HIGH FIVE!

5 years of my wondrous, joyous, wildly brilliant boy.

He can’t decide whether he’s going to be an astronaut or the Stig when he grows up, so he plans to be both. He knows that his secret Santa is Santa, and is the terror of face-painting ladies everywhere with demands to be made up as The Hulk or Four-Arms or (on one memorable occasion), two dragons fighting. When he hugs he does it with his entire body—arms, legs, and head—and he is the inventor and proud copyright owner of the noggin bonk kiss. He will be the first man to set foot on Mars, and while he’s there he’ll probably wee-write his name in the sand for a laugh.

He is unutterably, indisputably, and infinitely precious to me. I would burn the world rather than see him suffer a single moment of pain or misery.

Happy birthday, my beautiful little boy.

NATE OF THE STATION

Bear with me, folks. It’s been an odd period, these six months since we moved here to Paradise-By-Sea. Somehow, this shift in location has turned into the sea change I’ve been searching for over the last five years or so. It’s prompted changes at every level, from simple matters like the change of phone number through to re-evaluations of the way I conduct my life, my aims, my behaviours…. all in all, it’s keeping me busy.

Several friends have fallen by the wayside, either because of the increase in distance between us or the final stages of the natural atrophy that the relationships have been experiencing lately. Others have become more prominent. We’ve altered our finances. Our work situations have undergone drastic and fundamental change. We’re a family in evolution, and in many ways, I also am evolving into a different beast than the one who started the year.

Much of that evolution is artistic. Nanowrimo has proven to be a bust—I’ve managed 13000 words of the Cirque project, but my heart’s not been in it, and in the end it was too easy to put it down and not pick it up again. Perhaps in the New Year I’ll revisit it—it’s a decent enough idea, and I know where the story goes. But setting aside Corpse-Rat King to do it was a bad idea, especially with the first draft of that novel being so close to completion, and I’ve taken up the cudgels again with an aim to completing it by the end of the year.

I’ve rediscovered my interest in cartooning, and have filled a small bunch of notebooks with thumbnails and sketches that Luscious is currently prodding me to complete properly. I’m still reading for Midnight Echo #4, and looking forward to making some final decisions early in the New Year—if you’ve been meaning to submit, do so before you run out of time– the sub period finishes January 31st, but if I wasn’t a patient man I could probably be thinking about filling the magazine now. And there are more novel projects planned, but none so close to the Oz SF heartland that I expect to be flogging them off at a Swancon near you.

2009 has been a very quiet year for me, artistically speaking. I’m still popping up here and there—you can read a brand new story, , Rabbit, Run over at Dark Recesses this month (if you really want to drive an editor barmy, start your story’s title with a comma….) and The Claws of Native Ghosts has been chosen for the upcoming Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror Volume 4. Last weekend I joined the Queensland Writer’s Centre as a guest for their regular weekly writing race. I’ve also accepted a commission to provide the Centre with an article entitled Plot or Pants? on the differences between tight plotting and my own aimless methods. Compared to my relatively high profile in Australian small press SF circles over the past few years, however, I’ve been almost invisible, and things are likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. My literary interests are moving further and further away from the things I have produced in the past. Frankly, I like the distance, and I have aims and desires that are not simpatico with the Australian SF small press, so there’s no need to be in quite so severe a proximity.

By this time next year I’ll be 40, and if half the birthday cards at the newsagent are to be believed, I’ll have just started my life. So perhaps it’s just a mid-life crisis, or perhaps I’m just cleaning out my closet, but one phase of my life has most definitely ended, and the one that is beginning has different colours.

So bear with me while all this stuff gets flung about in the washing machine of my life. I’ll undoubtedly emerge one sock short, with a shirt that wasn’t the colour it was when it went in, but I’ll be clean and smelling slightly of lemon, and that won’t be a bad thing.