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Thought

Some days you wake up late. I woke up late today. I'm behind in everything. Tomorrow I turn thirty one. Maybe it's related. Probably not.

Today I booked a car for when I'm in Vegas in a month's time, since me and C are driving to LA for laughs. You can see more of a place in a car than you can in a plane, I figure, even if you're just going through desert. Everyone keeps telling me what an evil place Vegas is too. Everyone except A. She tells me it's everything about America thrown into one bright, undying spot. She recently married a nice British girl and is living in France now, is A, and maybe the French surrounding her explains the comment. But then, like the whole waking up late bit, probably not. At any rate, in three or so weeks I'll be in the States, doing my one con every five years thing at WFC, and there's some kind of Australian consulate party before that, which thankfully, I'm skipping. Every now and then a bit of info floats my way about the Australian Group doing This or That and part of me thinks that you don't spend twenty-four hours trapped in a tiny space to cross international borders so you can hang out with people you can see without that trip, but perhaps that's just the cynic in me speaking. Perhaps people network better in a group. Perhaps some kind of Australian group think happens. Who knows. It's not like I'm ignoring them anyway, so maybe I'll Australian it up for the time I'm there and drink beer, offer to throw boomerangs, and talk about how under appreciated local authors are to people who don't give a shit.

I have spent my morning cleaning up my CV, since, though self employed, I figured I'd put it in for casual tutoring at Universities. Doesn't hurt to keep that sort of thing fresh, and the money for that is good, and on short term periods. Worse comes to worse, I'll hear nothing, or I'll get an offer and turn it down if it doesn't suit me. Part of what I'm doing, however, is updating my publications list. I've been doing this, one way or another, since I left High School at the end of 1994. That's a fair chunk of my life. In that time, I've managed to sell forty one short stories, two novels, and one chapbook. Some of it shit, some of it not. I've written reviews, poetry, comics, even scripts. Some of it published, some of it made, some of it not. I've tried for cash, I've tried for art, and I've tried to say something I felt. At one stage, I reckon I've done all them things. Yet, I show up at places to give lectures and workshops and I'm Dr. Peek, the author of Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth and Black Sheep, and it all sounds a little bit silly, as if no one fully understands the context behind those words. It's not a complaint, mind you. It's just that when you see who you are on paper, you think it ought to mean something, or that the books got published in the country I live in, or that they were read widely and appreciated by a vast range of people, like you think all books are when you first start reading. There is, thankfully, a diversity to the people who are here at this blog, and who read my stuff, so that's good, but there's always a struggle for readers. I know the numbers of the books I sell. I'm always struggling for new readers--but then that's no different to people with distribution, with big publishers, with fat cash advances. It's just the numbers that change.

I'm listening to the Jesus and Mary Chain as I type this. Tomorrow, thirty-one. It's all cool. There are places to go, things to do, goals to be reached. I got no complaints.

Comments

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underdogautopsy
Oct. 11th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
There was this initial feeling like, "Damn you, Jon. You should have known it was going to be his birthday tomorrow." Then reason stepped in and said, "And just how the fuck would you have known that? Stop being so hard on yourself."

So following that exchange, I wanted to say, "Yo, happy birthday!"

Wish I lived nearer to Vegas or L.A. so I could join up with you for a beer when you come this way, but alas... the western lands are just as foreign to me as Australia.
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC)
heh. yeah, you shouldn't worry about the bday thing. most people don't pay attention to it--it's a kinda useless thing, outside the once a year look round moment where i say, 'hmm. shit. this is my life.'

it's a shame you ain't near those places, man. but i'll likely be back at some stage for the places i missed.
bluetyson
Oct. 11th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC)
There's no doubt it is worth seeing Vegas for yourself.
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 03:34 am (UTC)
that's what i figure.
catsparx
Oct. 11th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)
Dude, some days you really do come across as a miserable old cunt. Just which of the Aussies travelling to WFC do you actually see on even a semi-regular basis? Why don't you just admit that you're a snob?

