BUT I’VE GOT A HELL OF AN EXCUSE

So here we are, then. The 9th of November. By nano stats, that means I should have completed 15 000 of my unholy mess novel as of tonight. That means that, as of tonight, I’m only 7.56 days behind where I’m supposed to be!

But, like Jesus said when his Mum wanted to know who pinched all the tuna sandwiches, I have a hell of an excuse. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Wednesday 29 October: Agree with Luscious Lyn that the Batthaim has become too big, expensive, difficult to maintain and draining. Decide to sell the place.
Thursday: Appoint real estate agent we’ve been sniffing around for a while. Receive list of final renovations necessary to bring house up to saleable standard.
Saturday 1 November: Received square metre of soil. Spend half a day carting the bastarding thing out to the back yard to fill the giant empty garden bed that’s been sat there empty for two years. Plant colourful plants. Trim giant sprawling half-dead passionfruit plant. Patch cracks in upstairs room ceiling and kids bathroom. Do some actual writing, by virtue of mad panic and previously undiscovered wizard powers.
Sunday: More patching, sanding, and carting heavy bloody things all over the place. Pack family up and sod off for an hour while real estate agent brings people through.
Monday: Write the 2 thousandth and change words on the novel. Do shoulder stretches. Use bendy shoulder muscles to help pat myself on back.
Tuesday: Accompany Luscious to hospital. Be supportive husband while she undergoes horrendously invasive surgery.
Wednesday: Continue husband support role while trying to persuade increasingly grumpy wife that resting in bed does not involve any form of cleaning up or housework. More patching. More fucking sanding. More fucking painting.
Wednesday evening: Pack sore and sorry wife into car and spend what’s supposed to be an hour at cafe while real estate agent brings people around the house even though he’s been bloody told specifically not to do this today because Luscious is supposed to be resting and not gallivanting around the bloody neighbourhood.
Slightly later Wednesday evening: Real estate agent sells Batthaim. Becomes best friend for life.
Thursday: Packing. Lots and lots of packing.
Friday: Meet with mortgage broker just to make sure we can afford to actually move and won’t end up living in a shopping trolley and smelling like cat pee.
Yesterday: Fucking patch. Fucking sand. Fucking paint. Get in car and drive round and round and round suburb of choice looking at interminable series of ugly, run down and general piece of shit house I wouldn’t use for a crack house, never mind a place of residence.
Saturday, 3pm: Find the perfect house. Cry tears of relief. Wipe eyes, Put in an offer.
Rest of yesterday: drive from Baldivis to Southern Bloody River because the idiot not-local real estate agent didn’t actually have the forms to sign an offer. Sit around for the better part of two hours while idiot not-local real estate faffs about like an idiot, including actually having to read the forms to himself to make sure he’s got the right damn forms…… out of there by 6pm, nobody dies, it’s a close-run thing.
Late last night: idiot real estate agent rings. Lyn. I think he worked out who best to speak to. Our offer is accepted.
All today, starting at 6.20am and finishing at gone 5pm when I stopped caring about life: MORE FUCKING SANDING AND PAINTING. Empty, box, clean and deconstruct entire shed. Entire. Damn. Shed.

Yeah, so, all of which is an overly dramatic way of saying, hey, what a week: the Luscious one has had surgery, we’ve sold our house and have bought a new one, and for the rest of the year we’ll be packing and organising finances and– all being as per instructions– we’ll be moving house the day before Christmas.

Turns out, Real Life ™ trumps writing. Who knew?

AHWA THE LAD!

Much excitement in this corner of the Battland at the news that Mark Smith has chosen to spend the next 3 months under my tender tutelage as part of the Australian Horror Writer’s Association Mentorship scheme. From now until the end of August we’ll be working together to improve Mark’s writing, deepen his knowledge of the industry, and bring him up to date on all the decent gossip about who’s sleeping with whom, what it cost them, and how much ointment they have to buy as a result.

I’ll be reading a selection of Mark’s work, commenting upon it, and clueing him into the way I write and edit; as well as answering any questions he may have regarding the stories, the marketplace, or writing in general; I’ll also be on hand to provide advice and guidance and just generally being up at all hours of the day and night to respond to his bidding. I don’t do windows…

Mark’s crossed my path on a couple of occasions previously, including a review of Through Soft Air which he penned for the Australian Horror site Horrorscope, so I’m really looking forward to working closely with him and seeing where the next 13 weeks takes us. It should be a heck of a lot of fun. AHWA severed-head honcho Marty Young tells me that the association is keen to run the Mentorship scheme as an annual benefit for members, so if you haven’t considered joining, you can add it to your list of reasons to shell out the 25 clams and join up. (I am not a number, I am a free… oh, no, wait, here I am, member number 30)

A THING OF BEAUTY

Non-sleeping readers will remember that, recently, I promised a decko at Adam Duncan’s illustration for Father Muerte & The Joy of Warfare, my story in Aurealis Issue 37, out now buybuybuybuybuy, proclaiming it as a thing of great beauty and wondrousness.

Thanks to the fab and groovy Adam Browne, I was able to get in touch with Adam D, and thanks to his generosity and all round nice-guyness, I’m able to reproduce the illustration here for your viewing happiness.

As far as I’m concerned, this is how a story illustration should be: Adam’s image defines so many of the central ideas with the tale, and yet does so without giving anything away. It’s beautiful to look at, and once you’ve read the story, you can revisit it and gain a whole new level of resonance. I’m utterly taken with it, and can’t wait to see more of Adam’s work.

I’ve not found a website for Adam, but I have his name permanent-markered onto my mental drywall for use when I next have a chance to recommend an illustrator.

NEW PAGES

Skip on over to The Batthome. We’ve done the place up a bit, and added a new wing or two, includign a few snippets of upcomign work for your reading pleasure. I’ll be adding more bits and bobs in the coming weeks, and I’ll let you know when they arrive.

IT’S ALIIIIIIVVVEEE!!!!

After much prevaricating round the shrubbery, trial and error, and people much smarter than us telling us better ways to do things, Lyn and I are happy to announce the birth of the newest Battersby!

Don’t panic. It’s not another kid 🙂

It’s our website

Come on down, have a look, and say hi. As soon as I work out how the hell to do it I’ll be adding a guestbook, gallery page and message board, but for the moment we have news, bios, biblios, stories, links, and a bunch of other stuff to browse and peruse

COMING SOON: THE 21ST CENTURY!

Got a domain registered, got web hosting, and as soon as I get my shit together and create all the pages and upload them and stuff (Battersby’s guide to being crap at web stuff: when you even find WYSIWYG website builders complex and difficult to understand….)

battersby.com.au will live!

So now would be the time to let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see on a website dedicated to Luscious and myself. And no, bombing co-ordinates do not count.

Song of the moment: John, I’m Only Dancing David Bowie
Currently Reading: Still on the Mirrorshades anthology. Just finished Stone Lives by Paul diFillipo and about to start Red Star, Winter Orbit by Sterling & Gibson