MENTAL FLOSS

One interesting side-effect of my Silverbergian WIP-death:

I’ve realised how much of my work, and how much of my thought processes, had fallen into a pattern defined by what I thought other people expected: how often I went to an event because it was what the cool kids were doing, or because it might be good for my career, or networking; how often I LJ flisted people because they had done so to me, or because it felt like the done thing; how many associations I was a part of, not becuase I wanted to be, but because I felt I should be. How I approached stories in similar ways because certain markets leaned towards that approach; how my defaults were the same as everyone else’s; how writing was a process, a production line, a habit. How much of what I viewed, or read, or discussed, was based on what those around me were doing, and the need to fit in with a very small community on the edge of my interests.

Rammel, gewgaws, falderal, and expectations. And almost all of it without conscious realisation on my part.

‘Mazin’ what losing your bookmarks shows you.

Since I’ve started working on new stuff, from scratch, I’ve noticed something else: the forms are different, the approach, the skill sets I’m bringing to each story. I have only the task uppermost in my mind: the writing, pure and fresh, with nothing standing between me and the enjoyment of writing each indiviual piece. And I’m understanding that, for me, the joy is in the discovery of the writing process: unfettered from the expectations I have created for my ‘work’ as an homogeneous whole, I’m pushing myself towards new story forms, work that is immediately different to me, and exciting for all that. The stories look different, on the page as well as in my mind. I’m more experiemental in structure, point of view, narrative construction. I’m breaking rules, and doing so with confidence, because if I don’t sell another piece ever again, well, fuck it: I had that career. This is the next one. I don’t really care if I get the “Hey, didn’t you used to be…” response, because I’m not even sure I’ll be there to hear it.

I feel as if I’ve emerged from a cocoon, and that what should have been apparent to me all along is only now becoming clear, because the eyes with which I view things are still new, and sting in the sunlight. I feel closer to the desires and goals I had when I first started writing than I have for some years. And honestly, I don’t know where this is all going, but it’s no longer the point. I’m on my own out here, building my own structures. Whatever this new work leads to, it’ll be mine.

LAUGHED MY ASS OFF

Seen on a t-shirt yesterday:

I AM NOT A NERD!
I am a 12th level Paladin.

SPOILERS! GOT YOUR SPOILERS RIGHT HERE!

It would be unporofessional of me to say too much, because, you know, I’m sure you can imagine hundreds of possible reasons why the BBC want me to remove all references to Sontarans from The Time Eater before Season 3 (29, fuck you!) of Dr Who airs…..

I shall, however, refrain from mentioning my enormous Doctor Who fanboy erection reaching the upper levels of the stratosphere.

MORE WRITEY-WRITEY GOODNESS

Well, I must say I’m reasonably chuffed with myself– I came back from my Clarion stint with two tasks uppermost in my mind: to return to mainstream employment in order to ensure a more secure income stream; and to get back to basics with my writing by sloughing away as many non-essential distractions as possible and concentrating on the pure act of writing.

As to the first, I start a 6 month contract with the ATO on the 12th (cue sound of things changing and staying the same…), with the hope that old contacts and hard work will see me springboard into something permanent.

And the second, well, that’s working out too: I’m knee-deep in the 3rd draft of the movie, and expect to have that back to Producer Matt within the week. I’ve sent 5 stories out, selling one so far. And I’m currently banging through the necessary line edits on the half dozen or so I had in hard copy when the hard drive died, so I expect to have sent them out as well by the end of March. I’ve received the rewrite specs for The Time Eater, my story in the now-available-for-pre-order Doctor Who: Destination Prague anthology. And I’m currently hard at work on a commissioned story for an anthology I’m not yet cleared to talk about, but for which I’m having a hell of a lot of fun writing (Giant mutant dolphins, baby! Giant mutant dolphins!)

Oh, and, you know, I posted a haiku about genital wigs over at Jerry Jarvis’ Wig this morning 🙂

It’s all good, clean fun down our way.

SOME GOOD NEWS, JUST TO CHANGE THE TONE

Two very nice emails waiting in the inbox when I logged in this morning:

The first to tell me that I’d won a copy of Lars Von Trier’s supernatural-soapie-turned-feature The Kingdom, coutesy of Horrorscope, and the second from Black Box supremo Shane Jiraiya Cummings, accepting my story Truthful Remains for this sequel to the excellent multi-media horror anthology Shadow Box. The original anthology was, in my humble opinion, one of the standout Australian genre projects of the last few years, so it’s nice to crack a mention in the follow-up, too.

And while we’re talking about things horrible (uh, I mean….), the Australian Horror Writer’s Association has announced the shortlist for this year’s Australian Shadows Award (hereby dubbed Dead Chick II), and Father Renoir’s Hands, a story from Through Soft Air, has made the list. It’s nice to be noticed again (I was fortunate enough to win Dead Chick I last year): I think the AHWA are doing fantastic work as an association, and it’s pleasing to be held in some esteem by them. The winner will be announced on March 25th, so I’ll let you know who gets the statuette this time round.