Friday, December 29, 2006


In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Make my own porn video,

Get your resolution here.

I must do it, for the Intahnets has told me to.

Song of The Moment: Roadrunner Bo Diddley
Reading: C20 Ghosts still

Thursday, December 28, 2006


So what did i get for Xmas? What was my brilliant, jaw-dropping pressie?

I got dollies.

Seriously. I got a couple of dolls.

Now, this is what I mean when I talk about the best thing about gift giving being the zing, the AHA! moment.

That excellent Tasmanian writer Tansy Rayner Roberts has a sideline. Deepings Dolls, a company that specialises in hand turned wooden figurines with the most delicately applied painted costumes you've ever seen. They're elegant, and delicate, and visually quite beautiful, and I'd never in a million years think to buy one for myself.

But Lyn did. What's more, she really thought about it, and so, on Christmas day, I found myself not only holding a couple of dolls, but holding the main characters from Napoleone's Land: Napoleone Buonaparte and his teenage bride, Mary Pitt, the illegitimate daughter of the English Prime Minister.

One-of-a-kind orders, not on the website, absolutely unique wooden figurines designed and created for me alone. Nobody else in the world owns them. They are mine alone.

Honestly, is that not the most brilliant present you can think of someone getting?

A fat man and his dollies.

Napoleone and Mary.

N&M in close-up.

Well, I gotta tells ya, I love receiving presents. Receiving presents is tops. But when it comes to my family, what I really love is finding presents. There's a moment, when I'm standing in the shop, and I'm either there for a clearly-viewed purpose or just because I had a vague idea that something would be within these walls, and I see the perfect gift for one of my family and the thrill of AHA! zings across my skin..... brilliant.

This year, we made out like bandits.

The sushi kit I gave Lyn, the make-your-own-brain kit for Aiden, Blake's CSI facial reconstruction kit, the PS2 version of the Playboy Mansion game that Cassie's been begging after for two years and is now old enough to actually have, Erin's Dora the Explorer toy computer, and Connor's...... well, everything, really. He is two..... everybody got something that dropped the jaw, lit up the eyes, and resulted in a chest-hug and happy-squirm. The gifts were many, and varied, and some of them were bought and some of them were hand-made, and all of them were greeted with thanks and hugs and the occasional kiss. Christmas may be grossly commercial, and designed to skin your flint, but the truth is that it's really what you make of it, and we managed to make it about giving this year.

And then there were the books.

Last year, Lyn told me the story of her childhood book. I told her how my best friend Seanie and I used to buy each other second hand books for Christmas when we were poor struggling Uni students. And we looked at each other, and a light went on over our heads. And we decided that we would buy each other a secondhand book every Christmas: something used, and loved, and on a subject that the other wouldn't buy for themself but will find cool when they get it.

It's not the getting, it's the finding.

So this year, I received a book listing the 100 things that influenced Australia most throughout the 20th century (and ohhhh, the arguments I could have....) , and Lyn recieved Gladiatrix: Story of the Unknown Female Warrior, an examination and discussion regarding a European archaeological find wherein lies a female warrior figure unseen in any other ancient grave site.

Next year, who knows? It's going to be fun finding out, though.
OVER...... IT'S ALL OVER..........

And I survived!

I was going to do a big post about Xmas, but it's much more fun for me to put together a photo essay, with comments.

The important bits: we spent the day at home with the kids. Many presents were exchanged. we were all in love with each other. It was tops.

Let the carnage begin.....

What is this, and what do I do with it?

Many happy children

I think she likes it. (Camera-toting hubby breathes sigh of relief)

Lunch. The verdict? Buuuuuuurrrppppp....

Merry Christmas to y'all from the Triffbatts!

Once I download Picasa tonight (3 free sets, Flickr? Get knotted!) I'll put up a proper gallery of Christmas photos.
Hope yours was fun. Ours was.

Song of the Moment: Hungry Like The Wolf Richard Cheese
Reading: 20th Century Ghosts Joe Hill, the current issue of Alpha

WORKSHOPPING, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (In the Starship Enterprise, under Cap... what the hell am I singing?)

So, for those who don't know, I'll be in Brisbania for an extra week after my Clarion tour of duty, and during that week, I'll be giving a couple of workshops. Get your pens and paper out, dahlinks, for the details. They do follow:

Thursday 25 January, 6-9pm
QWC Members $40, Conc. Members $35, Non-Members $50

Giving and receiving critiques is an important skill for any writer. Lee Battersby (that'd be me) will introduce you to proven methods of critiquing, suitable for writing groups and individual writers, and show you how they can benefit your writing. You will have the opportunity to practise using each technique on a supplied text, on your own work, and on works supplied by other participants.

Saturday 27 January 10am-1pm
QWC members $65, Conc members $55, non-Members $110

War of The Worlds, Frankenstein, The Chronicles of Narnia... the speculative fiction genre- science fiction, fantasy and horror- represents some of our most enduring stories. Award-winning author Lee Battersby (still me) will lead you through a series of practical exercises for crafting attention-grabbing science fiction and fantasy. You will also learn how to research publishing markets and how to develop a unique voice. Lee will pass on skills for creating and publishing cutting-edge work.

For more information, contact the Queensland Writer's Centre at Level 2, 109 Edward Street, Brisbane on (07) 3839 1243. You can visit their website and email, should you prefer.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I've got a post to make about Christmas, and I'll do it in the next day or so, promise.

But in the meantime: I received an email from Ellen Datlow today.

She's taking Father Muerte And the Flesh for Year's Best Fantasy & Horror #20.

There will be celebratory beer this evening. Oh yes, there will be beer.....

Heh. For a giggle, check out the result, Luscious got for this one as well:

Your Stress Level is: 72%

You are prone to stress, and you're probably even pretty stressed right now.
Life's problems seem to pile up on you, and this often makes you feel depressed and burned out.
Learn to take time to relax and enjoy life, even if things are stressful. It's the only wa you'll get through the bad times.

