Category Archives: linkage

Where the bloody hell are you?

When the internet first broke through the egg and pecked the datagoo from its downy wings, a lot of people (well, me at least) thought that the Web would be like a series of big rooms at a party. You’d put all your stuff in one room and play with it, and other people would come by with drinks in hand because they wanted to see and play with your stuff, and you’d have fun and get drunk and maybe accidentally sleep together, and when you wanted to check out their stuff you’d go to their room and hang out and maybe accidentally sleep with them and soon the party would be pumping and every room would be a comprehensive storehouse of one person’s presence and there would probably be fucking.

As you can see, this metaphor does not work. Although the internet is full of rooting, that much is true.

Instead the internet has become more like a network of swingers’ parties, where you leave a set of your keys in bowls across your suburb and okay fine I’ll stop with the inappropriate metaphors, spoilsports.

But yeah, the notion of the one-stop portal or the one site where you have your presence and that everyone comes to is pretty much cactus these days. Instead our presence is  balkanised, divided up into manageable, focused portions that do a specific thing and hopefully do it well. When I set up this site, I wanted it to be the hub of that online presence, and it’s serving pretty well as that, but I can also be found in a bunch of other social media/commentary sites, in case you wanted to stalk me. And you know, I’m okay with that, so long as you’re the kind of stalker who buys their target a beer rather than cuts their feet off.

Please don’t cut my feet off.

So anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about the way we spread ourselves over the internet as I work on The Obituarist, and decided to do a run-down of the various places I’ve left a notable footprint. This is where I am:

  • Here. Duh.
  • LiveJournal – I blog as artbroken over there, and back in the day I used to blog a lot. Like once a day minimum since 2002. But the old grey mare she ain’t what she used to be; LJ started to fall apart under the weight of mismanagement and ugg boot spam, everyone pissed off to Facebook and I stopped being so goddamn angry all the goddamn time. Now I post something there about once a month, usually about gaming, negativity or why I don’t post much to LiveJournal any more.
  • Facebook – Of course I’m on Facebook. Everyone’s on Facebook. It’s practically mandatory. These days I mostly use it to help coordinate social events, pimp blog posts, check in with what my wife and a few friends are doing and post the very occasional cool link. I keep feeling like I’m doing something wrong, and it could be so much more if I let it. But stuff that.
  • Google + – I was a fairly early adopter, and like some early adopters I keep wondering if I should go back to the orphanage and see if they have a smarter kid lying around. G+ seems to be a Facebook alternative without the depth of social tools or significant audience, and all I ever post there is links back to posts I make here. Maybe one day it’ll shed its cocoon and become a beautiful butterfly.
  • Twitter – Man, I fucking love Twitter. I dragged my feet over getting onto it for the longest time, and since then I’ve racked up like 6500 tweets in two years. It’s a great place to explore brevity, for one thing; it’s about communicating effectively in a small space, stripping out detail to develop nearly glyphic forms of text. Or to dump links and make smartarse comments about politicians.
  • Amazon – I have an author page there, which has information on Hotel Flamingo, Godheads and a bunch of RPGs that don’t provide me with any royalties. But I can’t find it in my heart to let them go. The Amazon page is barebones, but if people leave positive reviews on things, that might bulk it out. Hint freakin’ hint.
  • Smashwords – I have an author page here too, with links for the ebooks and the various free stories up there. It doesn’t compare visually to the Amazon page, but there’s more of my own stuff to read.
  • Goodreads – Aaaaand I got an author page here too. Although I don’t sell any stuff through the site, so it’s mostly just a feed from this blog and a general request to please god help a brother out with some reviews and recommendations, pretty please man I need this homes.
  • LinkedIn – I really don’t know why I’m on here. I’ve never done anything through the site, and mostly get contacted by people I barely know who seem to just want to professionally network for the sale of professional networking, rather than because they genuinely want to forge business/editing connections. But hey, maybe one day it’ll pay off.
  • Flickr – I have some photos here. They’re pretty old.
  • RPGnet – I go there to talk about roleplaying. Which I used to do a lot, back when I was writing RPGs and had more spare time and was generally much grumpier. Now I just pop up occasionally to say something semi-constructive and then vanish again, leaving only the links in my signature block.
  • Obsidian Portal – Ooh, such a spooky name! This is where I write about my D&D game. If that doesn’t interest you much, I understand. If it does, go check it out. We have session writeups and a pretty detailed wiki.

