Sunday, November 30, 2008


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, dear. Every time I wonder whether I was too hasty in removing myself from Perth fandom, along comes this sort of catty infighting to remind me.

'Tis to laugh.


So, there it is. 52 097 words completed during Nanowrimo, as of this morning, and as I'll have no chance to add to them today, I think we can call that a wrap.

The Corpse-Rat King itself is nudging 65 000 words, and Marius don Hellespont has taken his first steps towards redemption, accepting the facts about what he has done in the past and where his life has led him. The narrative is firmly turned towards home, and while there are a few wrinkles to be had along the way, we're now stepping along the road towards the inevitable climax. All the travelling outwards has been written, now it's just a matter of bringing everything back towards the single, defining point.

Due to the kids' party yesterday, and the need to take all our household junk out to the verge for kerbside collection today, I'm having a weekend off. But the 1500 word a day habit begins again tomorrow, so I'm looking towards having a first draft in place by (roughly) the end of the year.

Then we'll see how much of a fool's errand this second novel has been...


There are times when having a big backyard and jumbo sized patio makes this house the best investment we've ever made.

Yesterday, for example.

Whilst a dozen kids aged between Jack (one) and Cassie (seventeen) rampaged their way back and forth from sandpit to swings to multi-ball brandy to climbing logs and back, we adults who had gathered for Erin and Connor's joint birthday get together sat around the patio table in relative peace and quiet, quaffing mint juleps and watching the sun set over the cotton fields..... okay, so we had a sausage sizzle and beer and stuff, but it was still good. And Connor and Erin made out like bandits, the lucky doers.

We started the occasion with an influx of friends and family at 11am, and ended it 12 hours later with our in-laws and Cassie & her fiance Mark, who had been unable to get to our place before the evening due to work. We had a brilliant time, and the kids were in kid heaven, so a big thank you to everyone who joined us.

Now to clean up.....


Amongst my students at Clarion South 07, there were a couple of real stand outs. Jason Fischer, who I talk about regularly on this blog, was one. Peter M Ball was another.

When it was mentioned to him that I loathe stories about unicorns, he set out to write one that even I couldn't object to. The result was a stomach-churning mix of detective noir, gross supernatural sex, maggots and blood. Frankly, I loved it. It was an utter hoot.

Peter went on to publish equally disturbing and wonderful stories, such as The Last Great House of Isla Tortuga in Dreaming Again, and On The Finding of Photographs of My Former Loves in Fantasy Magazine. It was all going so well for him.

And then Twelfth Planet Press announced this week that they had bought a story from him for their new novella line: an expanded version of that unicorn story he had presented to us back in January of 07. Peter even announced that it would see light in the latter half of 2009. And that was why I had to hunt him down and kill him, your honour. Because I couldn't stand the poor fellw being known as Unicorn Boy his whole life. Because he was such a talented guy, and the readers of this blog, having already seen his above-mentioned work, would go out and buy the novella, and he'd never be able to dress in a fairy costume in public again....

It was a mercy killing.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Cassie's over, she's waiting for her fiance to turn up so we can have dinner, she's doodling idly on a piece of paper.

"Tell me what to draw," she says.

"A chicken."

"What, just a chicken?"

"Okay," I say, kinda concentrating on my own thing and not really paying attention to her. "Solving binomial equations."

Two minutes later:

This, from the child who will insist she has no appreciable talent whatsoever. Don't you just want to slap the self-knowledge into her? :)


Your Goth Name is:

Marquis de Reaper

*Chortle* Goths-- making ugly kids feel interesting since 1978.... >:)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Well, we managed to avoid a watermelon dinner :)

Thanks to a concerted campaign from Mummy, the brand-new four year old settled on tacos for tea, and scored himself a whopping great jam doughnut for his dessert. Needless to say, he was pleased with his choices, as were the rest of us-- much wolfing down was accomplished.

And see if you can guess what present he loved most-- the play-doh and accessory set from the whole family; the two Ben 10 Alien Force figurines (Spidermonkey and Swampfire, I'm told, for those with a need to know. I know them only as 'the blue one' and 'that one looks pretty cool') from the same source; or the Ben 10 soccer kit his big brother Aiden bought him?

