Tuesday, October 27, 2009


is a big day. The death march for Death Most Demanding's structural edits. I know it's as good as I can get it, but there's always that desire to do a little more (Tempered by the feeling that every sentence is clunky and every character's motivations suspect) and fear that I haven't done enough - or, conversely too much.

I'm itching to get Managing Death finished. I love my protag. Steven de Selby is fun to write, but you can spend too much time in a single character's head, and I've spent most of 2009 in Steven's head (or he's spent it in mine). I worry about him a lot. He's not a hero in the traditional sense and he goes to some pretty dark places - the kind of things I obsess about in my writing like they're a sore tooth that you can't stop running your tongue over until it bleeds.

Not the healthiest mind set to constantly inhabit. I'm looking forward to a couple of weeks off in January. Though I really want to see him through to the end of the next book, things only grow darker and I don't like leaving my characters alone. You know how it is.

Monday, October 26, 2009


the rain has come, the roof is singing, and I’m in the middle of my final read through of my structural edits for Death Most Definite. The book is going off to Orbit no later than Wednesday, and I’m doing a desperate last minute rush to make sure there are as few discrepancies, typos and passive sentences as possible for the next stage – the copyedit.

At this stage I am far too close to the novel to do anything but this line-by-line focus. I can’t tell if it works, if the pacing is right, if it even makes sense. Fairly standard feelings at this stage in the lifecycle of writing a book. At the same time I’m beating book two Managing Death into shape, there are some scenes in that novel that I am very proud of. In this final stage of getting the draft completed things are still exciting to me, but I can feel the lure of book three The Business of Death on the horizon – which is about right too.

Well, head down, arse up. There's books to be written.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Once a month

does not a vibrant blog make.

I'll be better, I promise.

This is my favourite little ramble-home, knitted up with my lit loves, and I've been so neglectful of late. That's because deadlines loom and the world has been a bit nasty (as the world often is - not to say that it isn't also wonderful, but it's a wonderful with teeth and an ironic sense of humour).

But I'll find more words for this space. Dear little blog has grown most gaunt, and for no reason but my own distraction.

It's draw a line in the sand time at Trentonomicon. Starting now.

Current things that excite me include:

1. Nearly finishing Managing Death - it's getting close, very close.

2.Jeff Vandermeer's new novel Finch - I was lucky enough to hear him read from it, which is really lucky considering the rather large distances that separate Qld from Florida.

3.My little bookclub at Avid. The Science Fiction Sunday folk who have let me and my partner in crime Paul Landymore direct their reading these last twelve months with everything from Moorcock to Mirrlees and de Pierres. We just finished reading Lud-in-the-Mist. How many reading groups read Lud-in-the-Mist after reading Behold the Man? They're a great bunch - and any Brisbanites are invited to join follow this link

4.My wife who has finally entered the digital age and bought a lap-top. A greater leap I have never seen her take. Of course, she always excites me - who else puts up with my jokes.

5.The possibility of rain tomorrow. Three wet days. All I need to blast deadlines into oblivion.

I'll let you know about 5, and 1 soon. Though 2 threatens to stall 1. 2 is extremely hard to resist - but I must, though we'll probably discuss it in 3. I wonder if 4 will check up on this?

Thursday, October 08, 2009


it's been quiet. Quiet is good. Quiet means that I've been busy, and that I've been working. And I always figure that it's better to be quiet here, than quiet on the writing front.

X6 is out. I finally picked it up from the PO box a few days ago - well, Diana did, bless her wonderful peripatetic heart. It's a fabulous looking volume. I haven't had a chance to do more than dip into it, but it looks great and anything that contains novellas by Margo Lanagan, Paul Haines, Cat Sparks, Terry Dowling, and Louise Katz is a must hunt down and buy at all costs.

You can check it out here.