Friday, December 30, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
I was going to save this until the 31st, but Luscious and Connor have gone out, Erin's happily watching Pete's Dragon, and I've got little to do before I make dinner and settle into some line editing, so what the hell:
1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before? Go away on holiday with the full Triffbatt family. Attend the Aurealis Awards.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? No, and no.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Callisto Shampoo and Cheshire had a baby boy, Vincent.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No.
5. What countries did you visit? None.
6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005? A feeling of achievement. A copy of my short story collection in my hands. An agent. A completed novel. Another completed novel. A contract for one or both of them.
7. What dates from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 26th March, our wedding date.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Marrying Luscious. Seeing a (protracted) end to the court case.
9. What was your biggest failure? How long have you got? Let's keep it to a couple of the biggies: having to go back to a day job, and failing to have Napoleone's Land completely edited and finished. It's finished, but I'm still fiddling with it, so it doesn't count as 'past project' in my mind.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No, just the usual constant pain and discomfort I've grown used to over the last 4 years. Although I did have my first real back spasm during the year. That was tops.
11. What was the best thing you bought? The holiday to Brisbane for the family. An iPod for Lyn.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Luscious, as always. I could have no better partner to take through my life. Without her, all would be dust.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? At times, almost everybody. I've had a low year, as goes other people.
14. Where did most of your money go? Didn't have enough of it to keep count :)
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My wedding. Erin and Connor's birthdays. The move to the new house.
16. What song will always remind you of 2005? Chicago by Sufjan Stevens.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:i. happier or sadder? ii. thinner or fatter? iii. richer or poorer? About the same, although perhaps more reconciled to my life; fatter; richer, but making plans to change all that.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Writing, as always. Being with my family, especially as the current day job means over an hour's travel each way.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Travelling to my day job. Having my day job. Wasting time. Relying on others.
20. How will you be spending Christmas? With Luscious, Erin and Connor, hanging around the house and relaxing. Boxing Day we have relatives coming over for lunch.
21. Who did you meet for the first time? Anna Tambour, online. Zoran Zivkovic and Jeff Vandermeer, ditto. The cool and froody Matt Farrer, in the flesh. Other than that, I can't remember if I met any new faces. Apologies if I did, and it was you. I'm not having a good time for memory at the moment. Ask... you know... my wife... wossname...
22. Did you fall in love in 2005? Stayed in love. Much better.
23. What was your favourite TV program? I watched surprisingly little TV, for a guy with cable. The English Premier League, as usual. Lots of documentaries.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No, but there are a few colleagues I think a lot less of.
25. What was the best book you read? Hmm, hard to say. Read some damn good ones, and some bloody awful ones. Right now I'm halfway through Tim Powers' Drawing Of The Dark and Gregory Frost's collection Attack of The Jazz Giants. That'll do.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Sufjan Stevens. Also Tom Waites, who I first heard twelve years ago and hated. Stumbled across him again this year, and took the time to really listen. Loving it.
27. What was your favorite film of this year? Charlie and The Chocolate Factory goes close. The Corpse Bride, perhaps. Finding Neverland.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 35. Spent it at the day job, for the first time ever. Sums up my year, really.
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Spending it writing, at home, with Luscious. More time with the kids. Less time dealing with arseholes who have it in their mind to disrupt my life.
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005? Same as usual. Sartorial dyslexia. Barefoot as often as possible.
31. What kept you sane? Having Luscious, Erin, and Connor to come home to.
32. What political issue stirred you the most? I hate politics, I hate politicians, and people who bang on about it have no concept of how boring they are.
33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005. Pick who you trust, and don't pick too many. Do not let those who don't matter distract you: they won't be there to hear you regret things on your deathbed. Friends are only friendsa while they want to be: once they decide you don't suit them they'll issue ultimata or simply leave you to hang.
34. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Your beauty and kindness
Made tears clear my blindness
While I'm worth my room on this earth
I will be with you
While the chief, puts sunshine on Leith
I'll thank him for his work
And your birth and my birth.
- The Proclaimers, Sunshine on Leith (For Lyn, from our wedding)
And, scanning the posts from this time last year, I noticed I'd set myself some goals. Let's see how they went, shall we?
1. Finish Nouvelle Hollande and sell: Nope
2. Write and sell my second novel: Nope.
3. Sell a short story collection, just in case the current publisher doesn't pick it up: Nope. The current publisher picked it up, they just haven't, well, published it.
4. 500 words every day of the year: Nope.
5. Sell 10 short stories: Nope.
6. Hey, remember those comic book ideas you had?: Nope.
So, the verdict: FAILURE.
Ah well, onto bigger and better failures next year.
Song of the moment: Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis Tom Waites
It is a meme. I must do it.
Fill it out. Add one. Pass it on.
Four jobs you've had in your life: Cinema usher, tennis coach, salesperson in a jewellery store, stand-up comedian.
Four movies you could watch over and over: The Crow, Dark City, Princess Mononoke, The Magnificent Seven.
Four places you've lived: Nottingham, Kambalda, Narrogin, Cooloongup.
Four TV shows you love to watch: The English Premier League, The Prisoner, Doctor Who, Writers on Writing.
Four places you've been on vacation: Brisbane, Phuket, Melbourne, Dunsborough.
Four websites you visit daily: My LJ flist, my Nightshade Discussion board, The World Game, the Battersblog (it's where I keep all my links...)
Four of your favorite foods: croissants, licorice, canneloni, profiteroles. Not on the same plate, obviously...
Four places you'd rather be: the swimming pool on the South Bank in Brisbane, the spa in the hotel room at the Motor Inn at Albany, our house in Clarkson, on a panel at a convention.
Four things you have to get done before the weekend: clean up the patio, finish line editing Napoleone's Land, pack up a bunch of boxes, watch Bubba Ho-Tep.
Four things you've learnt about yourself this year: Few peers take me seriously, and none of my friends; nothing counts for anything in comparison to my wife and children; I must redouble my dedication to writing if I hope to achieve my goals; there isn't a day job in the world besides writing that wouldn't make me miserable.
And now, my turn to add one:
Four people who inspired you throughout the year: Stephen Dedman, Anna Tambour, Grant and Sonia Watson, and Luscious. Always Luscious.
Song of the moment: Time Pink Floyd
Monday, December 19, 2005
Two stories sent out this last week: one to Europe, and a hard SF story called Amygdala, My Love to Cosmos.
