Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Next Big Project...

Something is stirring...

When I stepped down as President of the AHWA last September, I needed to get right away from everything and recuperate. Catch my breath. Spend time on my own writing. Read some books—read lots of books. Just have fun.

And I’ve been doing this, and it’s been going well, and I want to keep doing this—but maybe a couple of months ago now something started stirring deep down inside of me, where I thought I’d poured enough scotch to kill all living things for the next decade at least.

Whatever it was, it continued to grow, making me unsettled, unable to relax. Anxious.

The Next Big Project, that’s what it is. I’ve now seen the top of its ugly head, seen its hideous eyes staring up at me from the dark. Felt it kicking as I lay there trying to sleep.

So, knowing it won’t go away, and knowing that, in line with the demented side of my nature, I don’t want it to go away, I’ve slowly but surely been drawing my plans...

Oh, I’m not alone in this madness, I have co-conspirators, friends to help raise this demonic child of ours. We can’t give any details just yet but stay tuned, that’s for sure. Because it’s going to be huge.

On another more wacky note, I posted in December about how a retired NORAD officer had predicted UFO sightings over Moscow and then London. Well, it turns out he was mostly right. They’re the Galactic Governance Council’s ships, apparently... Honest. There’s going to be a cosmic intervention within the next few years. Serious. The aliens are going to save the world because our ecosystem is on the verge of collapse. I kid you not.

I’ll be out there in my tinfoil undies, waving my sign, ‘Take me! Take me!’ Ah, it'll be grand.  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Stokers, live on the computer!

For those of you--like me--unable to make it to the States to watch the Bram Stoker Awards this year, you can watch it live at 11.30am Sunday 19 June Australian EST (Sydney time) on Ustream, following this link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/horror-writers-awards.

Macabre; A Journey through Australia's Darkest Fears (edited by Angela Challis and yours truly) is nominated in the Superior Achievement in an Anthology category, with Kirstyn McDermott's story from that anthology, "Monsters Among Us" nominated in the Superior Achievement in Long Fiction category.

For a full list of nominated works, check out the Horror Writers Association website.

Personally, I'd be stunned if Macabre won but not so surprised if Kirstyn pulled it off ("Monsters..." is a fantastic story and Kirstyn's having a golden year). Either way, it'd be damn brilliant. So best of luck Macabre, and best of luck, Kirstyn!

And besides, if Macabre doesn't win, I still have this: 'Dr Marty Young is a Bram Stoker nominated editor...' and that's just hilarious.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's so good to be home

What a long two weeks it’s been.

I spent the first week in Oxford (that’d be England for those without any geographical yee-haw), catching up with long lost friends and no doubt making a tit of myself at my mate’s wedding (I mean, c’mon, who’d ever pick me as a Best Man??). Awesome fun though, met some awesome folks, and learned without doubt that I really absolutely have to buy a PS3 (thanks Chris!). Nazi Zombies rule!!

It’s always great hooking up with Rosscoe, and it was doubly great meeting the new Mrs McBride, hanging out with Mikey again after an absence of what? Something like twelve years?—and getting to know the crowd that puts up with Ross. I did spend most of my time there fighting jetlag; the days leading up to the wedding were pretty non-stop, so I didn’t really get a chance to catch my breath after landing, and this wasn’t ideal when trying to talk to strangers.

Oh, and boys, those stag night photos...... altogether way too much nudity in them—especially seeing as how there was no female stripper in sight... Naked men doing the haka. Probably shouldn't say anything more.

(photo by Chris Knight)

Anyway. Then it was off to Krefeld, Germany, for work. So I’m slowly recovering from jetlag and the craziness of a wedding, and now I find myself in the land of pork knuckles and beer. This, I tell myself, is not too bad, but I soon find the language barrier tiring after an already tiring week (no, no stinking rotten cabbage for me please, no, you don’t understand, I only want the pork - turns out though that I quite like stinking cabbage). 

I hit the shores around the time of the e-bola outbreak and was instantly told not to eat salad, which to me, meant I had to stick to pork and beer, which I was kind of happy about (boy, I’ll be hitting the gym when I get home!). Tried several local dishes, most of which were damn good, but the herringsstip was a little too special for me (slimy cold fish soaked for months in salted water, that's what it tasted like....). Still, you do have to try these things.

Found a great restaurant and discovered you're pretty much given a beer the moment you sit down, and keep being given a refill unless you put a beer coaster over your glass. Excellent. You even get kicked out if you ask for anything other than beer. And if you'd asked for beer from another region..? Well, best not to do that, either. These wacky Germans. 

So what do you do in Germany (other than eat pork and drink beer)? Well, for a geo-geek like me, you race down freeways that have no speed limits (never knew you could be made to feel like you’re standing still when going 150km/h...) and visit a huge coal mine (5km long), then play with 12 million year old wood that would burn fine on a fire today. Basically, you do lots of other work-related rock stuff. Yes, I did mention that word 'geek,' so what did you expect? I was there for work, after all. 

I was incredibly well looked after by my hosts but was looking forward to getting home again by the end of it all. I really do need to learn some more languages, especially with all the travel I do. Maybe Latin, that’s a good base language. It's really quite a challenge when you don't speak the local language. 

Never made it to Amsterdam, which was a shame as I liked the idea of getting ‘lost’ there for a night. Oh well, gives me something to aim for next time—and it’s probably safer if I do that under adult supervision... 

Despite all the wedding madness, the work madness, the pork and the beer, I did manage to finish Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. Awesome series, with Wolves of the Calla being my favourite. The final book was so terribly sad; I don't think I've hated and loved a book as much. A real heart-wrencher. And the ending..... Ah man. Shit. 

So now it's onto a collection of science fiction short stories - while I wait for my Kindle to turn up!