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 🙂

SILENCE OF THE HAMS

There’s been a peculiar silence round these parts recently: we’re changing ISPs, and thanks to the 19th Century, it’s going to take 2 weeks without internet to have all the connections connected and the contracts contracted and the… well, fuck it, I’m on my phone and public computers until then.

Still, it has enabled me to do one worthy thing in the meantime: finish Magwitch and Bugrat, my palate-cleansing sorbet project between novels which has transmuted into a 16 000 word kids novel. Thanks to the upcoming long weekend– made a day longer by a strategically placed RDO– I’ll be running through a first edit this weekend, and will hopefully be gently prodding Agent Rich as to his interest within the next two to three weeks, while I eye off the enormous pile of paper that is Father Muerte and the Divine and try to persuade myself that, seeing as I’m already in an editing mood, I may as well throw myself at it.

And now that the month of insanity at my day job has finished, I’ve been able to catch up on other, more personal things, like visiting my father and greeting my Aunty Celia and Uncle David a few days before they flew back to Nottingham after having been over for the better part of a month or more.

But, ultimately, this is a brief missive before the coins run out. More later, my little friends, but for the moment, imagine me snuggled under a blanket somewhere in the 19th century, pen in one hand, paper in the other, with a hot toddy or whatever it is old people in the 19th Century drink, waiting for the internet wallah to bring me my connection.

Sigh.

TYING STUFF TOGETHER ISN’T BONDAGE, IT’S SOCIAL MEDIA……. AND BONDAGE

Okay, so you may have noticed a couple of reviews on the site in recent days. There’s a very good reason for this: I’ve discovered how to cross-post my Goodreads reviews onto Facebook and my blog.

It’s all part of that wonderful multi-platform cross-posty thousand screams into the wilderness with a single click line of bullshit that is social media. If nothing else, it’ll help to point out what shitty taste I have in books.

Enjoy.

WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED THERE?

Hm. Friday my computer goes spla, Saturday my blog goes spla, and I lose my lovely template.

I don’t get my computer back for at least another week. Consider this grim and featureless black and grey vista a temporary measure. Something you’ll look at now because you’re forced to but will forget as soon as something even remotely acceptable comes along.

Think of it as a Jennifer Aniston movie.

MORE BATTGADGETRY

Check out the sidebar: I’ve added a couple of new widgety things to make visiting here more… widgety.

You can now become a follower of the blog, and/or join a Battersblog Community via Google Friend Connect. Damned if I know what either of these thing actually do, mind you, but that’s not the point, surely? 🙂

I consider myself a facilitator….

BECAUSE I’M A TWIT

I have succumbed to the modern age, because the SFWA Bulletin told me to….

I’m on Twitter. My username, in a burst of creativity, is leebattersby.

Feel free to link and I promise I’ll be pithy in a Steven Wright kind of way.

(Sings in his best Phil Collins voice– I will follow you, will you follow me, I will something something, la da dum dee dee…)

According to Loud Twitter, my tweets should show up here every 24 hours. They’re not so far. Accursed twenty first century…..

IT’S BILLIE PIPER’S NIPPLES ALL OVER AGAIN!

How the hell does someone get to my blog via the search term photo of christopher eccleston wearing a sock on his dick ?

More to the point: why do they want to know?

YOWSER

Congratulations, sir/madam, you are the 60,000th person to visit this blog.

Thanks for reading everyone. Hope you’re enjoying it so far.

Stay tuned for…… well, stuff, mostly. And things and junk. The usual 🙂

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND WE’RE BACK

We have interwebbie access at home. You may now email your threats and hatred directly to the source.

Brandy deliveries, as always, are round the back.

PATIENCE, GRASSHOPPER

According to Westnet, yesterday’s welcome-to-the-run-up-to-winter thunderstorms knocked out our local server, and they’ve no idea when it will be back on line. So, as I only have net access at work for the moment, and as that access blocks gmail so I have no email, those of you awaiting replies to hate mail will have to wait a short while longer.

On the bright side… umm…

I AM A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT….. WITH GUITARS!