Bit chuffed with myself, given how much Real Life TM is clogging up my days at the moment. I've even managed to line-edit half a dozen chapters of Napoleone's Land in the last 2 days. I'm on track to have it completely finished and ready for the agent by Boxing Day, which is great, because I've promised myself that I'll start life in the new house by beginning the next novel.
There's a lot of sucking going on in Real Life, so a little bubble of satisfaction is a good thing.
Song of the moment: TNT AC/DC
Sunday, December 18, 2005
You know, everyone else is doing it. Baaaaaa......
1. Do you have a real or fake Christmas tree? Fake. And seven feet tall, a foot taller than the one which finally gave out this year. That foot makes a hell of a difference.
2. Do you put up Christmas lights on the exterior of your home? Yes, and I also give apples to the homeless and run through the streets singing 'Ave Maria' in my cotton night-shift. Are you kidding me?
3. What's your favourite Christmas song/carol? Apocalypso by Mental as Anything. Santa gets boozed up and listens to the end of the world on his radio. Snurk.
4. What do you like better: turkey or ham? I have to choose? Isn't the plate big enough?
5. Do you open up any Christmas presents on Christmas Eve? Nah. I'm not the point at Christmas: it's watching the kids get excited (by kids, I mean 'including Lyn...') as they see my reaction to what they got me that's the big fun. All together on Christmas morning.
6. Have you ever been Christmas carolling? I haven't met anyone I hate that much yet.
7. What was your most memorable Christmas gift(s) that you received? Every year Lyn and the kids go out of their way to find me something froody and weird: the whole 'perfect gift' scenario. They're always brilliant.
I remember my brother getting a red vinyl copy of the Ghostbusters soundtrack when we were kids. Boy, I coveted that album.
8. What's your favourite Christmas movie? Scrooged is great. A double bill with Nightmare Before Christmas would be just about perfect Christmas fare.
9. Have you ever built a real snowman? Yup, when I was 4, the Christmas before I left the snows of Nottingham for December in Kalgoorlie... Hello, I'm Lee, I'll be your culture shock today...
10. Have you ever peeked into a present and found out what it was before Christmas? Yeah, and got caught, and was made by my Mum to wait until Christmas day and go through the whole charade of opening the presents and thanking everybody, all of whom knew I'd known what I was getting for weeks... only did it once, mind.
11. What is on the top of your Christmas tree? A Santa hat. A friend of a friend in Britain offered to make and send us a TARDIS a couple of years ago, but it seems to have got lost on the way. Still, TARDII have a tendency to do that. We really need to get something cool next year.
12. Do you own a Santa hat? Only so our tree doesn't get a cold. Next year, something cool. Promise.
13. When was the last time you had your picture taken with Santa Claus? Legally, I'm not allowed to answer that question at the moment. Fucking paparazzi.....
14. Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Done and dusted, man.
15. Do you put candy canes on your Christmas tree? Not until we found some cool fruit ones this morning while shopping for turkey.
16. Who is hardest person to buy for? This year? Luscious. The kids have got her something really cool, and it's a bitch to top.
17. Who is the easiest person to buy for? Me, but they don't let me...
18. How old were you when you realized Santa was imaginary? He still answers my letters.
19. What does your morning of Christmas routine consist of? Ugh, wha, okay, shush, don't let the kids hear, oh damn they're knocking, wait, wait, wait, ooooooohhhhhhh, okay, Come innnnnnn! What presents? Oh, those presents? No, they're for some other set of kids. No, come back Erin, it's okay, they're really for you. (20 minutes of furious paper shredding, water pistol fights and the occasional 'thank you') What's for breakfast?
20. Egg nog? No, I always walk like this.
21. What do you want for Christmas this year? An email from the agent saying "Sounds good, we'll represent you". The collection actually having a real release date that actually exists in the actual real universe. This universe. A convention asking me if I'd like to be their Guest of Honour. Failing that, food, drink, cool stuff. I'm easy.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
The shortlist of nominations for this year's Aurealis Awards are out, and both Luscious and I have scored mentions!
Lyn is up for Best Science Fiction Short Story with The Memory of Breathing, from ASIM 17. Personally, I think it's the best story I read by an Australian this year. It's her first nomination, and I'm so proud of her for producing such an extraordinary piece of work.
Pater Familias, my story from Shadowed Realms Issue 3, has been nominated for Best Horror Short Story.
Another trip to Brisbane for the awards ceremony early next year? You bet.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Happy birthday to our darling Erin, who turned 4 on Monday, and who made out like a bandit! Although we might have to revisit how often we eat out: when asked what she wanted to do for her birthday, the immediate reply was "Sizzlers!", so out we trooped on Sunday for massive plates of serve-yourself, ice-cream, and all the cool drink we could imbibe.
What stops Luscious and I in our mental tracks sometimes is the knowledge of the individual ways in which each of our children are special in our lives: in Erin's case, she is the thread that brought our two families together and made them one. It was the love she showed to Lyn & the Triffkids, and the love she engendered in return, that gave us the platform to become the family we are. She may be a typically stroppy, headstrong and frustrating 4 year old sometimes, but she deserves all the love and goodness that comes her way.
And she even does a good job of cleaning up her room...
All her dreams come true: a present bigger than her entire body.ON A HIGH
It was a week for being proud of children. Aiden graduated primary school, and we went along to his graduating ceremony on a bitterly cold and windy evening to see him accept his memorial cup and photo. Now every time he drinks hot chocolate he'll think of his former classmates....
The differences between the boy I met almost 3 years ago and the young man he is rapidly becoming are palpable. Aiden is only 12, but he is a man in the making: strong in his opinions; unique in his likes and dislikes; with a gentleness and maturity I find rare in the adult world, never mind in the milieu of the pre-teen, where such qualities are as often derided as rewarded.
I was overwhelmed with pride to see him take the next step along his path, and Luscious was teary the whole night. My only disappointment was in not being able to souvenir a poster of the boy himself, created by his Year One 'buddy' (the school has a great little system where the older kids take responsibility for a teensy person, and help them adjust). Still, we managed a photo, so here 'tis:
Do the right things and one day you may be immortalised in cut-outsTWO YEARS COUNTS AS A TRADITION
So last year I bullied the wholefamily into sitting down together and creating a Christmas decoration to hang on the tree. This year I got as far as "Shall we make ou...." and they'd started.
