I went to Pulp Fiction (Brisbane’s Finest Specialty Crime & SF bookstore) and bought new books earlier this week and I’ve managed to forget that until six minutes ago, when I rummaged through my bag and unearthed copies of Charlie Huston’s Sleepless and the Zombies Vs Unicorns anthology and the latest Gail Carriger novel and…well, it was the kind of shopping trip that involved mass consumption, so it’s rather nice to  forget about the books and unearth them once more. And there is, as always, a paper bag. And I have, as always, used the paper bag as a hat; there is no wastepaper baset in the study, so wearing the paper-bag-hat ensures the bag gets thrown out next time I’m walking past a bin.

But yes, I forgot I bought books. It’s been that kind of week.

On Monday I went up to Rockhampton for the day job, meeting with people and seeing places that are part of the project I’m project-officering for the Queensland Writer’s Center. I’ve known a few people who grew up in Rockhampton over the years, most of whom speak of their former home with the lack of affection that comes from being a teenager growing up in a smallish-city/largish-town, but it turned out to be a lovely city that utterly deserves to be overrun by a steampunks. Lots of glorious old buildings and very wide streets and a surprisingly good sushi place in the CBD.

My favourite part of the trip, however, was the ride home. We had some technical difficulties prior to take-off, the kind that see you go the tarmac and sit there for a while before the plan returns to the gate. There were appologise from the pilot and frustrated passengers and messages sent to the ground crew.

Then they turned the plane off and turned it on again, and apparently everything worked just fine.

Technical support is the same everywhere, I guess.

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I’ve been reading China Miéville’s Kraken at the moment, which is a somewhat surprising book. I’m used to Miéville’s books being good – even when I don’t particularly enjoy them, they’re always an engaging reading experience – and I’m used to them being interesting, but this is the first time I’ve read a China Miéville book and thought, wow, this is fun. There’s weird cults and giant squid and a reference to Pauley Perrette within the first fifty pages.

I like it when writers surprise me.

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On Thursday there was write-club at Angela Slatter’s place and I did a bunch of words on Flotsam and a slightly lower number of words on Claw and a handful of words on a short story. I’ve been writing the last five stories in the Flotsam series as a single, novella-length thing rather than five individual stories, mostly as a way of ensuring that I get everything done that I want to get done by the time the final story hits in December.

Chapter 1/Flotsam 8 is more or less drafted, which means there is rewriting and editing and figuring out of a title, but there’s at least eleven days before it’s submitted and that’s more lead time I’ve had for a Flotsam installment all year. I find myself opening up the draft and looking at the file with suspicion, rather the same way you glare at the sunlight when you come out of a movie cinema in the afternoon expecting it to be night and it isn’t.

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Every now and then people send me links to flash games, and I almost immediately wish they wouldn’t because flash games are the kind of evil that keeps me from doing anything for several hours. Angry Birds ate most of the twenty-four hours, Sushi Cat devoured an entire week while I played and replayed, Dice Wars continues to be far more engaging than any game that simple deserves to be.

Occasionally people ask me to join them on MMOs, and I mostly just laugh and explain there’s no way in hell. The closest I ever got was spending two weeks playing Champions Online, ’cause it was free and it was super-heroes and OMG there are some things that shouldn’t be allowed to exist, and after I tore myself away from that experience I vowed not to go back for fear that I would never do anything else again, ever.

This is not an invitation to send me links to flash games. More a plea that people stop.

  1 comment for “

  1. 24/07/2011 at 2:07 AM

    I loved living in Rockhampton (three years at uni there). A lot of fun as a student!

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