I'll give you a hint: he's sleeping with his shinpads on....

I think it's fair to say he had a good birthday :)


Your rainbow is shaded red, black, and green.

What is says about you: You are an intelligent person. You appreciate mystery. You may meet people who are afraid of you. You get bored easily and want friends who will keep up with you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at


When the kids have a birthday, one of the things we do is let them have whatever they want for dinner— doesn’t matter if it’s McDonalds or Chinese or Sizzler or something home cooked, as long as it’s not too outrageous, they get what they ask for. For Aiden’s birthday, went out to our local curry house. For Blake we made pizza pie and home-made wedges, and so on. We asked Connor this morning, fully expecting the answer to be one of pizza, sushi, or McDonalds.

He said ‘pineapple’

He’s said ‘pineapple’ now for just on 5 and a half hours. Until Lyn rang me five minutes ago to say she’d finally, after 5 and a half hours of solid negotiation, managed to get him to change his mind.

Now he wants watermelon……


My beautiful, wondrous, excitable, life-affirming, insane, funny, loving, incredible, terrifying, delightful, atonishing boy.

Monday, November 24, 2008


ME: (Strikes muscle pose): Sixty thousand words!
LYN: How many Nano?
ME: Forty five thousand, eight hundred.
LYN: You're ahead of me again. It's so hard to go back and write filler. You're going to win.
ME: Well, you're winning the race that actually matters.
LYN: What do you mean?
ME: One novel beats one bit of a novel.


LYN: Well, yeah...

PS: Apocalypso in my pants. Sob....


Over at ASiF, they've published another very positive review of The Beast Within. I've yet to see a negative review of this anthology, and if you're at all a fan of the big three (Werewolves, Vampires, Frankensteinian monsters) you really want to add this to your bookshelf.

Were-frogs, people. It has were-frogs.

PS: Face The Face in my pants. Stop it, just fucking stop it.....


The Corpse-Rat King passed the 60 000 word mark tonight. This is a substantial mark for me: Napoleone's Land ran its course in 78 000 words, (Yes, actually, I still have to do those rewrites and get back to the agent I've been avoiding admitting my lack of working on the damn thing to for months, since you ask. Now go and play on the freeway, kid, you're bothering me) and there's a lot more land to cover in this one before I start to think about winding it up.

I killed someone tonight: a character who began as a one line throwaway some thousands of words ago but who sat in the back of my mind in such an insistent way that the last part of the story has directly involved him, and who has evolved into a major driver of the narrative. He didn't even exist in my original visualisation of the story, but like all good characters, once he was given life he refused to just go the hell back into the dark. As a result, he's moved the story in a much stronger direction than I had originally intended. Therein lay his doom because, in order for the next part of the narrative to resolve itself, he had to go.

And I'm genuinely sad. I liked him, and he was enormously fun to write-- a character who grew before my eyes from a lampoon into a fully rounded person, not only conceptually but within the text, so that the reader (I hope) will see his personal growth and respond to it, and will feel some measure of sorrow when he dies. And, you know, it's me talking, so you know it ain't gonna be pretty. A writer wants his readers to identify with his characters, but that often means we have to do so first. If we feel pain at a character's loss, then hopefully it means we'll have done a good job at passing that pain on to you. Which, when I consider it like that, doesn't sound like the nicest thing you can do to a pal...

Kill your babies. It's a central tenet of writing effective fiction. But sometimes you can find yourself being surprised and delighted by one of the little mutant babies at the back of the room, one you really weren't expecting to pay attention to, but who suddenly learns how to scratch their own name into an etch-a-sketch with one tentacle finger. Then having to put them down bites just that bit harder.

All in a month's work.

PS: (Nothing But) Flowers in my pants. Oh, it's going to be hard work to cleanse myself of this meme.....


Okay, it's another in the endless procession of playlist memes, but this one is bloody funny!

Gakked from musesrealm:

1.) Put your media player of choice on shuffle.
2.) List the first fifteen songs that come up and add "in my pants" to the end.
3.) Bold the ones that actually made you laugh out loud.