Here's a hint: if you buy a new tree, make sure you take notice of the size. Seven feet is significantly higher than six, especially if you have trouble refraining from singing "Hi Ho Hi Ho" every time you see your family standing together. Guess who got all the high jobs?
The tree is up, it looks brill, and I love watching everyone gather round and put the decorations up. Last year's stars and this year's bon bons define what Christmas should be about for me: a sense of reward for seeing your family through another year, and the knowledge that whatever happens, you are together.
But boy we had to move a bunch of furniture to fit the sodding tree in. Thank god the new house is bigger...
Attack of the Christmas Midgets!
EVERYTHING IS MOVING UPWARDS
Walking has been achieved. Walking a lot has been achieved. The C-Train is mobile!
THE WAY THINGS CHANGE
Was a time that paying off my mortgage would have been a big thing. It was the one thing I had pencilled in from the day we started the compensation case. Well, the money came in, we dumped it on the mortgage, the next day all trace of it was gone from our bank records, and..... nothing. No sense of achievement, no satisfaction, nowt.
Things have moved on too far, too fast. This house is a relic of a past from which I am dedicated to removing myself. A new house, and a new chapter of my life, awaits. All my energies, hopes, and desires are aimed towards the future. It's a good future, damn it, and I want to be there, with my family, my writing, and with all the baggage left in the past where it belongs.
SSSSHHHHH: SECRET SQUIRREL
This is weird: I made a sale the other day, and I can't tell you about it. It's my first sale under a pseudonym, and I've got a damn good cone of silence going over this name, so I plan to keep it.
Maybe some clues when it's published....
BRAZIL, CROATIA AND JAPAN
Oh crap. We're screwed. At least we won't have to beat Uruguay to get to 2010.
Song of the moment: The Piano Has Been Drinking Tom Waites
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Plucked from the bookshelf of Fantastic Planet whilst returning from a family outing this afternoon: a spanky new copy of Australian Speculative Fiction: A Genre Overview. Compiled by Donna Maree Hanson, it's a gorgeous book with profiles of significant writers, artists, magazines, and identities from the current pinnacle of the Australian genre.
And I'm on page 6 :) Nestled between Max Barry and KA Bedford. Now there's a visual image that should keep you up at night....
And I'm happy to let you all know that we've put an offer in on a house and had it accepted, so as long as nothing goes spla we will definitely be on the march come January. And cleaning up after the housewarming a couple of weeks after that :)
Connor turned one year old on Saturday. When I think of all the ways in which we might never have had him, I want to pick him up and hug him and never give him up to anybody else to hold again. He represents so many things to me, so many terrors and scars overcome. I'm not sure how I'll ever be able to express, to him or anybody else, just how deeply embedded in my soul my little boy is.
His birthday party was always going to be a big event.
Lyn and the kids went into overdrive to prepare for the party: cooking, cleaning, arguing over who would dress Erin and Connor and what outfit was cutest. I took myself outside to ready the patio. By the time the first guest arrived, we were ready to party or just lapse into a coma. Lyn, in particular, was everywhere, from the moment we got up to the moment she collapsed into bed at 7pm, worn out, tipsy, and suffering from having been too busy feeding and looking after everyone else to eat more than 2 pieces of sushi all day. Typically for her, she was mortified that she'd fallen asleep whilst some guests were still here. Typically for the kind of occasions she organises, everybody was having far too good a time, and feeling far too pampered and special, to worry.
As it turns out, Connor is pretty special to a lot of people, judging by the numbers who came along to help us celebrate. We weren't even allowed to make a cake for him: that task was shanghaied by an eager Callisto, and the result tasted as fabulous as it looked. Mynxii was over the night before, blowing balloons up and stringing them together, and the whole event felt like nothing more or less than an extended family event. It didn't matter whether attendees came from family, fandom, or friendship, there was a love of Connor that covered the day. Not even fallen trees kept people away.
So to all that came, thank you. Words cannot express. But perhaps a couple of pictures can at least give me a showing-off Dad moment.
My panel arrived, and true to the day-old Fandomedia tradition, it was a subject I knew bugger-all about: cartooning. (Actually, I know a leeetle bit about it, and one of the better things about F05 was convenor Mynxii's skill in putting people onto panels that took them out of their Con comfort zones. Let's be honest, did anybody in Perth need to see me talk about short stories again?) It was hard work: my co-panellist, Tamara Carmichael, is a skilled artist (check out Spooky & Tinkle: the artwork is hers) but unused to talking head stuff. Between us we got through, and I enjoyed the chance to talk about influences I don't normally get to espouse. If one person walked away with a urge to check out Charles Addams, Gahan Wilson, or Kliban, my work was well done.
Originally, it was planned that I would say a few words about Chuck McKenzie and the madness contained within his new collection Confessions of a Pod Person. But when fellow Guest of Honour Simon Haynes grabbed me and asked me to say a word or two about him and his Hal Spacejock novels, well, the Simon & Chuck Launch Hour looked an awful lot like this...
There may be a template for launching books. Three loonies taking the piss out of each other for an hour and ignoring the crowd may not be that template :) We had fun, though.... Later in the day, an audience member admitetd to Chuck that he'd originally read the book title as Confessions of a POO Person, and well, that was that for the rest of the Con. Chuck's fate was sealed. Thank God it was Chuck: the man has a sense of humour with no limits. Not even my tactic of sending people up to him to tell him how much they enjoyed his Hal Spacejock novels seemed to faze him.
Goddammit, it does say Poo Person!
If there was a way to describe the tone of the convention, the closing ceremony would be it. Firstly, the crowd greeted Chuck with a chant of "Spacejock, Spacejock", and Simon with the Poo Person equivalent, and halfway through Mynxii's convenor speech, broke out into a spontaneous rendition of Happy Birthday when it was revealed that it was indeed that happy occasion. Finally, the guest lineup for next year's convention was revealed, to mucho applause-oh. To whit:
Fan GoH: Elaine Kemp
Flying in From Other Climes Guest: Marianne de Pierres
Driving in from her house in Clarkson guest: Luscious Lyn Battersby!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do I see your name on this poster, fat guy?