That’s about it, I think, other than the various banks and online stores that make posthumously cleaning up someone’s online identity traces such a chore. If Kendall Barber was obituarising me I think it’d be fairly straightforward. And a bit freaking meta.

How about you? How thinly is your identity butter spread across the crispy toast of the internets? Where do you pitch your tent online? And do you have any stories about good ways to use LinkedIn or G+? ‘Cos I’m struggling with them, I really am.

Stuff and nonsense

So I had a really, really good plan for a blog post tonight, one where I had facts and figures and could talk with authority about practical matters.

But I left all my notes at work.

So this is not the best blog post in the world. This is just a tribute.

Or, to be more accurate, just me talking quickly about a few good things, much like I keep meaning to do with those Thursday night posts. Which are going to become Wednesday night posts, because people keep asking me to hang out and do stuff on Thursdays.

Music

I saw My Chemical Romance this week. Good gig! Less theatrical than I had expected from the band that gave us Danger Days and Welcome to the Black Parade; no costumes, no pyro, no crazy lighting displays. Just guys playing rock and roll, which is cool. I like gigs like that. And most of the kids in the pit were actually dancing, rather than just standing there filming the show on their iPhones, which made it an improvement over, say, Muse last year.

I’ve also been listening a lot lately to Sleigh Bells and Childish Gambino, both of which (whom?) I should have been listening to long before now.

Comics

My wife got a stack of BPRD trades for Christmas, so I’ve been catching up on those and on Hellboy. BPRD is a really intriguing series in the way it counterbalances high-stakes action-horror, like giant Cthulhuesque monsters rampaging across America, with more street-level material drawing from a variety of real-world sources and then partially gonzofied. It’s really clever stuff, and the art at this point in the series is by Guy Davis, so of course it looks amazing. (One of the high points of my game-writing career was having my words on the same page as Davis’s art. A-MAZE-ING.)

In celebration of the MCR gig, I also reread Gerard Way’s two Umbrella Academy collections, which are surreal and occasionally disturbing superhero comics that drench pop art in Grand Guignol and outright silliness. I hope he eventually does a third series, or alternatively makes good on his promise to write a Danger Days title.

And then there was the news of DC Comics doing a bunch of Watchmen prequels. But we’re only talking about good stuff here.

Games

2012 is shaping up to be a big nerdy year for me, with my D&D game back on schedule as of today (it was cah-razy) and joining another campaign being run by the excellent Mister Kevin Powe. The news that yet another bloody edition of D&D is in the pipeline has made me appreciate the kinetic, cinematic fun of 4th Ed even more, and I’m looking forward to playing the hell out of it and not bothering with the new shinyness.

I also just finished Dragon Age II yesterday, which was a disappointment but not a crushing disappointment. From a weak start it eventually starting raising stakes and exploring themes, and the gameplay was generally fun, but still, riddled with problems. Much like my post on Arkham City, I think I could write an essay on DA2‘s plotting problems, specifically talking about the consequences of actions (or lack thereof) and the need to build a cohesive narrative rather than just a patchwork quilt of events. Maybe another time.

More importantly, I have the videogame monkey off my back again, and can devote more of my time and imagination to writing. Which I’ll do. Scout’s honour.

(Fun fact: I was kicked out of the Scouts.)

Books

One thing I’m excited about right now is the news that Louise Cooper’s Shadow Through Time trilogy, published in the early 2000s, is coming out in ebook form. This was a really solid romantic fantasy series that deserved better exposure than it received, coming at a time when Australian fantasy was experiencing a high point in local publishing and sales but still not making headway into international markets. The ebook format will hopefully change that (although Australian ebooks still have to work hard to find UK/US readers, which is something worth talking about sometime in the future).

