A DOZEN OF THE BEST

Today is my 12th wedding anniversary.

Twelve years married to this amazing, talented, wise, intelligent, stylish, caring, kind, wonderful woman:

who was told she was destined for nothing, so became an author and artist;

who was told she was stupid, so fought and scratched and refused to give up, and earned her degree;

who was denied years of family love and responded by nurturing and giving flight to two families’ of children;

who was told she had nothing to give and now prepares to give direction and education to hundreds of schoolchildren;

who is afraid of heights so abseiled;

who is afraid of snakes so held them and kissed them;

who illuminates and inspires and conquers and endures;

who qualified as a massage therapist;

who has travelled the country;

who has run distance races;

who has taken on every challenge and dismissal and marginalisation, and won;

who has potential in unlimited amounts;

who can do, and has done, anything she sets her mind to.

Who is the most interesting, complete, and endlessly fascinating person I have ever met.

Who loves, and is loved in return.

She persisted? She persists.

031

Who has a quite unbelievable number of photos of her poking her tongue out…

10 YEARS

10 years ago today I got lucky. Very, very lucky.

If not for Luscious, I don’t know where I would be right now. She is my light, my direction, and my guide. She is my everything, and without her I would be lost.

I love you, my darling.

NINE YEARS AND COUNTING

Nine years ago today, this happened:

It was the best decision I ever made. Marriage to my wonderful Lyn continues to provide me with love, support, and peace, and nothing in this world makes me happier than making her happy. It’s been nine amazing years, and the only thing better than the time we’ve had together is the knowledge that there are many more to come.
Love you, my darling.

ONE, ONE DECADE, AH AH AH…..

Well, goodness me. Something happened last week and I’ve only just noticed.

As of last Thursday, I’ve been Battersblogging for ten years. Ten years! I’ve had careers haven’t lasted that long!

10th October 2003, I started this journal of… whatever it is I do here… with Okay, a new blog, just to chock up the internet with more pointless waffle of the “My name’s Persephone, I’m 8 years old, here’s a poem about my cat” variety… and ten years later, I think I’ve accomplished exactly that.

1230 posts, a gnat’s willy shy of 140 000 visitors, two novels, a swathe of short stories, a marriage, a child, 4 houses, as many cars, a grandchild, somewhere in the region of a dozen conventions, half a dozen jobs and a whole lot of whatever the hell it is I do here later, and I find myself still blogging, with the Battersblog archived at the National Library and the very distinct possibility that this will be my testimony to the ages, and not the stuttering career as a minor author I have turned into along the way.

Such is life. Such is life in the electronic age.

So, if you’ve been around for any length of time, thanks for ploughing through my shite year after year, and if you’re a recent arrival, enjoy the shite. And if anyone can work out whatever it is that I do do here… keep it under your hat 🙂

ONLY 7 FOR MURDER

It’s my 8th wedding anniversary today.

8 years married to the beautiful, talented, and generally all-round wonderful Luscious Lyn, and it only keeps getting better. Through monetary hardship, professional and personal disappointment, surgeries, illness, separations and worry we’ve carved out a life that brings us happiness, awards, successes, picnics, love, togetherness, and a life that leads us to lying in the bed together at the end of the day telling each other “That was a good day” many more times than not.

Love you, my darling.

7 YEARS, NO ITCH

Seven years ago today, for reasons that may have been clear only to her, Luscious threw me a bone and married me.

If she’s regretted it, she’s kept it to herself.

So, being in the fortunate position of remaining deeply in love with a woman I find more beautiful and more wonderful every day– a woman who continues to astonish me with her intelligence; talent; caring nature; capacty for forgiveness; and loyalty to herself, her family, and her ideals; it’s left to me to say, simply:

I love you, wife-man.

ONE TASK DOWN….

Amazing what a weekend away can do, no?

For reasons best known to herself, the Luscious One has remained married to me for six years, and as a reward for her perseverence, the big kids sent us to Busselton for the weekend of our anniversary whilst they toiled like slightly emo Trojans to build us a vegetable garden in the back yard– no mean feat, as there appears to be a solid layer of sandstone about a foot under our garden beds.