Lyn did this one for me last night, and with her answers I ended up being Fozzie. You can make your own decision as to who is more right :)

You Are Animal

A complete lunatic, you're operating on 100% animal instincts.
You thrive on uncontrolled energy, and you're downright scary.
But you sure can beat a good drum.
"Kill! Kill!"

Sunday, December 24, 2006


My Fortune Cookie told me:
Saturday very favorable for romance. Try a single person for a change.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

You know, I should so something serious and merry-xmas-love-ya's-all-peace-on-earth-y, but, you know, 5 kids and Xmas preparations make Lee a busy boy.....

Saturday, December 23, 2006


My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Reverend Earl Lee the Unique of Chalmondley St Peasoup
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Thursday, December 21, 2006


The Aurealis Awards short list has been announced. There are some good names to be seen, some surprising names, and amongst them, me.

I find myself strangely unmoved, perhaps because I've read almost none of the other entries. I've no idea how to gauge myself against them, no impression of how well I'll do. And when you're nominated in categories with Sean Williams and Margo Lanagan, there's probably no real point in getting worked up about your chances.

Anyway, here's the full list (apart from the children's novels, which will be announced shortly.) Congratulations to all involved, and warmest pats on back and arms round shoulders for their nominations and Honourable Mentions to my good pals Adrian Bedford, Stephen Dedman, Sean Williams, Juliet Marillier, Anna Tambour, Martin Livings, Deb Biancotti, Simon Brown, Lily Chrywenstrom, Carol Ryles, Affi Miffaz, and Dirk Flinthart. May we all link arms and sing something horribly sentimental at the after party.

  • Hydrogen Steel. K. A. Bedford (Edge)
  • K-Machines. Damien Broderick (Avalon)
  • Underground. Andrew McGahan (Allen & Unwin)
  • Geodesica: Descent. Sean Williams with Shane Dix (Harper Collins)
Short Stories
  • Dark Ages. Lee Battersby (Through Soft Air)
  • Aftermath. David Conyers (Agog! Ripping Reads)
  • Down to the Tethys Sea. Stephen Dedman (Science Fiction Chronicle #266)
  • The Seventh Letter. Sean Williams (Bulletin Summer Reading Edition)

  • The Silver Road. Grace Dugan (Penguin)
  • Heart of the Mirage. Glenda Larke (Harper Collins)
  • Wildwood Dancing. Juliet Marillier (Pan MacMillan)
  • Voidfarer. Sean McMullen (Tor)
  • Blaze of Glory. Michael Pryor (Random House)

Honourable Mentions: White Tiger. Kylie Chan (Harper Collins); Harsh Cry of the Heron. Lian Hearn (Hachette Livre)

Short Stories

  • Dark Ages. Lee Battersby (Through Soft Air)
  • Why the Balloon Man Floats Away. Stephanie Campisi (Fantasy Magazine #4)
  • A Fine Magic. Margo Lanagan (Eidolon I)
  • The Revenant. Lucy Sussex (Eidolon I)
  • See Here, See There. Anna Tambour (Agog! Ripping Reads)

Honourable Mentions: Ghosts of 1930. Lily Chrywenstrom (Borderlands #6); The Bridal Bier. Carol Ryles (Eidolon I)


  • The Pilo Family Circus. Will Elliott (ABC Books)
  • Prismatic. Edwina Grey (Lothian)
  • Carnies. Martin Livings (Lothian)
  • The Mother. Brett McBean (Lothian)
Short Stories

  • Dead of Winter. Stephen Dedman (Weird Tales #339)
  • Winkie. Margo Lanagan (Red Spikes)
  • Hieronymous Boche. Chris Lawson (Eidolon I)
  • Dead Sea Fruit. Kaaron Warren (Fantasy Magazine #4)
  • Woman Train. Kaaron Warren (The Outcast)

Honourable Mentions: Love Affair. Jacinta Butterworth (C0ck); One Night Stand. Dirk Flinthart (Agog! Ripping Reads); Under Hell, Over Heaven. Margo Lanagan (Red Spikes); Mosquito Story.A.M. Muffaz (Fantasy Magazine #4)

Young AdultNovel

  • Monster Blood Tattoo: Book One. Foundling. D.M. Cornish (Omnibus)
  • The King's Fool. Amanda Holohan (ABC Books)
  • Magic Lessons. Justine Larbalestier (Penguin)
  • Wildwood Dancing. Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan)
  • The Last Days. Scott Westerfeld (Penguin)
Short Stories

  • The Dying Light. Deborah Biancotti (Eidolon I)
  • Leviathan. Simon Brown (Eidolon I)
  • A Feather in the Breast of God. Margo Lanagan (Red Spikes)
  • Baby Jane. Margo Lanagan (Red Spikes)
  • Forever Upward. Margo Lanagan (Red Spikes)
  • The Arrival. Shaun Tan (Lothian)
Childrens Short Stories

  • The True Story of Mary Who Wanted to Stand on Her Head. Jane Godwin (Allen &Unwin)
  • Woolvs in the Sitee. Margaret Wild, Anne Spudvilas (Penguin)
  • The Magic Violin. Victor Kelleher, Stephen Michael King (Penguin)

Song of the Moment: Absolute Beginners David Bowie
Reading: line editing some short stories

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Thanks to the wonder of G-docs and lunch hours, I've just finished the first draft of In From the Snow, a short story that's been kicking around for far too damn long in my In Progress file. Clocking in at a midgie's willy below 7200 words, it's the first story of decent length I've finished in what feels like forever.

I've set a target of three new stories finished before I leave for Clarion, as well as completing the line-editing of the 6 I have in draft mode. IFTS has been a long process, so I'm pleased to have it under my belt, and happy with the general shape. It's a fairly loose draft, as it's been written in a series of short bursts over a long period, rather than my usual habit of quickly blasting through the 1st draft and taking time over the fix-ups in drafts 2- : there are plenty of POV changes, a few holes here and there, and lot of slippage, but the spine has a good, solid feel, and it'll all come together in the fix up.

Mother rape, fratricide, cannibalism, retro-futurism, the Sawney Bean template.... all good, clean fun fun fun fun :)

Now to turn my attention to Mister Snopes, my attempt at a fairy tale for bad adults. It's nice to feel so invigorated.

