Monthly Archives: September 2010

I’m going to peel and salt Justin Bieber…

I’m going to be nice for a whole post. Stop laughing. I can do it. Alright, i probably can’t. So i’ll let the voices-outside-my-head do a post and i can go back to editing The Thing. (I’m two-thirds through the edit, for those following that thrilling saga.)

The last time the voices-outside-my-head did a post, it was New Year and i was going through my usual dislocated why-doesn’t-the-weather-match-the-Christmas-cards annual fugue, and the voices wished you joy in your life. I said you shouldn’t be fucktards. Both good bits of advice.

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Life can be an awful experience. No doubt about it. Bad things happen to good people and to bad ones, with no regard to who deserves it. No use getting stressed over it. Stress releases cholesterol into your blood stream, and it’s a fatty gunk that coats your arteries, and eventually blocks them. Use the energy to do something about what’s stressing you, but don’t just sit there.

It’s part of the old fight-or-flight-or-bugger-them-with-a-cactus reflex. The idea is you’ll burn that fat wielding your Cactus of Justice, or running away. If all you do is sit on your arse and shout, the way I do a lot, you’ll end up with high blood pressure, because your cloggy arteries are too small for the blood flow and your heart is over-worked. Oops, you just stroked out. (I’m not sure the voices should have let me type this, it’s much more cranky than they intended.)

Now, i don’t have high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, (any more), because i stopped worrying and learned to take joy in the moment. It’s not a permanent state, but it’s enough of the time that even with the extra weight i’m carrying, and my perpetual raging at the machine (on here and on Twitter), I’m not risking my life because i care.

Joy is where you find it. Watching nature, walking, cooking, making things, doing that perfect spreadsheet and knowing you’re going to make it financially through another month. Okay, so i’m not sure anyone but me gets that last one, but i totally love that feeling of being in the moment – i can get it washing up.

The big thing about the moment? Your brain is ostensibly off. You’re completely focused on the task in hand, even if that’s as simple as admiring the feather on a bird’s wing or that algebra formula.

You might be using your brain, focusing on some job, and the work might be hard, but you know you’re on the way to a goal, so it’s fine. And everything switches off. All worry, all care, all of it. You keep going, doing good work.

You come to, some time later. And often the solutions to problems are right there, as your ostensibly switched-off brain nutted out the answers while you were cleaning the silver.

We repeat. The word ‘enjoy’ means ‘with joy’ – so enjoy your life. Have it with joy. What else are you going to do with it? If you don’t like it, for most of us in the Western world at least, there are other solutions, like changing it.

You thought i was going to say ‘then top yourself if you don’t like it here’? Honestly, I’m the Antichrist, not a jingoistic right wing Earth patriot. I can imagine us in the future, snapping at alien immigrants the way the nasty little one nation types do. “If you don’t like this planet, then get off it!”

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That’s all, i can’t stand it. It goes against the grain, being nice. What with me being the Queen of Darkness and proxy Antichrist. New readers may be wondering how i got to be the Antichrist, and all i’m saying is that even the Antichrist turned out to respond to a good clout across the earhole with a walking stick, and is still in a coma. I have his passwords. Nuff said.

As for being the Queen of Darkness, that’s a much older story – when i used to be in a band, i was shouting about something i’d read about Christian fundamentalists, and said, “They’re so sure they’re on the side of Light. If that’s Light, then i’m the Queen of Darkness.” (Originally there was swearing, because it’s the only language muso’s understand.)

That was nearly 20 years ago, old news. The Antichrist gig is fairly new. But hey, i’m told i get to peel and salt the emos, and i can do what i like with Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. At the moment, i’m edging towards using the Gleaming Instruments of Death, but maybe the Cactus of Justice would do the trick.

Oh come on, who doesn’t want to torture Justin Bieber to death? Just for the fringe, people! Just for the fringe!As for Lady Gaga, well seriously, does anyone neeed a reason? Her whole schtick of pseudo-vulnerability wrapped in emo pouting deserves divine retribution.

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The Dustbunnies Are Revolting…

It seems my life’s made up of waiting at the moment.

Waiting to see if:

  1. I actually die of this flu, or survive another year in NSW, the State of Unhealthiness
  2. the Hot Young Singer takes up the option to record my song, (which may, of course, never result in any real money, but it’s a nice thought)
  3. The Reader will confirm my thoughts about the edits required on The Thing, (the book i’m writing).

I’m filling my time with good work, though my back’s not good, so am working above the knee. Below there, things are getting crunchy. I’m sure one day soon i will both clean the bath, and the kitchen floor. Before anyone gets irreparably stuck to either.

In the meantime, I’ve warned Mr Whatsit (whose back is so bad he tends to keep things above the hip), to keep a spatula handy to free himself, and me, i’m pretending i can’t see the mess below knee level, and wearing slippers a lot. I have actually started spring-cleaning (it’s that time of year here), and above the knee and up the walls, have dusted, wiped, and dusted again.

