Wednesday, March 31, 2004


So, due to public demand (okay, a couple of people asked), I've added a discussion board to the blog. The link's down the bottom left of the page, to discuss stuff and things and stuff...

Tuesday, March 30, 2004


A little happy dance: news has just arrived of my 28th sale- Peridot Books have picked up The Habit of Dying.

There's a messy little history to this story. It was actually my first publication, back in 2001. The ezine Alien Q bought it for $US50, and posted it in their August issue of that year. Which was great. Except they never paid me. Not even after a number of emails, and the intervention of the fabulous Ralan Conley of It took almost 18 months for us to get the dickheads at Alien Q to remove the story from their site, and to this day I've never received the 50 bucks they owe me (Hint: if you want me to stop slandering you to everyone I meet, pay me my money, you turds.)

Anyway, having finally, as far as I was concerned, retained all rights to my story with the eventual wiping of it from their site, it's really pleasing to know people will be able to see it properly, at a site that respects its writers. It's due out in Volume 24, their May issue. I'll give you a heads up when it comes out, or you can always head over to the Story Page of my website and get a taste of the first paragraph.

Monday, March 29, 2004


Luscious Lyn and I attended my brother Scott's wedding on Saturday. There's a lot to be said about attending weddings: the food's free, nobody can dance better than you, and you get to see at least one person you know being as happy as they're ever likely to be. Scott's first marriage was to a person for whom the word psychotic would be a charitable description, so I was pleased to see him marrying someone who genuinely cares for him and loves him deeply.

We also got the chance to take down a few notes for our own wedding. Note number one: no small children as part of the wedding party...


Took a trip down to Scott's place on Friday afternoon to help with a few last-minute details, and took Blake with me for the run: both he and Aiden think Scott is the coolest guy around, particularly because he's the only person they know who's better on the Playstation than them. Blake has an amazing style of conversation. He talks like mosquitoes fly: a million miles an hour and right angle turns with absolutely no notice whatsoever. He's a fabulous kid, intelligent, personable, and with an astonishing curiosity about everything. All Lyn's kids are, and I love being around people who get excited about the world. Anyway, the B-Boy and I had exhausted the relative merits of DVD Easter Eggs and what ones you'd get on a DVD about Easter, and lapsed into a short silence, which was broken by the following exchange...

BLAKE: Hey, did you know that there are big blobs of flesh that wash up on beaches, and nobody knows what they are, and they're called Flubbers?
LEE: Yeah, I did some research on them for a story I'm planning to write. They're called globsters. Scientists think they might be big pieces of giant squid that have been bitten off by sperm whales.

(Short pause).

BLAKE: Wouldn't it be cool if you found one floating in space?

God-DAMN. I've got to start carrying a tape recorder around these kids......


Have a nosey at Lyn's blog for this morning's conversation about Pig-Latin in all its merry forms. I'm sure it depends on whether you're a member of the Eastern or Western Pig-Roman Catholic Church...


A new week, a new set of writing tasks. It's been a busy day. So far I've: sent a reprint of an old story to an anthology being put out by the KSP; sent Father Renoir's Hands to Chi-zine, got an email back telling me they're closed to submissions until September, and then printed it out to send to Weird Tales (2 from my list-o'-13 in one go!); critiqued a story for the KSP SF writing group; read half the Arthur Phillip book I got in Albany for my Nouvelle Hollande research; and arranged the plot cards for Nouvelle Hollande so they stand in some sort of good plot order.

Lots more to do, but it's nice to get the week off to a good start.


The rationalisation of lives continues at Triffbatt House: Lyn and I are switching over to a new email once we come back from the big Con-holiday. From then on you'll be able to reach us at emailto://

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


Got my bright, shiny, copy of the Luscious-edited ASIM 11 in the mail today. (Lyn got hers yesterday, but you know, RHIP...). It looks very cool, and the Luscious One has been bouncing around the place for over 24 hours, clutching it to her chest and singing "Look what I did, look what I did..."

I may be biased, but "Best issue ever" in my Simpson's comic Book Store Guy voice. There's a really talented group within its pages: the likes of Martin Livings, Dirk Flinthart, Rick Kennett, Paul Haines and Stephen Dedman have stories, while Kim Wilkins, Robert Hood, Terry Dowling, Stephen (again) and Greg Bear contribute to interviews.

Buy. Buy. BUY.


Popped Love Me Electric in the mail today. Now to sit back and wait...


