Day one of Nano completed, and a couple of hours down the foreshore with Lyn, her best friend Terri, and the sort of view out the cafe window that people in ludicrously large sunglasses who call themselves names like ‘Pip’ and ‘Biffie’ spend millions trying to find, and…. well, it’s a start anyway. After over a year working on Corpse-Rat King, especially when I’m so close to the end, shifting gears to starting a fresh work that’s so completely different is a wrench and a half, but I churned out some wordage, and, well, weeeeeeee.

November’s a birthday-heavy month and the desire of my workplace to fuck me over at any available opportunity is going to present some challenges, but all things being equal (excepting, of course, odd numbers), I may have 2 completed novels by the end of the year.
Which will be nice.
And so to the word meters–

1754 / 50000


Fine, thanks. How are you?
Corpse-Rat King is lurching towards a conclusion. I’ve completed 95 000 words and have one longish section towards the end to knit togvether and the first draft will be completed. Say another 2 or 3 thousand words tops, and then I can let it stew until January before I go back and begin carving it up into tiny little pieces and painting them different colours.
Oh, and I’ve joined Nanowrimo again this year. The project this time round is a novelisation of my TV script Cirque, which garnered some positive comments from last year’s WA Film Corporation script competition without managing to win. If you’re of a mind to join the program (or already have) and want to buddy up, I’m entered under the name leebattersby, and my page is here.
Elsewhere, domesticity reigns. Mandurah in spring is a groovelicious thing: we pressed the nostalgia buttion big time the other weekend by packing the kids up and catching the ferry over to Penguin Island, prompting me to tell anyone who’d listen about how the last time I’d gone over, back in 1990 when I was still living in Rockingham, I’d walked across on the sandbar; how there were no boardwalks and we could clamber over all the rock faces that are now sealed off for the bird sanctuary; how I’d stayed at the camp buildings that stood where the penguin feeding area stands now; how we’d sat under the caves that are now sealed off beause of the falling risk…. in between my old man stories we spent a gorgeous afternoon beachcombing for shells, sharing lunch with the enormous skinks that invaded the picnic area, and embarking on the glass-bottom boat tour to Seal Island to watch seals play in the surf and a solitary dolphin bully a stingray out of its meal.
Idyllic? Bloody paradise, mate.
Lyn and the kids find the perfect spot to start building a hut, whilst I go looking for coconuts with which to start building a radio.
Hello, laaaaaaaaaaaadies.
The side of human/animal interactions that PETA doesn’t tell you about– a skink with a shoe fetish. Tragic, just tragic.


The AHWA and ‘Nameless’ competition director Stephen Studach are thrilled to announce that the ‘Nameless’ competition will be judged by multi-award winning master of dark fiction Ramsey Campbell.

In honour of Mr. Campbell’s involvement, the competition’s deadline has been extended to the 13th of March, 2010.

Read the story here. Come up with a conclusion and a title! Make your $10 donation and enter the competition here.

Competition prizes include a $500 winner’s cheque, and a prize pool of horror goodies:

• A manuscript version of the story signed by as many of the writers involved as can be tracked down.
• A copy of The Australian Writer’s Marketplace 2009/2010.
• A copy of The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror 19th annual collection (edited by Datlow, Link & Grant.)
• Free 1-year membership, or 12-month renewal, to the Australian Horror Writers Association.
• Books: Signed limited editions – Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge; Wild Things by Douglas Clegg; Prodigal Blues by Gary A. Braunbeck.
• A boost to any personal horror library – Development Hell by Mick Garris; Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill; Infected by Scott Sigler; The Nature of Balance by Tim Lebbon; The Dark Descent edited by David G. Hartwell; a pre-loved copy of The Books of Blood (vols 1-3) from Marty Young’s own collection.
• A first edition of The Last Days of Kali Yuga, Paul Haines’ forthcoming collection of stories; published to impeccable standards by Brimstone Press, and slated for release in December 2009.

The six best endings will be featured at HorrorScope – The Australian Dark Fiction Weblog.

All proceeds from this competition go to award-winning author Paul Haines, to assist Paul and the Haines family, while Paul undergoes treatment for cancer.