been separated-at-birth stuff ever since. Same TEE scores (down to the decimal place), wives of the same former religion, babies born at the same time, houses moved on the same day in different cities…… there’s a long list, and it gets weirder each time we talk.

I wish they’d stayed. I wish we knew someone with a furnished house for rent. I wish Lyn could get to know them better than their first meeting last night, when she just fell in love with the whole family. We sat on the couch, like we did a million times in our younger days, and talked, and talked, and bantered and told stories, and it was all so easy and funny and natural like it really isn’t with anyone but Luscious.

I’ve missed him. And until we can do it once more, I’ll miss him again.

Song of the moment: Last Train To Clarkesville The Monkees

TICONDEROVER

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my writing lately. Maybe it’s because so much of this year has been taken up with preparing The Divergence Tree and working on the novel, but I’ve not been happy with the way things have gone. I feel like I’ve hit a plateau, and I’ve been unsure whether I’ve peaked or just hit a flat spot on the way to the next rise. Either way, something needed to be done.

Then I had an online conversation about the talents or otherwise of Australian writers, and absorbed some interesting opinions from Russell Farr and Jonathan Strahan. Strahan in particular said some things that fascinated me: he’s been a round a long time, and his erudite and literate views gave me a long pause for thought.

And then I had a conversation with Luscious, who has always known me better than I know myself. I told her my thoughts, and she told me what she’d seen, when I hadn’t been looking. And I understood what was wrong: I’ve lost focus, and spent too much time lately being a writer and not writing. Too many side projects have obscured my view. So, some decluttering has taken place. Most of the to whittiness:

Whilst I’ve enjoyed it, for the most part, I’ve left Ticonderoga Online with immediate effect. I’ve also decided to stay away from most of the Cons coming up (try as I might, I just can’t raise much enthusiasm for many of the guests over the next year or so, and I don’t go for the parties, so guests are important to me). Most of the mailing lists have been put on hold. I’ve stopped reading blogs.

I just want to write for a while, and remember why I got into this in the first place.

SPEAKING OF TICONDEROGA

Luscious has chosen her stories for the next issue. Shane Jirayia Cummings and Cat Sparks. That should be enough to make you want to read it, non?

BEN PEEK HAS A RANT ABOUT AUSTRALIAN SF

Here

I’m finding it hard to disagree with him at the moment.

A NOTE ABOUT JU

Thank you for the lovely gifts you bought Connor & Erin, Ju. You have a good heart.

SNIFFLES AND SNORTS AND LOTS OF HUGS

My poor darling is sick. Sicker than the job prospects of a man who organises a John Leguizamo film festival.

Lemsip and pumpkin soup and chickflick videos abound.

CASSIE AND THE PUPPET TRAIN

The good scientist advances a theory based only upon the observation of empirical evidence as presented within the frame of reference.

Which is why, until she actually met a train driver during the week, Cassie thought trains were remote controlled via the wires above them ๐Ÿ™‚

On the other hand, my brother thought Spinal Tap were a real band for ten years……..

HOW TO SPEAK TEEN (FROM THE GENERATION THAT BROUGHT YOU MINTOX, SPUNKRAT, AND NAFF)

Teen stepdaughter word of the moment: Bomb-diggity. Rough translation: grouse, mintox, tops, spiffing, brill, um, very very good.

For those woefully out of the teenspeak loop, let me show you how it’s done.

Take a noun (bomb), follow it with an action (dig), and ad “ity”.

First stagers will soon find their conversations littered with such cool teen phrases as “nosepickity”, “luncheatity”, and “bumsmackity”. SF fans might like to make special note of such favourites as “Hulksmashity” and the ever popular “rollsixity”.

For the advanced teenspeaker, the object is to mix up the noun and vowel to produce as spectacular a visual image as possible. Try “kittensplattity”, “haircookity” and “labiastompity” out for size, and soon you’ll be as tanklickity as any other parent desperately trying to remain remotely in touch with their teenogre.

Gnarly, eh?

GROWING UP

I enrolled Erin in kindy today. Kindy! But she’s still a baby……….

She’s going to be dating a bass guitarist soon, I just know it.

THEY CALL IT RUBBER SUIT MONSTER LOOOOVVVEEEEEE……..

Lee: Hey boys, what movie do you want to watch this weekend?
Boys: Godzillaaaaaa!!!!!!