So Luscious is on the phone while I'm in the shower on Monday night, and as I'm drying myself she sidles up to me and says "Got some news."

"Oh, yes?"

"Cassie's coming to stay with us for a couple of weeks. She's on her way now."

My part in the kid-decision-making process has been completed- I've been informed. Battening of mental hatches commences.

Except since she's been with us she's been brilliant: taken part in the family stuff, gone in to her course with Lyn in the mornings, had lunch and girlie chats with her Mum, watched TV with us without complaining (She sat through Time Team and asked interested question, and we even watched The OC with her last night, so the love-fu is going both ways), and when lyn and I rose this mornign we discovered that her last act of the evening was to clean the kitchen from head to toe, just because. We even had a potential flash point over which bed she was going to sleep in for the duration, and how shocked was I when she acquiesced without a struggle?

She's been fun, and funny, and polite, and interested in being an active part of the family.

Ascribe it to whatever cause you like: the distance from her father's sorta-parenting-sorta-techniques; a calm before the storm; the rules we laid out before her in a calm manner when she arrived; a gift from the Giant Charlton Heston Impersonator In The Sky- I don't really care.

This is the Cassie I wanted back when I wrote my big-ass Year in Review meme a couple of days ago.

Long may it last.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I am Kokabel. Find out what fallen angel you would be by taking the quiz at
Take The Which Fallen Angel Would You Be Quiz

Brought to you by Angel August's Abode

It is entirely the voice in my head that I can hear singing Peter Allen's "At The Copa" with the word Kokabel replacing Copacabana, isn't it?


A quick note to everyone who has the feed for this blog flisted.

You might want to de-flist it for a couple of days, or put a hold on receiving it or something.

I'm updating some stuff around the blog and it's dumping entries into the feed. So unless you really want to re-read all 440-odd posts I've made over the last 3 years at once......

Yon annual big-ass year in review meme.

1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before? Saw my book published. Won an Aurealis Award. Won the Australian Shadows award.

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? Nope.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No.

5. What countries did you visit? None.

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? An agent.

7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 20th January. Finally moved into our new house.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I don't feel like I've achieved very much at all this year. Maybe the publication of Through Soft Air, I guess.

9. What was your biggest failure? In my best Cerebus the Aardvark voice, "All of it!".

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Just the usual back and neck pain.

11. What was the best thing you bought? That'd have to be our house. Also, the canvas and paints for our massive dining room family artwork.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Luscious, as always.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I've tried not to keep track so much this year. Some peers, some editors, some family, me, the usual mix. Special marks to Cassie for several truly awful moments. She's my big hope for 2007- I want to see the return of my favourite Bonus Daughter.

14. Where did most of your money go? The house. Clarion. Lyn's massage course.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Tutoring at Clarion. The publication of the book.

16. What song will always remind you of 2005? The David Bowie compilation CD Grant Watson burned for us.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:i. happier or sadder? ii. thinner or fatter? iii. richer or poorer? Sadder, fatter, poorer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Writing, as always. Being with my family. Seeing my children achieve their milestones. Travelling with the family.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Travelling to my day job. Having my day job. Dealing with other people's former lives. Dealing with my own.

20. How will you be spending Christmas? With Lyn & the kids, kicking back as far as possible. We've even set things up so we don't have to cook! I believe music and paddling pools will feature large :)

21. Who did you meet for the first time? Iain & Lynn Triffitt. Launz! Gillian Pollack. Karen Miller. Tansy & Finchie's daughter Aurelia. Maia? The lovely Jo, Wuffie, Jim Frenkel, Russell Blackford, and undoubtedly a whole bunch of other people at Conflux. Bound to be a bunch I've forgotten: I have a tendency to think I've known you longer than I have. The usual mass of online personages.

22. Did you fall in love in 2006? Stayed in love. Much better.

23. What was your favourite TV program? Time Team and Battlestar Galactica. Yep, I've found another SF TV show I think is decent. That brings the total to..... uh...... two?

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No, I don't really have the energy for hate these days. A lot of people wearied me, though, and I'm slowly cutting my exposure back.

25. What was the best book you read? It's Goodnight From Him: An Autobiography of The two Ronnies by Ronnie Corbettwas really very engaging. Marvel 1602. Doom Patrol: Down Paradise Way, and The Painting That Ate Paris. Beside Myself by Antony Sher.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? It was a case of new stuff by old fellows this year. The Bowie 89-99 CD hasn't left high rotation since Grant gifted it to us, and the 3 CD set of his earlier work has remained a constant companion. Besides that, Songs From the Labyrinth by Sting and Edin Karamazov is by turns beautiful, haunting, and fascinating. I've been turned off the radio this year by the proliferation of rap and hip-hop every time I tune in, so I've missed most of the new music coming out. I'm hoping 2007 will rescue me from being an old man.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? Capote. Children of Men. Otherwise, it was a pretty ordinary cinematic year.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 36. The kids made me breakfast in bed, Lyn took me out for lunch, and I spent the rest of the day reading my Ronnie Corbett book and watching my Dave Allen DVD. And Chuck McKenzie claims he never left the 70s... :).

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? An absence of ex-husbands.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? Fat.

31. What kept you sane? Play time with Connor. A little de-stressing ritual Lyn and I developed, in which we make up a platter of finger foods and lie together on the bed, drinking wine and eating brie, honeyed cashews and the like, watching something together on the TV: a slice of utter us-time amongst the chaos.

32. What political issue stirred you the most? Australian politics is overblown and boring, and I avoid it as much as possible. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.....

33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006. Not a single person in the world cares about your plans as much as you do.

34. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Life has a way that's unpredictable
But you can't spend it waiting on a miracle
-- Believe, Bernard Fanning


Every single one of them. Every. Single. One.

The goals I set myelf for 2006, back in December 2005. And I failed to achieve every single one:
Okay, so I'm going to: lose 10 kilos, write 10 stories and attempt to sell as many, write and sell a new novel, and I've set an amount of money I want to earn over and above my regular wages to contribute to the mortgage. Odds anyone?A nice task I set myself is to start each year by beginning a new story on the 1st of January, no matter what projects I'm already working on.

