Thursday, April 10, 2014


"Go to the light," they say. "Gooooo to the liiiiight...."

And yet, in real life, the light at the end of the tunnel is an approaching train, the light in your ceiling is a death trap for moths, and the only light that exists in nature is, well, as red as tooth or claw.

Go to the light, my friends. The teeth are waiting.

Monday, April 07, 2014


Day job. Writing career. Hobbies. Social media. Family. Wife. Exercise. House maintenance. 

The trick is to keep them all separate. 

Now, here's the thing: the stresses of my day job, they've been bleeding over into my home life. That's put pressure on my relationship with Luscious, which has bled back into my work life. I've been bringing that home with me, which has affected my relationship with my children. Because I've been so stressed, I've been eating badly, which has affected my ability to exercise, which has affected my weight loss. I'm lethargic, tired and constantly in pain because of it, which has affected my ability to perform the multitudinous house maintenance tasks that need doing. And I'm tired, so I've been spending my spare time flaked out in front of the TV or playing stupid Facebook games instead of pursuing the one actual hobby I have that I've spent hours and hundreds (I'm not saying thousands, I'm not...) of dollars on over the last couple of years. And spending hours and hours on Facebook and Twitter and blogging. Hours and hours and hours. And hours. 

You notice I've not mentioned writing yet?

I'm fat. I'm miserable. I'm in pain. I'm stressed. My time management is for shit. My writing career has stalled to the point where I barely feel able to call it a career anymore. I'm directionless. 

Either this can't go on, or I can't.

This can't go on.

Luscious calculated last night that she's spent in excess of 200 days on Facebook since she joined 7 years ago. If that's the case, then I've spent more. That's insane. Simply fucking insane. So here's the thing:

As of today, the Facebook games are gone. The continuous Facebook posts are gone. TV is relegated to the status of reward for work completed. Blogging will happen once a week-- other than my Thumbnail Thursday posts, which take my 5 minutes and aren't really content, not really, and those things like Goodreads reviews which flick over here automatically. But blogging will happen to a calendar: if I have a lot to say, I'll say it once a week. If I don't, I'll post a picture of a cat or something. Work for everyone else.

I have to exercise. I have to eat well. I have to re-read Booklife and decide whether I really am the low-level journeyman author I've drifted into being or whether the career goals I once held are still relevant; and if they are, I have to sit down and put the work into redirecting my career back towards those goals. I have to spend time with my kids. I have to maintain my house. I need to reconnect with my wife and make damn sure that nothing, not a fucking thing, intrudes while I'm doing it.

If you're here because you're a friend of mine then you know we're friends already and we'll catch up somewhere along the line, and there will be carousing and laughter and starting conversations mid-sentence like we've never really been away. And if you're here because you've read and enjoyed my work-- or, at least, can recognise a train wreck when you see one-- then thank you, I appreciate and relish your company, but if it's the work that brought you here I'm sure you'll be happy at the thought that I want to put my head down and bring more of it into the world.

I can't get rid of my day job. I don't want to get rid of my wife and my kids. I absolutely want to get rid of the fat and stress and feeling that I'm wasting what few days I have left to me. I want to pursue this Lego hobby that has become an artistic joy to me. And I want to write. I really want to write.

I can't fit it all in. Something has to go. Until I can find a better balance, it has to be the web.


The 2013 Aurealis Awards were announced this weekend. Marching Dead was shortlisted in the Best Horror Novel, but lost out to Fairytales for Wylde Girls by Allyse Near.

A full list of winners has been posted at the Aurealis Awards website. Congratulations to the winners in all categories: with several hundred novels, stories, anthologies, collections and graphic works published each year it's a big mountain to climb.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Review: Thor: God of Thunder #1

Thor: God of Thunder #1
Thor: God of Thunder #1 by Jason Aaron

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely stunning reimagining of the Thor character, with an epic storyline befitting a major player in the Marvel Universe and a powerful God to boot. There are very real consequences here, and a multi-layered narrative that can't be solved by a simple swing of the hammer or calling down of the lighning. Complex, meaningful and deep: not what I generally expect from a Thor comic, and I'm absolutely hooked.

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Review: The Australian Book Of True Crime

The Australian Book Of True Crime
The Australian Book Of True Crime by Larry Writer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Short, informative essays on some of Australia's most famous and/or interesting crimes. While there are a few notable exceptions-- Ivan Milat immediately springs to mind-- they are more than compensated for by a number of cases from the late 19th and early 20th Century of which I was unfamiliar. Writer's style is simple and, for the most part, unobtrusive, although he lapses into the occasional conservative judgement that jars with the text: there is a constant association between his subject's physiognomy and his/her criminal behaviour that wouldn't be out of place in a 19th century textbook, for example. But the book serves as a worthy primer for anyone unfamiliar with the cases in question, and is presented in sufficiently non-sensationalist terms to satisfy anyone wishing a genuine examination of the crimes in question.

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