My brother's getting married this coming weekend, so on Saturday, Luscious Lyn went out on the Hen's night while Scott and I performed the very manly Buck's Night task of staying at home and looking after the babies :)

Pizza and wrestling videos were the order of the night. Small question: what do wresting fans do with the brain cell when they've all had a turn with it? We also suffered through The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Not sure how seriously Scott was taking the whole thing: at the point where we see the Nautilus steaming across the surface towards Venice he turned to me and said "If you can read this, I've lost my skier".

Sunday night found Lyn, Erin and I having dinner at Callisto and Cheshire's place. It's always fun with those guys. After a viewing of Pirates of The Caribbean (Arrrr!!!!), they showed us an Andy Lau movie called (I think) Mahjong Warrior. Don't ask. Just picture us laughing in disbelief :) However, we did manage to formulate....


It's very simple. Put on Pirates, and every time pretty-boy Orlando tries to act by doing that little furrow with his eyebrows, take a swig. If you're not rolling about laughing your ass off by the time they steal the Interceptor you're either: a) a teetotaller, or b) a teenage girl so in love with PBO you're cursing my bones for daring to intimate that this generation's Keanu Reeves can't act....


Got my 1500th hit on this blog a couple of days ago. Thanks for reading guys, I hope you enjoy my aimless ramblings

Friday, March 19, 2004


Just got word back that Ideomancer wil be printing my review of Geoffrey Maloney's fantastic short story collection Tales From the Crypto-System in their April issue. I'll let you know when it's been posted.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004


Woohoo! Finally, after months of anticipation, the Battersby-Luscious-Farr-Grzyb edited e-zine TICONDEROGA ONLINE has launched its first issue!

Stories by Martin Livings and Jay Caselberg. Interviews with Sean Williams, and Stephen Dedman & Grant Watson. A science column by the merely brilliant Chris Lawson. Book reviews. Nice purple pages. Go read. NOW!!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004


What a fabulous weekend we had. Three days of wandering round Albany playing tourist, eating and drinking at our leisure, and generally getting away from all the troubles and tribulations of being full-time writah dahlings :)

Big highlight was Whaleworld: the former Albany Whaling Station, which has been turned into a whaling museum, in ways which have to be experienced to be believed. Interactive dioramas, multimedia displays, a 3D cinema... the Luscious One and I spent about 5 hours there and walked away with a hatful of souvenirs. The place was just amazing.

And on the souvenir front, this happy little fat man is now the proud owner of some fossilised ferns, a fossil lamonite, a section of whale tooth and another of deer antler, and happy of happies, a book about Arthur Philip, governor of the Botany Bay Colony, that I picked up in a museum entirely NOT dedicated to anything remotely oceanic! And they say being a nerd never pays :)

We're going back. We're taking the kids. Albany is just too cool.


Went and saw The Passion of The Christ today, with Luscious Lyn. Hmm, what to say? Even as an athiest the story of Christ interests me. After all, this is one of the major mythological signposts of Western Civilisation, so even from a purely anthropological standpoint (ie: why on earth do people BELIEVE this stuff?) it fascinates me. So it's a task of some note that director Mel Gibson has managed to make the last 12 hours of Christ's life so damn boring.

The Passion suffers tremendously for being made by a director so in love with his subject matter that he sacrifices his filmic instincts in order to give us as faithful a rendition of biblical writings as he can. I had really hoped to be given an insight into Jesus the man, from someone who has a devout understanding of his own faith. Instead I was given a succession of poster-like images laid end upon end, as if Gibson is hoping to portray truth through endless dioramas rather than an examination of characters in conflict. There are moments of brilliance. Gibson is too good a director to abandon his instincts entirely. The scourging is possibly the most horrific scene I've ever seen on film, to the point where I (a jaded and cynical filmgoer all too aware of the filmic process) found myself wanting to leap to my feet and shout "For pity's sake, stop!", but they're few and far between in what stands in my mind as a brave film-making experiment and heartfelt expression of belief, but ultimately a failure as a motion picture.

Pity, because I was REALLY looking forward to it. It did prompt a long and wide-ranging talk between Luscious and I on our different beliefs (put broadly: she does, I don't) and so in that sense it was a successful creation, but it's just not a very good film.

Oh, and I didn't find it anti-semitic at all. Just thought I'd mention that, seeing it seems to get mentioned a lot in regards to this movie. It didn't feel likeGibson was laying the blame at the feet of the Jews, rather that he was just trying to be faithful to the source text.