So with nothing to do but laze about for three days enjoying the sun and sand and each other’s company, it was a perfect opportunity to take the laptop and get some writing done. In amongst the cafes, splashing about in the pool, cafes, walking up and down the jetty, cafes, art galleries, museums, cafes and the pool.

And done it was. The submission package for Corpse-Rat King was finalised, and sent out in time to catch Angry Robot’s open submission period. And two short stories were completed: the 3000 word psychological fairy story Unseelie and 1500 words of 2nd-person POV called Ghosts of You.

With a quarter of the year gone I’m well and truly on top of my writing goals for the year– the original aim was to send out Corpse-Rat King (done); write 6 new shorts (the above two plus the recently completed Attacking Waters makes it 5 and counting) and complete Father Muerte & The Divine (52K done so far).

Not bad at all.

Oh, and Busselton was bloody lovely 🙂

Feeling no pain.

Lyn, cracking up from the stress of 6 years marriage, and the horror of being in a seaside town in perfect weather with nothing to do but relax and enjoy herself. The poor thing. Still gorgeous, though 🙂
2 YEARS
Tomorrow is our second wedding anniversary. Two years ago, at Swancon 2005, Luscious and I confirmed in front of our friends and family something we’d already known for quite some time: that we wanted to spend our lives together, now and for always.
There’s no real way to talk about the feelings I had that day without sounding trite and cliched, because the feelings I had are universal: overwhelming love, and passion, and a sensation down to the cellular level that what was happening was perfection itself, and that my life would never be anything but wonderful from that moment on. Two years later, despite the trials we’ve suffered, and the crises we’ve faced, that feeling remains. I still love my darling wife more than anything else in the realms of imagination; I still hold my children dearer than anything worth dying for; I still see myself as a small part of a unit of 7 beings, wife and kids and me, and nothing matters more than making them happy and fulfilled and safe.
So we’ve indulged ourselves this weekend: our tax returns arrived just in time to lash out and hire a spa for the week (a: yeah, we were that late. b) $180 for a week. How cool is that?); we’ve been out for dinner; and we treated ourselves to the Deadwood and Spaced box sets (now there’s a double feature…). But really, the occasion is about us, and being together, and acknowledging that what really matters to us both is this feeling that we never, ever, want to be apart.
Which is exactly how I feel.

Who loves ya, kiddo?

5 YEARS IS A LONG TIME IN POLITICS AND OTHER PLACES

Tomorrow is the 9th of December (Thanks Lee, we were just wondering….)

It is also the 5th anniversary of the death of my first wife.

For those who came in late (in my best The Phantom narrator voice) my first wife, Sharon, died from an undetected infection 4 days after giving birth to my daughter Erin. The resulting compensation case is documented throughout my blog. Feel free to hit the archives if you so wish. Due to legal compromise I cannot reveal the name of the doctor in question. If you’re pregnant, and live in the Gosnells/Maddington/Armadale/Kelmscott area, feel free to contact me. I have some recommendations on who you should see.

But, the point of this all is: it’s been five years. Without overstating the obvious, it’s been my daughter’s entire life. I can’t remember the way Sharon smelled. I can’t remember the way she felt. If I concentrate, I can recall the way she spoke, but it’s more a matter of the tones and shadings applied to my own voice: slightly nasal, drawling, a sharp cut-through of Strine across the vowels. We had a long history, Sharon and I, but the truth is, she’s been dead longer than we were married. It’s time to put the past away.

I’m married to a wonderful, beautiful woman: Luscious. We have a vibrant and happy family of five children, including Erin and Connor, her younger brother who arrived two years ago. And for reasons both fair and unfair, much of our life together has had a shadow across it because of what happened on December 9th 2001. And it’s time that we stepped out of that shadow completely.

We have an amazing future ahead of us, but to do that, we’ve got to move beyond some things. Sharon was no perfect person: she had a sharp temper, a taste in music best described as abysmal (Shania Twain was a favourite), was addicted to a soapie-per-night habit, and left her underwear all over the place. She was a real person. The dead, especially those who die before their time, often suffer a sanctification by those they leave behind. I no longer talk with any of Sharon’s friends, because we don’t remember the same person. They remember a plaster saint. I remember something else: no less worthy, but a whole lot more real.

