Friday, November 21, 2008

Hear that?


That's silence, that is. I'd almost forgotten what that's like these last couple of weeks - I've barely had time to blink, let alone write anything here.

So, what's been going on?

Leaving aside the various illnesses that've ravaged the household (Vomiting! Sneezing! Man-flu!) it's been all about the magazine work lately. True to my prediction that things would kick off in the run-up to Christmas, I've been busy knocking out rewrites and arranging interviews for the Sydney mags.

This week's project has seen me banished to Perth's suburbs. I was out there to conclude a story dropped in my lap by another journo who hadn't the time to tie up the loose ends herself before leaving the mag for another posting. No, not the two-headed pussy - I was talking to a family who've had a pretty rough time over the last few years, but who are finally pulling out of it. Nice lot, polite and welcoming, but I wish they didn't live so far from the city. Perth's 'burbs freak me out at the best of times, but when I'm driving somewhere I've never been before in a car that's making worrying overheating hissy noises I get even more twitchy.

Squeezed in and around this I've been doing the usual reviews (Wanted has been my recent favourite, a film that gives hope to anyone who wants to be a Hollywood screenwriter. Seems if you can hold a crayon, you got the job) and catching up on some TV I've let slide past (The Wire - hurrah! Spooks - double hurrah! Dexter - woo-hoo!).

As to other writing ... hmmm. Not a lot of physical progress there, although I have been kicking around a couple of ideas for something I'm not nearly ready to get into properly yet. The story I had picked up at the start of the month still needs rewrites, meanwhile, but is on hold while Amanda-Editor moves house. Best of luck with that, I feel your pain.

After my catch-up with Mondy earlier this month, I've also joined the Australian Horror Writers' Association. It's more in response to the whole sitting-at-a-keyboard-in-isolation element of writing than anything else, as the consensus seems to be I need to get out more. Except that now I'll be staying in more to skim the website, obviously. Still, it's a good time to join - now I've actually got a couple of horror stories in print, I don't feel like a complete charlatan signing up.

I've also just heard from Mark over at Morrigan, who's been suspiciously silent for some time now (something about a new baby, no sleep, busy. Congrats, sir!) He's just got round to telling me that Just Us, my story from the Voices anthology, was performed at a reading at FantasyCon back in September ... by none other than the good Mr Simon Guerrier. Apparently fruit-pelting was at a minimum, which probably says more for his performance than my writing.

To finish off, a couple of other quick congratulations. First to old mate David Bishop, who after years of sterling work on Big Finish's Doctor Who spin-offs has just had his first commission for their main Doctor Who range - Enemy of the Daleks is out next May.

Meanwhile Who legend and complete gent Marc Platt has landed a twelve-part (count 'em: twelve) story for the same line. The Three Companions will be serialised throughout next year as part of the Doctor Who main range and features not only classic series companion Anneke Wills but also the delightfully barmy Katy Manning. How can you resist?

And that's me. Off now for some more reviewing. Keeping Up With the Kardashians Season One, anybody?

Ah, now that's silence.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Mags, Books, Writers, Awards

Christmas is coming, and with it a bit of extra work for some Sydney magazines who need the additional manpower over the festive season (to make their deadlines early and so get a little bit of time off for turkey and presents).

The extra hours mean my creative writing will obvously slow down a little, but in the meantime there's a spot of good news on that front too. I got word over the weekend from the editors of an upcoming anthology that the story I submitted at the end of last month has been accepted. Much as I'd like to rattle on about the book, I'll wait until there's been an official announcement about the contents. When that comes I can do all the exciting things like posting a list of authors and pictures of the cover. Until then, I'm just waiting on an email from the eds about tweaks, polishes and rewrites.

In other news, my writer mate Mondy has been in town for a wedding, and I popped out to meet him down the pub last night. A few familiar faces from Swancon also turned up to the catch up, and continued to initiate me into the names and antics of several players on the West Australian sci-fi writing scene. I absorbed as much as I could, but often there was just too much information - which again suggests I need to spend less time at the keyboard and more time getting out and meeting people.

Lastly huge congratulations to Rob Shearman for taking out a World Fantasy Award for his short story collection Tiny Deaths. There aren't superlatives enough to describe how good it is, so if you haven't read it yet, read it now. No excuses.