How cool is that? It's a well deserved honour for my darling wife, who is going to knock people back on their heels this coming year with the depth and range of her work. It's a very exciting time for her, and I couldn't be prouder. I might even buy a ticket and go along to see her :)
As usual, the con was finished in the bar, where cake and nibblies were brought out to celebrate Ju's birthday. Much imbibing was done, and by the time Luscious and I left, the con had been marked down by most present as a top 5 'best ever'. And deservedly so.
And special mention must be made of our new dead dog fun buddy: John Robertson is a frighteningly Lee-in-his-mid-20s kind of guy: stand-up comedian, uber-fan, sartorial dyslexic... (beginning to sound familiar?). He and I spent a rather large part of the evening attempting to find the worst possible opening to a joke that could be perpetrated upon an audience, (Two paedophiles walk into Auschwitz...), before performing a medley of show tunes and 80s pop songs as either Rammstein or Mahatma Ghandi, as the mood took us. You've not heard Nina Simone until you've heard her done by 2 drunk Aussie guys putting on deeeep German heavy metal accents. You just haven't.
And to finish off, well, I was going to explain these Chuck Mc photos, but naaaaaaaaahhh.
Yeah, I realise it's been a week since this wonderful convention ended, but I made some notes, and well, it's be a shame to waste them, so:
Saturday morning started beautifully for us, although it took some time to swing me out of a monstrous depression that was threatening the occasion. We met talented Canberra writer Matthew Farrer in town for breakfast and he presented us with a copy of his novel Junktion, which cheered me up immensely: the company of talented people bearing booty has that effect... :)
Saturday was notable for being the first convention day in over three years where I was not on a single panel. In fact, I was only due to be on one panel for the entire convention, apart from saying a few words in defence of Chuck McKenzie at the launch of his book Confessions of a Pod Person on Sunday. As it was, I was quickly dragged out of the crowd to play a part in the 1st panel of the day: Iron Writer! or to give it it's proper name Irwon Writerooohaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!! Along with Messrs Farrer & Livings, I was set a haiku. The subject: rabbits, and hysteria. Here, for posterity and to show that Sean Williams is not the only man around to get in touch with his innermost soul in 17 syllables, is the result:
Bouncing cotton ball
Unseen combine harvester
The empty warren
(Sniff). Oh, the art.......
...I had the pleasure of sharing a panel with Luscious, Martin Livings, Stephanie Gunn and Shane Jirayia Cummings for the launch of Shadow Box, the uber-sexy flash-horror anthology mentioned in an earlier post this week.
The day was wrapped up by dinner with Matthew, and it was an enormous pleasure to spend a civilised dinner with an articulate and passionate writer after a day of performing monkey boy servitude. It was the most relaxed I'd been at a Con in some time, and for once we didn't stay at the hotel, so it was a good feeling to be in my own bed at the end of the evening. Of course, I knew that in part two I'd have to get the monkey boy suit on for my panel......
Monday, November 21, 2005
So: we've sold the house. Or at least, we've accepted an offer.
Now all we have to do is find a place to live in our chosen area. I've transferred up there, so work is assured, and the hour-plus drive is getting old already. All that's left is getting the Battclan set up in a new house. We're in a game of duelling offers over a house at the moment, so hopefully the wait won't be too long.
Oh, and whilst I realise it's almost a week after the event:
Socceroos. Fucking YEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I remember Iran. I remember Scotland. Hell, I remember Canada. Glee is my right.
With any luck we'll get drawn into a group with some really weak countries. You know, like England :)
Song of the moment: The Honeymoon is Over The Black Sea
Some nice results from the intersection of my world and that of the Shadowed Realms folks this week.
Firstly, the Shadow Box anthology has been released, and it's a bloody screamer. 70 stories, artwork, sound files, interactive little thingamabobbies that technoluddites like me can look at but not describe, and frankly, it's the most beautiful package I've seen in a long time. It's insultingly cheap ($5 for a CD or $3 for an email download) and you only need Adobe Acrobat v6 or thereabouts to play it. There will be no better deal in SF in your lifetime, I tells 'ee! All the money goes to charity, so you get to polish your karma into the bargain.
And it is the first ever appearance of Luscious and myself in the same work as self-submitting authors, so it's a piece of history to boot!
Really, seriously, you should buy this one.
To complement such good news, a couple of very positive reviews have appeared in the wake of Decimated appearing in Shadowed Realms #8 recently, to whit:
DECIMATED, by Lee Battersby, is a serial look at torture. These types of stories are always uncomfortable and Lee does a fine job of it. Like previous stories in Shadowed Realms, it has a kind of futuristic fatalism. Our main guy has been ‘chosen’ to undertake a ritual involving scalpels and insects. The sentences - especially toward the conclusion – are disturbing, so it fits nice and snug in a horror anthology. Be sure to read his biography; it’s impressive. A fine line for me was: My tongue flaps about my cavernous maw . . .
(I'm pretty sure they mean the line is in the story, not my biography... :) )
And from Tangent Online:
"Decimated" by Lee Battersby is more like it, a skin-crawling visceral horror story, designed to make you flinch and grit your teeth. Battersby maintains the pace cleverly, placing backstory and setting effortlessly, and leaving the reader wanting to know more. A good example of flash fiction, and a great example of how to make a reader cringe. A must read for this issue, and another great effort from this talented Aussie.
"Talented Aussie". Maaaaaaaaaaattttteeeee. I'll take that :)
Sunday, November 06, 2005
First: it happened a week early: my birthday's not really until next Friday.
Second: Luscious, who has a limited experience of birthdays due to previous spiritual commitments, became terribly excited and organised a few friends to surprise me with an unheralded fling at Timezone.
Third: I worked out what she was up to days ago and have had the time of my life winding her up without her knowing it.
Fourth: We picked the Triffkids up from their father's place, went out to Timezone, where we were joined by Calli & Chesh, Martin & Dr Izz, Splanky, Mynxii, PRK & Tori, and preceded to laugh our asses off at game after game for an hour of silly, wacky fun. (For the record, I am the undisputed air-hockey king of my mind: PRK, Luscious & Cassie are my air-hockey bitches...).
Fifth: Martin & Dr Izz gave me the Umbilical Brothers DVD and Blakey presented me with a little Anubis-headed storage jar which he'd filled with lavender, in the coolest Kid-to-Bonus Dad present moment ever.
