OVER, ALL OVER….. ONLY FOUR YEARS UNTIL THE NEXT ONE!

Well, I’m back to normal sleeping times now that the World Cup is over, and the Italian National Diving Team have got their hands on The Trophy The Brazilians Didn’t Leave in a Rubbish Bin (Liddle World Cup in-joke for the true believers…). Altogether: Fabio Grosso’s an arrrrsseeehooollleeee………

Truth to tell, I’m kind of disappointed they played France. I was hoping Portugal would make it. Wouldn’t it have been a laugh? 11 players all falling over simultaneously in different parts of the pitch, clutching theiur ankles and screaming as if they’ve just been shot with a howitzer, while the ref stands at the centre circle, holding the ball and trying to tell someone that the game hasn’t even started yet?

Maybe it’s just me…

Anyway, I was pleased to get what I would consider a ‘true’ final: exciting, controversial, and amidst all the hoo-ha, filled with some damn good football, not that anyone seems to remember that, so badly has the Zidane/Matterazzi spectacle absorbed us all. Finals are often rather boring, with both teams determined not to lose, rather than win. The 3rd place playoff is usually where all the action is: 2 teams with nothing to lose, playing like dervishes. It’s usually the best game of the tournament, and it went close again this year. But the final was all I’d hoped for, and of course, we had that head butt.

My opinion: stupid man, that Zidane. It appears that Matterazzi may have called him the “son of a terrorist whore.” Is that worth losing the World Cup over? Your dignity? The respect of your team-mates, your country, and the watching world? His final match, and the possibility of holding aloft the greatest prize in world football, pissed away because a thick-headed Italian defender make a comment about his Mum. Has that never happened to Zizou before? I mean, I loved my Mum, but she’d have kicked my head in

Still, it’s all over now, and we can settle in to watch the great Juventus sell off sale begin. Ahhhh, Serie C never looked so good πŸ™‚

$1.40 A LITRE AND THE IDEA OF DOUBLE VALUE SHOPPING

Petrol prices hit the $1.40 a litre mark during the week, which has made the Luscious One and I re-examine our shopping procedures. All those supermarkets in our local area, offering 4c off this and voucher that… more and more these days, the idea of value-added shopping lies uppermost in our thoughts, what with being skint and needing to stretch everything as far as we can. Do we shop at Coles, get our 4c off petrol plus Fly Buys? IGA gives you 4c, plus they’re part of the Super Savers scheme, and you can get multiples of 6c vouchers if you shop wisely. Action give you points towards a $20 voucher to spend on fruit and veg, plus the obligatory 4c off per litre…

Yesterday I found myself nixing a proposed trip to the Wanneroo markets to buy fruit, because by the time we got there, the cost of petrol would have made the trip a false economy. Because we were only going to buy fruit and nothing else.

So I’m interested: are we the only ones who are beginning to think this way? Or is it just the poor? The family-burdened? Or are we all beginning to change the way we view our shopping needs?

If so, what are steps are you taking?

SHE LOVES ME, SHE LOVES ME…. NOPE, THAT’S IT, SHE LOVES ME

For no reason at all, just because she loves me, Luscious popped into a second hand bookstore and presented me with a hardback anthology called Analog’s Golden Anniversary Anthology the other day. Poul Anderson, Asimov, Bova, Fredric Brown, SPrage De Camp, Dickson, Heinlein, Oliver, Schmidt, Sturgeon, Van Vogt, Weinbaum and more: 380 pages of golden age goodness.

When you consioder how utterly meh Analog has become as a magazine, it’s sometimes a welcome surprise to be faced with the assemblage of talent it used to collect.

I feel a wallowing a’comin’…..

FALLING OUT OF LIKE

I made a strange discovery during the week: I realised I don’t like someone who I had always thought I liked. Normally I realise when I’ve started to dislike a person, or I dislike them upon contact. But I realised, as I thought “I like Person X, but…” for the umpteenth time in relation to something they said, that I’d been saying this to myself a lot, for a long time, and the truth was, I didn’t like them after all.

I have no wisdom to offer about this. It’s just a weird feeling, is all.

A QUICK STOCKTAKE IN THE INTERESTS OF INSPIRING ME TO GET OFF MY ASS AND FINISH SOME OF THESE DAMN THINGS

So I’ve been doing a bit of kvetching (or in Battersby Household Speak: there was kvetchage. which I add only because I think it sounds funny…) because I’ve got no projects on the go, and nothing in the trunk, and nothing is coming up on the publishing front, so I was a wee bit becalmed. You may have noticed…

Apart from two stories doing the rounds, all I’ve got out is Napoleone’s Land, which sits with agent and publisher; The Ballad of Henry Renfield which awaits publication in the Monster Noir anthology; and Manuscript Found Upon The Body of a Hanged Soldier, a story I completed almost a year ago for the approaching-mythical-status Fading Twilight anthology. None of these have concrete publication dates, so it was anybody’s guess as to when I was going to see print again. What’s more, I didn’t have anything I was really working on, so it was anybody’s guess as to when I’d have anything finished.

SO: Luscious is out tonight, the kids are in bed, and I’ve read all the new posts on the The World Game site. My eyes fall on a stack of half a dozen notebooks I’ve got sitting above my desk. I’ll just have a squizz through them see what’s in there.

What I find, after I’ve transcribed all the pieces into Word, are the beginnings of 30 stories, totalling over 20 000 words!

I’m going to list them, which might bore you to tears because it’s no more than list of titles and word counts. But consider it a public shaming: once it’s written down, it’s in the public sphere, and then I’ll have to do something about them. 20 000 words, and he moans about not having anything…. whining maggot.