Every now and again, somebody comes to this blog via the weirdest of search terms: we all know the fondness for the repeated use of Billie Piper’s Nipples in search enquiries (that should be good for another couple of new visitors…)

This morning, Darkcounter revealed to me that a recent visitor came here via the search term who is the girl on hayzee fantayzee shiny shiny. Well, being a belevolent, and somewhat-bored-this-morning, God, I can tell you that the girl in question is:

Kate Garner, an English singer and photographer, who has worked with the likes of Sinéad O’Connor (including photography for the The Lion and the Cobra album); Boy George; LL Cool J; Angelina Jolie; David Bowie; and PJ Harvey. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and a bunch of others. You can find some of her photography here and some of her current work can be seen here.

More can be learned from stealing large chunks of text from her Wikipedia entry, just like I did 🙂

So there you go. Don’t say I never teach you anything…

GOODNESS, GRACIOUS ME

Wowser. I’ve been away from all things netty for a week or so, so I missed the occasion of the 50 000th visitor to this fair blog.

A raised glass to everyone who’s visited. On behalf of the band and myself….. ‘ere, where’s me band gone?

‘EES GUNNA START TORKING LOIK JAMIE OLIVAH NEXT……

So what do you expect when your 14 year old Bonus son announces that he’s going to cook dinner on Saturday? Especially when, the last time he discussed cooking tea, you discovered that his recipe for satay beef was 1) get some beef 2) cover it with satay sauce 3) throw the jar away ?

Hmmm.

What did we get?

Oh. My. Gawd.

Whole baked fish with lemon and baby potato stuffing, and a fresh tossed salad. I had a bloody foodgasm, let me tell you.

Then, to top it off, a couple of nights later he decides to make dessert, and presents us with apple and peach waffles with custard.

I’m keeping him……

BACK TO, UH, NORMAL?

It seems gmail has recovered, and you can now get back to me at leebattersby@gmail.com I’m having a few connectivity problems, but that’s all to do with phone lines and nonsuch, so be patient over the Easter break as I might not get in until the Telstra linesmen sober up.

CHOCOLATE WEEKEND

Just so everybody who has expressed surprise at the notion (despite a year or more of me saying it) is on the same page: Lyn and I will not be at Swancon this weekend.

Enjoy it if you’re there.

BEN AND THE DITMARS

I’ve had a few emails asking my opinion on the Ditmars, and Ben Peek’s nominations/ lack of withdrawal from the same. Perhaps it’s because our fall-outs have been so public that whenever he does something to get up people’s noses, I get a whole lot of questions.

Anyway, fwiw, I actually don’t have a problem with Ben being nominated for an award, and choosing not to withdraw, whatever his stated position in the past. Despite my lack of regard for him as a person, I’ve always maintained that his stories are good work, and good stories deserve nomination. It’s not his stories that I have the issue with. If his participation in a set-up designed only to hand out the warm and fuzzies is a sign of his growing maturity, then all the better.

As I’ve spouted at every opportunity, your career is your own responsibility. What you choose to be a part of, or not, is up to you. I’ll confess to not being interested in Ben or his career, and as I’m not going to the Natcon this year, I’m not much interested in the Ditmars either. But I’ve always felt that if you’re going to work in an industry that hands out awards it’s always nice to be nominated, and if you’re going to be nominated, you might as well win. Despite the bloc-voting and the constant attempts to derail the process, the Ditmars are a nice way for everyone involved to throw their arms around each other (metaphorically speaking) and say Love youse, maaaaaate.

So good luck to him, and the other nominees. As to my thoughts on Kathryn Linge’s review of Through Soft Air being nominated for the Atheling (and thanks to everyone seeking my opinion on that), well, my opinion of Ms Linge’s critical faculties are pretty well known. All hail the bloc-vote.

FUCKING GMAIL

Just so’s you know, my gmail account seems to have upped and shat itself for the nonce: this, of course, despite the fact that both Lyn’s and the normal family account work and can be accessed from exactly the same computer where I’m swearing my guts up trying to get my own bastard account to return anything other than a server error message.