1. Johnny The Horse in my pants
2. Stay With Me in my pants
3. Message to My Girl in my pants
4. Girl U Want in my pants
5. Blister In The Sun in my pants
6. Sowing The Seeds of Love in my pants
7. My Sharona in my pants
8. Rocket Man in my pants
9. When Doves Cry in my pants
10. At First Sight in my pants
11. Let There Be Love in my pants
12. I Eat Cannibals in my pants (Oh, the winner and still World Champion...)
13. Forever Autumn in my pants
14. You Shook me All Night Long in my pants
15. A Heady Tale in my pants
16. Who Can It Be Now in my pants (yes, I know that's an extra one, but seriously, can you leave something that funny off the list?)

Honestly, sometimes these things just write themselves....


I'm working in the office. Aiden is on the couch watching the Foo Fighters Live at Wembley concert film. Suddenly he starts shouting at me to get in here, quick! So I haul in there. It's the Foo Fighters. I'm not a fan. What am I going to be interested in?

Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones guest spot. Rock and Roll in front of 86 000 screaming fans.

86 000 fans going absolutely apeshit, plus two blokes in Clarkson, plus Dave Grohl bouncing around the stage in absurdly grinning fanboy heaven with the words Look at me, I'm drumming for Led Fucking Zeppelin! appearing above his head in thought bubbles fifty feet high.

Totally. Fucking. Awesome.

Friday, November 21, 2008


A day late, yes, but Real Life (tm) will do that to you.

20 (21) days in to Nanwrimo. Two third of the way through. If I'm to be on track for completing 50 000 words by month's end, I need to have written 35 000 words by now.

So: How's it all going?

As of tonight, it's going 41 339 words of froody, thanks for asking. The Corpse-Rat King is now 55 500 words long, and we've reached the major turning point of the novel. Marius don Hellespont, our (for want of a better word, or indeed, any other word) hero, has had his epiphany, and has set in motion the initial act necessary to drive the narrative towards the climax. I've got a good grasp of the next story arc, and this weekend looks to be good for some decent writing hours, thanks to a Tupperware party and two empty evenings.

There's a long way to go yet-- right now, Marius is on the rotting hulk of an ancient warship, a dozen feet under water, with only an animated skeleton formed from the remains of a mad, dead King and his favourite horse for company, and somehow he has to get from there to.... well, I know the ending, but I'd be expecting you to buy the book, eventually....

But there will be redemption; there will be fighting; there will be corpse-robbing; love; fire; a cat called Argo; and very possible a long scene involving a dead thief trying to crap out a giant emerald without having eaten anything for several weeks beforehand.....

Admit it: you're curious, ain't ya? :)


I’ve just noticed that my laptop play-list has 21 songs whose titles start with “Mister” but only five that start with “Mrs.” and six that start with “Miss”.

Come on, rock and roll! More cool songs with female honorifics, please!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Oh my goodness, you have to read this.

Matthew Lowe accepts the Remix My Lit challenge, and mixes Alchymical Romance in with The Wizard of Oz. And it rocks its little arse off!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The Corpse-Rat King passed 50 000 words tonight. Happily, I feel like there's a hell of a lot of narrative still in front of me: Marius, my protagonist, still has to reach his moment of epiphany, and turn events towards the climax. It's first draft, which means there will be a lot of fat to trim once I'm editing, but it's beginning to feel like this story has some real legs.

Next target-- the 50 000 words for the month that Nanowrimo aims to achieve, and then see where I am at the 75K mark.


Thanks to the one and only (sacrificial virgins across the globe are thankful) Stephen Dedman, Nameless Part 7 has arrived at Horrorscope.

The thick plottens....


How much of your body could be recycled?


How long would it take for a Tyrannosaurus Rex to digest your corpse?

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Thanks to the brilliant Jasoni, a link no lover of fine music should go without: Worst Album Covers.

Oh God, I think a sprained a side muscle.... I mean, check out these fine examples:

Do I lie? Do I lie?