Sixth: my kids and my adult friends got on today better than I've ever seen a mixed adult-kid group get on, right up to the multiple swapping of ticket cards so people could get the tacky prizes we all wanted. Super special mention to Tori, who presented Madagascar-obsessed Erin with a stuffed Marty. We've been unable to prise it off her, and all other toys have been relegated to the foot of the bed tonight...
Last: We finished off by heading into Northbridge for lunch, with ensuing conversation, laughter, ice-cream and fun.
It was just the sort of suprise birthday I needed. I love my wife more than I ever thought possible, and days like today are part of the reason why.
A PRESENT TO MYSELF (WELL, FROM ME TO YOU. WELL, FROM SHADOWED REALMS TO ME. WELL....)
My story Decimated is up at Shadowed Realms, in their brand spanking new issue 8. Go, read it, save me the embarrassment of trying to find a tagline for the title to this post.
|You scored as Lara Croft. A thrill-seeking, slightly unscrupulous, tough-as-nails archaeologist, Lara Croft travels the world in search of ancient relics perhaps better left hidden. She packs two Colt .45s and has no fear of jumping off buildings, exploring creepy tombs, or taking on evil meglomaniacs bent on world domination.|
Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com
I've not seen the movies, played the games, or paid the slightest bit of attention. How the sodding hell did this happen?
Song of the moment: The White Room Cream
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Connor took his first steps today. Two real, not-holding-anything-or-anyone, not pushing any stoy shopping trolleys, all by himself, walking style steps.
Obviously, this makes him the smartest boy since the dawn of time, and I'm his father, which means half the genetic credit is mine.
Quietly proud :)
Song of the moment: Lawyers in Love Jackson Browne
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
It was with great happiness that we attended the wedding of Grant Watson and Sonia Marcon yesterday. Grant is an artist for whom I have the highest respect and feelings of friendship, and he and Sonia are as well-matched as any couple I have met in years. His love for her is obvious to any who know him, and the respect and adoration they show each other is a joy to observe.
They have our most sincere wishes for a life of happiness and well-being.
The wedding ceremony was quite beautiful, taking place in a picturesque park in West Perth. The words spoken were heartfelt, the readings were appropriate, and the whole thing went on long enough to be special and short enough to be enjoyed. The bride arrived in a vintage yellow car that reminded everyone of Bessie, Dr Who's automobile. Given Grants' loathing of Jon Pertwee, I thought it a wonderful moment. Everyone was happy, both for the couple and to be in attendance, and it was one of the sweetest weddings I've been to.
For most of us, the wedding occured in two parts: the ceremony in the morning, then a party in the evening. Lyn's Mum & Stepdad journeyed from Goomalling to spend time with the kids, so we took the opportunity to book into a hotel for the evening, where enjoyed a much-needed nap before the party started. Once there, true to form, every attendee of an SF/fan background crammed themselves into the tiny corridor outside of the official party space, where the heat, non-directional noise and general claustrophobia had me performing my one-man show Man Trying Not to Scream and Jump Out of Window within about an hour. I'm not often claustrophobic, but when I am, I really am.
Luscious had a fabulous time, tucked into a champagne-soaked corner with Callisto, Dr K, Fe, Liz, Heather, and Anna. And I learnt many new and interesting things from my conversations with friends, including the theory of Molecular Gastronomy, and exactly how many shows Reeves & Mortimer have been in. And when I told Lyn I really needed to go, we gave Stephen Dedman a lift home and spent a thoroughly relaxed and enjoyable hour chatting before heading back to the hotel for a midnight spa before bed.
There are worse ways to spend a Saturday...
Lyn & I, enjoying the moment
Friday, October 28, 2005
Hooray me. Received news this evening that Shadowed Realms have accepted my story Decimated for issue 8 of their fine ezine.
It'll be out in November, so that's not bad for seeing the fruits of your labour nice and quick.
A REVIEW FROM THE BATTWIFE
Luscious has posted a new review on her review blog IMHO. It's been a while, so head over there and make her hard work worth it.
Song of the moment: It's a Mistake Men At Work
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Late notice I know, but tomorrow night at 5.30pm I will be doing a reading at Fantastic Planet bookshop in Shafto Lane, Perth, as part of the West End Festival.
I'm in two minds as to whether to read some of the new stuff that went into the short story collection, or some chapters of Napoleone's Land.
Guess you'll find out if you turn up :)
Sunday, October 23, 2005
|You Passed 8th Grade Math|
I have stuff to post about dinner last night with the groovy Martin, Dr Iz, Stephen & Elaine, as well as Grant's bucks afternoon today, but those $11 Belgian beers we had today won't go away (well, they've got company, now), so I'm nipping off to bed...
Remember a wee while ago I said I'd have something big to announce soon?
I will be one of the tutors at the next Clarion South Writer's workshop, in early 2007, along with Robert Hood, Simon Brown, Janeen Webb, Kelly Link, and Gardner Dozois.
Given that the 2 previous workshops have been helmed by the likes of Ellen Datlow, Nalo Hopkinson, Michael Swanwick, Ian Irvine, and Sean Williams, I'm quite chuffed, me.
For more information, here is the website.
Friday, October 21, 2005
As of this evening, my article on 'the path to publication' is up at the Australian Horror Writers Association website.
Read it here. Then come back and argue, sling mud, buy me beers, send me offensive porn, whatever you like.
All part of the service :)
Song of the moment Feel The Pain Dinosaur Jr.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
So we were out on the patio yesterday afternoon: Luscious was nursing a sinus infection, I was nursing the after-effects of back spasms that have resulted in 3 days off work, and Erin was nursing us as only a 3 year old can do.
Guess who took it into his head to crawl over to his sister's toy trolley, haul himself up to the standing position, and push it across the patio?
My son's first real steps, and I was there to see them. The best painkiller there is.
PROFESSIONAL JEALOUSY DEPT.
Adrian Bedford has his new novel, and it's a beautiful thing.
Stephen Dedman has sales to Brutarian and Weird Tales to celebrate.
Dave Luckett has no less than 3 novel projects on the go, all at the behest of publishers who initiated the contact.
And Martin Livings has just been awarded a whopping great grant through the Arts & Literature Council.
Well done, guys!
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Oh, I've been blocked lately, and how.