For the immediate future, if you want me, you might want to try llbatt@gmail.com

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING SILLY

If you check out the sidebar, you’ll see a teensy little map. As of tomorrow, we can start building an indication of where visitors to this blog are coming from. A little bit of value added fun to while away those long, lonely nights.

And then, once I get a good idea of where everyone is, I can start programming the flying death robots……..

Real content over the weekend, I promise.

OH. MY. GODDDDDDDDDDDD…..

A quick note to everyone who has the feed for this blog flisted.

You might want to de-flist it for a couple of days, or put a hold on receiving it or something.

I’m updating some stuff around the blog and it’s dumping entries into the feed. So unless you really want to re-read all 440-odd posts I’ve made over the last 3 years at once……

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEAUTIFUL BOY

Connor turned 2 yesterday. He wasn’t with us: it was his weekend with his grandmother, and he doesn’t get them overly often. But we made sure to have cake with dinner when he came home, and he’s sharing a party with Erin next weekend (it’s her 5th birthday in a fortnight) which we’re going to make a big, fun, special occasion.

I’ve talked before about what a miracle Connor is: how hard it was for me to agree to have another child in the wake of Erin’s birth; how we almost lost him a couple of times during the preganancy; the pain Lyn experienced carrying him to term. And the problems he’s encountered since his birth have been a constant source of fear: he’s undergone an operation to correct a crossed eye; he’s suffered language problems and a multitude of serious fevers. His health is not the heartiest. He suffers periods of interrupted sleep, and night terrors are regular visitors.

And yet, he’s fearless, which simply increases mine– how to explain the nervousness when he engages in his favourite game of climb onto the back of the couch and see where the full blooded leap takes me? Or when his begging to be lifted up succeeds, and his first act upon reaching your chest is to throw himself backwards, laughing, full of trust that you’ll catch him before he crashes upside-down into the floor?

How to explain the delight of rolling around the bed with him in a big hug, laughing and nuzzling his neck? Or playing fingerpistols? (point finger, make shooting noise, fall down dramatically, laughing) Or the giggle that rises unbidden when chasing his squealing form around the living room in an impromptu game of chasey? Singing the chorus to “We will rock you” together, complete with clapping and dancing? Or watching him watching the finches in their cage as if each fluttering movement was the most exciting event in the world?

Every moment with him is a burst of emotional extremes. He makes my heart pulse. so happy birthday, my darling, beautiful boy. And thank you, because you do not know what it is you have changed in me.


Moments after birth. So hard to get here, so much to come.


2 years old today. My little boy.


With his Mum. Cheeeeeeeessseeeee!

WHOOSH, SWISH, NEEEEE-OOOOWWWWMMMMMMMMM……….

Broadband has been connected. Don’t things move more quickly? 🙂

The only down side is that, now we can use the phone and internet connection at the same time, we have to answer the damn phone when it rings instead of using the answering service to screen calls.

Oh well, it’s a small price to pay. Whooooooosssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh………………..

I AM ARTMAN!

Hard work all weekend to get things ready for the birthdays party. Part of which involved a project I’ve been leading up to for some time: the conversion of our second shed into a cubby house for the kids. They had a beautiful big wooden one at the old house, which we had to leave behind, and I’ve been determined to offer a replacement as soon as I could.

So much of yesterday involved cleaning the shed out, de-crawlyfying the space, adding the necessary garden bench, blackboards, toy chest and posters. And then, because there is no punishment I will not inflict upon myself, the painting, humphing about, and placement of 8 concrete slabs into a path to the door.

900-mill square concrete slabs are heavy.

But Artman must have his day. And I’m quietly pleased at the result (quiet: adj. talking about it on a public weblog with a potential audience in the millions.)


Weeee’re off to see the wizard….

Satisfaction is cleaning up the patio in the evening and hearing the kids shouting “Onnne, twoooo, threeee…” from the cubby house end of the garden.

AND INTRODUCING MY FAITHFUL SIDEKICK, CRAFTBOY!