Plus, hey, great new covers.

So anyway, if you’d like romantic fantasy that’s a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Excalibur, you should definitely check these out.

Right now I’m reading Alan Bissett’s Death of a Ladies Man, and struggling with it a bit. The writing style is fascinating – fragmented, poetic and playful – but the pace is slow and I’m finding it more difficult than I expected to sympathise with the main character. But damn, the style is really intriguing.

After that, my to-read list includes Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot, Lev Grossman’s The Magician King, Duane Swierczynski’s The Blonde and Guy Adams’ The World House on my table. (I don’t know anything about that last one, but I wanted to check out the sort of thing Angry Robot Books is publishing.) If you want to know when I get around to them and what I think of ’em when I finish, you could follow me on Goodreads. Would that be interesting? I’m still not sure what Goodreads is really for, but hey, if you’re on there, you could do worse than follow me.

Graeme Riley, Ace of Cats

He’s doing better, thanks for asking!

Okay, that’s enough chitchat for one night. Back to more focused topics next time.

And now, sleep.

Swag!

Christmas has come and gone, and has brought with it the true spirit of the season.

Getting (and giving) kick-arse gifts!

(Yeah, I know there’s some stuff about Jesus and family and peace and so on, but I like the present part best.)

What did I get for Christmas? Well, I’m glad you asked, particularly since almost all my gifts have relevance to writing in some way. Which makes this blog post relevant, rather than just self-indulgent filler.

A new office chair: Well, technically I got two new office chairs from my wife, because the height controls on the first one stopped working after two days, and we had to replace it lest I be left typing with my head level with the PC’s keyboard. But fortunately the folks at Officeworks were very understanding and replaced it with an even better make & model for the same price. Obviously the main thing I do at my computer is writing, and over the last few months, as my old chair fell apart and became awkward and uncomfortable to sit in, I came to realise how important a solid, comfortable chair is for sitting and writing for long periods, or even short periods. I’m not saying that all of my lower-than-acceptable 2011 writing output can be blamed on my old chair, but it’s not here to defend itself, so yeah, it’s all about the chair.

Locke & Key Volume 2: I’ve waxed rhapsodic about this stellar comics series before, and that was just based on the first collection. Now I have the second, and will be reading it tomorrow while hooked up to a platelet extractor at the blood bank for a couple of hours. The interesting point about this title is that author Joe Hill is best known for his prose work, the horror novels Heart-Shaped Box and Horns and the anthology GhostsL&K is his first foray into comics, but he doesn’t write it as if it was prose, as too many novelists or scriptwriters do (and yes, I mean J. Michael Straczynski), with an emphasis on captions, expository text and dialogue. Instead, Hill lets the artist do what he needs to do, to lay down visual information and structure so that dialogue and captions add depth and meaning, the two parts working together to tell the story. It’s wonderful stuff, it’s great craft, and it’s a reminder that different forms require different approaches.

Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? Yes, another graphic novel, but this one was signed by author Neil Gaiman when he did a presentation at the State Library a couple of weeks ago. There are a few takeaways here. There’s the primarily metatextual nature of the story (it’s at least as much a comic about Batman comics and Batman’s place in pop culture as it is a comic about Batman), and as we know I’m kind of a fool for metatext and stories about stories. There’s the fact that a fictional character can gain and develop so much recognition and complexity over time that a comic about his place in pop culture can actually work as a narrative. And, of course, the point that Gaiman is so successful as a writer that he now spends far more time talking about his writing than he does actually writing. Much like me. Sort of.

A new wireless USB adapter: My old one had terrible internet connectivity and often just stopped working for no good reason. Now I have a sleek black one that holds the signal and is more reliable. Which is important, because how can I write without an internet connection? Um… well, to be honest, I think it would be good for me to get away from the internet and just focus on writing without the constant distractions of websites and MMOs. And I’m going to do more of that in 2012 – getting out of the house with my little laptop and setting up in a cafe for an hour or two. It’s very Northcote. Then I’ll come home and use my reliable connection to blog about doing it. It’s win-win.