So, they are:

The Squire 1259
The Escapees 134
Squall 69
Mr Snopes 4058
Most Divine of Winds 236
Magwitch and Bugrat 892
Lethologica 340
Indian Jim 158
In From The Snow 2672
The Corpse-Rat King 3688
Chirsmast 65
Adding Machines 103
A Good Year For The Roses 2227
Where The Jungle Ends 245
Forever Amen 151
One Last Sacrifice 736
Still Life 209
Six Seconds 122
Building 191
The God of Insects 200
Clones, We’re All 221
Dudley Awesome, Super Guy! 311
Down Amongst The Teensies 264
A Fork In The Sky 1450
Domitian’s Statue 349
Father Muerte & the Bells 82 (Yup, I had the start of a Muerte story, and had forgotten it. Bad author! No biscuit!)
Workbench 459
Playing With Jimi At the Tower of Babel 204
The Undertaker 305
Beyond The Fence 407

There you go. 21 807 words of beginnings. And given I have a second novel to get the hell on with, and I know I have a file full of first pages I should pull out and transcribe, and Iive just been contacted by a newly formed small press publishing company asking if I’m interested in writing a 40-50K novel for them, I really have no bloody excuse any more, do I?

Next time I’ll just post some nice pictures of the family, to make up for getting all angsty and self-indulgent, I promise.

Song of the Moment: Generals and Majors XTC

PREZZIESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

Luscious is asleep, the baby is asleep, Erin’s happily camped out in front of The Angry Beavers. So:

Christmas Day was a blast. It started early- Luscious went into the living room at quarter to5 to feed Connor, only to find the boys wide awake in front of the cartoons, big grins on their heads. Their reason? “We’re excited”. And it went uphill from there! Everybody loved their presents, there was much playing and mucking about, and in the afternoon we journeyed to Ray & Donna’s place (Lyn’s brother and sister-in-law) for a swim in the pool and super-yummo Christmas nosh. Hey, there are definite advantages to having a brother-in-law who’s a chef by trade πŸ™‚

On the present front, my darling presented me with my 2nd favourite movie of all time, Name of The Rose, on DVD (Having already got me my favourite some time ago), we having agreed to call our Albany trip our Chrissie present to each other. And just to prove how sensational my 5 kids are, they gave me a damn cool Dr Karl book, and (gift of gifts!) a 1/10 SCALE POLY RESIN STATUE OF THE TARDIS!!!

They love me πŸ™‚

Right now it has pride of place on top of my desk next to my Beaker-killer Dalek. (There’s a joke behind Beaker, involving my introduction to Lyn’s family, and the nickname Ray and his brothers had for someone. Email me for details πŸ™‚ ) For my birthday I’m hoping to get a 1/10th scale BBC quarry to put them all in…

OKAY, WE’RE IN…

Finally, the move is over, and the cheap-ass, slack as crap, less-brain-cells-than-a-PE-teacher removalists have crawled back under their rock. Hey, they managed to break my computer desk and the Indian pipe Luscious bought me for my birthday last year, so I figure I have shooting rights. This pack of morons had tricks like double-packing the cutlery but not wasting a single piece of paper on wrapping my flat-screen computer monitor, so you know we’re not dealing with the deep end of the gene pool here. And they ripped us off, the bastards.

Lucky I’m not bitter about it or anything.

Anyway, we’ve turned the living room into a big library with a couch and TV, the cable’s been connected (spent most of yesterday watching Invader Zim, and Batman:The Animated Series, and Johnny Bravo, and I Am Weasel and Catdog, and… well, you get the idea), the patio guy’s working out a quote for hard-roofing the patio, the curtain people are coming later this week… it’s all go.

Want to extend a big “Youse is a legend moit” to Sheldon, who came over way early on Saturday morning and worked like a Trojan to help us unpack, and Chesh & Calli who came round a bit later and helped with the mammoth task of emptying the house of a million boxes.

ON THE SUBJECT OF TROJANS

Watched Troy the other night for the first time. Would have thought it impossible to turn The Iliad into a boring pile of crap, but there you go. Never underestimate the powers of Wolfgang Petersen and Brad Pitt when it comes to stinky-toilet cinematic experiences.

I LOVE MY FAMILY!

It’s my birthday on Thursday. Luscious and the kids couldn’t wait that long to give me my prezzies.

The kids got me a watch. To understand how excited I was by this you have to have been with me when I’ve taken my phone out for the umpty-thousandth time to check what time it is. I’m a constant time-checker. It’s a sickness. Hey, it could be worse. I could work in IT.

Anyway, this watch is beautiful, a magnificent analog (Call me old-fashioned; I prefer hands) in silver and gold. It’s far too beautiful to belong on my hairy old wrist.

And Luscious, well, what can I say. A weird and wonderful statue (the present, I swear!) made from nuts, bolts and screws, of two robot-type people wearing glasses and playing soccer. Very hard to describe, but it’s odd, disturbing, and impossible to look at without finding something to comment about. In other words, perfect πŸ™‚

I’m a lucky guy with a great family. And yes, this is an utterly diabetes-inducing post, but hey, it’s my birthday πŸ™‚ Well, in two days, but you know…

WHAT, AND LEAVE SHOWBIZ?

Everybody in Perth SF is waiting to see the Angriest Video Store Clerk TV show. Creative force Grant Watson emailed me today and asked me if I wanted a bit part as a light-bulb worshipping Siberian Yak Herder.

How can a guy say no to an offer like that? πŸ™‚