Thursday, May 26, 2005


I went to the pre-trial conference today. My lawyer had told me that the other party were ready to discuss terms.

I should have known better.

The last three years have seen a procession of delaying tactics, lies, and fallback positions as the defenders of this upstanding member of the medical communiy have stood by his hard-won honour. I mean, my wife went into hospital tohave a baby, and the he killed her. He killed her. And we're still arguing? 3 and a half years later?

Now, here's the latest tactic: the opposing lawyers have been reading this blog. And they've decided to use it against me. You see, according to them, the entries in this blog prove:

a) that I have a spectacular writing career that's so successful I was able to leave work, not for the reasons of stress, grief, and the need to look after my baby that I had mentioned, but because my career was so brilliant that I had to take care of it as it leapt towards superstardom. Believe it: these people want me to give them proof of my earnings! Writers can stop rolling around the floor laughing and muttering "Stupid c*nts" now.

b) that I no longer care about the death of Sharon, because I don't mention her very often. It's not considered that maybe I don't talk about her because I try to use this blog to keep some positivity in my life. Again, people who know me can stop rolling around etc etc.

c) That the positivity I do express in the blog, the mention I make of friends and family, the plans I talk about, in fact, everything in this entries that does not paint me as a ruined wreck of a man, prove to these money-grubbing leeches that I deserve no recompense, no compensation, no sense of closure over their client killing someone who was in his care. Let's not laugh at this one, shall we? Let's treat it very seriously.

What this does draw into high relief is that there are people out there, and today I learnt their names, who read this blog with the express intent of using its contents to ruin my life. According to them, I am not allowed to live a life. They've lived lives over the last 3 years. My own lawyers have lived their lives. The man who killed Sharon has lived his life. Hell, he's even practiced, and undoubtedly been allowed to deal with other pregnant woman (and doesn't that make your blood a little colder?).

But I am damned by these people. Everything I do is turned into a weapon against me. If I show the slightest sign of happiness, these harpies are waiting on the wing to twist it into something they can hurt me with. If I gather together the shards of the life their client ruined, and attempt to build something from it, they're reading these entries, working out ways to ruin me again.

And for what?

To save their client an insurance premium.

I will not give them another chance. Until this matter is sorted, and they have crawled back into their respective swamps, I'll be taking a powder. My life is my own, and I will not have it turned into a defence for that filthy bastard. So for now, this journal shall remain on hiatus. I'm sorry. I hope those of you who have enjoyed it will understand.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


We didn't attend Aiden's soccer match on the weekend. His father decided he wanted to watch him for the first time, so we didn't go. It's just easier that way.

This meant that Aiden's lucky talisman, Connor, wasn't there for the first time. I just looked up the score on their webpage.

They got done. I mean Everton against Arsenal done.


2 (1, 2) - 9 (1, 2, 3, 4, oh bugger it, what's on the other channel?)

I draw no conclusions......

The collection's gone to Prime. Boy, I love email.

Luscious is out with friends tonight having a girlie-sesh, so I've managed to finish that review book and write the review, as well as plough my way through the rest of the manuscript I'm assessing. A couple of days to recover from the awfulness of it all and then I'll launch into the report itself. A short pause for breath and then the short story collection package beckons...

There's plenty of rest for the wicked. It's us oppressed wot have to keep dancing.


Working for a company with an 'H' as part of the name, and hearing the trainer pronounce it haitch for 8 hours a day.....


How can you not love a 3 year old who wakes you up by flinging open your bedroom door and shouting "Exterminate, exterminate"?


After three and a half years, and more delays than a federal rail project, the defence lawyers for the doctor who killed Sharon have run out of excuses.

The pre-trial conference is tomorrow. I sit in one room, the defence leeches sit in another, and we pass notes back and forth arguing over just how much a human life is worth.

Just me, and a set of suits who have accepted money to justify killing a perfectly healthy woman.

It is not likely to be a happy experience. The doctor who did the killing won't even be required to attend. Perhaps he has an important 18 holes booked or something.

The house is quiet, and I can't get the lyrics from the Pink Floyd song The Trial out of my head.

