5 FOR FRIDAY WILL, 5 FOR FRIDAY WILL, ROCK YOU.

We’re still in the midst of Battcon, and while the focus is on the inevitable writerly pursuits– writing, drinking, bitching about the successes of others, drinking, hanging around the pool, complaining that my career is over, drinking, watching TV and drinking, with the occasional bout of writing and self-hatred– it’s important that it all be done to the correct soundtrack, because, you know, generation that grew up on The Breakfast Club.

Queen is the first band for whom I ever felt a fannish attraction, predating even my all-encompassing and lifelong Madness love. Outside of Bohemian Rhapsody (the only song to realistically challenge Stairway to Heaven for the unofficial Greatest Song Ever Recorded title), their catalogue up until the demise of their hypnotic genius front man Freddie Mercury is a wall to wall layer of brilliance and bona fide superhits. I have owned their Greatest Hits Volume 1 album in at least 4 different media, and worn it through in each one.

Between Mercury’s voice, guitar god Brian May’s soaring riffs, and the joyous flip-flopping between whimsical Victoriana and tear-your-balls-off rock and roll, they are unforgettable, and simply impossible to recreate. What we can do, however, is take a moment to step outside the long list of radio staples we still teach our children (boom boom, CLAP, boom boom CLAP…) and highlight five works that haven’t stuck in the general consciousness, despite their brilliance.

Here, then, are five of my favourites from outside the long, long list of giant monster hits we all know and sing regularly wherever there’s an outdoor event with a taped soundtrack (boom boom, CLAP, boom boom CLAP…)……

 

5 for FRIDAY: KILLER QUEEN

 

Continue reading “5 FOR FRIDAY WILL, 5 FOR FRIDAY WILL, ROCK YOU.”

THUMBNAIL THURSDAY DEMANDS YOUR SWEET THINGS

Of all the delightful traditions that Americans have introduced to the world– turning up late for wars; gunning down their own children for the crime of going to school; friendly fire– teaching your kids that you can go door to door in disguise, demanding gifts to ward off the physical destruction of your home is surely one of the quaintest.

It only takes one evil genius with a taste of chocolate and an understanding of the classics……

 

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“Granted, Madam. Physically, he is nothing like a child. Still, I’d recommend giving him

all your candy, unless you want him to throw that lovely daughter of yours into

the nearest lake.”

 

 

5 FOR FRIDAY: A MATHOM OF OPENINGS

The longer you write, the more you begin. The more you begin, the more you accumulate false starts, mis-steps, and generally unusable fragments.

Writers are hoarders, at least of ideas: a good writer never throws anything away, and it can be years between writing a false start and finding the one perfect moment, idea, or circumstance that allows us to finish the story. My personal record is 11 years between abandoning an opening, and completing– and selling– the finished story (At The End There Was a Man, which appeared in the Coeur De Lion anthology Anywhere But Earth). I know of other authors who have gone more than 20 years between beginning and finishing a story. Ask around: we’ve all got one.

So, for your entertainment and education, here are five openings I’ve been carrying around for over 5 years, waiting for that spark to see them through to completion.

 

Continue reading “5 FOR FRIDAY: A MATHOM OF OPENINGS”

THUMBNAIL THURSDAY HAS BEEN IN ONE TOO MANY TEAM MEETING

To say I have never enjoyed working in the various levels of Government service to which I was sentenced is an understatement. In a quarter of century, I found less than half a dozen colleagues with whom I wished to have any contact outside of the workplace, and countless hundreds I would welcome alien abduction in order to avoid acknowledging them in the street.

Let’s be honest: this cartoon isn’t funny. It’s just true.

 

 

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“I think you underestimate my achievement in refraining

from gunning you all down like dogs.”

PATREONUS REMINDERUS

Here’s your monthly reminder that a large wadge of what you see on this blog– as well as progress on my upcoming works such as Ghost Tracks— is supported by the generous pledges of my Patreon patrons.

In April, patrons have received the following:

  • An exclusive short story, Creeping.
  • A 1000-word journal entry discussing the work-life balance of being an artist in a remote country town.
  • The right to vote on an upcoming 5 for Friday blog post.
  • An exclusive cartoon.
  • An excerpt from Ghost Tracks, my current work-in-progress.
  • An exclusive video blog in which I discuss patron questions and talk about the ways an author can overcome distractions and ensure s/he comes to the writing session ready to get words onto the paper immediately.
  • Last First Lines, an exclusive writing exercise.

Plus other patron-only treats and goodies which can only be accessed by pledging as little as $1 a month.

If you’re interested in receiving a range of fun, exclusive goodies in your inbox every month, and like me you can think of better things to do with a couple of bucks than spend it on some crushed twigs soaked in hot water, head on over to my Patreon page and check out the full list of rewards. We turn away no friendly overture.

 

REVIEW: MONSTRESS VOLUME 1, AWAKENING

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening (Monstress, #1)Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely stunning combination of artwork, non-traditional and traditional fantasy tropes, sexual politics, and quest narrative that hits the mark at every available opportunity. Looks utterly beautiful, is complex in both its character motivations and story, and just excels in every way it is possible for a comic book to do so. Books like this are the reason why the comic book format exists: to tell a story that cannot be encompassed by text or image alone, but by both forms combined. A wonderful and wondrous work.

View all my reviews

THUMBNAIL THURSDAYS EATS ITS 5+2

Vampires are comedy gold, for one very good reason: vampires are stupid. Not the legends and folklore that lie at the heart of the vampire– many of them are truly fascinating, and far more entertaining than the versions we see today. What I’m referring to is the Westernised, post-Lugosi, bowdlerised version with which Hollywood and teen romances burden us on a regular basis.

If it sparkles, burn it with fire.

 

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“I just have one of those metabolisms– I can eat and eat, and never put any weight on.”