Vegas is awesome. Plastic, revolting and awesome.
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC)
of course i'm a snob. it's what makes me such a cynic. 'sides, all those australians with blogs. i see them online. it's enough ;)
catsparx
Oct. 11th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)
I bet you don't! I bet you don't read any Aussie blogs. You got a bad case of the cultural cringies. I'm going to pretend I'm from Sweden so maybe you'll say hello now and then.
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 04:52 am (UTC)
the accent better be authentic, man. i tell you, i won't take no second rate accents.

and i do read the blogs.

so long, y'know, as they're interesting.
catsparx
Oct. 11th, 2007 04:58 am (UTC)
ernde klernde blernde... I'm practising with a tape of the Swedish chef from the Muppets
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 05:16 am (UTC)
i'm turned on already.
catsparx
Oct. 11th, 2007 05:16 am (UTC)
figures
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 05:17 am (UTC)
if you could slap me with the wooden spoon, too?
catsparx
Oct. 11th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC)
I've packed it already
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC)
sweet.
chrisbarnes
Oct. 11th, 2007 05:36 am (UTC)
If you're going to be Swedish, maybe you could try to feed Ben some of Deb's Swedish Bitters at WFC. Cause, you know, Ben's not bitter enough. ;)
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC)
bite me, barnes. i'm not bitter about shit.
catsparx
Oct. 11th, 2007 05:45 am (UTC)
hehehe... Good plan, Barnes.
girliejones
Oct. 11th, 2007 05:32 am (UTC)
In some ways I'm just psyched to be able to hang out with my friends for 4 days straight. There's Americans I wanna hang out with too and people I wanna meet but yeah... I'm excited about seeing my friends.
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 05:46 am (UTC)
nah. i'm interested in the newness. new everything--new people, new places. in fact, i should just skip the con altogether and go to mexico's day of the dead :)
girliejones
Oct. 11th, 2007 06:14 am (UTC)
see for me, seeing a lot of those people in person is still new. To you, Cat is old hat!
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 10:26 am (UTC)
yes.

old hat is exactly how i'd describe cat :)
(Anonymous)
Oct. 11th, 2007 07:11 am (UTC)
birthday
Hey Ben, just wanted to say happy birthday. 31's a riot I promise you - Dean Alfar
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 10:26 am (UTC)
Re: birthday
thanks, dean.
(Anonymous)
Oct. 11th, 2007 08:29 am (UTC)
I actually don't think Vegas really represents the US very well. For me it is sort of boring. Last time i went there, I intended to spend the night, but left after an hour or two. You should go to San Francisco, I think it is more interesting!
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 10:27 am (UTC)
maybe next time. i can only do so much this time round.
strangedave
Oct. 11th, 2007 08:41 am (UTC)
Vegas IS everything about America thrown into one spor. So obviously, its evil. It is a 'family entertainment destination' with poker machines everywhere (there are some in between getting off the plane and picking up your luggage, and some in every supermarket), and scary little guys handling you cards advertising whores as you walk down the street. A street on which half the people are drunk at any time of day or night, some just walking swigging. You'll see brides and Elvises. It is, as Cat says, awesome, plastic and revolting.

I highly recommend seeing it at least once. Don't plan on staying more than about three days unless you like gambling, strippers, or are really rich. If you were really rich, I think it could be entertaining for a few weeks, especially if you like seeing a different Cirque De Soleil show ever night.

And yeah, you're fairly antisocial and not a team player on this whole Team Australia thing. We get that. Its OK. Writers have to write, but if you don't want to spruik and sell and hang out with your peers, they are all optional extra parts of the writer gig, and much less important than the writing part. Just stop stop being defensive about it, and stop trying to make it sound like its just because you are a cool cynic.
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 10:30 am (UTC)
dude, if you knew me, you'd know i WAS a cool cynic and really quite undefensive about any of this shit. is life, though.

i'm not staying long in vegas. i don't gamble, and when i do, i don't gamble well. i'm just going to see the sights. maybe get a quicky marriage to a stripper i find there. that kinda thing.
strangedave
Oct. 11th, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC)
I didn't say you weren't cool and cynical, I said you weren't just cool and cynical.

Yeah, Vegas is fun for the bizarre culture of excess for a while, and to look at the spectacle of empty soulless hedonism that passes for the average American idea of fun (I've got nothing against hedonism, obviously, I just prefer mine more creative and soulful), but ultimately if you don't gamble it can get a bit dull pretty quick. I don't gamble either, and 3 days was enough for me.
(Anonymous)
Oct. 11th, 2007 11:22 am (UTC)
Happpy Birthday

A passerby
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 02:39 pm (UTC)
thanks.

you going well, p?
(Anonymous)
Oct. 11th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
I'm going well. Got a new job as a professional seat warmer...

A passerby
benpeek
Oct. 12th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC)
do you have to do anything in this seat?
(Anonymous)
Oct. 12th, 2007 10:48 am (UTC)
Look busy

A passerby
buymeaclue
Oct. 11th, 2007 12:00 pm (UTC)
Happy early birthday, old man.

(And hey, there will be at least two non-Aussies at that party. Assuming we don't have to fake funny accents to get in the door. I'm not good at funny accents.)
benpeek
Oct. 11th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
best of luck in that party :)
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