Just five minutes, Worm your Honour. Him. Me. Alone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


I realise it's been a wee while since I posted, and that I haven't mentioned the weekend, in which Luscious and I had a brilliant kafeeklatch with the extraordinarily talented Canberra writer Matthew Farrer (if you haven't checked out the first CSFG anthology Nor of Human, it contains Matthew's story Tales From the True Desert, which would go close to being the best Australian fantasy short story of the last 5 years). Neither have I mentioned bumping into Aki, the event which shall be known only as The Great Battbrat Shopping Palaver, Calli's baby shower wot I missed due to Bonus Daughter Picking Up duties, and other events of the intervening period.

Explanation is simple.

I have a day job again.

Honestly, I'll blog. It's just been 16 happy work-free months, that's all. I just have to get used to these early mornings again. It's one thing to get up to a baby at 6am. It's another to get up, stay up, and be in an office building in the city before you've really noticed you're not back in bed yet.


Edit the novel. Finish reading the latest review book. Finish reading the manuscript I'm assessing and send back the 3000 word report. Send the final edit of the short story collection to the publisher. Writer short stories for Eidolon (due June 1), The Outcast (July 31), and a 10 000 worder for Fading Twilight (August 1)

Gordon Bennett!


Came home tonight to the wrong house. It's so clean!

I don't know whether that means Luscious really misses me and was compensating, or she's glad I've got my fat arse out of her way so she can get things done.

My clothes are still in the cupboard and the suitcases aren't anywhere in sight. That's a good thing, right? :)

Saturday, May 21, 2005



And up.....

It's taken a week to go from one tyre to three. Do I stop before I need a ladder, or after?

Friday, May 20, 2005


Too many personal problems to list and almost 77 000 words later:

I've finished the first draft of the novel.

Now for the line-editing. I've got a couple of agents asking to see the first 3 chapters and synposis, so that's the first priority. Then all I have to do is smooth out all the dead ends I threw in over the last umpteen months, and polish it until it looks like I meant every word.

Dead easy :)

Grant Watson might think me mad for preferring Jon Pertwee's Doctor to his own favourite, Sylvester McCoy (Hey, Grant thinks Alien 3 is a good movie...). But even he couldn't defend these people, could he?

A Fan Club for Tegan Jovanka

Because those loud-mouth whiny companions are the reason we kept tuning in......

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.


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'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...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


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...


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.


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.


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...


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...


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!



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.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


A hard day at the salt mines, comrades. Luscious, given a couple of hours of freedom, manages to write over a thousand words on her latest Rich-Horton-And-Tangent-Online-Are-Gonna-Talk-This-Up-Like-Nobody's-Business story. I, given a couple of hours of freedom, well.... I write that review that I'm giving to Ticonderoga online for free. I line-edit half a page on the novel before the sheer tedium of it sends me screaming to the lemonade bottle and a pace around the garden (Never mind one of the agents emailing me this morning asking if I've sent the package yet. I'm line-edited out. The thought of doing any more, after the collection, makes my skin crawl. I'm 1 1/2 chapters into the 3 chapters x4 edits I need to do. Shit shit shit. Why isn't anything ever fucking easy?) I try to finish the Council for the Arts grant application that I have to send tomorrow. I look at the 2 page project outline requirement and put my hands over my face.

Some days it isn't worth climbing down from the trees. Some days the trees are a bad idea and we should never have left the ocean in the first place. (Paraphrased from a book they really should have made into a funny movie...)

Yeah, okay, I finished the application this evening. But it's not actually writing, is it? That I don't do anymore.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


A quick survey of the garden reveals, besides the potatoes: 10 strawberries, 4 capsicum, and 4 tomatoes, all in various stages of growth.

I confidently predict an entire salad by Christmas.


A couple of people have requested information on how to preorder The Divergence Tree, so in the interests of the massive (well, a couple of you) public clamour, I tell 'ee:

Go to The Prime Books Website. There's no information on the book as yet on the site, but if you hit the Contact Us link, you can email them direct and badger them until they give you an order just to shut you up.

There. Easy, eh?


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Posted by Hello

Purdy, aren't they? They're the front and back cover for an upcoming project under the control of Shadowed Realms poobahs Angela Challis and Shane Jiraiya Cummings. 4 fantasy novellas presenting the darker side of the West Australian experience, writing by yours truly; Luscious; the ever-froody Martin Livings, and Shane.

