TOO COOL

If you look down the right side of this page, under ‘Peerage’, you’ll see a new name. You may recognise it.

Yeah. Fred Pohl. Because at 89 years of age, he’s started a blog. If that isn’t the coolest….

When I’m 89, if I reach 89, I don’t expect to be able to remember how to pronounce blog, never mind be compus enough to write in it. Never mind being ever as lucid and entertaining as Fred Pohl.

To quote Larry Miller, if I go to the bank and the post office in the same day, I need a nap.

LINKS DU JOUR

New links from a couple of writing pals:

Mark Smith-Briggs, the newly re-badged and updated Mark Smith, with better handling and increased cornering speed.

And the strange creature known to man only as Jason Fischer: Clarionite, bon vivant, adorer of flesh-eating camels, and all round cool guy.

Go. Read. Link. Introduce yourself. Make sure your shots are up to date….

WHY I LOVE FLYING

Now, it’s well known that Luscious has a phobia about flying. It’s probably less well known that I’m as eager about it as a private school student with a trip to see Nursie and a bowl of warm vaseline. I loves it, I tells ‘ee, I bloody loves it.

I mean, come on! On Sunday night, interrupted only by an attractive woman who gave me a warm meal with a cool drink and a chocolate bar and who then did the dishes for me, I: read several stories from the Ray Vukcevich collection Meet Me In The Moon Room and discovered another author I would kill to write like; saw a movie; watched Stephen Fry drop Parky to the floor in hysterics; wrote an entire short story; ate; drank; did I mention the chocolate?; had a nap; and performed one of my favourite solo acts, that I’ve not had the opportunity to do in some years- listened to several hours of music, in the dark, with my eyes closed with no fear of interruption.

What’s not to love?

LABYRINTH OF THE FAUN

Saw Pan’s Labyrinth whilst in Brisbane. It’s a slow movie, and for much of the first two-thirds of the film seems slow without great reason to be so. Then the screws tighten, and it slides towards so many terrible consequences with inexorable momentum that you find yourself appalled and invested in equal quantities.

It’s a remarkable achievement: layered, complex, and deeply tragic. I fell in love with it a little bit, I think.

As my pal Ben Maulbeck said afterwards: all that, and Franco still ruled for 40 years.

….AND IT’S GOODNIGHT FROM HIM

All right, that’s all for now. A smattering of falderal to finish–

I’ve been contatced by Producer Matt, who wants me to work on a third draft of the movie. This is a good thing: he likes where I’m taking it and has a screed of notes to help me thicken the world behind the plot. I should have it all done by mid-late February. If this movie doesn’t get made, I may have to climb a water tower….

I’ve received a swathe of good advice regarding the selling of Napoleone’s Land, and I’ll be pushing hard to turn this excellent (in my humble opinion 🙂 ) manuscript into a sold novel over the next few months. My deepest thanks to Kate Eltham, Gavin Grant, and Kelly Link for the wisdom.

I anticipate having two new stories in envelopes by the end of next week, and half a dozen out by the end of February. After a lean 2006, I have sloughed the majority of distractions from my eyes, and am prepapring for a significant change in my work habits across 2007. My second novel, The Corpse Rat King, should crest the halfway point by end of February as well, which will make me a happy writer.

I’ve read over 50 stories already this year, counting the 17 I read from my Clarion students. The Batterslog has been updated. No novels as yet: I might remedy that after I finish the collection I’m currently reading. Of course, maybe I should shove graphic novels under that heading. That’ll fill it out pretty quickly 🙂

Back to school for Aiden tomorrow. Think pitying thoughts at about 8.30 Perth time. Erin starts pre-primary on Thursday, and due to a happy confluence of tween-jobbyness, I’ll be able to take her for her first day. Tune into the mentosphere and feel my happiness 🙂

Erin’s first tooth fell out while I was in Brisbane. Apparently, the tooth fairy pays $2.50 at Nanna’s house! She’ll be taking a significant pay cut if she ever flies around here, I can tell you….

The Chronicles of Riddick is a piece of shit. But such a fun piece of shit.

Dinosaurs and Satan. Who could ask for more?

I have no words to tell you how wrong this is. It’s so very, very wrong. I laughed so much I was in pain.

NOW THAT’S SERVICE!

Knock, knock, knock on the door the other evening, and who should it be but Angela Challis and Shane Jiraiya Cummings, purveyors and head bods of Brimstone Press, personally delivering our contributor copies of the Book of Shadows and Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror 2006.

We live a suburb or so away from Ang and Shane, as as Ang said, by the time they paid for postage they could drive the things over and have a conversation to boot. So they did, and a fine conversation was had, including the deep, dark secret history that Shane shares with frogs. (All true: ask him about it the next time you see him)

In the meantime, get over to Brimstone’s website and have a look. The books are beautiful, more so in the, uh, flesh. And the line-ups within the pages are as good as anything you’ll see come out of this country this year.

BE AWARE

We’ve received a medical diagnosis that will change a few things over the coming year. It’s nothing to be alarmed about, and for the moment it remains private and ours alone (we’ll tell people when we’re ready to do so), but don’t be surprised if we pick and choose our social commitments very carefully over the next year.

Our focus has become increasingly narrowed upon our family in recent times. This will remain so for the foreseeable future.

SALAD

More chickens!

I’ve had this conversation! Sort of…..

5 THINGS ABOUT 2006

Oh yeah, it’s end of year meme time. And, you know, baaaaaa…….

Five things that 2006 taught me:

1. Friendship can have a mileage limit
2. My career goals are mine alone, and I’ll take whatever measures are necessary to achieve them.
3. Writing may not be what makes me happy, but I am unhappy without it.
4. Friends don’t let friends do Prime
5. Lyn, the kids, writing. All else is negotiable.

Five personally significant events of 2006:

1. Being contracted to write the The Memory of Breathing screenplay
2. The decision to move to brisbane in January 2008
3. Moving into our new house
4. Lyn’s recent medical diagnosis
5. Aiden coming to live with us permanently

Five things I want to do in 2007:

1. Secure an agent
2. Complete my second novel, and a non-genre novel
3. Sell Napoleone’s Land
4. Save up the money to move to Brisbane
5. Become independent of all non-family obligations. Everybody is the hero of their own story. I wish to recapture the right to write that story as I see fit.

Five people I’d like to know better in 2007

Actually, that’s your job. I’ll just keep turning up and shooting my mouth off. You guys just have to stop being afraid to come up and say hi 🙂

Besides, I’ll have 16 Clarion students and the week-after-me tutors to meet. My list is already filling up….

Song of the moment: Velvet Goldmine David Bowie
Reading: Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror 2006 Challis & Cummings (eds)