I'm so not doing this for 2007. I have two goals for the year, both of which hinge on the actions of others, so this time next year, when I've failed to achieve those, I can blame other people!

Always thinking, me.....


I have a strange bipolar sense of my achievements this year. If I list them objectively, then by any set of standards I've had a pretty good year: published a book; won a couple of awards; worked on a couple of fantastic projects; wrote a Doctor Who story and patted my inner child on the head with it; was commissioned to write a screenplay for a motion picture; moved into my new house....

Yet my overall emotional reaction, when I look back over the year, is one of disappointment. I don't feel like I've had a good year. So where the hell does it come from? Well, there's a lot of personal stuff, stuff that doesn't see the light of blogging, but that happens every year, and I plough through and take comfort from my wife and children, and that hasn't changed. So what is it?

The reason, I think, is that I identify myself so heavily as a writer. Nothing terribly awful or unusual about that, as far as I'm concerned: nobody weirds out at a plumber who identifies himself with his job, or a Public Servant (Maybe a proctologist, but, you know....) A lot of people at my day job identify themsevles via their work, and as I don't give a rat's arse about my day job, and I give a big rat's arse about my writing career (You know, that really doesn't come out quite right, does it?) I figure I've got one identificational landmark in the bank....

So writing is a large part of who I am, and while I've been working on big things all year, I've really not written, finished, and sold anything. I've grown used to that routine. I average ten or so story sales a year, and it's come to mean something central to my perception of myself as a writer. That little kick, that little buzz, that comes with the acceptance letter, the cheque, and then watching from afar as the magzine is put together, as they send you a pdf of your illustration, you might get a sneaky peek at the cover illo, it hits the shelves or you do a reading at the launch..... it's a fucking wonderful state of affairs, and apart from the collection (a schemozzle for another time...), I've not had it this year.

Fuck: I'm an addict. I mean, genuinely, without a sense of irony, to all intents and purposes I have developed an addiction to the act of writing and selling short stories. And it's affecting my moods.

That really disturbs me, actually....

Chickens are channeling the Xmas spirit of my Bonus Sons....

And T-Rex is channeling me!

Oh, the temptation

Monday, December 18, 2006


O Battersblog of wonder, Battersblog of might,
Battersblog of royal beauty bright.

We Three Kings Of Orient Are
from the Christmas Song Generator.

Get your own song :

Friday, December 15, 2006


Knock, knock, knock on the door the other evening, and who should it be but Angela Challis and Shane Jiraiya Cummings, purveyors and head bods of Brimstone Press, personally delivering our contributor copies of the Book of Shadows and Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror 2006.

We live a suburb or so away from Ang and Shane, as as Ang said, by the time they paid for postage they could drive the things over and have a conversation to boot. So they did, and a fine conversation was had, including the deep, dark secret history that Shane shares with frogs. (All true: ask him about it the next time you see him)

In the meantime, get over to Brimstone's website and have a look. The books are beautiful, more so in the, uh, flesh. And the line-ups within the pages are as good as anything you'll see come out of this country this year.


We've received a medical diagnosis that will change a few things over the coming year. It's nothing to be alarmed about, and for the moment it remains private and ours alone (we'll tell people when we're ready to do so), but don't be surprised if we pick and choose our social commitments very carefully over the next year.

Our focus has become increasingly narrowed upon our family in recent times. This will remain so for the foreseeable future.


More chickens!

I've had this conversation! Sort of.....


Oh yeah, it's end of year meme time. And, you know, baaaaaa.......

Five things that 2006 taught me:

1. Friendship can have a mileage limit
2. My career goals are mine alone, and I'll take whatever measures are necessary to achieve them.
3. Writing may not be what makes me happy, but I am unhappy without it.
4. Friends don't let friends do Prime
5. Lyn, the kids, writing. All else is negotiable.

Five personally significant events of 2006:

1. Being contracted to write the The Memory of Breathing screenplay
2. The decision to move to brisbane in January 2008
3. Moving into our new house
4. Lyn's recent medical diagnosis
5. Aiden coming to live with us permanently

Five things I want to do in 2007:

1. Secure an agent
2. Complete my second novel, and a non-genre novel
3. Sell Napoleone's Land
4. Save up the money to move to Brisbane
5. Become independent of all non-family obligations. Everybody is the hero of their own story. I wish to recapture the right to write that story as I see fit.

Five people I'd like to know better in 2007

Actually, that's your job. I'll just keep turning up and shooting my mouth off. You guys just have to stop being afraid to come up and say hi :)

Besides, I'll have 16 Clarion students and the week-after-me tutors to meet. My list is already filling up....

Song of the moment: Velvet Goldmine David Bowie
Reading: Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror 2006 Challis & Cummings (eds)

Thursday, December 14, 2006


What to buy for children you hate and wish to make radioactive, neutered, and with holes through their head.

"Mummy, I don't like the way Santa touches me..."

Nine andrewsarchus coupling? Ohhhhhhhh *boggle*....

On the twelfth day of Christmas, throughsoftair sent to me...
Twelve museums drumming
Eleven styrachosaurus piping
Ten biographies a-gardening
Nine andrewsarchus coupling
Eight documentaries a-cartooning
Seven ruins a-writing
Six comics a-beachcombing
Five hg we-e-e-ells
Four short stories
Three chris foss
Two perth wildcats
...and a smilodon in a david bowie.
Get your own Twelve Days:

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


The every lovely Tansy Rayner Roberts has interviewed Lyn and I on the subject of food, kids , and how to hide zucchini, all for her website Kids Dish.

Check it out. If nothing else, at least we're not talking about writing :)


Connor suffered a nightmare yesterday morning and woke me up, screaming and crying my name. I went in to his room and picked him up, whereupon he immediately reached out and locked the death-grip-hug around my neck, and snuggled his face hard into my chest. This was one boy who wasn't going to take well to going back in his cot. It was just before 5am, so I brought him into bed with us. He slid across me chest into the crook of my arm, wriggled about a bit, and fell back to sleep.

