Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Hooray, Cute FTP is finally working again, which means I'm able to put webpages back up. My biblio is first.

Monday, September 27, 2004


It was bad movie night last night, and as always, Luscious and I started our day by popping over to that great repository of audio-visual crap, Blockbuster. Our mission: to secure ourselves a copy of The Pirate Movie, the howlingly awful Christopher Atkins starrer. (Admittedly, the phrase 'awful Christopher Atkins movie' is tautological).

It was out!

Someone in Morley has a bad place in their brain...


Blockbuster is the place to find bad bad movies. Within two minutes of being told our movie of choice was out, we found a copy of Breakdance. On DVD no less!

I think we broke everyone's minds. Calli couldn't get over the clarity of the picture; Chesh, Splanky and Luscious fell about at the fashions (My personal favourite: the guy with the red and white checked cowboy shirt tucked into his grey tracky-dacks, which were in turn tucked into his leg warmers. I shit thee not); and funniest of all, Mynxii kept shushing us so she could listen to the dialogue!

If you want to mess with Cheshire's mind over the next week or so, walk up to him and say "Mumble Pants" :)

Saturday, September 25, 2004


Had a great time for Blake's 10th birthday last week. Took he, Aiden, and 5 friends to the Zone 3 laser game parlour for a birthday pizza bash, and in the evening, took both boys (hopped up on pizza, sweeties, and cool drink) to see My Neighbour Totoro at FTI's Miyazaki festival, a wonderful film that we all fell in love with and have made a pact to track down and buy on DVD. Finished the evening with Hungry Jacks on the way home, and arrived back three tired, happy boys.

Blake was thrilled with the giant electronics set we gave him, and with the money and presents he received from his friends. But more on the dosh below, as we take him...


So the B-boy gets his 50 bucks birthday money and we take him to Empire Toys in the city, whereupon he is confronted by 4 walls crammed with everything the young fanboy could want. Will he fuel his Invader Zim obsession with a DVD or plushy, or will the 2 disc Hellboy limited edition set be the prize? But there's a million manga movies... and the My Neighbour Totoro soundtrack... and are they Living Dead Dolls dolls in that corner?... and Futurama stuff... and Lord of The Rings...

So after an HOUR in which he touches absolutely everything in the place, what does our excited junior fanboy come away with?

3 Aliens figurines. Not bad at all, considering I don't think he's seen any of the movies outside of the Aliens Vs Predator preview. And damn cool little things they are too.

We're such proud fanparents :)


I've picked up some casual scriptwriting for a video production company (what, and leave showbusiness?) on the side, so Luscious and I will be getting our butts to Wasteland after all. Happy happy happy.


Last weekend's bad movie night effort was spectacular. Lair Of The White Worm is not only worse than you imagine, it's worse than you can imagine. Not even large quantities of Amanda Donohoe nuddiness saves it. Watch it, and marvel at Hugh Grant having a career afterwards.

What we're going to watch tomorrow night in an effort to top it is beyond me. There may have to be a concerted effort to capture a Steve Reeves movie...


Off to Stephen Dedman's workshop on creating believable alien environments today. I'm at a crossroads in regards to my thinking when it comes to workshops. I do enjoy the chance to get out and schmooze, and knowing pals like Satima Flavell Neist, Shane Jiraiya Cummings, and Stephen himself of course, are going to be there is a big attraction. But it's impossible not to believe that I'm at a point in my career where I should be giving the workshops rather than just attending them.

Today's will be the telling point, I think. If I come away with a bucketload of new information I'll have a rethink, but otherwise it might be time to start working up a heap of proposals and seeing who bites.


Two entries in to the Katharine Susannah Prichard Short Story Awards this week. The Awards are a more mainstream affair than the SF/F Awards earlier in the year, but I'm a firm believer in not being tied down to genre, so it's worth a go. (As is the 300 bucks first prize :) ) The winners are announced on December 5th, Katharine's birthday, and coincidentally, Erin's as well.


I know I've said this a lot before, but we never thought we'd get this far. Luscious reaches the 30th week of her pregnancy this Wednesday. The end is in sight: we're planning to be induced a couple of weeks pre-term due to Lyn's size and some really horrible due dates- depending on which date you look at, Connor is due either on Erin's birthday or the anniversary of Sharons' death. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmno. So we've picked a date just before that and the countdown is definitely on.

I'll be glad when it's over, and we have our baby boy safe and healthy with his safe and healthy mother back from the hospital. I doubt anybody who knows me (with the exception of Luscious, who lives with it every day) understands just how deeply this pregnancy has affected me. For those who came in late, my wife Sharon died 4 days after giving birth to Erin due to criminal negligence on the part of the consulting doctor and hospital (Although I'm probably not supposed to say anything like that until after the compensation case is concluded. Ah well, sue me you fuckers) , and well, stuff like that stays with you.

I've been nowhere near the support Lyn's needed throughout this pregnancy. Everything has been difficult for me, and I know she's felt the withdrawal in me as we get closer to the due date. I can't help it: I want to be a part of this, as it will be our last pregnancy, but sometimes it's more difficult to engage than I can manage.

I just want them both to come home from the hospital safe and healthy and for us to start the life that awaits us on the other side of the birth. That's all.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Happy birthday Blake!

Can't wait to see you and give you your prezzie and have the party!

Sunday, September 12, 2004


The residency is over, finished, kaput, kapslurgen, garshnurflen, and when did this turn into a scene from Blazing Saddles?

