Thursday, August 28, 2008

The rain's just come on in. Thought it was static, or my laptop, grown a little angry or a little tired, then I realized it was the rain.

It's just me and the cat, awake and listening. And the rain. Oh, and there's clean sheets on the bed, and a book waiting. So, soon, it will just be the cat listening, if the rain even lasts that long.


In the post novel malaise, the well's a trifle dry. So, other than various workish duties, I've been submerging myself in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridan and No Country for Old Men, and what wondrous bloody fever dreams they are.

I've been thinking about writing lately - what a surprise, eh. Teaching it, well, obviously, focuses your thoughts on the processes, and it takes me that the only truly important things, other than an understanding of what words do, and an idea of how to put them on the page*, is joy and bravery.

There's a bleak joyfulness in Blood Meridan's tumbling, rushing landscapes, (my goodness, all those stars) and McCarthy doesn't shy away from engulfing you in it. There's a confidence in his prose that I can only envy.

Talking of confident prose I'll be at Avid on Saturday Sept 13 taking part in the Marathon Reading of Of Mice and Men. There's some great readers involved, John Birmingham, Krissy Kneen, and Chris Currie among them, so you should pop down and check it out. There's more details here, and all the proceeds are going towards the support of aboriginal literacy.**

I've never read any Steinbeck, so this has been a great excuse to correct that lack.

*both of which are a lifetime's work, and for me, one that involves a lot of stumbling.
**so if anyone is interested in sponsoring me, let me know

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ziggy Usurping My Position on the Bed

Well, he did until Cosmo knocked over a book, startling him from what was obviously a very deep sleep, I have never heard a more aggrieved bark in my life.

The novel is done

and sitting in a post box. I'm giving myself tomorrow off, to read, and ruminate. Tonight I treated myself to BG's Razor, which I had been very much looking forward to, and was something of a return to form for the series after a pretty lacklustre season 3. Neat mosaic story telling, explosions, and lots of sweaty people scowling at each other in space - how can you beat that?

The house is quiet, but for dogs scratching at fleas, and Cosmo stomping into the study, and I'm still basking in the finished, and posted, a book glow: which should last until I wake up in the middle of the night and remember all the other stuff I have to do.

Ah, but what you going to do, eh?

Cosmo considering something (possibly a prowler) outside my study window, or, perhaps, just contemplating the substance of a word as first read in my copy of Chambers.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Yeah, it's quiet.

Go and read some Bukowski or something.

Fifty pages of novel polishing to go.

Then into the post and the cruel world.

And then, novella, novella, novella and Players, Players, Players.

Can we just add another month to the year, please?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wind Whistling

It seems of late that a lot of my spare mental time has been taken up with me staring blankly into space, a soft soughing filling the usual saucepan clatter of thinking noise that my brain likes to produce, and that often keeps me up at night, when I really should be sleeping. I have a lot of stuff to get finished by the end of the year, and it's scaring me a little - following me around when I go for a walk, or jumping out at me when I get out of the shower, you know, that sort of thing.

Still, I managed, between that soft nothing noise, and stacking my new bookcases* - the construction of which tore the skin off my knuckles, and reminded my back that it's not as young as it used to be, and that it probably should get a little more flexible - to write a short story tonight, well, a short short story, but one that made me chuckle, even if it never finds a home.

I've started working at the Avid Reader in West End, on top of the tutoring, so I am well and truly employed, which is in itself a peculiar thing, but good, peculiar thing, you couldn't hope for a nicer bunch of people to work with than the folk at Avid, and I'm loving the tutoring.

I'm just missing that saucepannery clattering.

*and let's not even begin to think about the terrors of Ikea, all those flat pack boxes, the reek of chipboard, and the lingering stench of terror (or, perhaps, just the food court).

Friday, August 08, 2008


Yeah, it's been quiet, but I've been busy. Ziggy offered to blog for me, but his spelling is worse than mine, and it's all about trees, and other things that he likes to pee on.

Polishing the novel, and getting deeper into my novella. Iron Temple is either going to be the best bit of Spec Fic I've ever written or the worst, but by the time it gets delivered to coeur de lion I swear I'll have sweated blood over it. At the moment, it has a star ship named after Matthew Flinder's cat, masturbation in space, and clockwork sex dolls (you have to be very careful with these, what with all the spinning toothed wheels), oh, and it's not at all kinky.