Not to be outdone, Aiden threw himself into a science project this week that involved presenting a paper on a dinosaur of his choice, as well as building a visual aid.

Casting aside all offers of aid (because, sometimes, dinosaurs are too cool to share), he disappeared into his room with the deadline looming, and returned with this: presenting (from left to right) Ornithochirus Marks II and I.

I hope he gets them back when they’ve been marked. We can hang them over the patio 🙂

Pssst: your frame is showing…

Song of the moment: I’m The Urban Spaceman The Bonzo The Dog Doo Dah Band
Reading: The Book of Fantasy Jorge Luis Borges (ed), Take The Joy Jane Yolen

ISP KERFUFFLE OVER……………………….. HOPEFULLY

Thanks to everyone who offered advice and outrage at our treatment by our current ISP. The good news is that we’ve signed a broadband deal with another company, one who comes highly recommended by peers and colleagues who know about these things, and our current ISP has apologised, cancelled the deal, and is refunding the money.

In the meantime, we’ve caved into the Google World and changed our email addresses. You can now reach us at llbatt@gmail.com or if you wish to converse with me about writing business or Supersekritstuff, I have one at leebattersby@gmail.com

Reading: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 2 Moore & O’Neill
Songs of the Moment: Songs From the Labyrinth Sting w. Edin Karamazov

SHAFTED BY MY ISP

Note to my ISP: when you ring us and pimp your broadband services, “Yes, we might be interested” does not mean “Yes please, sign us up, book the guys to come and fit it on Monday, take the first payment from our credit card and most importantly, please don’t tell us you’ve done all this until we receive the email from you a week later telling us you’re doing so. Oh, and when we ring to ask what the hell is going on, abuse and accusations should be your customer service options of choice.”

Fuckers.

So whilst we scream at them and threaten them with the ombudsman on the way to pulling the plug and fighting to get our money back, we’ve set up a gmail account to deal with emails.

Until we find ourselves a new ISP, you can get hold of us at llbatt@gmail.com or if you want to get hold of me alone for business or whatnot, I have one at leebattersby@gmail.com

I shan’t tell you which ISP it is, because I don’t think it’s ethical, but I will tell you this: those birds became extinct for a reason.

THE WORDS, THEY FLOW

Added another 1007 words to The Corpse-Rat King over the weekend, breaking the magical 10K barrier and the magical 10% barrier all at the same time. On the Lee Writing Scale, I’ve now reached T2, which airline nuts (there must be one or two of you out there) will know as the point along the runway after which you have no choice: you have to take off. So there’s no turning back: my hero Marius, his compatriot Gerd, the dead King of Scorby and I are together for the next 80K+ words whether we like it or not.

Work also continued apace on the secodn draft of the The Memory of Breathing script. I’ve rejigged four of the eleven scenes that need reworking, and added probably another ten minutes or so to the running time. Producer Matt (and it occurs to me that I’ve never linked to Enchanter Films, the production company that we’re working with, so here you go) has set a deadline of the 19th November to get the draft back to him, so it’s both lobes to the grindstone at the moment. once I’ve got the scenes rewritten I have a pile of character and plot notes to incorporate, so the next two weeks will be busy. Busy busy busy…..

So, words to date on the novel:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10,635 / 90,000
(11.0%)

THE WORDS, THEY FLOW NOT SO EASILY

Anybody trying to get hold of me via email: please be patient. For reasons unknown to me, my Outlook and Norton programs aren’t speaking to each other and so Outlook is refusing to work at all. I can still get to new emails via the ISP website, but it’s clunky and annoying, so replies may not be as quick as usual (which is saying something, I know).

There seems to be an internal problem with Norton, but if I simply delete it and reboot from the disc I’ll lose my upgrade subscription. So it’ll be a few days while I contact Symantec and wait for them to tell me they don’t know how to fix it, and I gather up the courage to delete everythind anyway and then abuse them until they gave me my subscription back. At least, that’s today’s plan… 🙂

THE FINCHES HAVE LANDED

So, thanks to Aiden, Lyn and I became grandparents over the weekend.

