The world is in danger. The skies are filled with enemies. If this was the 19th century, HG Wells and Richard Burton would kick some serious arse, using only the medium of tiny little germs and a great big rock and roll orchestra.
So far, so… far.
Congratulations to Cassandra Rose Clarke and Lee Collins, the first authors from the Angry Robot Open Submission Month to be announced as having signed contract with the publisher. Cassandra and Lee’s books sound, well, ominously awesome.
You’d probably be surprised to hear it, but there aren’t that many places in Mandurah for a fat middle-aged man to hang out with others and explore his hobby in a relaxed social setting if his hobby happens to be a kid’s toy like Lego.
There’s probably not many places to go if your hobby is sodomising kittens, either, but hey, I zigged instead of zagged and went with Lego.
Imagine my delight, then, when I discovered the world of LUGS. Lego User Groups, organisations of AFOLs (Adult Fans of Lego) who do just that. Get together and do the Lego thing, not the kitten thing. Forget the kitten thing. Jeez. Sorry I even brought it up.
So I get in touch. I’m just getting back into the hobby, I’ve seen some of your stuff on the net– and bugger me, the stuff this group does is astonishing– I’d like to come up and find out what you’re all about. After a while, I get a reply. I can’t have been the only one asking, because it’s a form reply.
They’ve got a new HQ, and they’d be interested in a small selection of new members. Provided you build to a high enough standard. Please send us some images of your MOCs so we can decide if you’re good enough.
I know I’m a crazy, wacky old curmudgeon, but my impression of Lego was that it was a kids toy, something adults could enjoy and hey, if you look at guys like Nathan Sawaya, blow the minds of the world with. But exclusionary? I’d rather sit on the floor with my kids and build spaceships and open air cafes than try to persuade someone that I’m good enough to play in their clubhouse. I stopped paying that shit the last time I grew out of Lego. I just want somewhere to play with like minded PALS.
A pal of mine is a member of MUGS, the Melbourne Lego user group. She’s trying to persuade me to start my own LUG: the region is big enough to support another group, and I’d prefer not to have to travel to Perth just to play with others. Lyn will let me think about it if I get her a chihuahua. You know what I think about dogs, right? Does the fact I’m actually thinking about letting her have one explain my feelings on the subject?
High enough standard.
MandUGS? ManUGS? PUGS? SPUGS?……
So I turned 41 two days ago. And it probably says a lot about the state of mind that I find myself in these days that this year’s present of choice was, you guessed it, Lego.
Two very cool kits made it into my collection: the fun-to-build and adaptable Creator Log Cabin, with three different designs of varying degrees of difficulty and a whole host of blocks, plates, roof slopes and basic elements that make me itchy to play about with architectural designs. And with $50 from my father and stepmother, I stepped out to the shops and came home with the mad-as-a-mad-thing Space Truck Getaway set from the Space Police III series, a bunch of sets I love for their insane space-punk look, plethora of speciality parts, and alien minifigs that were obviously the result of the designers getting a little too smashed at a Friday sundowner one week and seeing what they could get past the bosses.
They’re also all but off the shelves in my lonely corner of the world. I got lucky with this one because I managed to find it tucked down in between shelving units at my local Toyworld, where it had obviously been knocked off, slipped down, and become both stuck and forgotten over time. That, my friends, is what we call a score 🙂
Then out of nowhere, Luscious Lyn’s best friend Catherine came over to attend the Nanowrimo Night of Writing Dangerously event I had organised for last night, and presented me with the enormous Alien Invasion Mothership, with another bucketful of fun specialty parts including the much-wanted by Connor Lime Clinger, so it was happy building time all round!
My darling, naturally, both went against the general theme and provided me with the most individually desired gift. It’s our little ritual to provide each other with a book, and The Monster’s Corner is one that prompted instant lust when stumbled upon in a bookshop recently: how could you not want it once you spy that cover?
Straight to the top of my reading pile, baby! :))
41 isn’t any different to 40, of course, and a birthday really isn’t any different to any other day of the week, especially if you don’t get the day off work to laze about and pretend you’re King of the House. But this year it’s been an indicator, and high watermark, of big changes in my way of life. In the weeks leading up to it I’ve entered into a quantum change in writing direction, engaging an agent and pretty much completing the switch from short story writer to novelist; I’ve embarked on a series of projects that will lead me into a new sphere of professional work; and I’ve re-engaged with a childhood pleasure that’s given me an outlet that I can pursue purely for fun’s sake– writing might be my major outlet, and it might be fun, but it’s been several years since I’ve approached any writing with ‘just fun’ in mind. I’m a writer. I sell what I write. It’s always a business.– I joke about my sudden Lego addiction, and my family jokes with me, but their willingness to indulge me and gift me with sets and time to piggle about with them show they understand the pleasure I’m deriving from it.
My family made my birthday special, as they always do, but it’s the acceptance and indulgence they afford me that keeps me smiling.
Lisa L Hannett is quirky, highly talented, and living in Adelaide — city of churches, bizarre murders and pie floaters — so you know she knows all about suffering for your art. Her short stories have been published in venues including Clarkesworld Magazine, Fantasy Magazine, Weird Tales, ChiZine, Shimmer, Electric Velocipede, Tesseracts 14, and Ann & Jeff VanderMeer’s Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded, and she provided a creepy-as-all-fuck little gem for my issue of Midnight Echo to boot. The February Dragon, co-authored with upcoming carrotter Angela Slatter, won the ‘Best Fantasy’ Aurealis Award in 2010, so you know she’s got chops.
Her first collection of short stories, Bluegrass Symphony, was published by Ticonderoga Publications in 2011. Midnight and Moonshine, a second collection co-authored with Angela Slatter, will be published in 2012. You can find her online at http://lisahannett.com.
So far, so good Corpse-Rat lovers, and yes I know how bad that sounds, but think of the fun that’s going to cause on the search engines 🙂
It’s been one hell of a disrupted weekend: on Friday we moved the Teen Family into their new digs across town, and on Saturday morning moved our son back after a split-up that can only be described as ‘messy’, although ‘used and betrayed’ also springs to mind. Much comfort and support has been offered, and much future will now hopefully be grasped with both hands.
But amongst it all, I’ve managed to get some keyboard time, and as always seems to be the case when I push the writing processes a little harder than they might be ready for, subplots have revealed themselves with startling regularity. One of the hard parts of writing a sequel– a task I’ve only attempted with the Father Muerte short stories– is trying to creating the core of what made the original work without repeating yourself in either action, theme, or consequence. Unless, of course, you’re Piers Anthony, in which case, only the names have been changed to protect the gullible….
But progress it does, and in a way that’s keeping me entertained. Let’s hope that continues. For at least another 89 000 words, anyway…
You know how it is when you’re all prepared to spend a month writing 50 000 words of a novel, and you have a cool title and a kinda-sorta-as-much-as-you-ever-have idea of, if not how the whole thing is going to go, well, at least kinda-sorta-as-much-as-you-ever-have how the thing is going to start, right?
And you know how you wake up on day one of the month, knowing you need to write at least 1667 words of this idea today, and back that up tomorrow, and the day after and so on, and the little man who lives at the back of your mind shows up in his coat and hat, carrying a suitcase, and posts a sticky note on the back of your eyes that says simply “Fuck you, buddy, you’re on your own.”?
Goodbye The Sin-Eater’s Lonely Children. Hello Corpse-Rat King: Rising Dead.
I wasn’t going to write a sequel. I really wasn’t. But, you know, I got me an agent, and I had the idea kicking about, and it escalates really nicely from the first book…..
Nanowrimo day one: