5 FOR FRIDAY: TO 2018 AND… WELL, JUST THAT

It that’s time of the year, when we turn away from days past with a muttered Well, I won’t be doing that again and look forward to the bright, blank pages of the year to come. Time to lay down a few markers so that when we turn away from days past in a year’s time we’ll know exactly what we should have been doing instead of playing Candy Crush and watching The Biggest Block Kitchen Bake-Off Survivor.

You know: New Year’s resolutions.

So, with a move to a new town in a new (hotter, redder, moister, farther away) part of the world on the horizon, it’s time to make this…… flee change?…… work to my benefit. Here are five resolutions for my upcoming year, to take advantage of my new-found status as the domestic-based partner in my marriage, and help allay Luscious’ fears that it’ll all come crashing down around our ears as she dies of work-related stress and I turn into some sort of obsessively masturbating, inanimate, Jabba the Hutt-shaped, couch-based life-form.

Five For Friday: New Year’s Resolutions in a Furnished Cage

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5 FOR FRIDAY: CONTEMPORARY CHRISTMAS SONGS

It’s that time again. When songs about frolicking in the snow make a mockery of your heat-stroke. When everyone spends the day shoveling down roast everything with lava gravy instead of acting sensibly and filling a paddling pool with ice cream. When the average age of the family playlist is ‘deceased’.

Balls to that.

Christmas isn’t white, Bing Crosby was an alcoholic child abuser, and the Elf on the Shelf is a streak-of-piss little snitch who should be knee-capped and fed to the pigs.

Who’s up for some real Christmas music? And I don’t mean the saccharine puke extruded by the likes of Wham and Mariah Carey. I mean real music: something with guts and rhythm and an authenticity that doesn’t make you want to gun down everybody in the shopping centre.

 

5 for Friday: Contemporary Christmas Songs

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SPIKE

Everywhere I go, I take Spike. I first bought him when I moved into a flat by myself aged 23. He’s been with me ever since. When I bought my first house, I planted him. When I moved, I took a cutting. The plant remained behind, but Spike still travelled with me. Every time I bought a house, I planted Spike. Every time I’ve moved on, the plant has stayed behind, and Spike has renewed himself in cutting form. I’ve given a cutting to all of my bonus kids so they can have their own Spike. Still, Spike stays with me.
To whit, 24 years after I first brought him home, say hello to Karratha Spike.

2017: WELL, THAT WAS A YEAR…..

It’s that time of year again: time to look back on a year of… uh… and celebrate… that thing… that… you know…

Actually, 2017 really was a year of is that all? If not for Luscious’ breakthrough, and our impending Pilbara adventure, I’d have a hard time remembering the year at all, and we’re still in it.

Really selling this year in review post, aren’t I?

 

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THUMBNAIL THURSDAY AND THE ART OF THE DIMINISHING RETURN

Back when I was contemplating attempting a career in cartooning, it was clear that the one of the best ways to attract the attention of newspapers in particular was to offer them a series– much like Star Wars films, if producers feel they have a product they can keep screwing into the ground long past the point where anyone even remembers why they started doing this thing, it helps them not think about how to fill their calendars. Think about Garfield. Remember when it was funny?

Exactly.

One the ideas I flirted with was a wordless cartoon, featuring a Swami-like character who used his mystical gifts to counter mundane problems and to entertain himself. This is one of the ideas I quickly scribbled out to see if the concept had legs– the Swami, floating in mid-air, playing skip-rope with his cobra.

Hey, I’m not saying it was a good idea…

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PATREON APPROACHETH

Almost got the full suite of February rewards ready for my Patreon subscribers:
  • the writing exercise and WIP excerpt are up
  • the exclusive 500 word short story is up
  • the 5 for Friday poll is waiting for votes, and
  • the first chapter of the exclusive novel is loaded and waiting
 
All I have left to post are the exclusive single-panel cartoon, the journal posting, and the Q&A vlog post where I answer questions about writing.
 
 

FIVE FOR FRIDAY: YOU AND ME, DC!

A real life-changer of a week this week, with confirmation that we’ll be packing up and moving to Karratha at the end of January. While I’ll be spending the majority of my time working on a series of novels (check out my new Patreon site for details, and if you’re so inclined, drop a few bucks my way to receive exclusive content on a monthly basis), I’ll also be looking to push my writing into new directions, and use the extra time our new lifestyle affords me to pursue some dreams I’ve never had the chance to pursue.

To whit: I’ve always wanted to write a comic book.

So, one of the things I’ll be doing is working up a pitch to DC Comics, using a lesser-known, and under-utilised character that is close to my heart. One of these five, in fact. I just need to work out the right storyline, and then I’ll know which one.

 

Five for Friday: DC Characters I Intend to Pitch

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THUMBNAIL THURSDAY MAKES A DEAL

The Devil– like Santa, Death and pandas– is another of those wonderfully flexible concepts that lends itself to anything, particularly humour. There is simply so much cultural baggage built up around the character; so many snippets of folklore, superstition, and outright bullshit; so many stories. The deal at the cross-roads is one that has crossed over into real life– the great Robert Johnson used it as part of his mystique. As the guitar is an update on the fiddle, so the mixing desk.

 

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“Okay, kid. First of all, ask yourself– what would you even do

with a mixing desk made out of solid gold?”

 

PATREON IS LIVE

As part of my life change, I have a Patreon page.

Patreon is a micro-patronage website: for a small monthly payment, you receive access to unique, patron-only content, created by me as a reward for your patronage. For a small monthly donation, you’ll be helping me create new fiction, as well as ensuring you receive a gift in your inbox every month.

The site officially launches in late January, with rewards starting from February 1st, but visit now to check out the rewards, and have a look around, and receive a free story download by way of thank you. And should you decide to become an early adopter, and pledge before the February start date, you’ll receive a pdf copy of my short story collection Through Soft Air by way of thank you.

This could be the start of a beautiful friendship……

 

 

 

 

ARTHUR, MARTHA, KARRATHA

Big news on the 18 Month Plan front, my friends. Big news indeed.

On Thursday morning, Luscious received a phone call from Karratha High School to inform her that they had a position open, and would she be okay with them undertaking a reference check.

On Saturday morning, she received a job offer. And accepted.

Tomorrow, I will dance into work and deliver something I’ve been wanting to deliver for… well, 18 Months (#18monthplan, duh): my resignation letter. And in late January, we will up and move for two years to Karratha: a town of 17,000 inhabitants, 1500 kilometres away, with an average temperature somewhere in the mid 30s; with a new $43 million arts centre; with a swimming pool (for some reason, having a swimming pool has become a running joke during Luscious’ job search); with one shopping centre; with one single library and a TAFE.

We’re going bush, people!

Luscious will teach. I will pick up a day or two of relief teaching here and there. And write. And pick up my visual arts practice after 20 years out of the game. And act as domestic support.

I’ve a few plans in place: check out my Patreon page for the list of projects I’ll be working on, and news of rewards and patronage levels, should you be of a mind once the page is officially launched in late January (and pick up a free story by way of saying thanks for visiting). Seven novels in 2 years, and a return to the dedicated, driven author I used to be.

I can’t wait.

FIVE FOR FRIDAY: BOOKS I WISH I’D WRITTEN

As a reader, there’s approximately one hundred million billion zillion gajillion books that I love with great loveness and which are my squishy and that I pet and love and call my squishy. Approximately.

As an author, there are times when it’s impossible not to see the man behind the curtain. For all the individual skill involved, there are certain cornerstones of the craft that are apparent to anyone else practising that craft.

Occasionally, however, I read a novel that rocks me back on my heels, makes me blow out my cheeks and shake the book gently, all the while muttering “Man. I wish I’d written that.”  Here are five.

Five for Friday: Books I Wish I’d Written

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