A big happy birthday to my gorgeous niece Zara, whose 6th birthday party I attended with the kids yesterday, where we replaced our bodily fluids with cool drink, battered our internal organs into submission with sugar, and generally ran around like nutbars having three-legged races, pin-the-horn-on-the-unicorn games, and more cool drink.

A fun time was had by all attending Triffbatts. Hope your day was a great one, Z!


Oh, my baking yak.

5561 words today, bring The Corpse-Rat King to just under 50 000 in total, and my Nanowrimo total to a squeak under 35 000. Tomorrow I'll pass both milestones, but right now I need to get off this office chair before my back gives out totally and I start whimpering like a Nigerian Spam Puppy.*

Whilst I'm not at liberty to discuss details of the plot, or what is yet to come (mainly because I don't know what's yet to come), I can tell you that so far I've set a village on fire whilst drunk, started a war between two bridges on the same river, sunk a horse-captained warship off the coast of the Dog Crap Archipelago, and had a dead guy receive a handjob from a nine hundred year old island witch.

All in a month's work.

* Before the hate mail starts, I mean the puppy whimpers, not the non-potential-owner....

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Via just about half the people on Lyn's LJ's friends page:

If you saw ME in a police car, what would you think I got arrested for?


09:10 I am the Emperor of home-made ginger and apricot biscuits. Yum!
09:14 @thesciphishow Fantastic news! Great to see Sci Phi Journal kicking on! Best of luck with the new issue.
12:54 Ah, the joys of youth, when 'gourmet eating' meant getting chips with your spaghetto bolognaise...
12:54 Here's a hint for aspiring novelists-- when ordering lunch, make sure it's something you can eat with one hand
12:55 my Twitterank is 4.41!
19:10 The Corpse-Rat King has passed 43 000 words

Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The Corpse-Rat King passed 43 000 words tonight, 29 300 of them since the start of Nanowrimo. What's most satisfying is how much of the plot I still have left in front of me- with Napoleone's Land, it felt like a struggle to come up with enough words to fill a full-length novel, but the lessons I learned from the experience are playing themselves out much more easily this time around, which bodes well for when I finish this first draft and go back to do the Napoleone rewrites.

What's most pleasing is the feeling that these are 43 000 saleable words. It's one thing to slap words down on a page and pass a distant finish line, but unless you write with the aim of publication, that's all you're doing-- slapping words down. I may not be winning the Nanowrimo 'race', but I'm gonna sell mine!*

The part of me that has been resisting the change in focus from short stories to novels is getting smaller and smaller.

*This, of course, has no bearing on whether other Nanites will sell their words-- only a mug would bet against the likes of Simon Haynes, Stephen Dedman, and Lyn. But the egomoster don't play like that......

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Canterbury 2100, the Agog Press anthology containing stories by both myself and Lyn, amongst others, has been reviewed over at Australian Specfic in Focus, which has very positive things to say about both stories.

The Metawhore's Tale is described as fascinating, sordid, sad, and, ultimately, wonderful; while Lyn's The Conductor's Tale is an appropriate concluding story that neatly rounds out the whole set.



I'd correct his pronunciation, but frankly, Octopus Prime is so much cuter.....

I shall crush you, Spidertron.... I mean, Megaparker.... wait.... my head hurts....


Nameless Continues.

You should be following this story. Apart from the damn cool prizes to be won, this is developing into one of the most fun stories of the year.


Home today with a sick wife and a mad-as-a-cut-snake three year old. Poor old Lyn is confined to bed until it's time to visit the doctor, and then she gets to go as far as the bath. I'm thinking it's lucky that Bunnings has a cafe and a free playground.


  • 07:51 38 years old today, and I don't feel a day over 90
  • 13:33 Just so you know, it is entirely possible that Madness' 1996 album "Wonderful" is the greatest pop album in the history of the entire world
  • 13:34 Of course, we all know that Brian May is the greatest guitarist who has ever lived, so that goes without saying

Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter

Monday, November 10, 2008


I have succumbed to the modern age, because the SFWA Bulletin told me to....

I'm on Twitter. My username, in a burst of creativity, is leebattersby.

Feel free to link and I promise I'll be pithy in a Steven Wright kind of way.