Don’t panic: we’re a liberal family, but we’re not that liberal. Aiden finally organised to move his five finches from his Dad’s house, is all. So we now have an aviary and occupants on our patio, much to the fascination of Erin and Connor. Indeed, television has been abandoned in favour of the live show.

I’m not sure how much attachment to give to these little birds, given their Daddy calls them (and I quote): “Whitecap, Big One, Little One, Birdy, and the other female.”

And I thought it took us ages to come up with ‘Connor’…..

YOU ARE NOT A UNIQUE SNOWFLAKE

It’s my birthday on Saturday. I’ve treated myself to an external hard drive for the computer: when music and video files take up 70% of your memory, it’s time to think about alternative storage solutions. For $150 I picked up a tiny little box that has twice the memory of the big, state-of-the-art computer I had made from scratch three eyars ago. Heh. I am Obsolete Man!

Anyway, I’ve always been the only person I know to be born on the 11th of November. It’s just one of those days that seems to set you apart.

But would you believe it, I’ve discovered that not only am I not unique in regards to people I know, I’m not even unique in regards to Perth SF writers.

So Happy Birthday for Saturday to fellow 11/11 SF writer guy alumni: Perth-based Simon Haynes, and over-east based Chris Barnes.

I’m not my fucking khakis, either…..

Song of the Moment: Eleanor Rigby The Beatles

Reading: The Invisibles- the Invisible Kingdom Grant Morrison and friends

A SMALL NOTE ABOUT CONTACT

I’ve been thinking recently, and I’ve come to realise something you all probably have known for ages:

I’m rubbish when it comes to phoning people.

I keep promising, and somehow, it just never happens. And it occured to me today, that the reason for this is that I’m just not comfortable on the phone anymore. I’ve become increasingly hermit-like in the last 5 years, and now, well, email is definitely my preferred medium. I’m a letter writer by inclination, and honestly, by choice.

Hey, self-recognition is the first step.

So from now on, no promises to ring. It just results in disappointment. But, and you can bank this, contact me by email and you will get a reply. And I am likely to use email to get hold of you, when the need arises. It’s just easier that way.

120 DAYS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING

Bet you thought I’d forgotten my 120 tasks in 120 days goal, didn’t you? Well, kids, there’s a reason I’ve not been updating it. See, things have changed at the Batthome, and the tasks I’ve set myself are no longer relevant. At least, they’re not as intricate and grandiose as I’d originally planned, so I’ve jettisoned the list, and the page along with it, in favour of simply getting the house neat and the garden looking nice rather than resembling the work of Don Burke’s Demon Master.

You see, Luscious and I have been talking, And, wel….

WE’RE GOING TO BRISBANE!

That’s right, folks. Lyn and I have decided that it’s time for a change: of horizon, viewpoint, and possibilities, so in January of 2008 we’re upping sticks and heading to Brisbania to begin anew.

I’ve lived in Perth since I was 8 years old. I’m 35 now, and it just doesn’t feel like there’s anything new this city can offer me. I’m itchy to be somewhere else, to scrape away some of the baggage and ennui that has enveloped me in recent days. I want to feel excited again, about where I live, what I’m seeing, what I have yet to discover. I want to explore again, and I haven’t done that in years. And there’s a lot of baggage in Perth, a lot of ice on my wings, barnacles on my keel, drag in my chute…. now you know why I’m such a funny shape 🙂

15 months may seem like a long time away, but it’s a good point for embarkation. Erin will be about to start her first year of proper schooling, Aiden will be past the Year 9 hurdle and about to begin Year 10, and Blakey (who has stated that he wishes to come with us for the first year, and then decide whether he wants to stay with us or return to his father) will have a year of High School under his belt. And it gives us 15 months to get the house and gardens looking as we want them, to save up money for the move, and lay some preparations for employment, house hunting, and getting involved in the writer’s centres.

We’ve loved Brisbane from the first time we saw it, and the kids had the best holiday of their lives there in 2005, so we’re keen as a bunch of keeny keen things to get there and start afresh. So we are.

There will be updates along the way. Many updates…