martinlivings: (Nice Pants!)
We have a rock dove that's set up a nest in one of our hanging potplants, right outside our bedroom window. Below is the laest photo of what lies within its mysterious confines...



(click for full gallery)
martinlivings: (Nice Pants!)


Oh, and... Tony Abbott??? Tony freakin' Abbott??? This is the man who'll lead them to glorious victory at the next election??? I don't think so, guys...
martinlivings: (Mister Phoenix)
50050 words!

Go Martin...

Go Martin...

Go Martin...

Go Martin...

Go Martin...

Go Martin...


The book isn't done, mind you. I think I'm probably a quarter of the way through the story, though it's difficult to tell at this point. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. But I think I'll take a brief break from it, catch my breath, and have a think about where it's going to go next.

Still... go me. :)
martinlivings: (Genius)
Currently over at Sinister Reads, they're profiling some Aussies who've been recommended [1] for the HWA's Bram Stoker awards, basically the biggest awards for horror in the world. The latest post, HERE, covers two of my favourite LJ buddies, [profile] felicitydowker and [profile] ashr501 for their long fiction. It also includes what I think is a funny quote:

His most recent story, The Message, appeared in Midnight Echo #2, a story which award winning author Martin Livings said “… ‘jeez, I wish I’d written this!’”

"Award winning"! I have to laugh at this. Felicity's already won more awards than I've managed in twenty years of doing this, and I guarantee, if Andrew hasn't beaten me already, he will very soon. Still, I have to enjoy it, as it's the only chance my name will be mentioned in a post about recommendations for the Stokers. :)

Nice one, guys... not to mention [profile] kaaronwarren being recommended for Best First Novel, something which I clearly think is worthy.
martinlivings: (Default)
Wow, my first formal review for many years [1]... I hope it turned out okay! And if not, sorry [profile] kaaronwarren!

http://www.asif.dreamhosters.com/doku.php?id=slights

[1] Some might remember that I used to do this quite a lot. Specifically, from 1992 to 1996, issues 10 to 23 of Eidolon. Damn near ruined my ability to read for pleasure for about ten years afterwards, I might add. This time around, it was an unsolicited review of a book I bought for myself. I don't think I'd ever go back to reviewing anything given to me, unless I got to choose it!
martinlivings: (Mister Phoenix)
Yeah, I'm not doing these every day this time around. Just from time to time.

NaNoWriMo Day Five
Target: 8330
Written: 10103
Position: +1773




Blather about the book beneath the cut... )
martinlivings: (Nice Pants!)
It seems the gods are consiring to keep my spirits up on the first day of NaNo... firstly, Antipodean SF has released its latest issue, including my story, "Zero Point", one of my increasingly-rare forays into SF stories. So, yay me!

And secondly, The Specusphere has released a new issue, and in it is a plethora of reviewy goodness, including:

Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror Volume 3 - "Other particularly strong and disturbing pieces included... There was Darkness by Martin Livings..."

And:

Midnight Echoes Issues 1 and 2 - ...the final piece, “Piggies” by Martin Livings, would have been earmarked as my personal favourite despite its short length, had I not just eaten when I read it. It quite literally left my toes curling and helped maintain the lingering feeling of uneasiness I had developed in reading this anthology.

It's great to see Specusphere start to really take on Australian horror, it's been a little lax in doing so, but with [profile] felicitydowker there carrying the flag for us, I'm sure we'll get even more reviews in the future!
martinlivings: (Mister Phoenix)
NaNoWriMo Day One
Target: 1666
Written: 1964
Position: +298


martinlivings: (Genius)
So, yesterday on Facebook, I bragged to [profile] mikandra that I wasn't going to plan anything to write for my NaNoWriMo this year, just go with the flow. Nothing in mind.

Yeah.

Then I went to bed and continued reading [profile] kaaronwarren's Slights, struck by the voice and style she's using in it, a personal, rambling Palahniuk-esque flavour. It reminded me of how I once intended to write a book I've been thinking about for some years now, a non-genre novel called Mister Phoenix. I've tried to figure this book out dozens of times over the years, but could never crack it.

I turned out the light, closed my eyes, tried to go to sleep.

Then Mister Phoenix appeared before me, almost complete. I saw the entire book, from the opening line to its conclusion. I saw the characters, the voices of the characters, the method of the storytelling. And I saw that it just might work.

It's hard sharing a bed with a writer, just ask my sweety. I leapt out, ran to the study, and frantically typed some notes (not too many, mind you!) before they faded. Then I went back to bed.

Today it's not quite as clear as it was last night, but it's still there. And it's a book and a style that will benefit from the quick-fire method of NaNo, it needs to be a stream of consciousness, entirely subjective and as unstructured as I can bring myself to be [1].

Now I have to wait a fortnight for NaNoWriMo to start. I can hardly wait!

[1] I'm a ridiculously structured writer, it's one of my worst flaws. Before I start a book, I usually decide how many chapters I'm going to write and how long each will be. Kind of kills the spontenaeity of it, huh?
martinlivings: (Nice Pants!)
So, I've had a few days of holidays on my own. I decided to go on a bit of a movie and TV binge, catch up with a pile of stuff I've been meaning to watch.

