120 DAYS OF SOD ALL

Fandomedia starts on Friday, and finishes on Monday.

As of that Monday, which is, coincidentally, the 1st day of the new month, I have a bunch of tasks to complete. 120 of them. I’ve given myself 120 days in which to do them, on the theory that it should take that long to write a novel (not coincidentally at all, #1 on my list…)

In order to make the process more fun, I’ve listed them on a blog page. Naturally, me being me, there’s actually 124 πŸ™‚

But I’ll be crossing each one off as I complete it, and referring back to it every now and again, for your entertainment and rock-throwing practice.

Song of the moment: Sound And Vision David Bowie

I’VE READ THE ENTIRE NINE-YEAR RUN OF SLUGGY FREELANCE IN JUST OVER A WEEK AND NOW I’M COMPLETELY INVESTED IN IT AND I’VE CAUGHT UP TO THE PRESENT SO THERE ARE NO MORE STRIPS TO READ UNTIL TOMORROW AND EVEN THEN IT’S ONLY ONE A DAY LIKE EVERYONE ELSE AND NOW I’M USED TO READING GREAT WODGES OF IT ALL IN A ROW AND ONE AT A TIME IS GOING TO DRIVE ME MAD…

Shit. Now what do I do?

Song of the moment: Sorrow David Bowie. Woah, how appropriate…

ROUND THE TRAPS

VALE

I missed news of this until now, but I’m saddened to hear that Vision member Shayne Hall succumbed to cancer on the 16th of this month.

I met him for the only time at the Aurealis Awards earlier this year, and was struck by his ballsiness: despite weakness and depression from what was rigorous and draining treatment, he had taken on the role of photographer for the evening, and was in his element, laughing and enjoying the hell out of himself. According to Marianne de Pierres, his cremation on Thursday was a beautiful day, and I hope it was well attended by his peers and friends.

I’m saddened by the loss of him. A drink to your memory, mate.

INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE…. WELL, OKAY, MATT.

Just come across an interesting interview with pal and Black Flag Library author Matt Farrer, on writing for the imprint and his influences. Matt’s one the nicest, most genuine people I’ve met in the field, and I have warm memories of a gorgeous day trip around country Canberra with him after this year’s Conflux. Go. read. Get an insight into what drives one of the good guys.

YOU OLD FART πŸ™‚

Happy 39th birthday to another of the good ones: Danny Oz, fearless fanboy and fabulous fun fellow.

Have a birthday warm milk and lie down on me, old guy πŸ™‚

WHAAAAAT?!

I am just freaked out as all hell about this. Why do I always get such bloody weird results from these quizzes?


Which Lovely Doctor Who Companion Are You Ashamed To Admit Your Crush On?


Isn’t this interesting… the one you’re really looking for is the Rani, as played by Kate O’Mara! Hardly a “companion” of the Doctor, this renegade Time Lady is devious, brilliant, determined, and often downright murderous. If you had your heart set on a bad girl, beware: they don’t come any badder. Still, as long as you don’t piss her off (and retain an ample life insurance policy), you could be in for a fascinating time.
Take this quiz!


Song of the moment: Velvet Goldmine David Bowie

HOUSEKEEPING

Prompted by comments on the Message Board (See, I pay attention!), I’m undertaking a few things to try and get this blog a little more interactive and widely read. So I’ve activated comments for each post, which gives you the option of commenting upon each individual thing I say or joining the wide-ranging (and mostly bearing little resemblance to anything that’s happening on the front page: It’s alive, I tell you, alive! in my best Colin Clive voice) conversation on the board.

I’ve also posted the board on Technorati, which people tell me is about as popular a blog search engine as there is. If you go waaaaaay down to the bottom of the page you’ll find a button and link. If anybody knows anywhere else to register to get a few more warm bodies reading these humble offerings, feel free to tell me. Use the new comments function, even πŸ™‚

What I’d like to do is to set up a tags function for each post a la LiveJournal, so that people can search the entries by subject, but so far, that’s defeating me. If anybody has any information or expertise I lack (if! HA!) feel free to let me know how I can go about it.

REVIEWS!

Many thanks to Stephanie Coxon and Martin Livings for pointing these out:

Oz Horrorscope review Ticonderoga Issue 8, commenting upon the strong heart within my story Fade.

