Brite lights and shooting stars

I truly believe Hayley’s luck stone is pumping out karmic dividends. Where to begin, where to begin…


After sparing a quick glance at the usual bevy of blogs, I notice the dinner Ange and I shared with esteemed pairings of Martin Livings & Izz, and Lee & Lyn Battersby (or, for convenient reference, the Battersbi – or Battersbees, depending on your leanings) could be one of those events that will take on mythic proportions in the years to come. Hopefully portions of the evening will be spoken of in those same hushed tones reserved for the likes of Voldemort, or Anakin Skywalker (post Darth Vader). [edit: Geez, I’m embracing my nerd roots here]

Yes, the Battersbeesessessesses hosted a friendly four course dinner (one of those being ample servings of wine, with the last two courses reserved for multiple helpings of dessert).

The conversation was urbane, with the expected element of SF writer-speak thrown in. Being on the fringe of writing circles (as an editor), Ange was comfortable enough with the shop talk, and thoroughly enjoyed an unexpected connection with Lyn, although she laments her limited ‘sober-time’ and consequently the opportunity to discuss her love of psychology and the humanities with Izz, who was walled off by the sci-fi talk at the other end of the table.

In an effort to preserve the tarnish of the evening, I’ll use the Solvo on a few choice little spots. These shiny spots of silver (for public consumption) include the following:
* Cassie makes one of the best LL&Bs (Lemon, Lime & Bitters) in the Western-speaking world.
* Martin took one for the team and defused the exploding chicken breast secretly planted by Lyn (shame on you, Lyn!). Well, he tried to defuse it anyway. The shirt will never be the same again, but he did gain a measure of respect from those present for his sacrifice. Martin did say he wasn’t normally fond of apricot chicken…
* Chocolate-coated ginger-stuffed lychees sound nice in theory, but are in fact unpopular and very soggy when bitten. Word for the wise – eat them in one mouthful.
* Izz makes Perth’s most potent industrial-strength chocolate mousse. The result – a rich mousse smoother than Kamahl on a suave night.
* Six adults can eat less industrial strength mousse than three kids. The Triffbatt gang somehow managed to consume their bodyweights of the stuff. One [nameless] young man ate so much, it seeped out his heel. Yes, there was heel seepage! And yet, there is always room for the last two ‘Favourites [TM]’ – go figure?
* Wine is an evil but infinitely amusing influence on two female editors who shall remain nameless.
* Shop talk is best done while sober.
* 4 x 10000 = 50000
* The poodle is BLACK. BLACK! I say! Always remember that – it’s the colour, not the breed, that makes a dog cool. Trust me! 😉
* ‘Killer’ is not necessarily her name (but she IS a her), and pink ribbons are unlikely to be involved…
* On that note, dogs are infinitely cooler than cats. Regardless of breed.
* The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy is allowed to be considered a sucky movie (even though I haven’t seen it).
* Old people learn slower than young people, but are more accurate.
* Husband as Lord & Master only works for other couples, and even then, stern religion must be involved. Otherwise, the first law of couple dynamics kicks in, and the woman assumes control of everything. Am I complaining? No ma’am!
* Birds of a feather… will get drunk together and talk shit.

The dinner almost didn’t happen for us as we were scooting down the freeway (and actually on time for a change!) when traffic behaved oddly just ahead of us. Next thing I saw was a downed light pole lying across the road and a white sports car careening into the guard rail.

Yes, we’d stumbled into a meaty traffic accident. We weren’t first on the scene, as a dozen cars had already pulled out to assist the couple of smashed up cars on the side of the road, but Ange was edging to stop and breakout the CPR. We slowed long enough to see everyone was attended to (and I had flashbacks to the accident we triaged along the Nullarbor), but it took a decent wad of time to clear the pole from the freeway (it was a big mofo of a pole).

At least the rest of the night went off without too many complications. Except for the exploding chicken…


Mother’s Day!

We recovered fairly well and were roused to Hayley’s cooked omelette and toast, which was delicious and a great hangover cure.

After loafing around for a while, Kate and Ash popped around for some PC repair tips. Watching Ange strip apart the guts of their computer was funny, especially when she stood in front of our old computer for a minute looking for the keyboard. Guess what? Yep. It was right in front of her. Very much a twilight zone moment. Fortunately the rest of her repairs fared much better.