The Marriage Plot: I had requested this new Jeffrey Eugenides novel at the local library, but I was 15th in the queue, which is more interest in one novel than I’ve ever seen there before. It’s refreshing to see that much demand for a non-Stephen King, non-Twilight novel. There’s always doom and gloom out there about declining reading rates and the death of literature and wah wah wah, but the truth is that there is a real and thriving market for literary fiction and for rich writing. It needs work and luck to get attention, sure – I doubt so many people would have read Middlesex if it hadn’t won the Pulitzer – but once you find that audience, you keep that audience, and it’s hungry for more of your work. I know I sure as hell am.

Scott Pilgrim Versus the World (DVD): It was a fun movie that deserved more attention, the cast was great (especially Chris Evans, which was unexpected) and I plan on both watching it again and lending it to friends that haven’t seen it. And yet, the important thing is that the original series of graphic novels had a great deal more complexity and depth, not to mention much more consistent pacing and character development. Like I said above, different forms require different skills and approaches, and adapting a work from one medium to another is a difficult task. Something is always lost, and in return something is (hopefully) gained. I think that, on the whole, Scott Pilgrim lost more than it gained in the transition – but then again, nothing was lost, because the graphic novels are still there. So it’s a lesson in the difficulties of adaptation, but also in the fact that the original work endures.

A flashing d20: It lights up and flashes when you roll a 20. FUCK. YEAH. That’ll put the fear of god into the players in my 4E D&D Eberron campaign, which I want to get back to on a more frequent basis in 2012. Is that relevant to writing? Well, yeah – roleplaying doesn’t help your writing per se, but it’s a great way to hone and develop storytelling skills like pacing, plotting and characterisation. Chuck Wendig’s got a good essay here on why writers should play RPGs. But fine, alright, I’m reaching a bit on this one. I’ll try to be more relevant with the writing benefits of the next item.

A bottle of Wild Turkey American Honey bourbon liqueur: Yeah, okay, I’m just gonna drink this. And I’m gonna really enjoy it.

So what about you guys? Any good presents? Anything that’s got a buried lesson about the craft of writing, or that makes writing easier? Or, alternatively, any good booze?

 

Thursday come around again

Hey gang,

Man, it’s been a while since I did a mid-week post, hasn’t it?

In my defence, I simply didn’t want to do them. Well, I was sick, and my cat was sick, and it was really hot and blah blah blah whatever. Let’s be honest here, it’s mostly that I’m lazy, and 2700 word posts about Arkham City don’t come to be unless you give some serious attention to hunting down Riddler trophies on weeknights, you feel me?

But Arkham City is done (for now), and my new distractions of Dragon Age 2 and Portal 2 have yet to fully get their claws into me, so I thought I’d come briefly chat about a few bits and pieces.

…umm, lemme see, I had some conversation starter notes written down somewhere…

Really, our cat is sick. Graeme Riley, Ace of Cats – whose inexplicable fame I have discussed before – has either lymphoma or hepatitis, neither of which is a good thing and have caused him to lose too much weight and become more needy and unhappy than usual.

Fortunately, we took him to the vet early enough, and whatever is wrong with him is easily and affordably treatable, once the diagnosis is confirmed. The affordable part is important – turns out that diagnosising pet ailments is really fucking expensive.

But with any luck he’ll soon be well again, just in time for his next round of international media events. Seriously. Like he needs any more Facebook fans.

One of the best things that happened for me this month was a review of Hotel Flamingo at the eNovella Review website. Writer Trevor Price seemed to really enjoy the book, calling it ‘exceptionally clever’ and that my writing ‘at times borders on the gnomic, but never fails to entertain’.