Tangent Online also reviews the issue, according both ears and the tail to Fade for its unusual structure and calling it a “powerful reading experience”. Oh, if you insist πŸ™‚

I’ll update the reviews page of the Batthome website when I have the chance to include them.

THE MOVIE BIZ AND MY PART IN IT

Producer Matt’s notes on the first draft of The Memory of Breathing came back yesterday, with a good guide as to how I should be able to take the 42 minute short and turn it into a feature-length script. We may have an executive producer on board soon, which will be brilliant as it’ll give us a real run at getting some money together. Of course, he’d like to see the script, so Matt’s almost apologetic “Do you think you can get it done in four weeks?” is no problem at all. Noooo problem. Nope, not a problem, uh-uh, no problem, noooo….

Four weeks, you say?

Actually, his notes are so clear and concise it’s really only a matter of putting them into action. Still, the words of doom have been uttered (Is there a chance we can work some sort of silver lining into the ending?) so that alone might take, oh I don’t know, the rest of my natural life to work out…

TOTE THAT TOTEY THING, LIFT THAT BRICK…..

It’s big gardening days at the Batthome at the moment, my friends. What with the change in weather, I was out back on the weekend, digging away like a big diggy thing. I’ve cleared an area next to the patio, formerly a brick barbecue and crazy paving abomination (what the hell were they thinking?), and dug it out to create a sun garden; Aiden’s Japanese garden by his bedroom is the proud recipient of a big hole and soakwell; and the dead area next to the letterbox that was once a garden (allegedly), and is now a broken pile of half-grown sticks sprouting leaves, was divested of its crappy brick border.

The really fun part, of course, is going to Bunnings and buying things πŸ™‚ Like the hanging bird feeder I’ve put up outside our bedroom window, and the hatchet I’ll be using this weekend in my stump-uprooting efforts. Oh, and the piping for the soakwells; and trellis, and… well, you get the idea. At one stage last weekend, all 4 kids were with me, helping (or in the case of the littlies, “helping”. Parents will know the difference), and it was brilliant: a sunny afternoon, everyone dirty, laughing, and heading back in for dinner and baths with a real sense of satisfaction.

The boys are away this weekend, so I’m planning to have the sun garden edged and filled with soil; connect the pipes from soakwell to downpipe in Aiden’s garden and backfill the hole; start digging out the dead letterbox area in preparation for the rock garden I have planned; and I may even get around to levering the stump out of Aiden’s section so I can get his pond and fountain sorted out. The brilliant thing about Clarkson is that the whole coast is built upon a sandstone base, so large rocks can be found in the bushlands near any of the main roads, where the excavators have simply tipped them away from the road site and left them. It’s simply a matter of spotting one in the size you need, throwing (grunting with effort as you lift the bastard over the edge of the boot, letting go, and collapsing) it in the boot, and bringing it home. The rock garden is going to need a bunch of large stones for its initial layer, so this is a definite (and infintely cheaper than a garden centre) plus.

You may have noticed that with the onset of spring, I’m getting in touch with my inner gardener again… Luscious certainly has. For no reason at all she came home last night and presented me with a nice, thick, browseable book on Australian garden styles and plants. We have a Christmas family do at our place on the weekend before Brianmas this year, so I’ve set that as my deadline to have the entire front and back gardens set up as I want them. The advent of clear days is giving me the opportunity to really see the change in possibilities for the crappy, ignored-and-ugly gardens the last owner had left us when we moved in. It’ll be good to see them how they should be. I’m spending mass hours out there at the moment, and finish each weekend in a heck of a lot of pain, but the results will be worth it.

Which reminds me, I really have to ring the chiropractor today and make an appointment for next week πŸ™‚

Song of the moment: Marseille The Angels

FANDOMEDINNEREMINDER

Only a week until the Guest of Honour dinner for Fandomedia. Guests of Honour Luscious and Marianne de Pierres, and fan guest Elaine Kemp, will all be in attendance. Tickets are still available.

Details can be had at the Fandomedia website. And if you haven’t yet puchased your tickets for the main event, it starts next Friday, so you’re running out of time. I’ll be there to support Lyn, and both Aiden abnd Blake will be there: their first Con, so if nothing else, you’ll have the chance to watch two hyperactive teenage boys, whacked out on coca cola and crisps, dripping wet from the spa and fatigued from staying up all night in their own hotel room trying to be quiet so they don’t wake their parents in the room next door while they watch Foxtel, running round the con with a couple of disposable cameras, asking a million questions of everyone and trying to touch every toy in the dealer’s room……

You can’t tell me that won’t be fun πŸ™‚

Song of the moment: Save Me The Angels
Reading: Haunted Chuck Palahniuk. Still underwhelmed.

