No, I have not been killed by aliens, but my poor blog has been neglected for quite some time. In the past ten months I finished studying (for the time being), started a new job, moved house, and had my first baby. It’s been an exciting time full of new experiences and challenges. Ironically, the more I have to write about, the less time I have for writing. Now I have once again resolved to make some time for it. No, ‘resolved’ is the wrong word. Resolutions get broken, and that brings guilt. Better just to say that I will try harder to make time for writing. My baby is starting to sleep a little more often, so I should be able to snatch a bit of time at the computer here and there. I will start working in earnest on some new short stories, and see about doing some book and zine reviews over the next few months.

Oh, and speaking of aliens, I hear there is to be a fifth Alien film. Please excuse me while I do a Happy Fangirl Dance. I’m very pleased that Ridley Scott will be back on board as the director. Much as I enjoyed James Cameron’s very different action/war movie sequel, Aliens (Ripley is one of the toughest mother figures in cinema, matched only by Sarah Connor in Terminator 2), and the strange, dreamlike vibe that Jean-Pierre Jeunet gave to Alien: Resurrection, bringing Scott back creates a satisfying sense of going back to the beginning. I don’t care if the critics hate it, I’m going to see this film, even I have have to bring the baby into the cinema with me.

For now, I’d better go and put on another load of nappies.
Signing off.
Come on, cat.

I’m woefully behind in my nanowrimo novel so far, and unlikely to finish. Ah well. I’m giving it my best shot. Sometimes life just gets in the way. In case anyone’s interested, my Nano screenname is Grand Moff Taco (yep, I like Star Wars a lot) and my novel, if I ever finish it, will be a detective story set right here in Brisbane. Good luck to my fellow travellers!

Just a quick note to say that I’m doing Nanowrimo this year. I’d post a web badge, but the site keeps going down on me (apparently it’s usually tricky to access for the first few days, then improves). My word count so far is just 1138 (ie. woefully behind already, since I’m supposed to be up to 5000 or so), but I may still catch up. This is my first attempt, so wish me luck!

Oooh shiny!Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere is available online for free! It’s for a limited time only, so hurry if you want to download it or read it online. USA Today describes it as “Delightful…Inventively horrific…[It] draws equally from George Lucas, Monty Python, Doctor Who, and John Milton… The chimerical stuff of nightmare and daydream.” I love it. Croup and Vandemar are such memorable villains, and the world of London Below is fascinating. The only thing I don’t like about it is that I get a bit tired of reading in books like this by English writers how wonderful London is. Don’t get me wrong, it is an interesting place, but there are other cities which are just as full of quirky little bits of history and narrative possibilities and it would be nice to hear about some of them for a change.

Gaiman’s new novel, The Graveyard Book comes out next Tuesday. Apparently it’s a homage to The Jungle Book, which appeals to me since I loved Kipling as a child. I’m also a major Gaiman fan, having devoured the Sandman series and his novels. It’s a wonder I get any writing done at all when there are so many good books in the world to read.

I’ve added Chris Reed’s blog to my blogroll, because I find it inspiring to see how many stories and submissions a person can actually get through if he or she doesn’t muck about and procrastinate as much as I do.

For anyone reading this who is also in or near Brisvegas, and is interested in writing or literature, the Brisbane Writers Festival is on soon. It runs from the 17th to the 21st of September, and they’re taking bookings now for ticketed events. I’ve just been looking through the program and there are some interesting panel discussions I want to get along to. I’m looking forward to it.

I know I promised more short stories soon, but I’ve been waiting to get something else published and it hasn’t happened yet. I have a couple of stories I’m waiting to hear back about at the moment, so for now I’ll just keep plugging away, trying to write something new and worth waiting for. In the meantime, have an inspirational quote.

The late Kurt Vonnegut on writing short stories:

Still and all, why bother? Here’s my answer: Many people need desperately to receive this message: “I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people don’t care about them. You are not alone.” (Timequake)