Erin has a right to know about her birth mother, and she’s at an age now where she asks questions and we answer them. Truthfully. And the older kids are interested, and they ask questions, and we answer them, truthfully. There are mementoes, and videos, and certificates, and documents and important things to share, and we will, as a family. It’s a part of my past, but it’s also a part of Erin’s past and as a family, our past.

Just over a year from now we’ll be living a continent away from Sharon’s resting place, and from the remaining members of our extended family. What we’ll take with us, apart from the furniture and Aiden’s finches, is an understanding of where we all came from, and a daughter/sister who understands how her life started, who was there, and how lucky she is to have had a mother who loved her enough to give her life, and another who chose to call her ‘daughter’ (more: to believe in her as daughter, in a way indinstinguishable from the other children. And it is returned: mother & daughter. No steps, no halves, no prevarication) , and who gives her the same love and comfort she gives all our family.

Five years is a long time, but the future is longer. When I look ahead, I see balance and love, and that’s what’s important to me.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

To Zara, who turns 4 today!

As Erin will tell you, 4 is the coolest age ever, at least until you realise you’re about to turn 5…..

Hope you have a great day, sweetie, and a brilliant birthday party tomorrow.

OFFER A SHOULDER

A couple of good pals have had hard times in recent days.

Alisa Krasnostein, editor of New Ceres ezine and big banana behind Australian Specfic in Focus, lost her grandmother during the week. Alisa comes from a tight-knit Jewish family, and the loss has hit her hard.

And Ben Payne, Potato Monkey boy, former Aurealis & ASIM editor, and writer of durned good stories, lost his father yesterday. Having lost my mother 3 years ago, I know something of his pain, but can only imagine how it’s hitting every moment of his days right now.

If you know Ben and/or Alisa, or their work, or just have been through similar loss, drop in on them and offer a few words. People need their community: the support and love I received after Sharon died were a huge factor in my ability to keep going through the grief and torment that followed. Alisa and Ben are two of the good guys: it’ll help them to know that people care.

FATHER MUERTE AND THE SALE!

Good news in the inbox this morning: Stephen Higgins, incoming (re-coming?) editor of Aurealis has accepted the fourth Father Muerte story, Father Muerte & the Joy of Warfare, for an upcoming issue.

It’s been a while since I sold a story. I was beginning to wonder if it was going to happen again.

Suppose this means I should start work on the next one….

I GUESS I SHOULD BUY A NEW PAIR OF THONGS TO MARK THE OCCASION

Tomorrow is my 36th birthday. And it only occured to me this morning that it marks another important occasion.

I was naturalised on my 11th birthday. So tomorrow will be the 25th anniversary of my becoming an Australian citizen.

I really ought to do something to commemorate that. I’m thinking I’ll drink 25 cartons, eat 25 pies, play 25 test matches, shear 25 sheep, and throw up in the backyard 25 times….

Song of the moment: You And the Clouds Will Still be Beautiful XTC
Reading: On Writing Stephen King

FIVE YEARS TODAY

Today, near as dammit, marks the fifth anniversary of my first publication.

The Habit of Dying wasn’t the first story I sold, but by the usual quirks of fate, was the first to see print. It appeared in the August 2001 edition of ezine Alien Q. No, I haven’t linked it: despite promising to pay $US50, they never did, and after a protracted email battle, I forced them to pull the story after it had been on display for six months or so. Still, it was my first story to see air, and I’m still proud that it happened.

I sold it again to Peridot Books some time later, and it appeared in Volume 24 of that electronic publication. Sadly, it’s no longer available, but as a way to mark the anniversary, I’ve created a new blog page upon which to put the story.

It’s here. Go and have a read. It’s not art, but it was the first hathcling out of the nest, so you can picture me all teary and nostalgis as you gaze upon its deathless (ahem) prose.

By one of those wonderful and slightly eerie synchronicities that rule our life, August also marks the fifth anniversary of Luscious’ first publication. (Ooooohhhhhh boogieboogieboogieboogieboogie).

Divinities appeared in the August 2001 issue of Antipodean SF under her then-name of Lyn Triffitt, and as Anti-SF have a better habit of archiving their stuff than others, you can still read it in its original form.