Okay, so I might love Godzilla, King of The Monsters, and Godzilla Vs King Kong, but I’m a fat hairy middle-aged nerd. Aiden and Blake are 12 and 10.

We still watched them, though. And laughed our asses off the whole time. GVKK (beats AVP, dunnit?) has to be a top 5 contender for worst movie of all time. If you haven’t watched it, I thoroughly recommend you do so. If I can persuade Grantypoos to sponsor a bad movie night at the FTI, I will get it on the bill, I promise. If nothing else, it contains my new all-time favourite bad SF moment: the eminent scientist explaining to his television audience his theory that Godzilla was the product of interbreeding between a T-Rex and a stegosaurus……. Cokespray like the fountains at Versailles!

And Planet Video have plenty more where they came from ๐Ÿ™‚

THE DREAM IS OVER

Last game of the season on Sunday, with everything to play for, and the mighty Bassendean Juniors needing to win to make the finals.

And we lost, 2-1.

I may have cried. It was very dusty, all right?

One thing that hasn’t upset me is the attitude of Aiden. He’s not the quickest runner in the team, nor the best kick, nor the most astute player. But he loves what he’s doing, and he cares so much about playing that he’s always bitterly disappointed if he’s on the bench. Yet he is always eager to get to the game, always happy when he gets a run, and on Sunday, finished the season with his best game yet: 4 kicks, 2 great tackles, and 40 out of 60 minutes on the park. Not bad for a guy with a problem hip who’d never played the game before this season. And while he may have been the team’s least able player at the start of the season, he is by no means in that position now.

I’m very proud of him. Not for playing soccer, although I love watching him play a sport that has been a lifelong love for me. But for his attitude, his enjoyment, and his determination.

And he’s already telling me what he wants to do next season……

Song of the moment: Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead Warren Zevon

HULK WRITE!

Hoo! Haaa! Hooyah!!!!

3920 words on Friday night, 2007 words tonight, and Manuscript Found Upon The Body of A Hanged Soldier is goddamn bloody well done, at 11 and a half thousand words! 10 days to line edit it and send it to Angela for the Fading Twilight anthology.

Easy.

And Luscious and I even found time to finish line-editing and send C to ASIM for their upcoming collaborations issue.

Muscle poses in the mirror……..

Song of the moment: Sowing The Seeds of Love Tears For Fears

WHO’S A CLEVER BOY, THEN?

One amongst us crawled over to where his Dad was sitting on the couch this morning, grabbed two handfuls of his father’s trousers, and hauled himself into the standing position for the first time ever.

Dad was too gobsmacked to take a photo, so here’s one of him earlier, because frankly, he’s too bloody cute for words ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes, I’m indulgent. What’s your point?

16 years from now I’ll be dating your daughter…

HERE COME DE JUDGE

Luscious and I attended the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writer’s Centre SF/F Awards ceremony on Sunday, in our capacity as this year’s judges. We had a great time reading for the comp: 90 entries in the Open section and 20 in the junior. Submissions are blind, which meant that we didn’t know the identity of the winners until after we’d chosen them, so it was gratifying to see some good names amongst the crop, some of whom we count amongst our friends. It was also good to see sopme of the authors come to accept their prizes: not many Western Australians copped gongs this year, and I enjoyed listening to those who did attend give their readings.

For the record, yon winners this year were:

OPEN SECTION:

Winner- Happy Now, Peter Frankis
2nd Here Be Monsters, Susan Wardle

Highly Commended-

  • Deadline, Martin Livings
  • Ian, Shane Jirayia Cummings
  • Rentokil Girl, BJ Thomason
  • Hollow, Peter Frankis
  • Boomerang, Joh Gooley
  • The Scent of Milk, Tansy Rayner Roberts

Commended-

  • The Heartfelt Creature, Dominic Lennard
  • Screen Conspiracy, Harold Mally
  • Rings And Things, Helen Venn
  • Leap Year Man, Jim Murphy
  • Crossed Wires, Laurie Steed
  • They’re Selling Postcards Of The Hanging, Neroli Cochrane (Winner of the highly-unofficial Lee’s Vote For Best Title of the Competition award)

JUNIOR SECTION:

WinnerDisenchantments, Briony Davis
2ndThe Feast, Colin Gan

Highly Commended-

  • Encephsystem (TM), Ruth Fox
  • The Tree, Ben Brooker
  • The Clone, Nicola Sanchez

Commended-

  • The Isle, Ruth Fox
  • Waiting For Reality, Huxley Baberowski
  • A Sword… For The Road, Valerie Coscini

There were some fantastic stories this year, and some we’re going to try to snaffle for Ticonderoga Online now the competition is finished and we have no conflict of interest.