Let this be a lesson to you, when they say the chimney at the local power station removes visible smoke, i think it gets visible again when it arrives on surfaces. Or in your lungs. *cough*

Patience, my arse, I'm going to kill something...

Also still waiting, on any of the several ways i have of leaving New South Wales and returning to Queensland. (Not my native home, that’s Western Australia, but Queensland is where i used to live and where i want to go back to.) Sadly, the Invasion Tour of Queensland ’09 which was made ’10, is now looking early 2011. God al-effing-mighty.

When you’re stuck somewhere, and leaving is all the time imminent, it’s so hard to get involved in anything. You feel you can’t get involved in local groups, because you’re about to leave, so what’s the point? Before you know it, that spreads into your personal life too.

You stop trying to achieve goals because you have a new life, starting tomorrow, in a new place. What you do today doesn’t matter, because tomorrow, everything’s going to change.

Fortunately, one of the things i’ve learned is that in times of waiting, it’s possible to achieve a lot, if you just use the time. I had a partner once who was always late, and i learned not to waste my time, waiting for people, or things. This period in NSW has been a hiatus of sorts, but i’ve produced an incredible amount of writing work, and thanks to the local library (reading how-to-write books and most of their novels), and the net, have learned so much more about my craft.

Of course, no guarantees in my life, other than, there will be uncertainty. I might still be here this time next year, though i hope not, another winter here in the House of Doom (it has mould) is something i’d rather not face.

I have several options regarding getting back to Queensland, but  none of them are things i can influence. They’re all reliant on other people’s actions and there’s not a damn thing i can do. The only certainty is uncertainty.

So of course, i’m chafing to throw myself back into The Thing where i can hide in a world of my own creation. It’s been read once, edited/corrected, is being read again, about to undergo 2nd edit, then it goes out to two new readers. Letting other people read your work is terribly exciting and scary, but so far other people reading it (and me taking time out) has been so good for the text, i’m hopeful that the next stage will also be positive.

Then what? Well, omg, then i think i need an agent. I have lists of websites, notes of possibilities, and the vague idea of self-publication if necessary. I’m praying the moment i say, The Thing is done, one of the nice agents i follow has secretly been nursing a desire to publish it and snaps it up. Unfortunately, i’m pretty sure all my agent tweeple (i think i have two), don’t do sci fi fantasy.

As for The Thing itself, I have the story mapped out, at least in vague terms, as it continues through the next few books. The nature of the story lends itself to a computer game, i have some notions for merchandising, and i suppose i’ll need a real website, instead of this hosted one.

Gawd, i think i’ll go hide under the bed for a while.

*****

The dustbunnies forced me out, they’d formed an army and were knitting rope out of all the shed hair.

cute but dangerous - srsly, they may contain all kinds of heavy metals

So while i waited for the insecticide to work, I had a chat with First Reader about my thoughts on where the ending should be.

Basic plot was of the hero’s adventures from 15-20: during his last year of school, at a university, in the army (for three years), and then as a kind of diplomat. I was sure i’d tried to stuff too much in, and Book 1 should end at point where, during a drunken rampage, he joins army.

Reader agrees, phew, so am now able to start some work without needing Reader to be finished his second read. (i’ve done an initial edit after printing out the original.) He’s a published writer, so a useful resource. It’s important to me that readers give me more back than just whether they liked it or not.

So now I have cut book back to where hero joins army, which as book was too long, brings it to within about 15,000 words of where it should be. (Cut bits now form outline of Books 2 & 3.) It makes a lot more sense like this, i was trying to stuff way too much in.

So the plan now:

  1. i rejig chapters
  2. do chapter summaries and note chapter lengths (will expose where there’s too much stuffed into chapter, or a thread could be expanded)
  3. with saved space, and 15k to play with, i will kick The Thing around, beat it with sticks, and then
  4. send to the next round of readers. Along with First Reader, I have a girl reader and a boy reader for round 2, both scifi fantasy fans.
  5. pray the mould in the house abates and my nose stops running

With spring having sprung here, am hopeful we will at last break the flu cycle – doctors round here say this year, a lot of people who usually have flu shots all ended up with flu so early in the season, they were never able to get well enough to get the shot.

This year, I’m going to have mine right after bloody Christmas.

*****

Oh – and after we’d been waiting for six months (you may remember we rescued a boat from the lake and were told we had salvage rights), the police finally decided to contact someone about the boat, (after Mr’s 4th phonecall).

Once we were pirates....

I’d tried to find a stolen boat register, but only came up with a site that offered to check a list for me for a sizeable fee. We were trying to return the thing to its rightful owner, why should we pay?

Turns out there was a report of a stolen boat. Which anyone in authority could have looked at six months ago. Before the boat killed the lawn.  Still, it’s nice the owner’s finally getting it back.

Us? We didn’t even get a thank you.

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