FEEL THE BOOKLUST
AHWA THE LAD!
Much excitement in this corner of the Battland at the news that Mark Smith has chosen to spend the next 3 months under my tender tutelage as part of the Australian Horror Writer’s Association Mentorship scheme. From now until the end of August we’ll be working together to improve Mark’s writing, deepen his knowledge of the industry, and bring him up to date on all the decent gossip about who’s sleeping with whom, what it cost them, and how much ointment they have to buy as a result.
I’ll be reading a selection of Mark’s work, commenting upon it, and clueing him into the way I write and edit; as well as answering any questions he may have regarding the stories, the marketplace, or writing in general; I’ll also be on hand to provide advice and guidance and just generally being up at all hours of the day and night to respond to his bidding. I don’t do windows…
Mark’s crossed my path on a couple of occasions previously, including a review of Through Soft Air which he penned for the Australian Horror site Horrorscope, so I’m really looking forward to working closely with him and seeing where the next 13 weeks takes us. It should be a heck of a lot of fun. AHWA severed-head honcho Marty Young tells me that the association is keen to run the Mentorship scheme as an annual benefit for members, so if you haven’t considered joining, you can add it to your list of reasons to shell out the 25 clams and join up. (I am not a number, I am a free… oh, no, wait, here I am, member number 30)
A THING OF BEAUTY
Non-sleeping readers will remember that, recently, I promised a decko at Adam Duncan’s illustration for Father Muerte & The Joy of Warfare, my story in Aurealis Issue 37, out now buybuybuybuybuy, proclaiming it as a thing of great beauty and wondrousness.
Thanks to the fab and groovy Adam Browne, I was able to get in touch with Adam D, and thanks to his generosity and all round nice-guyness, I’m able to reproduce the illustration here for your viewing happiness.
As far as I’m concerned, this is how a story illustration should be: Adam’s image defines so many of the central ideas with the tale, and yet does so without giving anything away. It’s beautiful to look at, and once you’ve read the story, you can revisit it and gain a whole new level of resonance. I’m utterly taken with it, and can’t wait to see more of Adam’s work.
I’ve not found a website for Adam, but I have his name permanent-markered onto my mental drywall for use when I next have a chance to recommend an illustrator.
Skip on over to The Batthome. We’ve done the place up a bit, and added a new wing or two, includign a few snippets of upcomign work for your reading pleasure. I’ll be adding more bits and bobs in the coming weeks, and I’ll let you know when they arrive.
QUIRKY LITTLE THANG, AIN’TS I?
I’ve discovered something rather odd: I work better if I type onto a page with a border rather than a fully blank page. If I put a page border on before I start I work quicker, and longer, and the draft seems tighter.
That probably says something deeply disturbing about my psyche….
AND YET, NOBODY LISTENS TO ME….
In response to a friend talking about how lame the new Special K adverts are (my workplace is just a hotbed of current events…), my idea for the perfect way to sell cereal to the target audience of 19-35 year old women–
“Your arse is huge. Special K will make it smaller.”
Feminists with knives to the left, advertising executives with money to the right…..
SO CLOSE, AND YET SO NOT GETTING IT
Connor is 2 and a half now, which means he’s old enough to be punished like the other kids, when he does something wrong. That means being sent to the ‘thinking corner’, where he stays until he’s ready to come out and say sorry. It worked for Lyn’s kids, and it works for Erin, and is a much better parenting tool than smacking, which is an act that distresses Lyn and I, as well as the kid being smacked.
Of course, the older kids had one less aspect of understanding to wrestle with compared to the C-train, to whit:
(Connor whacks his sister a good one upside the head, in full view of his Dad).
LEE: Naughty! Naughty boy! (Points to nearest corner) Corner!
CONNOR: (Hand on hip, big frown on face. Points to self) No! Me Connor!
Ah. Let me explain, son……
TWO OBSERVATIONS BASED ON RECENT DAYS
1. The word *hugs* is not a substitute for a thought-out statement of care.
2. If, after almost five years, you’re still reading your ex-wife’s LJ and getting bent out of shape over every little thing she says: get a fucking life!
I’ve got some other stuff to talk about in a few days, but things are hectic at the moment, so stay tuned…
QUESTIONS THAT ARISE AS I CLEAN OUT MY SPAM TRAY
Do you think that, somewhere, a multi-millionaire with a 13 inch penis is laughing at us for getting rid of these things?
A CALL TO FRIENDS
Anyone know if everything’s all right with Martin Livings? He’s deleted his LJ and a couple of friends report non-replies to emails.
Addenda: A couple of hours later– it’s all good, peoples. Martin’s been in touch. It’s just a streamlining thing. Nothing to see here, folks, go about youse businesses.
A DREAMING COME TRUE
Just received news from the eminent Mister Jack Dann that he is accepting my story In From the Snow for Dreaming Again, the sequel to the World Fantasy Award-winning 1999 anthology Dreaming Down Under, whcih he co-edited with Janeen Webb.
Much pleased, me. IFtS is one of the few stories I rescued from the heat death of the hard drive, and represents, at least to me, an advance in my craft. DA could be a major milestone, and I’m happy indeed to be counted amongst its numbers.
I might just raise a glass tonight.
UNDER THE MARK
I’ve passed halfway.
When I weighed myself this morning, the scales recorded 94.2 kilograms. For the first time since I started this weight loss, I’ve crested the halfway mark, and have less than 15 of the original 30 kilogram target left to lose.
This is a big moment for me. For one thing, it means I’ve earned myself a new set of clothes, which was my self-appointed gift for reaching this point (I also need them- “Baggy Trousers” is a song, and should remain so…) For another, it means that my first weight loss goal has been achieved, and from here, they get smaller.
One thing I realised very quickly when setting my mind to finally shift my fat ass and do something about my weight, was that I simply could not lose thirty kilograms. It was way too much. I could, however, lose five. I could probably, if truth be told, lose five kilograms six times. In fact, I could lose fifteen, given all the help and advice and inspiration I was getting, before I had to think about the rest. So that’s what I set myself: lose 15, and get a prize. Then lose another five, get another prize. Another five after that, and another five, and a couple of prizes along the way to commemorate each milestone. Then add them up and consider the thirty.
I’ve passed the first milestone. I’m sore, I still hate going to the gym , and none of my clothes fit. But it’s a start.