Disturbed by my re-entry, Lyn rolled over into the crook of my other arm, wriggled about a bit, and fell back to sleep.

So there I was, on my back, wide awake, arms around my beautiful wife and beautiful son, and enough light in the room to see them clearly. And they looked so peaceful, so restful, their faces unlined and clear of worry or upset, their hands resting against my chest so lightly, their skin so soft and smooth against my arms, that it was impossible for me to go back to sleep. I was entranced, looking from one face to another, until the alarm went off an hour later and the day began.

It's the loveliest morning moment I've had to myself in a long time.


The Christmas Tree went up on the weekend. Lyn and her kids didn't do Christmas for years, so the raising of the tree is a big moment for them, and, you know, Erin and Connor are 5 and 2 :)

Every year we create a new decoration to hang: in 2004 we made a star & bauble-shaped hanger, last year it was little crackers, and this year I made a bunch of frames from pop sticks, which we decorated and drew a picture to fill. Cassie chose not to be with us, for the first time, and she's got some apology ground to make up after a performance and a half on her last visit, so there's still a frame and paper waiting for her. But the rest of us gathered around the textas and glue, and enjoyed our annual craft moment.

And then the tree came out of the shed, and the box of decorations, and the kids slowly and inexorably lost their minds :) Erin had brought home a big bag of self-made decorations from school, so the paper plate wreath and the cardboard streamer had to find homes, as well as the tinsel and the extruded plastic cheery things. The dining room was cleared of table and chairs. The branches of the this-is-not-coming-to-Brisbane-with-us tree were folded down. And then the riot began-- candy canes and crackers and tinsel and picture frames and climbing Santa figurines and the hat for the top because we don't do stars and angels and the teddy bear and the wire reindeer and the ceramic Santa kicking the soccer ball and baubles and the indescribable scribbly things and the other ceramic Santa bouncing the basketball and Connor's eaten one of the candy canes and oh well I guess we'd better have one as well and the hangers and the danglers and the balls and the wire things and this one's broken and when did we get that one and wait a minute wait a minute! Move that one and that one there and step back everyone and......

And you know what? It looks great :)

The beginning: the new picture frames are added

Aiden unwraps his new Hitler action figure with optional red party wig

Still life: loonies with tree

Still life... wait, we did that gag, didn't we?

Shove the lid on, wrap the box, and who can we send them to?

Song of the moment: Jump, They Say David Bowie

Reading: Endangered Species Gene Wolfe

Monday, December 11, 2006


Gakked from Wheatland Press, the year based around the first line of the first posts from each month. Doctor Freud, white courtesy phone, Doctor Freud, white courtesy phone.....

JANUARY So what was the point of packing away all the kids toys, when everybody just goes and buys more for them than we'd packed?

FEBRUARY Received a phone call from the stylish and altogether frabjous Jason Nahrung last night.

MARCH I was going to give you the text of my speech, for some sort of posterity reason or something, and forgot.

APRIL Thanks to the kindness of the lads at Aurealis, I have 10 copies of their latest issue, #36 currently sitting next to me on the bookshelf (that's right, I work from a bookshelf. It's cramped, but cozy...)

MAY Blake and Cassie go back to their Dad's house tonight, having spent the last week with us for the school holidays.

JUNE When I started writing, I wanted one thing: to sell a story.

JULY Ticonderoga Online issue 8 is online, and it features my story Fade.

AUGUST Well, now this is an interesting sensation: woke up this morning at 5.30, and went in to deal with an unsettled Connor, and discovered something fun and wacky--I can't straighten my back

SEPTEMBER These two worthy website are in need of a wee bit of cash in hand to keep themselves floating, and both deserve a nod in the direction of your wallet.

OCTOBER Well, we've known about one for a while, but congratulations to everyone who will be attending Clarion South in January of 2007.

NOVEMBER Added another 1007 words to The Corpse-Rat King over the weekend, breaking the magical 10K barrier and the magical 10% barrier all at the same time.

DECEMBER Lots of love and wonder to our beautiful daughter Erin, who turned 5 yesterday.

Song of the Moment: Oi To The World The Vandals
Reading: Endangered Species Gene Wolfe

Friday, December 08, 2006


Tomorrow is the 9th of December (Thanks Lee, we were just wondering....)

It is also the 5th anniversary of the death of my first wife.

For those who came in late (in my best The Phantom narrator voice) my first wife, Sharon, died from an undetected infection 4 days after giving birth to my daughter Erin. The resulting compensation case is documented throughout my blog. Feel free to hit the archives if you so wish. Due to legal compromise I cannot reveal the name of the doctor in question. If you're pregnant, and live in the Gosnells/Maddington/Armadale/Kelmscott area, feel free to contact me. I have some recommendations on who you should see.

But, the point of this all is: it's been five years. Without overstating the obvious, it's been my daughter's entire life. I can't remember the way Sharon smelled. I can't remember the way she felt. If I concentrate, I can recall the way she spoke, but it's more a matter of the tones and shadings applied to my own voice: slightly nasal, drawling, a sharp cut-through of Strine across the vowels. We had a long history, Sharon and I, but the truth is, she's been dead longer than we were married. It's time to put the past away.

I'm married to a wonderful, beautiful woman: Luscious. We have a vibrant and happy family of five children, including Erin and Connor, her younger brother who arrived two years ago. And for reasons both fair and unfair, much of our life together has had a shadow across it because of what happened on December 9th 2001. And it's time that we stepped out of that shadow completely.

We have an amazing future ahead of us, but to do that, we've got to move beyond some things. Sharon was no perfect person: she had a sharp temper, a taste in music best described as abysmal (Shania Twain was a favourite), was addicted to a soapie-per-night habit, and left her underwear all over the place. She was a real person. The dead, especially those who die before their time, often suffer a sanctification by those they leave behind. I no longer talk with any of Sharon's friends, because we don't remember the same person. They remember a plaster saint. I remember something else: no less worthy, but a whole lot more real.