Writing for this could be fun: I don't normally write at the length I'm being asked to present, so it'll be a good stretch of the writing muscles, and there are a few ideas I've been wanting to play with that might get an airing. More news as it arrives, folks.

Monday, May 09, 2005


Two weeks, ago, the boys got all excited when Luscious and I were talking about putting in a vegetable garden, so I bought some seeding potatoes and dredged my memory for an article I'd read in Better Homes & Gardens a few years back. There's a way of growing them using four car tyres, and by strange coincidence we have four sitting behind the shed.

So we got out the back and planted our crop: the boys in a state of excitement, me in a state of Ah well, if my memory's rubbish at least we had a bonding moment and had some fun together.

Check 'em oooouuuutttt.........

A Battersby growing things. What next?

Go here, and read a review of ASIM 17, in which the reviewer talks Luscious up like it's going out of business. And it's all deserved, too :)


A fabulous Mother's Day yesterday. Lyn made out like a bandit: two herbal candles from Blake, a round red ornament from Aiden that was immediately dubbed "The Eye of Sauron" (and is my personal favourite), a gorgeous bath set from Cassie she made up herself out of things she knew Lyn would like, and all the kids combined to get her a 6-cup coffee plunger ( necessary!) and a 3-pack DVD set of the documentary series Empires, covering the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians.

We topped it off with lunch at Chatters, an Asian restaurant adored by Lyn and the kids, before we had to drop the children back at their father's house.

Sometimes, the very perfection of an occasion can be what makes it terrible. Having to drop the kids off after such a wonderful day was twice as painful as normal. I can't wait to get them back on Friday: we need a big weekend of fun, and they're co-opted :) After all, PRK's 30th birthday party is on Friday night, and the kids and he love each other's company, so there's a good start!


See? Told you so. I'd ring for the therapist myself, but I was too busy laughing my ass off.


Three-two, threeeeeee-twwoooooooo.......

Take that, Kingsley. Who wants a piece of Bassendean Juniors, huh? Come on, who wants a piece of us? Huh? HUH?

Just give us the cup now and be done with it...

As an aside, one of the loveliest things about going to Aiden's matches each week is his assertion to anyone that will listen that Connor is his lucky talisman, and that the team wins because Connor is on the sidelines. His showing off his little brother to his teammates is so damn cute!


Thank God PRK bought over an insane Hong Kong film called Kung Fu Hustle to the Sunday Movie night last night, otherwise all I'd have had to entertain me was the opening episode of that piece of low vileness, Big Brother. Lyn loves it, which is the only reason I'm not stalking Dreamworld with a high-powered rifle right now. There is no lower example of the depth of human increptitude than this show. All involved should be burned at the stake so even the alien archaeologists can't clone them.

There's a much greater difficulty in good movie nights than bad. Everyone has a roughly similar view on what makes a movie bad, and how that can be entertaining. But what makes for a good movie, well, that's a little more... personal. Which is why we've seen movies like Volcano High and Return To Oz in recent weeks, movies that leave me cold or indifferent, but which their owners love; and why movies I'd watch for pleasure, like Titus or Pi, have remained firmly shelved. One man's meat is another's two-hours-of-rhyming-couplets-kill-me-now...

Kung Fu Hustle, on the other hand, is so deliciously bad I was in tears from beginning to end with uncontrolled laughter, as were the rest of the crew. I needed it Perky, I really did...


We did the shopping for the vegetable co-op yesterday. Seven shares, meaning everything had to be bought in multiples of seven. Off we toddled to the Malaga Markets. Lyn had control of the pram, so I had the task of taking boxes to the checkout to pay for them.

So I'm standing there, a bloke on his own, a large box of vegetables in front of him.

Halfway through emptying said box for the checkout girl, I become aware of just how many eyes are watching.... seven broccoli... fourteen bok choi... twenty eight mushrooms... seven bunches of spring onions.... I don't see anybody with him....

I love confusing the normals :)


Ben Peek's interviews have been archived by Tabula Rasa, for the amusement of alien archaeologists of the future.