DVDs….. OBSESSION….. DVDs….. OBSESSION…… NOPE, I CAN’T HEAR THE DIFFERENCE

So Aiden and I met up in town the other day and did some window shopping. And, you know, ducked into Empire Toys, because, well, you know. And, you know, they had the 1st series of Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law…….

So we’ve been laughing our asses off every evening since.

2nd season is released in October….

And The Venture Brothers and Aqua Teen Hunger Force is on DVD too….

And it’s my birthday in a few weeks.

And Christmas is coming up.

Lyn, you reading this?

ARRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

September 19th today. Talk like a Pirate day.

Happy πŸ™‚

MY CURRENT FAVOURITE SCIENCE FICTION AUTHOR IS…

As you may have noticed, I’ve been listening to a lot of David Bowie lately, and I’ve been fortunate in not just having the singles-friendly Changes: The Best of… on the turntable, but the more comprehensive Platinum Collection, which means I’ve discovered a lot of tracks I had perhaps heard of, but never actually heard (Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) for example)

I’d always been aware of the Science Fictional influence on much of his early work: anybody who listened to FM radio in the 80s was unable to avoid tracks like Space Oddity, Life on Mars?, and Ashes To Ashes. But what has surprised me (although I really don’t know why it does) is just how damn good Bowie is at playing with Sfnal concepts in terms of pure storytelling. Viewed as a short story collection, the themes and storylines that run through the three disc collection, particularly the 1969-74 stuff, as is a strong as anything I’ve read recently in traditional text-on-dead-wood.

By way of examination/encouragement, a partial list of Bowie songs from the triple album, all Sfnal in nature to a larger or smaller degree.

Space Oddity
Starman
Oh! You Pretty Things
Changes
The Prettiest Star
Life on Mars?
The Man Who Sold the World
1984
Ashes To Ashes
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
Up the Hill Backwards
Loving The Alien

AND ON THE SUBJECT OF MARKETS….

Alisa Krasnostein, driving force behind Australian Specfic In Focus, has banded together with the likes of Tansy Rayner Roberts and Gillian Pollack and launched a new speculative fiction ezine.

New Ceres is something slightly different: a shared world ezine, run under Creative Commons licence, where every story and article builds towards a ‘bible’ detailing the life and times of the inhabitants of a Terran-settled planet that has placed severe limitations upon the technology and societal norms under which they live.

It’s a genuinely interesting project, and one I’m taking a long look at submitting to, once the right idea arrives (I have a couple of vague stirrings, but that might just be the muesli I had for breakfast…)

Issue one features fiction by Tansy RR, Maxine McArthur, and Dirk Flinthart, which makes it worth the price of admission, even without all the other cool stuff available. Check it out.

Song of the moment: Modern Love David Bowie

IN MUCH COOLER NEWS

Blakey turned 12 yesterday! Which means we take him out for a big-ass dinner tonight, and get to give him his presents (which are cool even by our standards) and we let him drink Coca-Cola from now on, and we get to spend all weekend making age jokes, and…..

Happy birthday, B!

Song of the moment: Loving The Alien David Bowie

I CAN SMILE, AND MURDER AS I SMILE

If you’re an LJ user, and you’re wondering why my leebattersby address looks like leebattersby, the answer’s simple: I’ve grown tired of the LJ community and the running battles I am drawn into for expressing my opinions, and I’ve deleted my account.

Register for the Battersblog feed if you can’t be bothered coming here directly to read my news.

WORDAGE!

The great news, for me at least, is that the time I’ve released to myself by doing so has resulted in a burst of writing energy, and as writing was the reason I got into this gig in the first place (and the only part of the whole shooting match that gives me unconditional pleasure), I’m feeling like I’ve made no better decision in ages.

To whit, the last two days have seen another 390 words on In From the Snow, and 1161 on Mister Snopes. The latter is particularly pleasing, as I’d been stuck at a problem point for some time, and I’ve blown past it and almost up to completion. One section more, and the beast, she is killed.

It’s come thudding back to me: what have the likes Terry Dowling, Ted Chiang, Howard Waldrop et al been doing while I’ve been getting caught up in silly little side games? Could the answer be: writing?