The shortlists for this year's Australian SF "Ditmar" Awards were announced this weekend. I was slighty disappointed not to see my name amongst the short story lists, although a lot of my good friends got guernseys, which is always cool to see. I was, however, blown away to see that I've been nominated for the William J. Atheling Award for Review or Criticism (Say THAT in one breath!) for my reviewing work at Ideomancer. I was even happier because I hadn't thought to nominate myself, so a whole bunch of people have obviously been to the site, and read my stuff while they were there. It's a bit wanky to say it, but this time it's true: just being nominated is reward enough. Actually winning the gong (I don't stand a snowball's...) would be astonishing.


Had a mixed result from recent submissions today. Borderlands have rejected one story, but bought The Imprisonment of Marianne, a story set in 1920s Dublin, involving a ghost, a prison cell, a teenage girl, and a bargain struck. They want it to appear in their 4th issue, pending a minor rewrite of the ending. This is my 3rd sale to them: they're turning into a nice little market for me.

I also received a critique of Jaracara's Kiss from good friend and uber-excellent writer Stephen Dedman in the e-mail. Well, I asked for honne (honest truth) instead of tatamae (false truth that pleases the ear), and boy, did I get it. There's a gulf in class between Stephen and myself, and after I stopped crying I was really appreciative of the glimpse into how a writer of his class thinks. There's a lot of work to be done!


Pirates of the Caribbean came into the shop two days early. Woohoo! Picked it up today while we were out at the flicks, and I can't wait until friday when we have all the kids together so we can watch it as a family. I just have to search the house to make sure there are enough bandannas to go round, savvy?


Had a pleasant surprise tonight. Lyn's youngest, Blakey-boy, is 9, and has a slight speech impediment. He has his first session of speech therapy tomorrow, so Luscious Lyn rang him (he's at his Dad's at the moment) to let him know we're thinking of him. And the B-Boy asked to speak to me! We chatted for a couple of minutes and I got to tell him about the cool prezzie we picked up for him in Albany. I love Lyn's kids, but I'm always very conscious not to try to usurp their Dad's place: I love being their friend and their Stepdad-in-all-but-the-bit-of-paper, and I'm just stoked beyond belief when they show me they love me too. Happy little fat man dancing.


Got through most of last week's tasks, so I'm mostly happy with how the week went. Particularly happy with progress on the novel. A few personal things to get through, which wouldn't interest you at all, but writing-wise, the week ahead promises:

Line editing two of Lyn's stories: The Memory of Breathing and Return to Civvy Street. These are two damn good stories. Look for them when they inevitably make their way to a magazine near you. They're going to knock your socks off. Talented gal, my Lyn.

1 draft each of Mikal, Father Renoir's Hands, and Love Me Electric. Getting closer to going out.

Reading my new Arthur Philip book. Lots of luvverly research for Nouvelle Hollande.

Preparing the map and timeline of La Perouse's voyage for the novel.

Critiquing all this month's stories for the KSP group next weekend, and a couple for the Online Writer's Workshop so I can post a new story.

That should keep me going...

Friday, March 12, 2004


Spent part of yesterday updating my website, neatening it up, adding song lyrics on a couple of pages, and updating my non-fiction, poetry, and reviews to my bibliography page. Check it out and let me know what you think. I'll be doing some more over the next week or so.


Heh. Funny how these things happen. Fabuloso-groovo couple Callisto and Cheshire have bogged off to Sydney for the Mardi Gras, and we've been following their fun on their respective blogs. The other day they mentioned they were spending a few days in Adelaide, and what with it being a kid-free weekend, and Virgin advertising $99 flights, we were bang-up for nipping over there and surprising them.

Curses and blah! The Virgin $99 flight is a complete crock, and we can't afford the full whack flights. But having decided how much money we could afford to spend on this insane little holiday, and having set our wizened little hearts on going away somewhere, we've booked 2 nights in a spa-suite in Albany instead :)

Monday, March 08, 2004


For the first time in a few weeks Luscious Lyn and I have a full, uninterrupted working week ahead of us, and our weekly meeting last night seemed to be a chance for us to try and write a longer to-do list than each other. It felt good to get up this morning and come back from our walk (Lyn's able to exercise again, although it'll be a while before she's back to full health: the operation took a lot out of her and I'm probably being overprotective to boot) and launch into it.

I sent another poem to ASIM, inspired by my recent sale to them, and got through a bunch of critiques for both the Online Writer's Workshop I belong to and the KSP SF group. I sent my submission for this year's CSFG anthology, Encounters away. I even got stuck into plotting for Nouvelle Hollande: 20 plot cards now adorn the wall of the office, a start on the probably-more-than-100 I'll have by the time I'm ready to put pen to paper and start. Combined with getting some reading in, it wasn't at all a bad day.

