Friday, October 29, 2004


We're moving house! Coz, you know, being umpty-thousand weeks pregnant and in constant pain, and having a short story collection to pitch and being in constant pain, and all the other stuff Luscious & I have been whining on about in our respective blogs over the last umpty-something weeks just wasn't enough of a challenge.

Anyway, the tenant moved out, and it's stupid for us to be renting when we have an empty house, so we're moving back. Next weekend. No time like the near present and all that.

If you're not one of the million people we've sent an email to with the new address details, and you need them, drop us a line.


We can get cable. Which means I can watch the Premier League again.

Happy little fat man dancing :)


Cassie's in the car the other day, explaining to me why the name of her jewellery-making company is going to be "Rickie". It's short for Richter, see, as in Richter Scale, as in "Rickie jewellery will shake your world."

Which is pretty clever really. At least, I would have thought it was if I could have heard her over my laughing. Such a simple mistake, really, getting Richter and Rictus mixed up.

Rictus scale. And I think visually...

Then this morning, Luscious and I are talking about Christmas, and my only-one-Christmas-out-of-a-religion-that-doesn't-celebrate-it sweetie is telling me an idea she's had for something we can put in Cassie's stocking.

Only she calls it a doggie bag...

Laugh? I nearly wet myself.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Oh, what a week. The sleeping part of the pregnancy has been over for quite a while, but this week, well, sleeping is just something that happens to other people. Luscious is in horrible pain: the baby's huge, her pelvis is in all sorts of bother, and she has to wear a support belt when she walks. Which doesn't help when she's lying down and can't get comfortable. Or when her hayfever is so bad she can barely breathe.

Given the problems we had early in the pregnancy it seems petty to be whining about hayfever, but we're both so goddamned tired...

Added to which, we spent half of Monday night combing the streets of Morley because one of the kids got into an argument with their father and took off. They ended up safe and sound at a friend's place (said friend being a right prannet decided to try to hide kid from said friend's parents, only exacerbating the situation). Let me tell you, it's bloody cold at 2am in Morley.

Thankfully, errant child was safe and sound, and came out to Lunch with Luscious and I yesterday where we alternated between telling child off and wanting to hug child to death. I love these kids. I've been thrown into teen-parenting many years before I was expecting it, and I've been surprised by how deeply they affect me. It doesn't please Lyn's ex-husband to hear it, because I think he feels I'm trying to usurp his role (nothing could be further from the truth, but it's an emotionally difficult place for a father to be in to see his kids spending time with another man, I know. My own parents split up when I was Cassie's age, and I have distinct memories.) but I love these kids like they were my own. I don't think I breathed properly from the moment we got the call to say errant child was missing until we went to lunch and we could make sure child was really okay with our own eyes.


Want to throw a big vote of thanks in Geoff Maloney's direction. I'm currently assembling a package to pitch a short story collection to a US publisher who might be interested, and Geoff's done a power of work choosing stories, offering opinions, and pretty much reading my entire opus to date in an effort to stop me embarrassing myself. Thanks to him I'm one or two steps away from having a running order worked out and beginning the polishing of stories ready to envelope the whole thing. I've always been a big fan of Geoff's writing (check out his collection Tales From the Crypto-System) but just as rewarding hs been the friendship we've built up over the last year or so.

So far I'm calling the collection Through Soft Air, mainly because Luscious looks at me in a funny way if I mention The Beginner's Guide to Virgin Sacrifice. The project is at the very early stages, but if the publisher buys it, I'll let you know. Oh, how I'll let you know!


If all goes to plan, the kid-free weekend in November will be our last one before Connor comes. Don't ring :)


It's a more interesting title than "What we've done recently" :)

Bad movie night on Sunday was Hudson Hawk, thanks to Splanky. And bad it was. It's such an odd movie-- filled with so many great little moments it's hard to put your finger on why the whole thing stinks like a month-old nappy. My opinion is that it's the editor's fault: it should be a high-paced farce, but the editing makes everything so excrutiatingly slow that it misses the mark. Of course, there are so many other reasons too... Strangely enough, Luscious says it's the first bad movie night where she's enjoyed the movie. Ooookaaaayyy.........

Saturday night we attended a board games night at Splanky's place. Poor old Luscious' hayfever kicked into overdrive (see above) once the cat came wandering into the room, and we got stuck playing Boggle with a couple whose ideas of Boggle are, well, I wouldn't let the kids get away with it, dig? Pity: I was really looking forward to the night, but in the end we had to leave at just after 9, and chuntered all the way home about the Boggle couple. We finished the night with me showing Lyn the animated Tales From The Darkside, so it wasn't a total loss :)

We both really like Splanky, and feel guilty if we have to cut out of one of her occasions early. Sigh. Maybe next time.