Erin has a right to know about her birth mother, and she's at an age now where she asks questions and we answer them. Truthfully. And the older kids are interested, and they ask questions, and we answer them, truthfully. There are mementoes, and videos, and certificates, and documents and important things to share, and we will, as a family. It's a part of my past, but it's also a part of Erin's past and as a family, our past.

Just over a year from now we'll be living a continent away from Sharon's resting place, and from the remaining members of our extended family. What we'll take with us, apart from the furniture and Aiden's finches, is an understanding of where we all came from, and a daughter/sister who understands how her life started, who was there, and how lucky she is to have had a mother who loved her enough to give her life, and another who chose to call her 'daughter' (more: to believe in her as daughter, in a way indinstinguishable from the other children. And it is returned: mother & daughter. No steps, no halves, no prevarication) , and who gives her the same love and comfort she gives all our family.

Five years is a long time, but the future is longer. When I look ahead, I see balance and love, and that's what's important to me.


Scientists have found T-Rex soft tissue

Now we can clone them, and build an army of intelligent killer dinosaurs to rub out those we don't like, and the French, and those other ones we don't like, and that guy......

And teach them to talk and send telegrams to each other!

(Sometimes two things show up on my flist one straight after the other, and I get all excited.....)

Song of the moment: My Dirty Life & Times Warren Zevon
Reading: Endangered Species Gene Wolfe

Thursday, December 07, 2006


The Batthome has been updated!

Lots of new writing links, lots of new webcomic links, a new look and two new photo galleries.

Go. Look. Browse. enjoy.

Some stuff:

Funny Zombie Chickens Make Me Laugh

Brave, Brave Sir Robin

Punning Dinosaurs!

Unicorns Are a Girl Thing

Just because.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Lots of love and wonder to our beautiful daughter Erin, who turned 5 yesterday. We held a joint birthday party for her and Connor on the weekend: there are some snaps below.

I find it hard to talk about Erin in a rational manner. She brings to the surface so many emotions, and so many conflicting feelings that I end up burbling like a deranged emo-monster. It's no exaggeration to say that she quite literally saved my life-- her birth mother died four days after she was born, and had I not had the pressing necessity to get up each day (and night) and care for this helpless, needy little baby, I would have stopped things right there and then.

As it is, my memories of our first year and a half together are sketchy at best. It was only once Lyn entered our lives and brought with her an enormous reservoir of love and forgiveness that I was able to enjoy Erin for what she is, and not see in her all the failings and guilt I held over her birth-mother's death. I never blamed her, understand: that blame too obviously belonged to the doctor that killed her birth-mother. But Erin represented the motivation I needed just to survive, and my concentration upon her was so acute that the rest of my life was in danger of withering into atrophy. It's hard to explain, other than to say that my personality was so fractured that it needed the most extreme focus to do anything: tying my shoelaces needed just as much concentration as driving or negotiating the million dollar tax repayments which was my job at the time. Erin, as the most important thing in my life, commanded all of it, and everything else, being at the periphery of that focus, was slowly crumbling.

Those who knew me before, and who still know me now, would recognise that many parts of my personality remain unrecoverable. I am quite literally a different person. Most who knew me would say better.

But she's 5 now, my daughter, and such a complex and vibrant personality that I become entranced around her. She can be snotty, whiny, petulant, and irrational beyond all means to understand. But this is the child who will stand between me and her brother in order to protect him when I go to give him a smack; who will ask us to turn off the kiddie songs so she can listen to Chicago (her favourite song in the wide world!) and who knows most of the words to Ballroom Blitz and We Will Rock You; who has seven favourite colours; who I catch singing to her dolls because it's the best way to get them to sleep; who sees no reason why dinosaurs shouldn't be allowed to drive trains.... she's five years old, and in many ways she is the fulcrum around which the two halves of our blended family revolve. She brought us together: it was she who decided, at age two, that Lyn was her Mummy and that she would call her so, and the rest of us fell into line behind it. Because of her refusal to play the 'step/half/birth' game, we have a family of brothers and sisters, rather than a melange or partially related siblings.

I dedicated my first book to her and Lyn, because together, they are my soul. And to see her now, so intelligent, so fiercely independent, and so loving, makes me feel like I might be doing something right in my life after all.

First bath, less than 12 hours old, and not liking it!

5 years old, and so much to come


Thanks to everyone who came along on saturday to help Erin and Connor celebrate their birthdays. the kids had an amazing time, runnign between bedroom, toy room, paddling pools, and cubby house, and the house is awash with new toys in the process of being hammered half to death (the Megablocks pirate ship is a real favourite, and the young-uns get to play with it too!)

I'll put up a full gallery on flickr some time in the next few days, but for now, a couple of snaps for awwwwwww purposes:

Hello? Look, I can't talk right now, I have presents to open....

It's a car, it's Bratz... my God, it is everything I've ever wanted!

2 cakes! That's right, count 'em, 2! And they're ours, do you understand, ourrrrssss!!!


Ahhhh, Blake. So young, so funny, so damn disturbing.

ME: Well, it's better than watching a John Wayne movie.
BLAKE: You mean John Wayne Gacy?
ME: No, John. Wayne.
BLAKE: Who's he?

I'm not sure what's more worrying: that he doesn't know who John Wayne is, or that he automatically assumes I'm always talking about serial killers....


So it's got to be something important to drag me away from the final session of the most exciting test match in years.

It was Blake's primary school graduation ceremony last night. The B-boy and I realised on the weekend that I've known him exactly half his primary school life: we met when he was partway through year 4, and there he was on stage, accepting his certificate, class photo, and cup (?)

I missed quite a bit of the ceremony due to dealing with a stroppy non-sleeping Connor, but I was proud to see my Bonus Boy doing his bit on stage: the first signs of the man he will become are makign themselves apparent, in his poise, his maturity and his grace. I can't wait to see him tackle high school next year: of the three Triffitt children, he's the one I see acclimitising the quickest, and sucking all the marrow he can from the experience.

Ready to graduate and get his coffee cup!