Along the way (it did take several hours of stripping and formatting), the Jacquii popped around for a Mother’s Day visit. They brought with them a couple of spider plants and the most awesome piece of artwork in the history of art. Done by them! Artistic little so-and-so’s. It was a collage of dark images, almost like an incarnate nightmare. Very cool stuff – now sitting on our games room wall.

Following on from a phone call to my own Mum, I bundled Ange and the girls into the car and headed out to the Krishna Palace restaurant in Joondalup. Yes, we were in the mood for a curry in a hurry. Despite the remarkably steep bill (that naan bread adds up!) and Jacqui’s extremely dodgy dessert (grainy ice cream), it was an enjoyable meal and time well spent.

Later in the evening I found time to be creeped out by the Japanese horror film, Audition (as suggested by the malevolent Rob Hood). Needles! Argh! Piano Wire! Even Argher!!!


Hanging around, writing emails, helping Ange put together stuff. Very vague.


I need to forcibly remind myself I’m still (technically) a student. This whole course thing is a pain in the bum (but ultimately a worthwhile one). Yes, I’ve taken it more seriously than the recently acquired Advanced Diploma, but my respect for the university system is slender at best. In a strange twist of fate, I received the results of the three assignments I’d submitted over the last month or so. Because of my laxness, they were all submitted late (one more than a week), so I was expecting a major caning.

Nope, quite the opposite.

I racked up a credit, distinction, and high distinction. Cool. Or so you would think.

The results were excellent, and really took the anxiety away from me. But they’ve also had another effect. Any artificial pressure I was placing on myself to meet future assignment deadlines has just been frayed. Big time. Scoring such high results has really piled the lazy ‘tude even higher. I’m now worrying more about anthology deadlines at the end of the month than I am about imminent assignment dates. Dag nabbit! I’ll slap some sense into myself.


I’ve failed to mention a few neat little purchases I’ve made in recent days. Since it looks like a con report won’t eventuate from our recent stint at Conflux, here was our book haul from the con:

The Grinding House by Kaaron Warren.
Shades series by Robert Hood
Daydreaming on Company Time by Robert Hood
Orb #6 (especially for Nathan’s story)
plus Daikaiju and Aurealis #33-35 as presents.

Since being back in Perth, I picked up:
Nylon Angel by Marianne De Pierres
Dreaming Down Under ed. Dann & Webb

plus an ultra cool edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Now, do you reckon I’ll ever read any of these? I’ve started on The Grinding House, and will be working my way through the anthologies and collections first. There’s also the bundle of Swancon books to read as well!

Convention update

Okay, here’s further info on my Continuum panels. How cool does this look:

Is Blogging the Fanzine for the 21st Century?
Everyone seems to have a blog or a live journal these days. Are blogs replacing fanzines?
Panelists: Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Poppy Z. Brite, Fiona McLennan,

Very, very cool.

Continuum will be massive. MASSIVE! Not only will we be involved in the Australian Horror Writers Association launch, and Ange’s kick off of SR #6, plus all the cool panels I’m doing, there will also be a bevvy of beautiful (and not quite so beautiful but still remarkable) people to catch up with. There are a number of my Clarionite buddies to socialise with, along with a much-needed base-touching with Clarion South tutors and convenors (and all round great people) Robert, Kate, Sean, and Ian (Margo, Heather, Robbie D, are you out there?). There’s also the ever growing list of super-welcoming Aussie writers/editors/con-goers we keeping bumping into, like Richard & Aileen, Rob & Cat, Zara, Deb, etc. etc. etc.! Double plus, we have a new wave of aquaintances to make, including Marty and most of the AHWA crew. Phew! That’s a lotta people for three days, in addition to (hopefully) stealing some chat time from Poppy and Neil.

I feel tired just thinking about it all! But it’s a once-in-a-lifetime kinda tired. The opportunity to function for 72 hours without sleep and pumped up on cocktails.

Yes, Ange and I will be there, and we’re going for a Toblerone cocktail challenge. Why? Well, Conflux put me in the mood to drink chocolatey alcohol from ridiculously large glasses. Ange doesn’t know this yet… exactly… but she’ll find out. Oh yes, she’ll find out… soon, my pretty, soon…