Monday, October 20, 2008

Tank's For Nothing

We've had a semi-formed plan for a few weeks now to get the kids a little aquarium for Christmas. Back in Sydney they had a couple of goldfish (who had to be donated to their daycare centre when we left) and the question of replacing them has been raised again, so why not?

As with most things, timing's everything. If we hadn't been discussing it, my wife wouldn't have mentioned the plan to a couple of her friends. They, in turn, wouldn't have immediately revealed that they were moving house and no longer wanted their warm-water set-up ...

So we're now the proud owners of some very swish fish in a proper tank with sunken ships and everything. Woo-hoo! Thanks then to Jane and Andrew for being early Santas.

Meanwhile I've finished that story for the Morrigan crew and fired it off for judgment. Won't hear anything more about that until next month, but there's plenty to be getting on with in the meantime. I should probably start on that other yarn they asked me to think about some months back, shouldn't I?

And even though it's the most abject and disastrous display of football I've ever had the misfortune to witness, I'm trying to maintain a sense of humour about those lads in north London. So this one's for Steve Nash, who has so far resisted rubbing it in too hard (but give him time):

What's the difference between Spurs and a triangle?

A triangle has three points.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Here's Voices

My contributor copy for Voices just arrived (hurrah!). It's on general release at the end of the month, although I understand convention-goers in the UK and those lucky enough to make it to Conflux in Canberra earlier this month have had sneaky previews. I'll be reading it as soon as I'm done with a book about Beijing.

Parallel to that, I completed the first draft of another submission for Morrigan today. It still needs a good scrub-up (the dialogue could have been written by my five-year-old son), but considering I was looking at not finishing it at all when the housing crisis was at its height I'm pretty damn pleased to have got this far.

And further to the housing issues, yesterday saw - for the second time in two houses - our sewage system backing up and volcanoing excrement all over the garden. The plumber, who proved the strength of his stomach while clearing the blockage, told me it's not an uncommon problem in houses around here.

'Really?' I responded. It didn't seem right to say 'No shit'.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Use It or Lose It

Got a good solid block of writing in today, polishing off a couple of thousand words for a short story I've had on hold since before the move. It's the first time in weeks that I've been able to sit in one place and work undisturbed for a few hours.

Unfortunately it seems my body's got out of the writing habit: my back's just started to seize up from sitting and typing on the laptop. Which confirms (albeit for different reasons) that the best thing you can do if you want to be a writer is to keep on writing.

I'm off now. Going to lay flat on the floor for a bit.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Not-So-Grand Theft Auto

It's nice to see that even though we've only moved a couple streets across from our old house the tone of the neighbourhood has dropped dramatically. At any rate it didn't take long for our car to get broken into.

Satisfyingly the potential thieves - who had a choice of plundering sweet wrappers, some cassettes from the 80s (Now That's What I Call Music 6 ... classy), a couple of old magazines and a half-eaten Vegemite sandwich - got away empty handed. Fuel prices being what they are, there wasn't even any petrol in the tank for them to siphon out. Obviously unimpressed they left the door open so the interior could get rained on. Ho hum.

In other crime news, our dog dug a hole in the garden next to our back porch this morning, unearthing a large pile of 'exotic' cigarette butts. Good to see that even though she quit the force seven years ago, she's still got it.

Meanwhile it's still school holidays here, and keeping the kids amused is always a problem for parents. Yes, there are all those who argue that sitting the littlies down in front of the TV for an hour or two is a Bad Thing, but then again the alternative is to let them make their own entertainment.

Bet they wish they'd let him watch Ben 10 now.