Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sick 2

Well, I spoke too soon.

This sore throat thing seems to be finally coming to an end, no more the sensation of someone pressing a thumbtack into my tonsils, whilst someone else less than gently jiggles my brain with a whisk. Now just a headache and a scratchy throat.

Perhaps, tomorrow, the headache will be gone too.

At the rewriting stage of the first book of The Players (my Australia Council Grant Series). Just messing around with chapter lengths and pacing, pretty pleased with how it's all hanging together - when I'm not wondering if it isn't the worst thing I've ever written, ah, vacillation surely it is the most joyous part of the whole writing process.

Anyway, we'll see. Should have it ready to hit some readers by the middle of March.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sick

I've been sick. Nearly two weeks of a sore throat thing that has ruined my ability to concentrate, and forced me to do little more than rest, which has been rather awful, but I seem to be coming to the end of it, at last.

One good thing about all that illness idle was finishing Scott Lynch's Red Seas Under Red Skies featuring the wonderful Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen. I'm a big fan of Fritz Leiber and Locke and Jean are two the most enjoyable heroic fantasy characters I've come across since Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. Perfect reading when you're sick as a dog (even better when you're not).

Another good thing was Arcade Fire, I bought Neon Bible last week, and loved it so much that I tracked down Funeral, which may just be one of my favourite albums of the last twelve months. How great is this band?

I've just started on Alan Campbell's Lye Street: the beautifully presented prequel novella to Scar Night. If you can get yourself a copy of this, do it. Bob Eggleton's internal illustrations are to die for.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I don't care if it's raining. I want a walk!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pseudopod

I've had a story up at Pseudopod for a couple of weeks now. And it's been a delightful experience. I don't think I've ever gotten as much of a response for anything I've written. People have loved it, and hated it, (which is fine, because I love and hate nearly everything I've ever written) but what has filled me with awe is how passionate people have been in their reactions. People that don't know me, don't know my work, but have actually committed their time to experiencing my story, and Cheynne Wright's reading. And then they've felt enough of an emotional response to comment.

It's easy to write, and forget that people actually read(listen to) your stuff, and that they might actually engage with it. Easy and a little dangerous*. Silence is a terrible thing when you send your story out into the world. A terrible, terrible thing.

So, if you're writing horror, or dark fantasy I'd recommend giving pseudopod a go (and they pay promptly, too)


*Of course the reverse is just as damaging.

The Grant Thing

The grant thing is coming along well.

Every morning I go to the library and write my six pages in longhand in an A4 notebook– why six, I don't know, but that seems to be where I stop, which, with my somewhat cramped handwriting, is about two thousand words.

Last year I wrote a novel this way. I also learnt that I'm much more comfortable drafting a book in a non-linear fashion, and that when I rewrite those six pages usually come to about ten, because I tend to leave a lot of detail out, and there's quite a bit in the way of short hand.
Scenes are all over the place, but the book has come to an interesting point, and I think I know where it's all going: partly as a result of a poisoning, and a character being pushed off a cliff.

So far this book has delighted me with it's bloodthirsty swans, puppets that like to suffocate their guests, a city founded on knives in the back; poison; and the midnight luminescence of ghosts. Oh, and Sturm and Drang: I'm loving Sturm and Drang. Like one of the characters says: Histrionics, it's all about histrionics. First drafts are the province of invention, and stumbling, lots and lots of stumbling (and varying degrees of despair). Second drafts are reflection (and still quite a bit of stumbling, and more or less despair). I think I might be in provincial old Second Draft (criticise the joinery, and don't walk under the ladders) as soon as Monday.

Oh and thanks to Kate and her krewe at the QWC for their card! Made me feel like a right proper writer.

Happy Birthday, My Love

It's Diana's birthday on Saturday, and I doubt that I'm going to get much time on the computer between now and Sunday. But I just wanted to mark its occasion here, because she's my baby.
I can't say how much I love her.

There's a point when words just tumble away into the loamy stuff they are, and all you've got left are the feelings, and they're tucked inside, and you know that, no matter what you do or say or write, you're never going to adequately express them.

We've been together since 1996, and it has been the most wonderful part of my life. There have been some dreadful years, some terrible battles with illness, but we've weathered them, and I've learnt more about myself, and the nature of love, then I could have thought possible.

I think that's the gift you give each other in a long and loving relationship the opportunity of mutual discovery, the unfolding of the self. It's a painful, wonderful, fragile thing. It's a balloon that you have constructed out of tissue paper, and half-expressed expectations, and then clambered into, not knowing where it's going to end up or how; not even knowing if it's going to fly.

And you never do.

That's life, that's love. And you never stop forgetting that and discovering it again.
Diana has made my life richer in every way that counts. She's supported me. She's comforted me. She's never let me get too arrogant or despondent. She's made me laugh. And she has loved me ceaselessly and fiercely, and in such a way that all the things I am cynical about, all the things I doubt, I do not doubt in love.

I hope I have done the same, because I love her – as terribly,deeply and inadequately as a thing made of meat and bone and wishes can.

Happy Birthday, Diana.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

link


Fictional Characters Claim Lost Shimmaron Best Children's Series

Don and Judy live in an apartment in Brisbane. They're just like everyone else, except they're fictional.

They have three kids, Donald jnr (8), Olive (10) and Sally (12). All three of them love the Lost Shimmaron books. Even Don (snr) and Judy can't get enough.

"It's hard being fictional," said Don (snr). "My fictional degrees meant I couldn't practice medicine outside of a novel. Still, the job at the plant pays the bills. If I didn't have the Lost Shimmaron books to entertain me, I don't know what I would do."

The kids couldn't agree more. "In the real world, no one has adventures. I mean the school bus doesn't even travel through time and space, though it did travel through Mrs Jensen's dog," said Donald (jr). "Thank goodness for the Lost Shimmaron, the adventures within their pages are much less messy."

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Shiny 3 is there to See

Shiny 3 is getting out and about and can be purchased over at the Shiny website here. What, you say, no Jamieson story! I know, I know.

But it's much the better for it.

The line-up for issue three is:

"The Future is Already Seen" by Katherine Sparrow
"Light on Water" by Lisa A Koosis
"Some People's Kids" by Sarah Totton

Shiny is such a wonderful e-zine, and I think it's found it's legs in this issue (which is not say, that I didn't thoroughly love the previous eds, but this issue has whole new Shiny thing going on, that is just incredibly Shiny).

Fill your inbox with a subscription now, because I'd like to write for this magazine again in the future - as I've said before, the Shiny editorial team is just such fun to work with.

Tomorrow, I'll be continuing my month of Shimmaron related material. I'll post up the first three covers, and explore why the Shimmaron books are popular with fictional characters. Don't forget you can buy these books here