There's been the sale of the house, and trying to find one we like in Clarkson. There's been the worry about making sure Aiden gets to come to us like he wants to. There's been work. There have been the babies. There's been the compensation case. There's been such a long list of things that have taken my attention and focus away from the word-crunching. And frankly, I thought I was over, at least for a while. I couldn't find anything inside me. I was dry, empty, kaput, kershplunk, kerschmuttered.
But at work today, in a fit of boredom, I was leafing through my notebook, and came across a single line I'd jotted down between a whole bunch of other things, and something went 'chk chk whooooof' (imitation of an igniting fire) somewhere toward the back of my mind.
Came home, informed Luscious that tonight was writing night (like she'd argue: she's just annnounced she's put 1100 words down on a new project), and threw 1300 words of the new story at the keyboard before I stopped, content in the knowledge that I'll have the rest of it wrapped up by the end of the weekend. It's a nasty little thing called Mister Snopes, and I'm going to be very thankful to it for some time. It's rescued me from being just a Normal, just a desk jockey. I'm even going back into my archives and taking a look at some of the half-pages and not-finished thangs I've got kicking around.
I've spent so much time wrapped up in The Divergence Tree and the preparation of Napoleone's Land (have I told you that the novel's changed name again? I forget.) that I'd forgotten the joy involved in just writing. Think I'll ride this wave while I'm on it.
SOME FIRST LINES
Nicked from Shane Jiraiya Cummings' blog, the first lines of some current projects and projects that, after tonight, are back to being current projects:
I do not intend to go into details, but Mister Snopes was the most evil man the village had known in centuries. Mister Snopes
The sand of Easter Island is a curse. Napoleone's Land
I know. Amygdala, My Love
My name is Hideshi Nakata, and though it be the greatest of honours, I do not wish to die for my Emperor. Most Divine of Winds
Walk like a monster. Walk Like a Monster
Mrs Thornapple was a large woman, and she began to smell after the third day. A Good Year For The Roses
My Name Is George Dawson. Manuscript Found Upon the Body of a Hanged Soldier
Picked up a copy of the DVD documentary I Told You I Was Ill: The Life & Legacy of Spike Milligan the other day, and got around to watching it last night. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Milligan, but I was reminded just how much his work has been a part of my life: The Goons of course, but also the poetry, the cartoons, Q, A Show Called Fred, the war memoirs, the live LPs, the letters, the public persona. Granted, the man often defined the difference between eccentric genius and arsehole, but I would be a very different man if not for the way his work has insinuated itself into my consciousness.
I've always liked Kurt Vonnegut's notion of the karass-- that group of people who are linked to you by the influence they have had upon your life, either (or both) good or bad. Milligan sits close to the centre of mine.
Luscious made an interesting observation, afterwards, that she had never drawn inspiration from 'pretend people', that she had always found herself influenced by people in direct contact with her, such as grandparents and children. There's probably a deeper link into our psyches from these statements, which I'll leave it to future discussions between us to discover, but it makes me wonder: what about you lot? Who are your influences? I have a message board, you know...
SNIFF, SNIFF, SNIFF
What is my playlist trying to do to me? All in a row:
Vincent by Don McLean
Cat's In The Cradle by Harry Chapin
Send In The Clowns by Joni Mitchell
I swear, if it plays Pink Floyd next I'll be in the bathtub with a jar of leeches before I know what I'm doing....
Song of the moment: Send In the Clowns Joni Mitchell
Monday, October 10, 2005
It's been a loud and hectic week, this past week in the Batthouse. We've had the Triffkids for the last week of the school holidays, and it was brilliant. Things may be loud when all 7 of us are in the one place, but the benefits of having a large family make every moment worthwhile. We didn't do much this holidays, apart from a few activities centred around a bit of news I divulge later in the post, but the act of just hanging out with such intelligent, vibranht, enjoyable kids leaves me feeling froody.
The days after taking them to their dad's place are always a bit low for us, but it was too good a week to hurt for long.
WHY MY WIFE HATES MY BONUS KIDS
On the other hand, I'm a bit worried about Luscious. Blakey went to a friend's place for a party mid-week, so she let Aiden & Cassie see a movie. More to the point, she let them see Sky High. A Kuuurrrrtttt movie! And Aiden's far too young to look at Linda Carter and have rewarding flashbacks.
It could take years for the scars to surface....
HOORAY FOR THE A-BOY
Aiden had his trophy presentation for soccer during the hols. We thought he was in with a real shot for Most Improved Player, given how far he's come since the start of the season, but he was gazumped by (wait for it) the coach's daughter. Now, I haven't seen her play before this season, so I'm not suggesting that the fix was in, but I'm just going to mention that you can read all my entries about Aiden's progress and decide for yourself whether anyone else could improve that much in the same team...
Anyway, we couldn't be more proud of him. He loves the game, and the medal he received didn't leave his neck from the day he got it until it was time to leave. It was a deserved reward for a young man who gave everything to playing a sport he's grown to love, and I'm a very punch-pleased Bonus Dad. And here's a gratuitous photo so's I can show off :)
You know, no sooner does the A-boy take up soccer than the NSL changes its name to the A-League. Talk about your destiny!
BEST LINE OF THE HOLIDAYS (or SPOT THE DELIBERATE MISTAKE)
BLAKE (11 years old): Who's John Lennon?
AIDEN (Much older, and more mature, ie: 12): (In mocking tones) You don't know who John Lennon is?
AIDEN: Duuuuuuh. He sang "You're The Voice".
And much Coke was sprayed.....
WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE THE FOXTEL WAY
I love having so many documentary channels. The History of Science Fiction and HG Wells docos last Sunday night gave us enough excuse to invite Martin and Dr Izz over for din-dins and watching. We had a fabulous time, as we always do in their company, and I was especially pleased to learn that Isabelle is fascinated by Wells, something we share.
I find myself searching for ways to catch up with them before they depart for England at the end of the year. I've also decided that it's all a clever plan on the part of Martin to increase his overseas sales-- frustrated that he can sell to Australian magazines but not American or British ones (another thing we share...) he's going to go over there, send stories back here, and they'll count!
BUY MY UNWANTED CRAP!
This Saturday, from 10.30 to 3.30, at the Leederville Town Hall on Vinent Street, Swancon are holding a Geek Trash & Treasure as a fundraiser.
Luscious and I will be there, with the fruits of our book/comic/video cleanout. Nothing over 2 bucks, come on down!
