Thursday, September 29, 2011

Neighbours from Hell

I don't think I've ever been so angry for so long.

Being threatened with legal action over an issue thought dealt with came as a bit of a shock - but it is a neighbourhood association on the other side of the fence.

The tree was beautiful, it was strong and had, for twenty years, withstood gale force winds with barely a murmur. It wasn't yet full grown when the president of the NA complained about leaves marring the driveway to the townhouses. That was in March. I spoke with one of the residents who basically said, 'pshaw, don't worry about it. We have a gardener who can sweep them up.' Silly me for taking her at her word.

I should also note that I told the president why we didn't want to take the tree down: it absorbs a hell of a lot of water from run-off through our backyard; the natural drainage channel was changed when the bloody 'houses were built - the local council declined to accept responsibility. It gives us shade from the ferocious Summer sun and it was a gift from a now deceased friend.

Then last month we get a letter: take the tree down or we'll see you in court. Why? Because the roots of the tree allegedly bent the fence and are undermining the driveway. The fence was built crooked and there's no evidence of warping in the driveway. Two points I made clear in replying to the lawyers' laughable letter:

...we wish to remain on good terms with our neighbours and seek your urgent co-operation so that this matter can be settled in a fair and acceptable way to all concerned.

Yes, a direct quote. How can it be 'fair' and 'acceptable' and remain on 'good terms' when the NA says 'take it down or we'll sue' while disregarding our arguments? Worse, this is all about the president and her demands. Knowing all the residents, they are condemned by their indifference to the issue.

So we got a final notice: you have 21 days or we're going to court. Much as I would have liked to stare them down across a courtroom, the worry had a detrimental affect on the elderly parent's health.

The tree is no more, taken down yesterday and turned into woodchips. And as upsetting as all this has been, vengeance shall be ours.

We're going to plant three lovely deciduous silver birches. In a few years, the president can watch the leaves change to gorgeous autumnal colours - and then pile up on her doorstep. Every. Damned. Year.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Okay, now I know I've been watching too much rugby union (is there such a thing?). How do I know this? Well, I was watching an American football game and, once the running back was tackled, I expected a ruck to form... I'm just sayin'.

I've finally posted Huntress: Alone on Scribd.

And... I filched this from Jill Shalvis's blog because it made me laugh:

The Best Short Letters

Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the Ark wasn’t leaving till 5.
Sincerely, Unicorns

Dear Twilight fans,
Please realize that because vampires are dead and have no blood pumping through them, they can never get an erection. Enjoy fantasizing about that.
Sincerely, Logic

Dear Icebergs,
Sorry to hear about the global warming. Karma’s a bitch.
Sincerely, The Titanic

Dear Yahoo,
I’ve never heard anyone say, “I don’t know, let’s Yahoo! it…” just saying…
Sincerely, Google

Dear World of Warcraft,
Thank you for ensuring my son’s virginity.
Sincerely, Parents Everywhere

Dear Ugly People,
You’re welcome.
Sincerely, Alcohol

Dear World,
Please stop freaking out about 2012. Our calendar ends there because some Spanish dirtbags invaded our country and we got a little busy ok?
Sincerely, The Mayans

Dear iPhone,
Please stop spell checking all of my rude words into nice words. You piece of shut.
Sincerely, Every iPhone User

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Football heaven

I had a good sulk. With the help of David Tennant, Robert Downey, Jr., and Nathan Fillion, oh, and chocolate, I found my happy place again.

Of course, yesterday's opening season football match helped too. Although... what were the New Orleans Saints thinking?? No way that dude was going to make it through the line of scrimmage!

And the Rubgy World Cup started. Yay! Rugby all day today!. The All Blacks didn't look too good - they won against Tonga - but I could see the flaws. If they want the cup, they'll have to play better. Best image of the day? Sonny Bill Williams changing his shirt. That is one fine hunk'a manhood. The crowd duly shouted and whistled their appreciation - at least, the women did.

Love those tight shirts...

On another topic, if you want some writing stuff, head over to Lit Reactor. If you give them your e-mail, they'll send you some free writing advice from authors like Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahnuik, Max Barry, Bret Easton Ellis and others.

I have to go and find some photos now for the cover of the next book. I'd like to be a better artist, but I'm not. Then again, it's all about practice.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Some days...'s better to stay in bed and away from people.

So last month, I took the car in for an expensive service. The following week, they replaced the CV boot - something important and to do with the steering, I believe - the week after that, they replaced the seals on the crank shaft... thingy.

Today, I took the car back so they could reassure themselves about the other, minor leaks.

Two words: 'gearbox' and 'clutch'. Yep. Need replacing. On Monday. What's another thousand dollars? Heh... heh. Hmmm.

Needless to say, I drove home swinging between simmering anger and a pitiful 'why me? Why now?'

The day wasn't even half over when I tried to log in to complete this new job application stuff. Nup. Not. Happening. A long phone call later and I'm in, only to find that, at the end of another two hours of answering questions and submitting information, I have to print out pages, sign and send them off.

The printer, bless it's black heart produced two out eighteen pages before informing me it had run out of ink. Fine. I went up the street for a catridge and was told they didn't have singles, would I like a double - and, gosh, I'd save money! Here's a point: if you don't buy it, you're not buying it; if you buy one, you're spending money. Buying two doesn't save you money because you're already spending more than you wanted to!

Also and including during my day, is the threatened lawsuit from next door's Body Corporate lawyers if we don't take down a perfectly healthy and water absorbing tree. Because they don't like the leaves on their driveway.

Then, even following the instructions on the pack, I overcooked the strudel.


I need to go huddle in a corner now, have some serious me and David Tennant time. I'll be okay with David. If I don't go anywhere, don't answer the phone, for the rest of the day, I should be fine... with the help of some chocolate.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Curse you, dangling plot line!

In doing another read-through, I found I'd left a character's fate unresolved. It never pays to assume the reader will know what happened. So I've been busily doing some adjustments and adding yet more words. It's up to approximately 95,000 - give or take a few.

Now, I'll do another read to see what else needs fixing. But, before doing that (letting it rest), I'm hunting around for cover ideas. Next week for posting? Or sooner?

Gosh, a writer's work is never done!