Mine is here.

Luscious' is here.

Then you can read everyone else's :)


A fabulous dinner was had on Saturday night, when Martin Livings, Dr Iz, Shane Jiraiya Cummings and Angela Challis joined us for wine, apricot chicken, and double entendres. Apart from much shop talk (all but poor Iz being writers and/or editors of one stripe or another), and a bowl of chocolate mousse large enough to bathe in, the highlight for me was watching Lyn and Angela form an instant bond of friendship that had Shane and I wondering whether we were going to have to fight for who slept on the couch!

Another dinner is on the cards, and soon. I haven't enjoyed an evening so much in a long time.


It's been a tough couple of weeks, kids. It started when the court case hit another setback- the pre-trial conference which should have been held on the 5th of this month (meaning the whole thing would likely be over now) was pushed back to the 26th because (wait for it, you'll love this one) the opposing lawyer forgot it was on and so didn't tell her client. Now I could talk all day about the levels of shitbaggery involved in a stunt like that (oh, how I could talk), but after three years, all it leaves me is depressed.

Connor is teething, and hasn't slept properly in weeks.

A relative presented me with a letter so vicious, so filled with hate and bile that the only recourse it gave me was to contact them and suggest we no longer associate. I am insecure about family as it is. Having one turn on me in such a fashion did nothing for my state of mind.

A major market rejected me, and in the next couple of days I found two friends had been accepted by that same market. Those friends are brilliant writers. But I've been blocked for so long, and struggling with motivation and need for writing, that the whole thing set me on my haunches. I've barely written a new word since January, and for someone who needs to write as much as I do, it's like suffocating.

Some fucker snuck up to our house in the middle of the night and stole the large jade plant and pot that we keep by the front door.

Erin has been unsettled, wetting her bed on a couple of occasions, and waking up multiple times each night crying and needing attention. Coupled with Connor's nights, neither Luscious or I have slept two consecutive hours for well over a month.

I dared not like a movie some friends liked (The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, fyi) and some of the reactions of people who did like it have had me wondering why I bother with fandom at all: I started out to be a writer, and somehow fell into fannish things along the way. Sometimes I can't remember why.

I live in pretty much constant pain, the result of a car accident two months before Erin was born. I see a chiropractor on a regular basis, which generally does the trick. This last month, it hasn't. Because I can only afford to visit him every three weeks, at best, it's meant that I've been in a hell of a lot of pain for most of the last 4 weeks. To give you an indication: I cannot change my son's nappy without it hurting. I cannot sit on a couch unless I am supported by the arm and back, and when I get up, it takes three separate movement to do so. I cannot sit in any other kind of chair for more than 10 minutes without pain. I saw the chiro on Friday, and experienced the first pain-free period in over a month. It lasted two days.

I've got an infection in my mouth and the bastard just won't die!

So apologies to anybody who's missed the dancing, juggling monkey-boy performances in the last little while. Lyn's got me on a course of St John's Wort and Ginkgo-Biloba, a natural depression remedy that doesn't leave you feeling like a warmed-up zombie, and which has brilliant results for her when she has to deal with her own black dogs.

With any luck, normal dancing and juggling services will be resumed soon.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


So: pressure from friends and husband, plus the fact she kept mentally blogging, has finally won out.

Luscious has a new blog.

I, for one, am bloody pleased :)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


It's official. Nottingham Forest have been relegated, making us the first former winners of the European Championship to be dropped to any third tier competition in the history of the game.

If you're a player, official, or board member of the club, you are a disgrace. Cloughie would weep to be associated with you.


As part of the current self-sufficiency, food co-op, let's start a vegetable garden, stepping outside the mainstream kick, I made a compost bin out of a 44 gallon drum yesterday. And I only bled once. That's not bad going for me :)

I am the MacGyver of Huntingdale. Next up, a fully functioning lawnmower using only 3 paperclips and a photo of the former Pope...


Never feed tequila to your infant...

Okay, so we're only two games into the season, but after beating Heathridge 4-2 in the first week, Aiden's soccer team backed up for a hard-fought 1-all draw with Inglewood this weekend.

I think that's good enough to start talking championships, don't you? :)
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In action against Heathridge.