ADVENTURES OF AN ADDICTED BOOK BUYING GUY
Luscious and the kids met me after work today, and we went into Fremantle to have a picnic and play in the park. But we needed to buy drinks, so we found a teeensy little bookstore with a coke machine....
And I found Walking with Dinosaurs: The Evidence and a hardback copy of Tales From Earthsea for ten bucks each. And we bought the drinks and left the shop inside 90 seconds of entering.
I am BOOKBUYMAN!!!!!!!!!!!
PROUD HUBBY TIME
As if it should have ever been in doubt, Luscious' brilliant story from ASIM 17, The Memory of Breathing, has been picked up for Year's Best Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror 2005.
In my humble opinion, it's the best horror story of the year, and if it doesn't make the Aurealis Awards short list at least, it'll point out what a load of bollocks that particular award is. I'm an amazingly proud hisband right now, all the more because it's so obviously a deserved recognition for a wonderful writer who has yet to hit her straps. When she does, nobody will be talking about me any more.
Of course, no one does now, but that's not the point. Well done, my darling. You deserve it.
ON THE ROAD AGAIIIIINNNNN......
Well, here's an announcement.
The house is on the market, there's a sign out the front, we're leaving exotic Huntingdale and moving North of the River to facilitate the arrival of Aiden into our midst on a permanent basis. We're looking at Clarkson, for any Perthites with a road map and sense of adventure. We've had half a dozen people through the house since Thursday, and we've not had an open house yet! The agent thinks that we'll be hard done by if we don't sell the place within 4 weeks.
It's weird: I've a lot of emotional investment in this place, having bought 2 children home here, as well as my late wife Sharon and my darling Luscious. Almost all the plans I've made these last 5 years have involved being here, and inside 2 weeks of making the decision, half the house is packed away, and we're one person from being out the door and never seeing the place again. I'm eager for somewhere new, excited at the thought of finding a house that Lyn and I can call ours from the very beginning, and yet there's a tiny part of me that'll want visiting rights. "Please, can't I just see the patio every alternative weekend?"
On the other hand, it's hard to argue with an appraisal that gives you a 240% profit on what you paid for the place :)
It was either this or a peaceful life. Pictures and advertorial as soon as I upload them.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
If you head over to the Prime Books website, you should be able to order a copy of The Devil In Brisbane, edited by Zoran Zivkovic, with stories by the likes of Geoff Maloney, Kirsten Bishop, and Trent Jamieson. All the stories involve Old Horny and a writer, and they are rather a lot of fun. And my story Gunslinger, is amongst them. Go. Buy. Make us all rich and famous.
Are you still here?
GREATER LOVE HATH NO STEPFATHER
Not one, but 2 episodes of The OC I watched because Cassie asked me to.
Where's my bloody medal?
Song of the moment: California Phantom Planet
Monday, September 26, 2005
It occurred to me today, that if we all go utterly insane for a moment and accept the existence of God (work with me here), then we must also accept the existence of Heaven. Which means that from 1978 or so he's been having the shit bugged out of him by wave upon wave of nerdy fanboys shouting "Well the babelfish is a dead giveaway, isn't it?" every time they see him.
Well it put a smile on my face.
SORRY, WAS THERE SOME SORT OF PRETEND FOOTBALL GAME ON?
Dunno what you all did on Saturday afternoon, but while the toothless were weeping or wondering, depending on whether their favourite thugs wore blue & yellow or red & white, Luscious and I were having a laughter-filled picnic with Cheshire, Callisto, and Vincent.
The complete absence of a public was wonderful.
FINGERS CROSSED, EYES CROSSED, KNEES CROSSED.....
Sent the 3 chapter package and the synopsis of the novel (Called Napoleone's Land now) to the first agent this afternoon.
There's still the rest of the editing to do, and 4 more agents to send various packages to (typical of me to get ones that all want different things...), but the hard work is done, I hope.
And then, of course, I'll start work on the next novel.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Thanks to the kindness of Geoffrey Maloney and Jeff Vandermeer, I now have a discussion board over at Nightshade Books. I'll be using it to announce story sales, talk about upcoming projects & appearances, discuss my work, point bones, torture kittens... y'know, the usual.
Come on down. Have your say. Pontificate at will.
OPEN WIDE AND SAY AHWA
Placed an article with the Australian Horror Writer's Association on the subject of professionalism and how to crack your first sale. It's not up at their website yet, but I'll let you know when it arrives.
LUSCIOUS, FULL OF BLOGGING
Woah. Twice in a week!
PAINT ME A FACE
As my days have become increasingly filled with dayjob mundanity, I have grown to treasure more and more the time spent with my family, and the childlike joy we find in each other's presence. To whit: how many 36 year old women would line up with their daughters for face painting, and then get themselves done into the bargain?
How can I not be in utter love?DEM'S GOOD EATING
Connor had his first roast tonight. An indulgent Dad moment:
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Goodness me. Luscious has blogged.
BIG-ASS WRITER GUY STUFF
Remember last night when I talked about respect for my writing achievements?
Got an email about ten minutes after I posted.
Boy, will I have an announcement to make in a short while :)
Song of the moment: Magneto & Titanium Man Wings
Monday, September 12, 2005
11 years old on Wednesday, and his Mum still can't believe her baby is growing up!
We had a great time on the weekend, treating the B-boy to some birthday goodness. Lunch at the restaurant of his choice, a trip to the movies, prezzies (but of course...), cheesecake, and all sorts of hanging out and doing cool stuff. Birthdays at the Batthouse tend to last all weekend, and it's a great excuse to indulge ourselves in the name of family togetherness. And the kids are so worth treating.
Blaaaaakkkkkeeeee, can I play your Baldur's Gate game nowwwwwww? :)
IT MAY NOT BE GOOD TASTE, BUT AT LEAST IT'S CONSISTENT...
A couple of years ago, Father Muerte & the Theft was mentioned in the Recommended Reading List at the back of Datlow & Windling Best Fantasy & Horror 16. Then I sold the reprint rights, and it appeared in last year's issue of Tales of The Unanticipated.
In which capacity it was mentioned in the recently released Best Fantasy & Horror 18.
They may not have good taste...
And to continue my habit of bridesmaidship, I managed to escape being picked up for The Best Australian SF & Fantasy anthology released by Mirrordanse Books recently, but both Vortle and Tales of Nireym made their RR list.