More to the point, he called me ‘a sort of skittish Borges’, which may in fact be the most awesome thing anyone’s ever said about me, as a writer or as a human being. I’m going to be riding high on that for months. And it made Greg Stolze jealous, which is kinda cool.

So that was very cool, and it was gratifying to finally have one of the review submissions I’ve made bear fruit. If you’re looking for reviews of shorter ebooks, I recommend the eNovella Reader; they seem to be really interested in finding good material and putting the word out.

Speaking of novellas, it looks as if the core concept of The Obituarist – a social media undertaker – has gone from an odd fringe idea to mainstream, as reported by this story in the Fairfax press this week.

There was a window there where I could have been a visionary. Instead of being a bum.

Still, this article doesn’t involve identity theft, bad plastic surgery or aggressive neckbeards, so my novella is still charting some new ground. And it’s coming along.

And speaking of publishing, there’s been a lot of noise in the Australian community (although less in the press than you might expect) about Dymocks’ new D Publishing initiative. The bookseller’s venture into vanity publishing isn’t getting a lot of good publicity, largely because their contracts seem to have been written by lawyers who thought that Amazon were being way too generous with their publishing contracts – you know, the ones where they can change the price of your books whenever they like, hold all the rights and can trademark your internal organs.

Jason Nahrung has collected some links that analyse and criticise D Publishing’s initial positions, and they’re well worth reading for anyone who’s thinking about approaching Dymocks to publish their book. Which, let’s be clear, is a Pretty Bad Idea.

There’s this podcast, War Rocket Ajax, that N. and I listen to every week. It’s about comics, mostly, and it’s funny and clever and the guys who present it understand what makes for good and bad writing.

This week, though, for their Christmas special, the regular presenters (Chris Sims and Matt Wilson) teamed up with rapper Adam Warrock and comics writer Matt (Iron Fist, Iron Man) Fraction to spend nearly two hours dissecting the Insane Clown Posse/Psychopathic Records Christmas album Holiday Heat, and this may be the single greatest, wrongest thing ever committed to podcast. I mean, fuck, I listened to this at work, and within 7 minutes I was hunched over at my desk, face in my hands, struggling to laugh silently while I totally lost my shit.

It doesn’t matter if you’re into comics, hip-hop, pop culture, whatever – listen to this. It will chainsaw your fucking mind.

In a few days – love, grief, uppercuts and visual stimulus.

It’ll make sense, trust me.

Blogtober

No-one yelled at me and told me to write something more interesting the last time I ran through my list of the worthwhile blog posts I’d read over the course of the month, so consarn it, I’m gonna do it again.

‘Consarn’ is a good word. I think I might name a D&D character that one day.

  • Cam Rogers has a short-but-smart breakdown of seven things he’s learned about writing for kids. I can’t say that I want to do any children’s or YA work myself, but it’s still good to consider what the differences in style and focus are.
  • Bogtober

    Russell Bailey has another instalment in his Cavaliers of Mars sword-and-sorcery worldbuilding exercise, this time about the people of Mars. This is gaming directed, in the main, but I find it a really interesting exploration of tone and how it can be efficiently conveyed in an expository format. Plus, come on, Martians with swords.

  • Foz Meadows gives us a really fascinating essay on book piracy, whether it really hurts writers, the possible benefits of it and the potential benefits of the try-before-you-buy mentality. While mostly ambivalent about piracy / filesharing / whatever, I’m not quite as upbeat about the implications as Foz, but she argues a good case, and I like the way she tries to look at the issue from both a writer’s and a reader’s POV.
  • Kate Beaton has a comic about Kraven the Hunter. It’s ace.
  • Louise Cusack talks about the value of critiquing other people’s work and how it can give you insights into your own. She’s right on that; editing and dissecting the work of a friend gives me immense clarity on my own work and how to make it better. Louise also touches on how to do a memorable book launch, which mostly made me jealous, since a book launch for an ebook is mostly a matter of uploading files while sitting in your underwear and eating Nutella straight from the jar.
  • Flogtober

    Ben McKenzie, the Man in the Lab Coat, writes about Ada Lovelace Day and interviews three women that work in the computer science and video games industry. It’s a good read, and a reminder that female gamers and comp-techs really do exist and shouldn’t be treated as mythical vagina mutants.

