THE COOLEST ADVICE EVER

Morning tea today was a going away party for a fellow in our team who has decided to call it quits now that he’s turned 70.

Yeah. Seventy. And you should hear the plans he has for what he’s going to do next.

So when he was asked what the secret was to his energiser-bunny level of enthusiasm and passion, he gave this reply, which is too damn cool not to share:

Always have something you can’t give up on.

I should be half this cool at his age.

OH DEAR

Overheard at work today

“It’s Detective Goran, not Inspector. He’ll never get promoted with his attitude.”

Where do you start……?

IN WHICH CALLISTO SHAMPOO AND CHESHIRE NOIR DISCOVER THAT WHAT THEY’VE DONE OVER THE LAST NINE MONTHS WAS THE EASY PART

A huge hello and welcome to Vincent John Parker, who joined us all at 9.50 last night, much to everyone’s delight.

Lovely to have you on board, little guy.

ANOTHER SALE, AND A SURPRISE ONE TO BOOT

Received an email from the froody editors at ASIM last night. They want to buy Instinct, a story I wrote in cahoots with Nigel Read, for their special collaborations issue, number 22, due out this December. Which is cool, especially as I’d forgotten about it and had no idea where it had been sent out 🙂

Could be an interesting issue: Luscious and I have just completed our own collaboration entitled C, which we’ll be submitting to the same market by the end of the week. If it gets picked up, I could have my first double-banger!

WELCOME TO MIDWICH

I’ve been banished to the Fremantle office for 2 weeks, before entering my permanent work posting at Booragoon. How much do I love being there?

One of the women asked me what else I did (Her exact words were “So why don’t you want to work full-time?”). When I told her I was a writer, she replied “Yeah, but that’s like the kids at school doing their art.”

Later in the day, one of the other women (there are three, plus myself in the office) complained about the “raucous rubbish” the radio station was playing, and bemoaned the fact that we’re not allowed to switch channels so she could listen to something decent. Which radio station? MIX 94.5FM, known to all and sundry as Bland FM. All INXS, all of the day…..

I’m in hell.

WHY I HATE FANTASY, or READ THE MASTERS BEFORE YOU TELL ME HOW GOOD JULIAN BLOODY MAY IS

Picked up a copy of The First Book of Lankhmar the other day, which collects the first 4 of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd & The Grey Mouser books in one volume.

Ill Met In Lankhmar, which I haven’t read for a few years, is still the best fantasy short ever written. Yes it creaks a bit at the hinges, and the dialogue is overblown and unnatural, and filled with comic book portent. But for all that, it is still the best fantasy short ever written. Read it again, or if you’ve never read it before, get your nose out of that fucking Harry Potter box of toilet paper and read it for the first time.

Fantasy with consequences.

A pox on your Fiests, Mays, Brooks’, Jordans, and their evil brood.

THE PARTING OF THE WAYS

Saw the last episode of Dr Who on Sunday night, many thanks owing to the Sunday Night Crew, who came through for a Batfam in need.

I should have guessed the owner of the voice, shouldn’t I? That’s what comes of trying to be too clever and second guess the obvious. As to the Bad Wolf, hmmm. When is a deus ex machina not a deus ex machina? When you’ve set it up all season, and yet it still manages to feel like you’ve written yourself into a corner and had to jump free with a mighty bound? Because that’s what it felt like, in a lot of ways. Sigh: I can’t wait until you’ve all seen it, so I can discuss it properly without dropping spoilers.

A flawed ending to a series that has seen some amazing highs (Dalek and The Empty Child being the absolute pinnacles, for me) , and very few genuine lows (Only The Unquiet Dead and Father’s Day missing the mark). It’s going to feel like a long time before the second series. I’m hoping there’s a box set before Christmas: I want to hear the commentaries on these episodes.

I’VE SAID IT BEFORE, AND I’LL SAY IT AGAIN

Hi Vincent!

Song of the moment: Dancing In The Moonlight Thin Lizzy

WHAT A BUTCH WAY TO INJURE YOURSELF……

2 months before Erin was born, I was involved in a car accident when the driver of another car decided stop signs were for other people, and blessed me with a lifetime of chirporactor bills.

A straight spine may be the shortest journey between hips and skull, but I’m made of more interesting stuff than that. Of particular fun is the spot just between my shoulder blades, where the spine takes a 20 degree turn to the left. The chiro keeps putting it back where it belongs, but every now and again…

I rolled over in bed the other morning. That was all. Just rolled over. Spine went pop. Audibly.

My chiro had better name his next boat after me, that’s all I’m saying. At least I can stand up straight again.

NORMAL BUSINESS HAS BEEN RESUMED

Thanks to Luscious, the depression has passed. And hopefully, the block as well. I owed Mynxii a single-panel cartoon for the next Swancon progress report, and drawing it the other day seems to have released something: I’ve come up with the plot for my Eidolon story, plotted out my Fading Twilight story, and best of all, worked out what happens to finish the novel and written 800 words of same.

Lyn’s out with the kids all afternoon, so I’ll get some more done today as well. Thank goodness that’s over, until the next time.