FOREIGN CLIMES

I’ve been thinking a lot about my career lately: what it means to me, where I want it to go, what I need to put behind me, what I need to concentrate on….

One thing that stands out is how few markets I’ve attained overseas: I’ve got a lot of Australian magazines in my bibliography, but give the list a quick scan and it quickly becomes apparent that I haven’t made a concerted enough effort to establish myself in the wider scheme of things.

So from now on, at least for a while, I’m going to be taking a long, hard look at alternatives to my current sending procedures. I love my Australian magazines, I subscribe to a number of them and I’ll never stop sending them my stuff. But-

I’ve prepared a list of 50 or so markets, tiered in sets of attraction. The likes of F&SF, Asimov’s, and Brutarian speak for themselves. But I’m interested in what you’re reading: any favourite magazines? Where, and why? Let me know, and I’ll have a look at them for my own self-centred purposes πŸ™‚

Song of the moment: John, I’m Only Dancing David Bowie
Reading: Haunted Chuck Palahniuk. Still waiting to find out what all the fuss is about.

BACK ON THE TRICERATOPS

Because, frankly, riding a triceratops would be a whole lot cooler than a horse…

Point being, the last few days have actually seen the progression of some actual real work, for a change.

I’ve finally finished the first draft of The Time Eater, my story for the upcoming Dr Who: Destination Prague anthology.

And I’ve travelled 40% of the way towards achieving my target of sending 5 new stories out by the end of the year: Rabbit, the 960 word story that consists of two sentences, is at Chi-Zine and Little Deaths, the story so nasty Luscious refused to read it, has made its way to Shadowed Realms.

In even better news, Luscious sent two stories out herself last night, so for the first time in weeks we feel like a writing family again.

THOUGHTS THAT OCCUR JUST AFTER YOUR WIFE HAS FALLEN ASLEEP, SO THERE’S NOBODY WITH WHOM TO DISCUSS THEM

Last night’s entry: I wonder what coelacanth tastes like?

COUNTING DOWN THE ICONS

Peter Brock is dead.

Steve Irwin, Colin Thiele, Brockie… seems like the Universe is having a clear-out of Aussie icons. If I was Bill Hunter or Greg Norman, I’d be ducking for cover right about now.

Honestly, something is wrong with the karma around here. Irwin, Thiele and Brock die within a week. John Howard goes for a jog every day in a bright green track suit with his minders several feet from him in every direction, and doesn’t even trip over his fucking shoelaces!

WELL, AT LEAST I’LL STAY BUSY

The Luscious One leaves for Femmecon this afternoon, taking Connor with her for the trip. It’s the first time we’ve been apart since my trip to Sydney a few years back, and the first night we’ve spent apart since our wedding. I know she’s going to have a great time, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want her to go (or more accurately, doesn’t want her to leave me behind) . Erin and I will be all alone in our big, empty, echoing house, just the two of us, wandering the hallways of the Batthome calling out plaintively in little voices……

Or I could:

  • Finish the first draft of Dr Who: The Time Eater
  • Finish the first draft of The Metawhore’s Love Story, my story for Dirk Flinthart’s Canterbury 2100 anthology
  • Start work on Lethologica, my second novel
  • Input the line edits on Rabbit, Searching For Little Deaths, and Manuscript Found Upon The Body of a Hanged Soldier
  • Email comments to Stephen Dedman and Heather Gammage on stories I’ve read for them recently
  • Finish the first drafts of Mr Snopes and In From The Snow
  • Do the rewrites on Amygdala, My Love and Loving Monsters and find homes to send them to
  • Take Erin to see Curious George at the cinema (after all, no sense both parents suffering…)
  • Pick the winners of the Ticonderoga Online Through Soft Air competition
  • Email Lyn’s editorial to TicOn for the September issue (If you’re a Luscious fan you might want to read it: important news)
  • Finish digging out the new garden bed in the front garden
  • Weed the front lawn
  • Keep working on the new rock garden I’m building next to the patio
  • Dig in one of the three soakwells the back yard needs
  • Create a flickr account and link it to The Batthome website as an easy alternative to trying to work out the Gallery function on the site builder
  • Try to work out how the hell to alter the html on the website that pals have recommended I use
  • Clean out my Inbox and reply to all those emails that are still sitting there (currently about 600, I kid thee not)
  • Laminate the pile of kid art sitting on my desk and put it up on the walls
  • Create flyers for Lyn’s massage business and print a load out for her perusal
  • And, you know, the usual washing, sweeping, cleaning, folding, etc etc and so forth.