Went to a programming meeting for Swancon on Sunday. To my credit, I only volunteered for 5 panels. I admit it: I'm a panel junkie. It's my only real chance to get in touch with my inner dancing monkey boy. Anyway, despite not being available all day Saturday in preparation for the wedding, and not being available at least Sunday morning because of the wedding night, there's no guarantee I'll only be on 5 panels come the Con. 2003 I volunteered for 6 and was on 15 when I arrived. Of course, this year the programmer is my best man, which might help :)

I'm really looking forward to this Con. Apart from the wedding, it's just shaping up as a hell of a lot of fun. And I get to re-stage the Alternative History Game Show. It was huge success at this year's con- wild and crazy, and the audience was hanging off the rafters. I'm going to have to do something special next year to top it.

I've been dry of ideas so far, but last night I did have an idea about recreating the assassination of Julius Caesar with shaving cream pies...

Friday, October 22, 2004


Had an appointment with a chiropractor today, in light of last week's car accident. I went a few days ago and he took some x-rays, but today was the first bone-twirling session. Apparently there isn't a supporting bone between my skull and toes that's where it should be (no surprise to some, I suppose). I'm not so much a body as a partially completed game of Jenga.

I'll need to go twice a week for the next few weeks, then weekly, then... well, it'll depend on how good a Jenga player the chiropractor is, I suppose.

Was this what my Mum meant when she said she wanted me to be comfortable in my own skin?


Tell me which of my stories are your favourites, or if there are any you really hate. I've got a project coming up soon where such information might be very handy indeed. More on this subject in due course.

Thursday, October 14, 2004


I had a car accident three years ago yesterday. A woman came through a stop sign without, well without, and t-boned the car I was driving, writing off the car and giving me injuries to my back and neck that I'm still having treated three years later.

Three hours short of three years, and it happened again. Not so bad this time (the car is still driveable), but if I were to believe in such things I'd be freaked out by fate around about now.

Here's a hint to all you drivers out there: amber means SLOW DOWN AND PREPARE TO STOP!


Went to dinner at a Thai restaurant last night, a Swancon fundraiser with special guest Sean Williams. It was a delightful night, with articulate, enjoyable conversation, sensational food, and wonderful company.

We had to leave fairly early after dinner, and so couldn't stay for the late-night conversations: my neck was giving me a lot of pain, and Luscious was just about out of energy and needed to sleep, but it was the kind of event we don't attend often enough. A brilliant evening.


For no reason at all, Luscious turns to me this morning and out of the blue announces "It's a good job I'm not pregnant to The Rock, otherwise this baby would be Third Son From the Rock."

Who are you, and what have you done to my Lyn?


Took Aiden and Blake to see the Yu-Gi-Oh movie today. They've been wanting to go since they heard one was being made, and wanted me to take them. They even put together a card deck for me so that I can duel them, and presented it to me before we went. Then they bounced around like insane happy things all the way to the cinema, while we were buying the tickets, while we were buying the sweeties, while we were finding our seats, while we watched the movie, and all the way to lunch, where they bouned around like insane happy things and told their Mum & sister all about it. I have to learn how to play the damn game so that they can duel me tonight.

The Yu-Gi-Oh movie is really really really bad. The boys loved it. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.


She's 13. She's the coolest creature in the world. The rest of the family are nerds (hey, if the propeller beanie fits...), and she lets us know it in no uncertain terms.

So how much did I laugh this afternoon when Cassie, instructing us in the correct way to pronounce "Bach", told us to say it like we were speaking Klingon? :)

My work here is done...

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Had a few minutes to myself just before going to bed (the house is gently snoring around me...) so filled in the time at Ebay while I was waiting for other stuff to download.

I've just bought a 1977-issue Spiderman comic book and record set for 5 bucks.

No, I don't know why!

Somebody stop me...


One of the last 10 search terms that sent someone to this blog was "should I have a shower with a ferret picture".

I can't think of a single funny thing to say...