And the winner is…

THE SEASON END APPROACHETH

1 game to go, and the mighty Bayswater Juniors lie in 4th place, with a strong chance of making the finals! A brave 4-0 loss this weekend (to a side that walloped us 9-2 in the reverse fixture) speaks of some good form, so it all rides on the final game of the season.

The last couple of games have been a bit hard on Aiden: with the business end of the season he’s getting less game time, which I don’t think is fair: junior sport is supposed to be about fun, not about the coach and his friends reliving their inflated glory days through the kids. I ended up having a row with the coach’s father on Sunday, who is of the opinion the supporting the kids means shouting abuse at them every time they do (or don’t do) something. Ugly parents get under my skin, and had he turned it upon the A-boy things would have become much louder than they did….

Thankfully, Aiden’s still up for every game, and still gets involved- he laid a beautiful crunching tackle on a player last weekend. He’s a much better player than he was at the start of the season, and I hope he continues next year, and keeps having fun.

And we’re already starting to train the next generation. How’s this for goalscoring form?


Mia Hamm is yesterday’s news!

A WELL ADJUSTED CHILD, NON?

Lie down and die, Barbie. You can’t compete with a Batman mask and an imagination. The jewlerry is a nice touch, don’t you think? “I could fight crime, or I could just head out to dinner.”

It’s not a bike pump, it’s a sword! And a trumpet, and a microphone, and a guitar….

The Pink Knight Avenger…

CURRY, METHEGLIN, AND LAUGHTER

Had a great time on Sunday night, when Shane Jirayia Cummings and Angela Challis joined us for dinner after the SF Awards, giving us another excuse to head down to our special little Indian place and grab some takeaway. Dinner started at 7, and it was past midnight when we finally parted, weary from laughter and some of the most enjoyable conversation we’ve had since, well, since the last time we shared dinner. Shane and Angela are just too much fun for words, and anybody who enjoys metheglin as much as I do is always welcome ๐Ÿ™‚ Not to mention the muscat, the cabernet merlot, the classic white…….

Oh, and next time you bump into Shane, ask him to tell you about the vespian legetarians ๐Ÿ™‚

IT’S BACK, BABY!

The Premier League is back!

Here we go, here we go, here we goooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

SECRET TIJUANA DEATHMATCH…

…has arrived in the mail! How can you not love a game that lets you take failed American businessmen and pit them in masked Mexican wrestler combat to the death? I love Cheapass Games.

And I notice on the side of the box that they have a game called Unexploded Cow. Hmmm…..

UP AT EBAY

Put up our first items for sale yesterday on this fine taking-money-from-Batts-in-return-for-regular-packages-in-the-mail site. If you’d like a massive encyclopedia of motorcycles, an unopened copy of Titus on DVD, an unopened VHS box set of the first 3 Star Wars movies, or a 3-issue The Shadow mini-series, look under Triffbatt and make a bid.

ANOTHER ONE DONE

Finally finished a story and sent it out this morning. It seems so long since I’ve accomplished this simple task. But the story’s a good one, by which I mean it’s unremittingly nasty and makes Luscious’ skin crawl. Which is a fine thing, because Decimated has gone off to Shadowed Realms.

Tentacles crossed.

BOOOOOOOKKKKKKKSSSSSSSS……..

This Saturday, the grand opening of Fantastic Planet Bookstore, 8 Shafto Lane, Perth.

Run by groovies Elaine Kemp and Stephen Dedman, this promises to finally be the decent SF bookstore this city has been waiting for. Elaine and Stephen are committed to showcasing the weird, the unusual, the local, and the hard to get, as well as the usual shel-filling money spinners.

Get your asses down there. Buy something. Support it. Read their weblog. Tell them what you want. This is the best chance we’ve had since A Touch of Strange turned to poo to have a truly first class Speculative Fiction bookshop.

You’ll recognise me on Saturday: I’ll be the large hairy guy telling the short gorgeous woman that I can’t possibly live without any of the enormous pile of books I’ll be carrying. Hope they’ve got a big Waldrop section…