Under a cut, though no real spoilers for Saw V, Midnight Meat Train, Feast 2 and 3, Dollhouse and Torchwood: Children of Earth... )

Not bad for less than a week, huh? Now, of course, my sweety is on holidays with me, so we won't be watching quite as much, I suspect. But it was nice while it lasted. ;)
martinlivings: (Default)
Yes, I've been quiet, mainly because (a) I'm on holiday, and (b) my Internet has been shaped. Oh, and (c) I've got no real news to speak of. But it's early on a Saturday morning and I'm blearily awake, thanks to the unseasonal heat and strong winds outside, and [Bad username or unknown identity: jennifer-brozek"] has just posted the table of contents for the Close Encounters of the Urban Kind anthology from Apex Books, and there's my name, smack bang in the middle. Not to mention [personal profile] petekempshall too. No, really, don't mention him, he's already getting a swelled head. ;)

The ToC is currently looking like this:

Alma Alexander - I Am Sorry for Talking So Rarely to Strangers
Erik Scott de Bie - Racing Lights
Richard Lee Byers - End of Life
Nate Crowder - Frames of Reference
Ivan Ewert - Waterheads
Robert Farnsworth - A Late Night Snack
Pete Kempshall - Dead Letter Drop
Carole Johnstone - The Invitation
Rosemary Jones - Two Out, Wendigo
Martin Livings - Lollo
Eric Lowther - It Came from the Backseat
Ramsey Lundock - Tea Cups & Saucers
Shannon Page - The Hippie Monster of Eel River
Joshua Palmatier - Mastihooba
Jennifer Pelland - Headlights
Rick Silva - Roadkill
Jeff Soesbe - Green Tears on Black Velvet
Eddy Webb - Gloomy Sunday


Once upon a time, I'd pretty much know every single person who's in a book with me, by close reputation if not personally, and mostly personally. This one's a bit scary, even more so than Grants Pass. I feel like I've walked into a party and realised I don't know anyone there. Gyulp!

Can't wait to read it, though! That's the main reason I submit to books, in the hope of getting a contributor's copy to read! :)

That's all. Back to the peace and quiet of holidays.
martinlivings: (Default)
More writing squee... thanks to [personal profile] editormum, I found I'd scored an Honorable Mention in [personal profile] ellen_datlow's Year's Best Horror for 2008! One day I'd love to get an actual reprint in there, of course, but considering the competition, I'm pretty frickin' chuffed to even get noticed.

The list of fortunate Aussies is dutifully posted HERE.
martinlivings: (Default)
So, being too impatient to wait for [personal profile] jennifer_brozek to announce the official line-up, I searched the blogosphere, and found a few other authors and stories that will also be in the Close Encounters of the Urban Kind collection. The ones I've found so far are:

Pete Kempshall - "Dead Letter Drop" (nice one, [personal profile] petekempshall!!!)
Nathan Crowder - ""Frames of Reference"
Shannon Page - "The Hippie Monster of Eel River"
Erik Scott de Bie - "Racing Lights"
Jeff Soesbe - "Green Tears on Black Velvet"
Ivan Ewart - "Waterheads"
Martin Livings - "Lollo"

Big congrats to all the lucky ones above, and I can't wait to see who else got in! Though I'm genuinely shocked that [personal profile] jaylake didn't scrape in... apparently not for reasons of quality, just suitability, but even so, I'm stunned...
martinlivings: (Default)
Well, [personal profile] jennifer_brozek wasn't kidding when she said she'd get back to people in October... I just found out my story "Lollo" has somehow made it into her Close Encounters of the Urban Kind anthology!

I think that's officially my first purely international sale! Yippee!

martinlivings: (Default)
Big congrats to [profile] mikandra and [profile] felicitydowker on their honorable mentions in the most recent WoTF quarter!

http://wotfblog.galaxypress.com/2009/09/3rd-quarter-first-set-of-honorable.html

And, additionally, how did I only just hear that [personal profile] jasonfischer WON the previous quarter???

http://wotfblog.galaxypress.com/2009/09/2nd-quarter-winners-announced.html

Almost makes me reconsider my tenuous moral objections to the competition, it does... which, in turn, is just my easy excuse for not entering and getting ignored by it! :)

Not that I'm probably eligible anymore... )
martinlivings: (Carnies)
Two writerly things have caught my eye today. Firstly, the good news that the wonderful folk over at [profile] twelfthplanet have accepted a story of mine for their Spec Fic for Kids project. It's not an area I write in very often, so I'm over the moon that they liked it. It's actually a really old story that I reworked, one I wrote for my niece many, many moons ago. It'll be great to see it in print, and love the fact that Twelfth Planet are exploring such previously largely-ignored demographics as this. It's so good to see some SF aimed at people who aren't necessarily white adult males (yes, including me! I'm a member of an oversaturated market target audience, deal with it!).

Secondly, I notice a new horror market in Australia has just opened for submissions here:

http://www.blade-red.com/submissions/

I especially liked the guideline:

Try to avoid the overused cliches like senseless revenge, cookie cutter serial killers and predictable monsters.

Based on this, I think I might have to write a story for them titled "Senseless Revenge, Cookie Cutter Serial Killers and Predictable Monsters". The possibilities are already whirling dervishes in my twisted mind... *g*
martinlivings: (Default)
I made the finals in [personal profile] jaylake's Flash Fiction competition! Woo!

Go read the stories, then vote for the one you like best, whether it's mine or not. The more people who vote, the truer a result we'll see. Of course, I'd prefer if you voted for me, but only if you genuinely like mine best. Honest. :)

http://www.jlake.com/2009/09/15/flash-fiction-open-voting-poll/

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Martin Livings

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