  • Jay Kristoff has been writing about suck – both how important it is, and then how to avoid it. Which may seem like something of a mixed message, but it’s a great one-two punch about the need to overcome fear of failure in your writing, and then how to correct failures after the fact through judicious editing. Courage, then ruthless efficiency. And suck. Which is apparently a noun now.
  • Michael Pryor discusses the ‘powerless hero’ and the need to give a protagonist the power and willingness to act. I don’t know that I agree with that, because I really enjoy stories about protagonists that have only one of those things and the difficult position it puts them in, but Michael argues his case well and it’s good food for thought. I also very much liked his post about learning stage magic and what it taught him about writing. Because, in the end, everything can teach us something about writing.
  • Gamer emeritus Rob Schwalb, my former Green Ronin homeboy, talks about the myth of the new gamer and whether the introductory RPG sets on the market really fulfil a genuine need.
  • Pyramid Head-in-a-smock-tober

    Alan Baxter talks about NaNoWriMo and why he doesn’t get involved. I share some of his issues with the project/event, although I’m not as against it as he is, and in fact I might just write about it myself this weekend. But he makes some good points that are worth considering. And, as a slightly-after-Blogtober bonus, a great post about how he got two good friends to savage the crap out of his work and how it made the writing better.

  • And Chuck Wendig wrote approximately eleventy billion blog posts, started a collaborative word-building project, published two new ebooks, called out some author ebook writers for being fuckwits and probably fathered another kid for his ever-growing army of loyal minions. If I didn’t respect him so much I’d have him killed. I still might. Anyway, too many fucking great posts to link to. Just stick his damn blog in your Google Reader feed already.

On a semi-related note, the new Google Reader design is a canoe filled with arse.

September blog round-up

Okay, that’s a boring title. Maybe I should have recycled some previous hits, like BLOGS: THREAT OR MENACE?, or something tongue-in-buttcheek like HELL COMES TO BLOGTOWN.

But it’s been a long week at the day job, and my imagination banks are wrung dry and would really appreciate being topped up with bourbon and sleep. So, since this is a light mid-week post and I want to save my A-grade material for the paid bigger post on Sunday, I thought I might work my way through my Google Reader blogroll and point y’all at much better blog posts than this one that were written in September (and early October, just ‘cos I can).

Not that kind of round-up

(PS I know I was supposed to post this earlier in the week. I got distracted. THIS IS WHY I CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.)

Not that kind either

As for me, well, I keep on keeping on. I plan to get back into the sweary polemics this weekend, which should make for a more interesting read.

(Incidentally, if this kind of overview post is interesting to you, let me know in the comments. For that matter, tell me if it sucks possum ringpiece. Just talk to me. I’m so lonely.)

Let’s talk about ME for a change

Heya, everyone.

After the last couple of very long posts about writing philosophy and the like, I feel the need to kick back with something light for this mid-week post – and something much easier and quicker to put together. (Although it’s still over 1000 words. I really suck at brevity sometimes.)

So, in no particular order, here’s a bunch of things that I’ve been doing, seeing, reading or planning.

It has pictures! I promise it won’t be boring. Well, not that boring anyway.

Writing

So I said I’d get back to work on Arcadia, and I have – but I haven’t worked very hard on it. Too many other things on my plate in the last couple of weeks.

So here’s the pitiful update to the wordcount tracker:

Less than 1000 words over the course of two weeks. You may feel free to call me a useless dickhole.

Mind you, I did a fair bit of other writing with two long posts here. And neither of those were as long as the extended essay/rant I wrote on my LiveJournal a couple of days ago about – of all things – the upcoming reboot and relaunch of the DC comics superhero universe.

Yes, that’s the one with Batman. You may have noticed that I am a guy with Opinions About Batman.

