11 times 1667 equals 18 337.

Which is rather more than the 13 717 words I’ve completed so far this month. I’ve had a couple of days away from the computer here and there, so my targets are down, but I’ve always been quicker towards the end of a project than I am at the start, so I’m not that worried. Nano is, of course, just a guide as far as I’m concerned. My object is to complete a saleable novel, not to complete 50000 words. But it is a good way of getting your arse applied to the seat, and I’m in dire need of that.

I had 5 goals at the start of the year. Losing weight to 95 kilograms isn’t going to happen, but completing Corpse-Rat King and starting a second novel will be achieved, and a month ago I would not have said it was likely. It’s likely, in fact, that I’ll have completed Corpse-Rat King and completed a second novel.

And for that, you can colour me pleased.


Now, I know I’ve been rabbiting on about how brilliant life is in Mandurah, about the wonder of the foreshore, and the delights of seeing wild emus and kangaroos from the train on the way home, and the relaxed and happy lifestyle we’ve created for ourselves and the kids. So it’s perhaps only fair that I present an anecdote to prove that all is not perfect in this Paradise by the southern beaches.

Sunday night at the Silver Sands hotel drive through. The Liquorland down the road from us is closed.

No beers on display in the tiny, pokey, bottleshop.

Only a “staff only” sign on the freezer room door to indicate the presence of any beer in the building.

The following conversation ensues:

SALES BLOKE: Yeah, mate?
LEE: I’m after some beer.
SB: Yeah?
LEE: Have you got anything a bit out of the ordinary? I’m in the mood for something a bit different, you know? A bit exotic.

Long pause while shoppie stares off into the distance, no doubt mentally trawling through the miles of freezer rooms shelves weighted down with beers from every corner of the globe, searching his prodigious memory for the perfect bottle of the most exotic brew available to man. After several seconds of contemplation–

SB: Carlton Cold?

One six pack of Heineken later………


I’m 39 today.

We’ve kept it low-key this year. Lyn’s faith is such that she’s uncomfortable with making a fuss about birthdays, and whilst I take up the baton and organise the kid birthdays (My Facebook friends can tell you about how sweary I became recently whilst organising Connor’s McDonald’s party last week…) for myself, I’m not so fussed. I picked out my own present a month or so ago– massive gag cartoon collections from Punch and The New Yorker– and a certain level of skintness has meant that, rather than head out to dinner as is our normal wont, I’m about to be fed a massive plate of home-made butter chicken, crack open a beer (in honour of the way I generally feel these days, we’re trying out something called ‘Fat Yak’ ale), and then trough my way past a bowl of amazing slow-cooked peach & apple cake with custard.

Yum 🙂

However, one tradition remains untouched, and that’s my moment of birthday morbidity. To whit, my annual list of far more famous and talented people who I have outlived. This year’s offering involves pirates, porn stars, junkies and suicides, which should tell you the sort of company I’m keeping these days 🙂

Ta, as they say in the classics, da:

  • Blackbeard
  • Charlotte Bronte
  • Harry Chapin
  • Dimebag Darryl
  • Ted Demme
  • Lolo Ferrari
  • George Gershwin
  • Florence Griffith Joyner
  • John-John Kennedy
  • Sam Kinnison
  • Mario Lanza
  • Sonny Liston
  • Louis XVI
  • Anna Malle
  • Marie Prevost
  • David Rappaport
  • Charles Kingsford Smith
  • Johnny Thunders