I think it would be fair to view it as a successful endeavour, at least in terms of word count: I wrote more than 65 000 words in the four weeks of the residency, over 50 000 of which were on Nouvelle Hollande, and the rest comprising 5 completed short stories and 2 half-stories. I have already sent one of those stories out, so I can't complain at all. I had set myself a target of 40 000 words, 10 000 a week, all on the novel. I've exceeded that beyond all my hopes.

So the final tallies:

Novel Words at KSP: 51546
KSP Cumulative Total: 65 433
Novel Cumulative Total: 61 635

That last figure is important, too. Two-thirds of the novel is now under my belt, and if I can get a thousand words a day in from now on I'll have a completed first draft ready by mid-October, plenty of time to achieve my aim of having a package to send to agents and publishers by the end of the year.


On the downside, the end of the residency means I have to get my tubby ass back to some sort of day job. This pleases me not at all, I have to say. I love being a writer, really love it very much. The lifestyle fits me perfectly. 10 hours a day being unsatisfied does not cheer my horizons. Ah well, I'm sure I'll sell the novel for a packet and buy that island I've always wanted...


She claims its spring. I say its nesting. Whatever, I came through from the living room to find Luscious on the bed with a bucket and sponge, cleaning the fan. Then she was wiping the front of the washing machine and commanding me to change the sponge on the mop. Then it was the bathroom...

I'm afraid. Hold me.


Clash of The Titans tonight for bad movies. How can you read the phrase Harry Hamlin is Perseus and not get a fit of the giggles?

And then we have the kids next weekend, and the FTI has that festival of anime from the fellow who did Spirited Away.

Fun fun fun fun fun.

Thursday, September 09, 2004


I've written five short stories during my residency at KSP, and the first of them has just had its final draft and been sent away: Pater Familias, a horror flash piece, is now at the mercy of Shadowed Realms.


Discovered my first grey chest hair in the shower this morning. First it was my hair, then my beard, now my chest hair.... it's only a matter of time....

Sunday, September 05, 2004


I had a surprise Father's Day yesterday. I say surprise because we have Luscious' kids this weekend, and it had been organised that they see their father today for Father's Day, while we caught up with my family. Well: I had a workshop to run at the writer's centre yesterday, and before I went Lyn and the kids made me breakfast, (pancakes with fresh squeezed lemon juice and sugar on top) and the the kids pulled out presents they'd been shopping for, and gave them to me! A leather bound writing journal and They Might Be Giants' latest album The Spine are now my proudest posessions :)

I was flabbergasted, and more than a little teary and touched- not only wasn't I expecting anything (the kids have their own biological father, after all), but the fact they went out with their Mum and made sure to find gifts they knew I would absolutely love was just brilliant. I floated the rest of the day, and am still smiling about it now.


It's been a boysie weekend this weekend: Friday night we went to see Hellboy at the cinema (Big, dumb fun, and I'm such a fan of the comic books that I happily overlooked the many weaknesses in the film), and last night, while Cassie and Luscious went to see Jersey Girl in order to wash the testosterone out of their eyes, the boys and I stayed at home with crisps in hand and watched the newly-released Invader Zim DVD.

Doom doom doom doom doomie doomie dooommm....


The date for the trial over Sharon's death draws nearer: a pre-trial conference is only a few weeks away now, and I spent Friday afternoon in conference with my lawyer. It's been a hard few days, with tension before the meeting and after due to the nature of the proceedings: the doctor who killed Sharon and the Health Department have delayed, prevaricated, and basically done their all to make this a painful and traumatic experience, and I'll be glad to cast their vile shadows from my life.


A productive week at the KSP. Apart from yesterday's writing workshop, I ploughed through a significant portion of the novel and am now almost 50 000 words in. I'm aiming for somewhere between 80 and 90 000 words first draft, as I'm sure to be adding words in rather than cutting them out in future drafts, so to be well and truly past halfway is great. I had planned to reach 50 000 words by the end of the residency, so to do it a week early feels like a real achievement. Oh, and I've completed my 5th short story, to boot :)

A real highlight was an engagement at Helena College, a couple of miles down the road from the centre, where I spoke to some creative writing students and ran some writing exercises past them. I spent over an hour with the kids and was delighted at their talent and fearlesness as writers. They even presented me with some gifts at the end- a thank you card, a copy of their yearbook, an Helena College keyring and a matching pen which is my new writing pen!

So, to totals...

Monday 30th August

Novel Words For Day: 2277
Total Words For Day: 2277
Novel Words at KSP: 27 847
KSP Cumulative Total: 36 637
Novel Cumulative Total: 37 936

Tuesday 31st August

Novel Words For Day: 3019
Total Words For Day: 3961
Novel Words At KSP: 30 866
KSP Cumulative Total: 40 598
Novel Cumulative Total: 40 955

Wednesday 1st September

Novel Words For Day: 2642
Word Total For Day: 3221
Novel Words at KSP: 33 508
KSP Cumulative Total: 43 819
Novel Cumulative Total: 43 597

Thursday 2nd September

Novel Words For Day: 2929
Word Total For Day: 4020
Novel Words at KSP: 36 437
KSP Cumulative Total: 47 839
Novel Cumulative Total: 46 526

Friday 3rd September

Novel Words For Day: 2907
Word Total For Day: 4201
Novel Words at KSP: 39 344
KSP Cumulative Total: 52 040
Novel Cumulative Total: 49 433

And the short stories, which are all first drafts at the moment:

Blake The God (Humourous SF) 2533 words
Pater Familas (Horror Flash Story) 810 words
Untitled Piece as Yet (SF) 2056 words
Murderworld (SF) 3960 words
Untitled Piece as Yet (Horror) 3015 words