Or I could just wait until Erin goes to bed and watch porn.

It’s all up in the air, really… πŸ™‚

COOL!

A funky advert, courtesy of YouTube. Somewhere an advertising executive had an original idea.

S/he’s probably dead now.

Another that made me laugh.

Song of the Moment: I’m The Urban Spaceman The Bonzo the Dog Doo Dah Band
Read of the Moment: If I Don’t Write It, Nobody Else Will Eric Sykes, and Haunted Chuck Palahniuk

A SHORT MOMENT OF PANIC

Luscious has just realised that going off to Femmecon this weekend means she’ll miss the 2nd part of the Doctor Who 2-parter this Saturday night, and as we don’t have a VCR, we can’t tape it.

Anybody got a DVD/burn copy they fancy lending us sometime?

BONUS/FATHER’S WEEKEND

Oh, you poor fathers who only get a single day πŸ™‚

Like every other event at The Batthome, we seem to stretch Father’s Day over all the available time, which is why it’s taken the whole weekend so far.

Yesterday saw a trip to the museum (to satisfy my inner and outer geeks); lunch under the sun; time to continue work on my Doctor Who story during the evening (with much begging from the boys to read it when it’s done); the best Doctor Who episode so far; and Luscious’ wonderful home made soup for dinner.

Then this morning I was forcibly made to sleep in while a Full English breakfast was prepared, consisting of bacon, sausages, hash browns, cheese-covered tomatoes, eggs, beans, and croissants. Then I was presented with cards from everybody and a copy of Eric Sykes’ autobiography If I Don’t Write It, Nobody Else Will, which I was allowed to read whilst lying in a bubble bath.

Now Luscious has taken the littlies to the gym, and the Triffboys have gone off with their Dad to celebrate his Father’s Day, so I’ve got more time to write, plus there’s a roast dinner in the offing later on, followed by Prehistoric Park (It’s an utterly ludicrous show, but a lot of fun) and The Proposition.

Loving it πŸ™‚

HOW TO DRAW A BATH AND QUOTE OF THE DAY

I was born in a cold part of a cold country, so I like my weather cold and my baths hot.

There’s a secret and highly specialised way to draw the perfect hot bath, but seeing as it’s only us, I’ll let you know how it’s done:

Don’t fill the bath all at once. Pour in about six inches or so, as hot as you can stand it. Get in. Once your body has adjusted to the heat, fill up some more. Again, give yourself a minute or so to adjust, then pour in some more. And so on. Four rotations should be enough, with a minute or so to adjust in between. Do it properly, and the only cold water you use will be in the first pouring. The rest will be pure hot tap.

There are few things more satisfying in life than putting your hand in to pull the plug out after more than an hour of soaking, and twitching at the heat. Having steam come off the water as it drains is proof you’ve done it right.

Half an hour or so after getting in this morning, Luscious despatched the kids across to the park to play and brought a chair into the bathroom to join me in reading. Before I could warn her she sat down and plonked her feet into the bath, prompting today’s quote of the day:

Jeez! I’ve stewed apples in colder water than that!

I’m not fat. I’m melting…

Song of the moment: Tubular Bells Mike Oldfield

ON THE SUBJECT OF PIMPING…..

Grant Watson is one of the most insanely talented men I know. Writer, actor, playwright, con organiser, lover, lap dancer, astronaut….

His latest project is a webcomic. Executive Bunnies takes some supporting characters from Grant’s The Angriest Video Store Clerk In The World comic book (plays, t-shirts, graphic novel, and TV pilot…) and gives them full reign in what promises to be an hilariously satirical take on movies, fandom, and anything else that strikes Grant’s badly swollen cortex.

Bookmark this one, coz it’s gonna be a keeper.

TICONDEROGA ONLINE/ASiF FUNDRAISING DRIVE

These two worthy website are in need of a wee bit of cash in hand to keep themselves floating, and both deserve a nod in the direction of your wallet.

It’d be great if you would donate. Take particular note of the pdf offer of Ticonderoga stories, which you’ll be able to keep after they leave the archive forever, and the chance to win groovy prizes. Verily, ’tis a cause of worthiness.

Of course, if you do donate (as I have done: a story for the pdf), you get to display one of these about your person:

All the best people have one…..