THE FIRST RULE OF OCD CLUB….

… is that there has to be a second rule because we have to have an even number of rules…..

I’ve spoken before about the benefits– and far too often, otherwise– of writing groups. But in Write Club, a loose conglomeration of practicing and aspiring authors who meet fortnightly to have lunch before invading the State Library or the Edith Cowan University library (on a rotating basis) with the sole aim of bashing out words, I think I may have found my intervention.

Due to Real Life (TM), Luscious and I only manage to attend on a monthly basis, when the group meets at the State Library. However, the opportunity to sit in silence– well, relative silence, given that my entire music library sits on a hard drive smaller than my palm and I’ve just purchased some bitching, high-end Sennheiser cans that I need to use at every opportunity– ignore the world, and simply focus on a page with no external distractions is proving valuable beyond words. or, to put it another way, valuable exactly in words.

Last month, it enabled me to crash out the first draft of a new short entitled General Janvier— my first short of the year, would you believe– which I’ve been able to redraft and get out into the world since. And yesterday, I was able to throw 2200 words at a 300 word stub called Plague Rat, finish the story and re-title it, so that the now-2500 word story Gun is ready to edit and send out. Those 300 useless words have been staring at the inside of my Incomplete folder for the better part of 6 years. This is valuable time indeed. It’s nice to be back.

Between me and the outside world lie a wooden table, a breakfast bar, the kitchen sink, and the far wall of the kitchen.

He walks through them all.

MY TINY WIFE PRECEDES ME

So, yeah, I’ve joined Weight Watchers. In fact, as you’re reading this, I’m sitting outside the meeting room, waiting to start my third meeting.

It’s Luscious’ doing, really. She joined some months ago, swallowed the pill without complaint, and has worked so hard she’s lost a fifth of her body weight and been approached to become a coach.

Faced with that sort of dedication and positive results, what chance did I have?

So, I’ve a fitbit on my wrist and my sneakers packed in my work bag, and all the crisps and choccie bars and pizzas and beer have been banished to the you’ve-had-your-share shelves. And I’m eating lunch at my desk and going for walks at lunch time, and generally just trying to follow in Luscious’ tiny, increasingly-light-on-the-ground footsteps.

I weighed 85 kilograms when I had my car accident, maybe a kilo heavier when Sharon died. What I weigh now is no longer the fault of those experiences. So, no more excuses, or justifications. Tackle the weight, and the pain and lifestyle will fall into line.

First week in I lost 2.6 kilograms, which felt like a good start but also gives you some indication of just how much I have to lose.

I’ll keep you abreast of how I go.

A MAN DOES GOOD BUSINESS WHEN HE RIDS HIMSELF OF A TURD

So, the hideous carbuncle that was Unca Jugears has been deposed. And, to date, he’s managed to take pet rocks Peter Dutton and Joe Hockey down with him.

It’s a start. But don’t let the elevation of Shitslick Turnbull fool anybody: the policies remain, the right-wing conservatism and disdain for social and cultural advancement remain, the contempt for the vast majority of the electorate remains. That they have a more appealing sales rep just makes the Liberal machine that much more dangerous.

Bill Shorten was a non-entity for a time of despair, but we can no longer content ourselves in watching ghosts fighting ghosts.

The Liberal machine remains as vile as it ever was. The Labor machine still has no wheels, no fuel, and no gears. More than ever, your vote will count, come the next election.

Just because a turd has been polished, doesn’t stop it from being a turd.

NO SKOOL LIKE THE OLD SKOOL

Life’s settled down a piece in the last week or so– the display for Bricktober has been packed into boxes ready to transport; I’ve stopped compulsively building just-one-more-Viper for the show; General Janvier has been edited and sent out into the wild; and I’ve started to turn my attention back to novels, and specifically, the search for an agent to represent Father Muerte and the Divine.

Hopefully, that means I’ll have a moment or two spare to update the blog on a more regular basis. Hopefully. But, in the meantime, I’ve guest-posted over at Andrew McKiernan’s place on the tools I use to write, and it’s made me realise: somehow, I’ve become old-fashioned!

Says the guy who’s remained with Blogger for going on 14 years……

TOBER. BRICKTOBER.

Way back when, I may have mentioned that I had foolishly agreed to build something for a Lego display in October called, you guessed it, Bricktober.

Yeah, so, October’s nearly open us. And, if I’m honest, I may have gone a little mad.

See, the thing I came up with was a diorama called Arrival at the Tomb of the Unknown Spaceman. A whole rabble of space-themed minifigs disembark from a shuttle that’s over 2 base plates long (a minimum of 64 studs), and wander around what can only be called a significant investment in grey blocks. It’s taken me nearly 7 months to build, and it looks a lot like this:

Which is not the me-going-mad bit, so much as the deciding-that-wasn’t-enough-and-what-I-really-had-to-do-was-build-a-bunch-of-different-spaceships-to-go-on-stands-next-to-it was. So, if you come along to the Canning Showgrounds on October 10 or 11, you’ll also get to see a 52-stud long star fighter:

Another, slightly smaller star fighter:

A GARC*:

And a teensy, tiny, 16-stud long Vic Viper**:

Clearly, I have lost my mind.

Thankfully, I’ve finished all that, and have no plans at all to build, saaaaay, another Vic Viper in the 40-50 stud long bracket.

Right?

For more information on Bricktober, including the fantastic competitions, displays, prizes, and attractions that will be happening, visit their website.


GARC: Galactic Asteroid Rally Circuit. Each space-racer must have 2 crew members per ship (pilot & navigator), no weapons, and must look fast. The crazier the colour scheme the better

**  

MY PLATE, AND THE LOTS ON IT

What time is it, Mister Wolf?

Fucked if I know, I’ve been hard up against it.

Godsdamn, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had a chance to just sit around and blog at y’all. many reasons, but suffice to say, much of it has been down to general suckage, work-based suckage, business, distraction, and the feeling that I’ve got rather more urgent and important things to be doing.

The main thing of interest to this blog, however, is that Luscious and I have started hanging out with a group of Perth writers calling themselves Perth Write Club. They meet every fortnight at the State Library and Edith Cowan University, on a turn-by-turn basis, and well, they write. Hard. For an afternoon, with a bit of lunch beforehand and a chinwag after.

It’s fab, and the kind of writing group I’ve been missing for quite some time– every group I’ve been a part of over the last five years has eventually ended up with me acting as some kind of defacto free workshop leader, and there’s only so much of that I can take before I want to hang out with some actual peers, please. Lyn and I attend the State Library meetings, and it’s proving highly beneficial to my writing. In two meetings I’ve managed to complete a 4000-word synopsis for the kids novel Cirque and write a 3000-word short story entitled General Janvier. I’ll be keeping this up!

In publication news, Magrit continues to lurk about the corridors of Walker Books. They appear to have some big plans for it– I can’t reveal what, unfortunately, but it might be a little more illustrated, and a little more hard-backy that first thought…… March next year is looking like the launch date, by which time it’ll be older than the audience it was written for.

And I’ve been podded over at Far Fetched Fables: if you’ve not read my 2008 story In From the Snow, here’s a chance to snuggle up in bed, cuddle your favourite teddy bear, and have it read to you. Sleep tight,