The launch of Stephen Dedman's book Never Seen By Waking Eyes went very well, thank you, at least from the viewpoint of this unexpectedly nervous public speaker.
Many books seemed to change hands, much wine (and in my case, orange juice) was sipped, the conversation was refreshingly adult, and I was a very proud Battman as I watched Luscious, Aiden, Blake and Connor move amongst the assemblage. A combination of shyness and claustrophobia makes Luscious nervous amongst crowds, but she handled the scene with aplomb, and the older boys acted with a maturity and grace which belied their years. And everyone loves the C-train :)
It was also enjoyable, from a personal point of view, to attend an SF event in a purely adult, writer, role. As much as I love turning on the dancing monkey boy persona for Cons, it's also nice to be accorded some respect for my professional achievements. I felt like a serious writer on Friday night, and what's more, those who attended the launch treated me with some sort of professional respect. Hard to define, but there was a subtle, serious intent to the proceedings, and I liked it.
And I was glad for Stephen, who is both a friend and a writer I very much admire, to see a crowd of people rendering unto him the respect to which he is due.
The book is available now. Go to Fantastic Planet and buy it. Consider it my personal recommendation for the week. Tell them I sent you.
It won't get you a discount, but they will laugh and tell you to stop reading my blog and get a life :)
EVEN I'M EATABLE, BUT THAT'S CALLED CANNIBALISM
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory was a hoot, and I loved it.
That's all. I'm not going to get into the comparisons with the first movie that litter everyone else's comments. I'm not going to mention the raft of faults that can be picked (and there are a lot, to be sure). Gene Wilder was brilliant. So is Johnny Depp. Why pick who's better, when you can enjoy them both?
I loved the first movie. It was a piece of dark magic that we don't see often enough in cinema. I loved this one. Soon enough I'll own them both.
Love it, hate it, I don't really care. I turned off my critical faculties about 5 minutes into the movies, got in touch with my inner child, and grooved my ass off.
And whoever thought to reinterpret the Oompah Loompahs as insane little members of Devo: you're a bloody genius!
So I'm reading Chuck Palahniuk's Invisible Monsters today, after picking it up at Fantastic Planet during the week. And I've read over 200 pages today.
And I'm asking myself: what the fuck am i doing with my writing career?
Voice? I thought I had one....
Song of the moment: Father & Son Cat Stevens
Friday, September 09, 2005
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Who made out like a bandit on Father's Day?
The 8-disc Hornlower Box set, the personalised momento Aiden hand-made for me at his after-school care (and which has been added to the cool-prezzie parade on top of my computer desk), the hardback Philip K. Dick biography, the bar of Toblerone so big I could use it to club kittens to death (not that I would, mind, but a man can dream....), and a bunch of flowers from the littlies.
I did all right :)
Spent the afternoon today at a family picnic in my brother's backyard, laughing and playing with my Dad & Stepmum, my brother's family, and our brood. For some bizarre reason, Luscious decided I should be waited on hand and foot. I, being of noble bearing and committed to the realisation of Luscious' hopes and dreams, acquiesced :)
The kids were brilliant: funny, well-behaved, engaging, and just so much fun to be with. Cassie's breakdancing demonstration will be the source of giggles for a long time, as will the sight of my brother dribbling a soccer ball with Aiden & Blake literally hanging from his back: someone must have told them the game was played above the shoulders, otherwise the headlocks will need to be explained...
Now we've dropped the Triffkids back at their Dad's house, the Battbabies are in bed, the house is quiet and the world has been safely locked outside. Time for a video, a cuddle, some time spent quietly reading with my beautiful wife beside me, and I can call this day perfect and complete.
Sometimes this whole blended family thang works to perfection.
Song of the moment: Infected The The
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
It's done. All 10, 975 words of Manuscript Found Upon the Body of a Hanged Soldier, finished, prettied up, and sent to the groovy Angela Challis for the Fading Twilight anthology.
Werethylacaleo Carnifex. It may not roll of the tongue, but it's bloody to fun to write about :)
Next goal: Nouvelle Hollande in the hands of agents by the end of September. I've got my beta reader feedback (thanks guys!), and a few changes need to be made, but I've got no other writing projects planned for the upcoming month, so I should stroll it in.
Good God, could a routine be re-establishing itself?
Y'ALL COME ON DOWN, Y'HEAR?
Friday September 9th, 6.30pm, at Fantastic Planet bookstore: froodmaster author-you-should-have-read-by-now Stephen Dedman launches his new collection Never Seen By Waking Eyes.
Everyone who knows us, knows what I think of Stephen. Which is why I was honoured beyond measure when he asked me to say a few words at the launch. The trick will be choosing which superlative to begin with.
Although I could always resort to the traditional "Your Honour...." :)
AULD LANG SINE CURVE
Nothing happens on a Tuesday.
I haven't seen Seanie since I flew to Sydney for his wedding in 2003. I've known him a lot longer than that. 16 years in fact: my oldest, longest, best friend. Living rebuttal to anyone who thinks I can't keep a friend once I make one :)
He was in town: along with wife Terri, and kids Jessie and Ellie, he'd driven from Sydney to Boyup Brook in a 1984 Ford Laser. (This car is so damn tough it could take on Nazis!) It'd taken 11 days, all up, and the move they'd planned hadn't worked out, so they were in town for a night on the way to the train station for the trip back to Sydney. Would we be in if they dropped round? Would we?
I hadn't realised how much I'd missed the boy. It's been seven years since he moved to the other side of the country. Apart from Luscious, I don't think there's anyone alive who understands me as easily as he does. We have the world's most disturbing synchronicity going, like, eerie, man. Met on the first lecture of the first day of the first year of Uni, and it's been separated-at-birth stuff ever since. Same TEE scores (down to the decimal place), wives of the same former religion, babies born at the same time, houses moved on the same day in different cities...... there's a long list, and it gets weirder each time we talk.
I wish they'd stayed. I wish we knew someone with a furnished house for rent. I wish Lyn could get to know them better than their first meeting last night, when she just fell in love with the whole family. We sat on the couch, like we did a million times in our younger days, and talked, and talked, and bantered and told stories, and it was all so easy and funny and natural like it really isn't with anyone but Luscious.
I've missed him. And until we can do it once more, I'll miss him again.
Song of the moment: Last Train To Clarkesville The Monkees