I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FEEL ABOUT THIS

I’m part of the workforce again, as of Monday. Unavoidable, and it’s exactly the kind of part-time job I wanted, but I find myself in deep ambivalence about the whole thing. Thing is, anything that isn’t writing or being at home with my wife and children is an interruption, nothing more or less.

Ah well, can’t have everything. I don’t want to work, but lifestyle demands. Better get off my arse and sell this novel…

A DOCTOR WHO JOKE WITH SPOILERS

Warning: if you’re one of the three people in this country not watching downloaded versions of the new Doctor Who series, look away now.

Thanks to the kindness of friends (and I can’t help but think it was their way of contributing to snapping me out of my depression. If so, it worked) I have a shiny DVD filled with the 1st seven episodes of the new Doctor Who series. We sat down with the kids and watched them on the weekend. We had to: the boys wouldn’t go back to their father’s house until we did 🙂

They’re all pretty damn good, but episode 6, Dalek, is perhaps the best episode of Doctor Who ever made. They’ve done with a single Dalek what nobody in 26 years was able to achieve with whole armies of the buggers: turn it into a genuinely terrifying machine of war. Based loosely on an audio play (I think) called Jubilee, the plot can be narrowed down to Single Dalek stalks entire compound of heavily armed and scared shitless humans. The story is by turns frightening, tense, and filled with such pathos and tenderness that you find yourself with tears in your eyes at the possible fate of a giant pepperpot with a latex muppet inside.

It gives nothing away to tell you that at one stage, in order to gain knowledge of his enemies, the Dalek accesses and downloads the entire internet in less than a minute.

Cassie’s comment? “My God. How much porn must he be watching?”

Dalek Porn. Don’t think visually…

I AM SERIOUS, AND DON’T CALL ME SHIRLEY.

How frustrating! Martin brought the comedy classic Flying High to the Sunday Movie Night (It is a comedy classic! It bloody is!), but the disc went spla part way through and so we didn’t get to see the whole thing. Mind you, as someone pointed out, Martin and I could probably have recreated the rest of the movie in 3D, so constantly were we quoting along with the action 🙂

I was having weird time traveller comedy moments all the way through: laughing at jokes that were 15 minutes away from being on the screen, as my memory ran ahead of what was being shown…

The biggest pain is that I now have to rent it out, and Flying High 2, so I can watch it properly.

THERE IS NO SAVING HER

What’s sadder than watching Big Brother? Watching it on the TV and at the same time having the webpage up on your laptop and scrolling through pages reading about it.

THE BLUE REVOLUTION CONTINUES

A lucky 2-all draw on the weekend, but we’ve got another point in the bag and remain undefeated. The mighty Bassendean Juniors juggernaut rolls on.

Aiden got some quality minutes under his belt, played as a striker in the first half and in central midfield in the second. He even got in a good, crunching tackle and made a header!

You know, the Premier League season has just ended, and clubs will be looking for holding midfielders…

POTATO PROGRESS

The boys and I placed the second tyre on the potatoes on the weekend, leaving a few shoots above the rim as the vaguely-remembered Better Homes & Gardens magazine had advised (I think). I went out to the backyard this morning, and those shoots are already high enough that I could put the third tyre on.

I think I’m raising triffids…

PISS OFF, DOROTHY

A tornado! A frigging tornado! A frigging tornado ran straight through Maddington, turned left, came down our street, destroyed the roof, fence, trees, and backyard of the guy across the street and left us completely alone!

Okay, some tubby girl and her dog knocked on the door and asked us if we’d seen a witch anywhere, but I just gave her 5 bucks and told her to see a counsellor. But a tornado! A frigging tornado!

Un-fucking-believable.

SMOOOOOOOTTTHHHHH….

Had a job interview yesterday, and as we were blacked-out because of the tornado, (A tornado! A frigging tornado!) I wasn’t able to shave, running razors across my face in the dark being one of my least favourite activities. There was only one thing for it: off to the barber’s.

I’ve been married twice, and each time wanted to have a proper shave at a barber’s on the morning, only to find it was unfeasible for various reasons. I tell ya, I was missing out. That shave was smooth, and I got a bit of an understanding as to why women and local gangsters in crappy mafia movies spend so much time and money on getting their hair and faces done. It ain’t cheap (44 bucks for the shave and a haircut) but the sense of confidence it gives you is worth a packet. This self-pampering business is seductive.

BIG DECISIONS

Well, here’s some news: the much-loathed job now, well, isn’t.

I handed in my resignation today.

Two weeks from now I shall be free of the stinking shitpile that is the Australian Public Service, to spend the rest of the year pursuing my writing and other financial options (of which I have a couple, although I’m afraid I shan’t be sharing those with you just yet…)

Is it a big gamble? Yep. Is it as scary as hell? Ho Yus! But the simple truth is that after 10 years I just couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve paid my pound of flesh many times over in both my professional and private lives. If I didn’t take the opportunity to free myself of the depression and stress associated with the hated-8-hours then I was going to crack up and/or never get out.

The impetus to get the Napoleon Novel underway and make a successful product out of it keeps growing.