One of the lovelier moments of the evening came when each of the graduating class came down from the stage and presented their Mums with a flower by way of saying thank you for getting them to this stage in their lives. Between the tears and the head-to-chest hugs, I managed to get this snap of an overwhelmed Mum and her carnation, with added Aiden-Head!

Too proud to speak, with her evil twin head showing....

Proud mother, happy son, the culmination of a beautiful evening


6 points clear at the top of the table after 19 rounds, and drawn against free-falling Charlton in the 3rd round of the Cup.

The future's looking good for the boys in Red.....

Song(s) of the moment: Songs From The Labyrinth Sting & Edin Karamazov

Reading: The Book of Fantasy Jorge Luis Borges (ed)

Thursday, November 30, 2006


There seem to be a few Christmas wish list posts popping up here and there: I want this, get me that, validate me in this way.....

So, because, you know, I combine sheep and ego in equal measure:

I want an agent, and I want all my children, blood & bonus, with me for one day of peace and happiness. I want the world to leave us alone for one day.

That's it.


But it might make me rent the movie.....

Song of the moment: The Equestrian Statue The Bonzo the Dog Doo Dah Band
Reading: Still on that Marquez-edited gathering of fantastical ephemera. Odd little thing that it is.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Connor turned 2 yesterday. He wasn't with us: it was his weekend with his grandmother, and he doesn't get them overly often. But we made sure to have cake with dinner when he came home, and he's sharing a party with Erin next weekend (it's her 5th birthday in a fortnight) which we're going to make a big, fun, special occasion.

I've talked before about what a miracle Connor is: how hard it was for me to agree to have another child in the wake of Erin's birth; how we almost lost him a couple of times during the preganancy; the pain Lyn experienced carrying him to term. And the problems he's encountered since his birth have been a constant source of fear: he's undergone an operation to correct a crossed eye; he's suffered language problems and a multitude of serious fevers. His health is not the heartiest. He suffers periods of interrupted sleep, and night terrors are regular visitors.

And yet, he's fearless, which simply increases mine-- how to explain the nervousness when he engages in his favourite game of climb onto the back of the couch and see where the full blooded leap takes me? Or when his begging to be lifted up succeeds, and his first act upon reaching your chest is to throw himself backwards, laughing, full of trust that you'll catch him before he crashes upside-down into the floor?

How to explain the delight of rolling around the bed with him in a big hug, laughing and nuzzling his neck? Or playing fingerpistols? (point finger, make shooting noise, fall down dramatically, laughing) Or the giggle that rises unbidden when chasing his squealing form around the living room in an impromptu game of chasey? Singing the chorus to "We will rock you" together, complete with clapping and dancing? Or watching him watching the finches in their cage as if each fluttering movement was the most exciting event in the world?

Every moment with him is a burst of emotional extremes. He makes my heart pulse. so happy birthday, my darling, beautiful boy. And thank you, because you do not know what it is you have changed in me.

Moments after birth. So hard to get here, so much to come.

2 years old today. My little boy.

With his Mum. Cheeeeeeeessseeeee!


Broadband has been connected. Don't things move more quickly? :)

The only down side is that, now we can use the phone and internet connection at the same time, we have to answer the damn phone when it rings instead of using the answering service to screen calls.

Oh well, it's a small price to pay. Whooooooosssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh....................


Hard work all weekend to get things ready for the birthdays party. Part of which involved a project I've been leading up to for some time: the conversion of our second shed into a cubby house for the kids. They had a beautiful big wooden one at the old house, which we had to leave behind, and I've been determined to offer a replacement as soon as I could.

So much of yesterday involved cleaning the shed out, de-crawlyfying the space, adding the necessary garden bench, blackboards, toy chest and posters. And then, because there is no punishment I will not inflict upon myself, the painting, humphing about, and placement of 8 concrete slabs into a path to the door.

900-mill square concrete slabs are heavy.

But Artman must have his day. And I'm quietly pleased at the result (quiet: adj. talking about it on a public weblog with a potential audience in the millions.)

Weeee're off to see the wizard....

Satisfaction is cleaning up the patio in the evening and hearing the kids shouting "Onnne, twoooo, threeee..." from the cubby house end of the garden.


Not to be outdone, Aiden threw himself into a science project this week that involved presenting a paper on a dinosaur of his choice, as well as building a visual aid.

Casting aside all offers of aid (because, sometimes, dinosaurs are too cool to share), he disappeared into his room with the deadline looming, and returned with this: presenting (from left to right) Ornithochirus Marks II and I.

I hope he gets them back when they've been marked. We can hang them over the patio :)

Pssst: your frame is showing...

Song of the moment: I'm The Urban Spaceman The Bonzo The Dog Doo Dah Band
Reading: The Book of Fantasy Jorge Luis Borges (ed), Take The Joy Jane Yolen

Monday, November 20, 2006


Short hiatus. Back soon.

Ferenc Puskas is dead.

For those not in the know, Puskas is a footballing legend. "The Galloping Major" was the inspirational leader and talisman of the all-conquering Mighty Magyars, the Hungarian footnall team of the 1950s (How good were they? They did England 6-3. At Wembley. England's first ever defeat at home. They still talk about it.) . He was the rock behind which the all-conquering Real Madrid of the 1960s stood when they won 5 consecutive La Liga titles and 3 European Cups, a record that stands unequalled today.

How good was he? Puskas was a striker. For a striker, a return of one goal in every three games is considered pretty damn good. The really great ones, they might score once every couple of games over the course of their career.

In 529 games for Real, Puskas scored 512 times. His 84 games in a Hungarian shirt yielded 83 goals.

I have some footage of him in action from his Real days. He is nothing short of mesmerising.

He is, unarguably, one of the 3 or 4 greatest players ever to have lived. He is easily the greatest European ever to play the game.

Football is lessened by his loss.


The second draft of The Memory of Breathing, to Producermatt. Now to wait for his Producer's Notes, and research animal liberationists in preparation for draft number three.

And finally get on to some short stories again!


Earlier this week, Aiden presented me with a belated birthday present. He'd warned me it would be late-- he had to hand it in to his teacher and get it marked first.