Tomorrow shapes as another biggie: I have a bunch of stories to draft, and 2 that I'm looking forward to starting- the elephant story has just about crystallised in my mind, and I want to start the story from the KSP SF writing exercise I mooted last meeting. For the record, I'm going with the Simon Brown quote. (see further down the page)


One of the fun things about Dr Who being back on the telly is that it's given me a chance to revisit one of my great childhood memories, and visit it upon a whole new generation of kids. Morley Library has a great catalogue of videos, so on the few occasions when we get Lyn's boys Blake and Aiden over, we love to put one on and explain why The Master's cool, why Leela is the best companion, why Lee goes all wet at the mouth when the 2nd Romana's on... vital education the boys don't seem to get at home :)

So how proud a step-Dad was I this morning when we got out of bed to discover the boys had got up, got themselves dressed and ready for school, and were happily watching The Greatest Show In the Galaxy? How even prouder was I when when they became truly annoyed at the thought of having to wait until the next time we have them (Wednesday afternoon) to see how it ends? My boys!!!!!!

Friday, March 05, 2004


A short day today, as Luscious Lyn and I are headed to Quinns Rocks to housesit for the weekend, taking our brood with us, which means picking them all up from their various schools and daycares along the way. Still, I managed to finish and send the reviews of Geoffrey Maloney's Tales From The Crypto-System (Reader's Digest Version: tops, grouse, gnarly) and Robert Rankin's The Witches of Chiswick (RDV: Get off, you suck, bring on the dancing girls instead). I also managed 500 words of my story for ConSensual-The Second Coming, bringing it up to just under 1200 words so far. Still don't have a title for it, although Love Me Electric is under consideration. I'll let you know what I decide when it's finished.

I still have to do another draft of Father Renoir's Hands and finish researching 2 more books for Nouvelle Hollande (this week's Napoleon novel title) before the week's up, but I should get through them over the weekend. Busy busy busy

Thursday, March 04, 2004


Happy fat man dance of joy: Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine have just bought a story and a poem! Through The Window Merrilee Dances (the story) and Eight For Working (the poem) will both appear in issue 16 later this year. ASIM have been very good to me: my strike rate now stands at 5 sales from 9 submissions.

And of course it's given me a wonderful fiance :)

I may have to send them a pack of sweeties at Christmas...

Received a big gift in the mail yesterday: my copy of Love All The People: Letters, Lyrics & Routines of Bill Hicks arrived, and instantly became a platform for duelling bookmarks between the Luscious One and I.

Hicks is a hero to me, one of the few artists I've seen who refused to compromise himself in the search for the truth that lies behind all forms of performance. If you're yet to discover him, I thoroughly recommend you get out there and find a copy of his videos Relentless or Revelations, or listen to one of his albums (Rant in E-Minor is highly recommended). Or contact me and you can come over and watch my copies :)

Hicks is uncompromising, adult, and at times very disturbing, but you leave the experience feeling scourged and cleansed. A truly great comic. He died in 1994, at the age of 32, just as I was turning my back on stand-up comedy after 3 years of failure (Perth audiences, by and large, prefer the dick joke to any form of intelligent humour. We gave the world Rove: I apologise), and I've always felt a sympatico toward his mission beyond just finding him furiously funny. He died much too young, and much too early. Watch him, and find out just what a cheap thief Denis Leary is.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004


Luscious Lyn went to the Doctor to have her stitches removed this afternoon, and found out the result of her operation. Thankfully, the pain she's been experiencing for a while has been caused by an infection, which can be treated quite easily. A couple of months spent popping pills and it should all be over. Needless to say, given the range of possible results, we're both very relieved.


So Erin goes to bed at 6.30pm, right? And what heralds bedtime? The closing credits of Doctor Who, right? (or Doggie-Yu in 2 year old :) )

So guess who started crying and pleading "no nigh-nigh" when I played my recording of the Doctor Who theme at 5 o'clock this evening? Tee hee.


A good day for work today. Sent two stories off to list-o'-13 magazines, and completed a rewrite of one of my more troublesome stories. Each Sunday the Luscious One and I set ourselves a list of goals to be achieved during the coming week, and with 4 days to go I'm going to achieve mine with ease. Two reviews to finish and send off (Geoff Maloney's excellent collection Tales From the Crypto-System and Robert Rankin's not-even-excellent-on-its-Mother's-side The Witches of Chiswick) and the first draft of a story for the third Consensual anthology of speculative erotica still to be written, but I'm in a good mood for writing.