5 years. Not much has happened since…..

AND THEY SAID THEY’D NEVER LEAVE THE RECEPTION TOGETHER…

Sunday was our 1st wedding anniversary. My poor darling sprained an ankle during the week, so our plans were restricted a tad, but it didn’t stop us taking the kids out for a celebratory dinner, and me presenting her with a rather lovely ring (you know, even if I do say so myself…). The kids got into the act too: Blake & Aiden presented us with an amazing candlestick in the shape of a celtic cross and dragon, some small hand made soaps, a bath bomb, and a beautiful glass hummigbird suncatcher. Cassie also presented us with a beautiful bar of scented soap. What are they trying to tell us?

It really doesn’t feel like it’s only been a year. We exist in such hamrony, such amazing sympatico, that it feels as if we’ve always been together. The love and passion we felt for each other when we first became entangled hasn’t diminished. In fact it’s broadened, and deepened, until everything else in the world pales beside it.

The first married year of the rest of our lives, and I couldn’t be happier.

FLY AWAY SONIA, FLY AWAY GRANT

Wandered over to our good friends Grant and Sonia’s on the weekend, as they’re heading off overseas for 5 weeks on Saturday (the lucky jammy jammy lucky bastards) and they’d thrown the house open for a hangout. It was the first time we’d been over, and the boys instantly fell in love with their wall o’ DVDs. And when I say wall, what I mean is: several walls. Floor to ceiling. Many many DVDs. And Grant, being the trusting soul he is, let them borrow as many as they liked. The boys, being trusting souls, only borrowed one.

Tomb Of The Cybermen. Only my favourite Dr Who adventure ever. And I hadn’t even told them beforehand!

That’s my evenings booked this week 🙂

SUBMITTED

The Ballad of Dwight & Renfield, 6285 words of pulp horror fun, to Steven Savile’s Monster Noir project. Fingers crossed: if he likes it, not only will it be part of one of the most interesting and exciting projects I’ve seen since All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, Steven might be persuaded to pick up one of my Dr Who story pitches for his next anthology.

Of such things are tiny green dreams made…

SAD NEWS INDEED

Saddened today to learn of the death of Stanislaw Lem at the age of 84. At that age you expect it, I guess, but he was one of my favourite authors, and his absurdist views on the structure of things had a real effect on both my writing and world view over the years. He was one of those authors to whom I reacted with “Oh my God, you can do this as well?” upon first reading of his work, someone who opened my eyes and my literary sensibilities to a myriad of different ways to think and to transcribe my world onto paper.

I’ll sit down with a book and a glass of wine this weekend, and toast his memory.

HAPPY NEWS INDEED

For all those who have been asking (and thank you to everyone who has) I can now announce that you can order Through Soft Air via the Prime Books Website at last!

Go on then. Don’t let me stop you.

Incidentally, if any reviewers would like a pdf copy to review, drop me a line. I have one I can send you now.

YOU WHAT?

Every now and again, someone arrives at this site via the weirdest search topic.

Yesterday, someone came here by using the search term “Billie Piper videos of her nipples “.

HOW?

I mean, not that I don’t want one….

CONNOR

A number of people have asked how Connor is going since his operation, and when they’re going to see a picture or two on this blog. The answers are:

a) He’s fine and dandy, although a little bit unsettled by some teething right now. He’s a week away from being allowed to play in the muck and mud again, as there’s still a slight chance of infection, but at this stage it looks as if the operation was a complete success, and our beautiful, happy little boy is now doubly beautiful into the bargain.

b) As soon as ‘Hello’ stops buggerising me about and starts connecting to the network again. And I have such a cute one of him sitting in a bucket, ready to go.

TODAY IS THE DAY

Today marks 5 years since I made my first story sale.

The Divergence Tree was published by Orb in their June 2002 issue, making it the 4th story to see print.

Half an hour after the acceptance for The Divergence Tree, I received an email from the Writers Of The Future, telling me that Carrying The God had placed third in its quarter, making me the 1st West Australian to win in that competition.

5 years ago, today was a good day.

Song of the moment: All Along The Watchtower The Jimi Hendrix Experience