If there's anything cooler than getting something handmade from your kids, I don't know what it is.

So how great was it to be given this weird and wonderful handmade clay head? Very great indeed.

You talkin' ta me? You talkin' ta me?

As befits a present so froody, it was made an immediate addition to my Corner of Cool, that section of the office where I keep all my bits-n-trinkets that capture my imagination. As a Bonus Parent, to receive a gift that a Bonus Child has made specially for me is deeply touching. It's a sign that, to Aiden, I'm a genuine parent. Pride of place on the corner of the desk for this baby, let me tells ya!

Head and friends


One of the finches escaped on the weekend: I was trying to get their water dish out of the cage, and the little bugger flew straight over my shoulder. We've promised Aiden a new one (what else could we do?), and thanks to a trip into Joondalup on Sunday, we know where to get it.

There's a pet shop next door to Bunnings. And it's open on Sunday.

And I'm not revelaing who it was that suggested we pop in and do some Christmas shopping. For the Finches.

But it wasn't me.

All I did was choose the ladder with the rough steps to help them groom their claws. And the straw nesting box. That's all.

I have no emotional attachment to these birds whatsoever.


The ABC's Articulate column contains an interview with Carole King, who is touring Australia for the first time. I don't know any of M s King's music, except for a sneaking memory that she was the one responsible for the inane soundtrack to one of the Winnie The Pooh movies my darling daughter has made me watch over and over and over and over......

However, what pissed me off upon reading the column was that Ms King notes that "her greatest achievements include having a 'normal life'."
What the hell? I mean, mad as I may be, surely if you want to live a normal life, why become a fucking artist? It's not like the lifestyle, or the demands of creativity, are unknown. I mean, surely it doesn't come as any sort of surprise.
And what is so damn special about a normal life? It's the norm. It's the base template from which you deviate to add spice to your existence. As if the ability to get up in the morning, wallow in mundanity, and go to sleep at night is cause for applause.
Jesus. Fuck normal. Celebrate anything but normal. Be a bird and fly.
Of course, not having sold umpty-million albums and not having had a way to avoid a day job since the age of 14, I may be missing the vital ingredient in this argument...


A serious question: what's the attraction with MySpace? A lot of people seem to be signing up, and seem very happy at having done so. I've looked at the Home/About pages, and I'm not sure I'm not missing something.

Anyone have a MySpace page? Want to tell me about it? Head to the Message Board so we can have a group back and forth on the subject.
A quick note regarding some movies Luscious and I have watched recently, in lieu of taking the time to think up proper reviews:
Children of Men: Astonishing SF of a type that rarely makes it screen these days- literate, intelligent, thoughtful, and genuinely moving. The performances are routinely excellent, with the usual exception of Julianne Moore, who is as stagey as ever. See it at the cinema so that the sheer scale and noise of the final third is at its most effective.
Serenity: So, in the aftermath of the Civil War, a disillusioned Confederate Captain leads his ragtag group in a guerilla war against the agents of the Union, having to make a run through vicious tribes of Red Injuns and back to deliver an escaped pair of zzzzzzzzzzzz...... unlikeable characters, nonsensical plotting, cartoon performances.... maybe I had to watch the TV series Firefly to get the full gist of this movie adaptation, but then, if I have to do that just to watch a movie, it's failed before I even hand over my money. The sort of bad SF I have to keep telling people I don't write.
Lord of War: A sublime black comedy, unrepentantly amoral, with a sense of irony so thick you could serve it with sauce. As surprised as I was by Keanu Reeves in Constantine, I am more so by the normally terrible Nicholas Cage in the lead role here, although, like Reeves, I shouldn't have been-- if you want oily, insincere, and slick as teflon-coated shit, who better than Cage? It's a comedy about arms dealers, and the blacker it got, the more I laughed.
Hotel Rwanda: Good God. A movie to watch if you feel like hating everybody, especially your leaders. By turns horrifying and heartbreaking, and the usually underrated and ignored Don Cheadle turns in a performance of astonishing range. An amazing filmic triumph, with performances that mesmerised me, and a level of violence and helplessness I would not have believed if I did not remember the real life footage of the Rwandan conflict.
We're currently in the middle of Battlestar Galactica Season One, an SF series that surprises me with the solidity of its plotting and intelligence. The original was cheesy fun for a pre-teen in the late 70s, and I really didn't expect much from this remake/extension, despite the fannish over-excitement from the same people who told me how great Babylon 5 and Serenity were. It's heights aren't brilliantly high, but at no stage in the first season does it ever drop to the depths of the first season of Star Trek: TNG. A pleasant surprise, so far.
Song of the moment: Museum of Idiots They Might Be Giants
Reading: Officially between books, as I finished the current one this afternoon.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Five minutes of quoting later, Lyn manages to ask: "Have you actually read what it signifies?"

You are Death

Change, Transformation, Alteration.

People fear this card, but if you want to change your life, this is one of the
best indicators for it. Whatever happens, life will be different. Yes, the Death card can signal a death in the right circumstances (a question about a very sick or old relative, for example), but unlike its dramatic presentation in the movies, the Death card is far more likely to signal transformation, passage, change. Scorpio, the sign of this card, has three forms: scorpion, serpent, eagle. The Death card indicates this transition from lower to higher to highest. This is a card of humility, and it may mean you have been brought low, but only so that you can then go higher than ever before. Death "humbles" all, but it also "exults." Always keep in mind that on this card of darkness there is featured a sunrise as well. You could be ready for a change.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Now, you know me. I'm not one of those anti-freedom of speech, book-burning, righteous hatred types. I've even heard you say it. "That Lee, he's not one of those anti-freedom of speech, book-burning, righteous hatred types," I've heard you say. "Complete fuck-knuckle, but not an anti-freedom of speech, book burning, righteous hatred type."

The thought of this book being published, people buying it, and this man making money from it all makes me so angry I feel ill.

It's a small gesture, but as long as I see this book on a bookshop's shelves, I will not be spending my money in that store.

And it appears that I'm not the only one to react with disgust:


And here.