Anyway, I find I’m more comfortable talking about that sort of thing – both bitterness and nerdiness – over on LJ than here, where I want to keep the focus on what I create (and think about creating) more than what I do for fun. Or rage.

In any case, there’s some 2300 words there about how grumpy I am that they’re giving Superman shoulderpads and a plastic suit; read at your peril.

Reading

Continuing on the supers bent, I’m reading Grant Morrison’s Supergods, his treatise on the superhero concept and how it reflects core drives and elements of the human condition.

It’s interesting stuff, hampered a little by a lack of focus – or more precisely a focus spread across three or four separate works. There’s a history of the superhero comics industry and genre, an autobiography of Morrison, a discussion of his philosophies about superheroes and society, some material on chaos magic and use of magical thinking, and at one point a 14-page essay on which is the best Batman movie. (He liked The Dark Knight, but then again so did the rest of us.)

I’m enjoying it, certainly, but I think I was expecting more. Perhaps unjustifiably. It’d be intriguing to see what readers with less knowledge of comics history, and of Morrison’s body of work, make of it.

I’ve also been reading a comics series called Scalped, and holy shit you guys, this is some great stuff. It’s a crime comic set on an Indian reservation ruled by corrupt tribal elders and plagued by drink, drugs and general hopelessness. Then along comes a shitkicker former resident called Dashiell Bad Horse – surely the best name any character anywhere has ever had – to stir up trouble, largely against his will, but in part because he just can’t help himself.

This is violent, hardboiled grindhouse crime that is at the same time clever and layered. Writer Jason Aaron brings a grounded, merciless edge to everything, writing about bloody fistfights and meth lab raids while simultaneously exploring themes of family, spirituality and the weight of history. Artist RM Guera fleshes that out with moody, rough-edged pencils and a controlled colour palette that occasionally opens out to show the liberating (or suffocating) landscapes and expanses of the reservation.

Really enjoying this stuff. Read it if you like to see people yell motherfucker while getting their head broken open, but still want to feel like you’re partaking of something with intellect and merit.

Watching

I’m very bad at watching TV, which I know sounds weird. I can’t be arsed watching it on my own; I have to have someone there with me to share the experience, or else I get bored and wander off to do something more interactive like read, play video games or bitch about comics on the internet.

Anyway, watching the new Doctor Who series – and by that I mean the Eccleston one – is high on my to-do list. I also want to check out Leverage, which I hear is really good, and Bored to Death. And I’m just waiting for the second season of Community to come out on DVD so that I can grab it straight away.

Anything else I should be checking out?

Listening

I’ve been more or less obsessed with two albums for the last 3 months – My Chemical Romance’s Danger Days and Los Campesinos!’ Romance is Boring.


       

 This seems to imply that I am in fact a 22-year-old art school student, rather than a 40-year-old editor and writer.

Ah well.

Anyway, these albums are awesome, but I’m no music journalist so I’ll leave it at that.

Other Stuff

Cameron Rogers posted some extraordinarily kind things about me and this site last week, which was hugely flattering. I rather love his statement that I write ‘like an eloquent, furious Soviet’. I’m not 100% sure what it means, but it sounds fucking boss. I’m contemplating returning the favour with some kind of interview or Q&A with Cam in the next week or two. We shall see.

I’m taking a week off from the day job, in order to avoid going mad and stabbing someone after five straight months of editing maths textbooks. During that time I plan to ride a few bike trails, work on Arcadia (and get more done), and write an article for Inscribe, Darebin Council’s quarterly journal on local writing and writers. That won’t come out until November (silly print media), but it’s hugely flattering to be asked to contribute.

I might also put together some more free fiction for the site and for Smashwords. We’ll see how time shakes out.

Your Turn

So, what’s happening? What are you reading, watching, playing, attending or having inappropriate relations with? Comment now, don’t be shy.

And stay tuned for Sunday, where I talk about a subject dear to my heart – grammar and punctuation. You have been warned.