(Sings in his best Phil Collins voice-- I will follow you, will you follow me, I will something something, la da dum dee dee...)

According to Loud Twitter, my tweets should show up here every 24 hours. They're not so far. Accursed twenty first century.....


Always remember
The tenth of November
Coz if you don't you'll be standing in Kings Park at dawn a day early wondering where the hell everyone else is.

Also, today marks the one-third mark in this year's Nanowrimo. Keen-eyed readers will remember that I'm giving it a go this year, for the first time. (Anyone who wishes to link up with my progress on the site itself can look for me under the username CRKIng). The idea is to write 50 000 words of a novel (okay, strictly speaking,a 50K word novel, but I'm playing slightly differently. It's my prerogative as a woman...) in 30 days, an average of 1667 words per day over the month. I've chosen to use the time to continue working on the first draft of The Corpse-Rat King, my second novel, which had encountered a little bit of stallage in recent days. The hope was that committing to the project would help kick-start the work again.

So how am I doing?

As of today, I have completed 22 752 words, approximately 45 and a bit percent of the target total. More importantly, when added to the 11 689 I had already completed, it gives me a grand total of 34 441 words under my belt, enough that I can be pretty happy with where the book is heading and start thinking about the path I want the middle of the novel to take (I have a pretty firm idea of the final third, which, amongst other things, means I write novels a little bit like Underpants Gnomes make money...)

Tonight I am going to reward myself with a night off, and I shall eat ice cream and watch documentaries about dinosaurs. Or whatever Lyn wants :)

HAPPY.... (creak)..... BIRTHDAY.... (groan)... TO.... I NEED A REST

I turn 38 tomorrow.

To be honest, it's kind of snuck up on me this year, and I find myself wholly unprepared. The family, however, are far more prepared than I, so last night all six of them (including Cassie, and her boyfriend Mark, who we met for the first time) took me out to dinner, where they presented me with a new Tim Powers novel for my reading pleasure (Three Days to Never) and forced me to eat until parts of my insides seceded in protest. Much big news was revealed, and although I can't discuss it just yet, those on Lyn's LJ flist will know of which I speak. Suffice to say, many gasteds were flabbered, but I, for one, am pleased as punch.

Moreover, in what is becoming, at least for me, an enjoyably morbid tradition, I can now present to you the list of far more famous and/or talented people than I who I have now outlived:

  • Lou Gehrig (All together now: Lou Gehrig, died of Lou Gehrig's Disease. How'd he not see that coming?)
  • Jam Master Jay
  • Medgar Evers
  • Michael Hutchence
  • Bobby Darin
  • Sal Mineo
  • Robert Burns
  • Colin Clive
  • Samuel Taylor-Coleridge
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Raphael
  • Arthur Rimbaud
  • Irving Thalberg
  • Vincent Van Gogh

Does it say something about me that I'm fine with the idea of being older than the likes of Rimbaud, Burns and Queen Marie, but being older than Michael Hutchence makes me feel like a fat old bloke?

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Over at Horrorscope, the Nameless saga continues, with excerpt five being penned by none other than the Luscious One herself. Read all the other bits first:

Bit the first (Felicity Dowker, Stephen Studach, Simon Petrie)

Bit the second (Talie Helene, Marty Young)

Bit the third (Shane Jirayia Cummings, Kirstyn McDermott)

Bit the fourth (me)

then follow straight on to Lyn’s effort here (link).

Getting good, innit? :)


News has filtered down the Battpipe that Michael Crichton died today aged 66. I wasn’t a fan of his work, although he produced some works that have become minor classics within the genre—most notably Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain, in terms of novels, and the movie Westworld as director.

As a writer he was very much the product of a mindset that wrote with one eye on the film adaptation, as a quick look at his bibliography will show: apart from Jurassic Park, at least seven more of his novels were filmed. I generally found his work to be mechanical and somewhat soulless, but there’s no doubting that he was a major figure in the SF/Hollywood amalgam, so his presence will undoubtedly be missed by the genre as a whole.


Thanks to the anonymous workmate I overheard as I was taking a shortcut through the tea room yesterday:

"Americans think they’re just the most important people on Earth. Mind you, so does my cat."