Monday, October 11, 2004


Had a mixed time at this excellently-run Convention. Cheshire and Callisto did a fantastic job, and everyone had a great time. The writing guests were excellent: Sean Williams is genuinely one of the nicest guys I've ever met, and it's always a real pleasure to run into him. Paul Kidd was brilliant: I sat on a panel with him and discovered a real connection of shared humour, irony, and outlook that made it an absolute barrel of laughs. And I thoroughly enjoyed the experience every time he was in the room: he's a genuinely funny and engaging man.

On the downside, our Saturday night suffered a major interruption when a tiny kitchen fire prompted hotel staff to evacuate the entire building. Luscious had to drag her heavily pregnant self down three flights of stairs, which caused her to suffer terrible leg cramps, which resulted in her waking twice in agony, screaming and panicky. The night was so bad she had to leave the Con at lunchtime on Sunday in order to come home and get some rest. I dropped her off and returned, but I was so tired and grinchy I don't think I did anything positive for the rest of the day, and left the Con feeling very down and depressed.

But all in all I thought the Con was a good experience. Luscious and I don't get a chance to get out and indulge our fannish sides as often as we'd like, and Cons like this are the perfect opportunity to catch up with people we rarely get to see. Let's hope someone picks up the franchise next year and gives us another gathering of the Clan to attend.


The most anticipated television event of the year, huh? Well, maybe if you're not an SF fan. Seen it before. Seen it all before.


Woohoo! It's our turn to spend a week with the kids for the second half of the holidays! Fun fun fun fun. We've got some serious fun lined up. The kids belong here, and we belong with them.


Won me an ancient Greek arrowhead from circa 1000-300 BC today (Nice how they can narrow it down so easily :) ). That should spell the end of my Ebay adventure for a while: I've not got enough of my spending money left to make a tilt for anything impressive. Luscious, on the other hand, decided to have a bit of a search while we were waiting for my bidding to reach the last 15 minutes, and ended up buying a ruby ring for (wait for it)......

A buck.

One dollar. For a ruby ring. And it's a real ruby, nothing cultured or paste.

One buck.


It was Luscious' first ever voting experience on Saturday. She used to be part of a religion who are exempt from voting, and this is the first election since she left.

I'm striding across the carpark to the polling line, eyes front, dismissing the likes of Christian Democrats and Family First lunatics with a curt "No" or "I've decided" whilly nilly. And I realise that the Luscious One has fallen behind.

Because she's merrily accepting how-to-vote cards from all and sundry and getting excited because she didn't realise you got handouts and oh wow these ones are green! and......

I swear, if they had a bumper car stall we'd have been there all day.


Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck.


Friday, October 08, 2004


Have to send a big fat thanks to the ultra-fab Adrian & Michelle, who returned from Worldcon with a fangroovelus gift: I'd asked them to bring me back a "strange book of some description". Oh, and as they were going to Canada on their big trip, a moose :)

Today they presented me with a stuffed moose (I have a 'weird stuffed animals' compulsion: it'll fit nicely with the seahorse, the blue-ringed octopus, the stingray, the thylacine...) and drum rolllllllll Gourmet Style Road Kill Cooking by Jeff Eberbaugh.

It's going to sit beautifully between my Doctor Who Cookbook and Tastes of Wales.

Thanks guys, the gifts are brilliant!


Have a bit of money to spend on myself this week, and in a fit of madness decided I'd see what Ebay was all about on the off-chance I might be able to get myself something unusual and funky to sit alongside the ammonite fossils, the talking Dalek, Lyn's chain mail earrings, and all the other flotsam and weirdsam with which we fill Triffbatt House.

At 11pm last night I snared myself a Roman ring from around 100AD.

Now the ring is groovy, and I can't wait to get it in the mail and so on, (and I've subsequently bid on a bunch of other stuff too...) but I can't help thinking that Ebay does remove a bit of the storytelling aspect to hunting down unusual items: "It was a terrible travail, son, to get this ring. I sat on my office chair so long my ass went numb..."

Weird: I actually think Ebay makes it too easy. I'm not sure I'll use it a lot. I like the thrill of the hunt.

Of course, you'll notice I mentioned that I HAVE bid on other stuff...

Thursday, October 07, 2004


My Story Page is up! Snippets from all my sold stories specially handcraved in pleasing shapes to entice you to buy their parent magazines and make us all rich rich RICH!

You can also access this page from my biblio. See, ain't I thoughtful?

Recently I reported that I'd sent out the first of my stories I'd written during the residency at KSP, a horror flash piece entitled Pater Familias, which I sent to Shadowed Realms.

Sold it!

It'll be appearing in an upcoming issue. I'll tell you when they let me know which one.