You seem to have elected a reasonably decent man as your President.

Try not to shoot him.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


  1. Sleep in
  2. Eat breakfast while reading blogs
  3. Write
  4. Go out for lunch
  5. Watch Hull almost complete the comeback of the season but go down to Man U 4-3 in the game of the year so far
  6. Write
  7. Watch half an hilarious documentary on macrophilia (Go on, look it up. You know you want to)
  8. Laugh ass off at wife's face while watching documentary of macrophilia
  9. Drive down to pick up kids, singing at top of voice to Madness songs the entire way
  10. Bring kids home
  11. Watch Muppet Show while eating dinner
  12. Put kids to bed
  13. Change picture on blog
  14. Buy wine
  15. Drink it
  16. Watch rest of hilarious documentary on macrophilia
  17. Watch Top Gear African Special
  18. Wipe tears from eyes
  19. Offer multitude of praises to BBC Knowledge for saving me from weeks of watching pale, crap Australian version of Top Gear
  20. Blog
  21. Bed


6000 words in two days, and the novel as a whole cracking past the 17 000 word mark.

Engage smug mode.... smug mode engaged.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


So Lyn and I got out to see a flick today. And because we're Simon Pegg fans, not to mention Jeff Bridges fans, the choice was obvious.

My word, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is a disappointing movie. There came a point, somewhere towards the inevitable turning-the-plot-for-home moment, when I actually thought "God, I remember when Simon Pegg was funny." I know this movie is based on a biography. I know that what I was watching was, by and large, supposed to be based on real events. But gawd all bloody mighty, did it have to be so obvious? So thuddingly unoriginal? When I know the outcome of each scene, each character arc, each subplot, before the setup of each damn thing even gets underway...... and it was billed as a comedy, it was promoted as a comedy, it said 'funny' on the posters.... It isn't. It just really, really isn't.

Simon Pegg and Jeff Bridges are both excellent actors, but watching this movie, you wouldn't know it. Okay, so Bridges paid his rent in Iron Man. I wasn't expecting Shakespeare. And okay, Pegg did a director mate a favour and plodded his way through the utterly second rate Run, Fatboy Run. But what's their excuse for this one? Add Kirsten Dunst, who extends her ouvre as an actress of no special interest whatsoever, and the whole thing felt like what my mother used to call a Tuesday Movie-- Tuesday afternoons, half-price for pensioners, beats being at home but not by much.

In all honesty, I got more laughs from the trailer for Four Holidays, And that's a Vince Vaughan movie......


  1. Stay up until midnight the night before
  2. Sleep in
  3. Mooch about
  4. Go out for a pancake breakfast and end up having a doughnut instead
  5. Write
  6. Go to the markets
  7. Buy fruit without slapping the hand of a single person under (or over) the age of seven
  8. Eat take away for lunch
  9. Watch an unintentionally humorous documentary about the link between death metal and Satanism (Um, 'Necrobutcher'? If the Dark Lord really is all-powerful, couldn't he have done something about your receding hairline? And, you know, given you a chin?)
  10. Write
  11. Go to the cinema and watch a flick in the middle of the day
  12. Write*
  13. Potter about in the garden until dark
  14. Eat pizza, cheesecake and beer for dinner
  15. Watch cheesy documentary about vampires without single interruption for hugs, nightmares, toilet visits, or drinks of water
  16. Blog
  17. Bed

*3074 words, since you ask...


As mentioned earlier, I've just finished penning my contribution to Nameless, the fab and groovy contest Horrorscope are running, based around a Narrative Corpse-- a serial short story written by several different people. My bit has just been posted here.

And you can see the full thing going on here. Scroll down the bottom and have a look at the prizes-- they're shit hot, and were it not for being on the contributor list, I'd be entering and beating you all to them.

Next up is one Battersby, Lyn. Couldn't you just die waiting to find out where she takes it? :)


Over at the Specusphere, they've posted a review of The Beast Within, and we all come out of it rather well, don't you think?

Startlingly good wordplay? I'll buy that for a dollar....