Monday, September 25, 2006

World Peace

Damn it. I was supposed to post something really silly today. Instead I wrote this half-baked 'Save The World' poem in a fit of self-righteousness, prompted by the complete lack of media coverage for the International Day Of Peace, which I also happened to ignore.


I don't care what your religion is
As long as you
Never kill another human being

I don't care what your beliefs are
As long as you
Don't impose them on others

I don't care if you're offended
As long as you
Know you are no more important than anyone else

I don't care who you are
Come have a beer with me

Friday, September 22, 2006

How To Save The World

Religion, politics and war are all prominent topics pervading the world's media and our thoughts at this point in history. I have some strong opinions on all of these, which basically amounts to a wish that all three did not exist. But focusing on a wish like that is ignoring the reality of the problems in our world.

Today I tried three times to write a coherent explanation of my thoughts and feelings on these subjects and couldn't come up with anything that expressed the truth of what is inside me. It was almost as if an answer to everything was hiding in a corner of my mind and all I had to do was take the correct mental route to let it out into the world.

But it didn't happen and I gave up. It's all just too complicated.

So instead I'll share with you a little ditty, courtesy of Zen Stories To Tell Your Neighbors.

It might be what I was really looking for.


A Tibetan story tells of a meditation student who, while meditating in his room, believed he saw a spider descending in front of him. Each day the menacing creature returned, growing larger and larger each time. So frightened was the student, that he went to his teacher to report his dilemma. He said he planned to place a knife in his lap during meditation, so when the spider appeared he would kill it. The teacher advised him against this plan. Instead, he suggested, bring a piece of chalk to meditation, and when the spider appeared, mark an "X" on its belly. Then report back.

The student returned to his meditation. When the spider again appeared, he resisted the urge to attack it, and instead did just what the master suggested. When he later reported back to the master, the teacher told him to lift up his shirt and look at his own belly. There was the "X".

I'm interested to see what thoughts this story triggers. Share away if you feel an inkling to. I promise to write something far sillier in my next post.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Danny Hawaii 'Live' On Thrilling Detective

3 billion years in the making, Danny Hawaii's debut adventure is up and at them in the latest issue of Thrilling Detective.

Read BREAKING IN and a slew of other fine PI material from the likes of Sarah Weinman, Kim Harrington, Russel McLean, and D.H. Reddall.

One of these days, I might even finish Mr. Hawaii's first novel.

But only if you ring in NOW, for the amazing low price of $1999.95!

Yes, you too can grab hold of the whole set of Danny Hawaii's misadventures in the ancient land of Rockabilly-nesia. Dance with the immortal Hula girls! Mix beats with the masters of funk and roll! Shamble your way through the fields with the local zombie hordes!

*needle scratches across record*

EDIT: If you're feeling a little ornery, try out the Redneck version of Danny Hawaii's debut, courtesy of the Dialectizer.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Are You Serious?

How serious a person are you? Do you spend a large part of your day stirring up trouble, streaking past office workers in your birthday suit, or playing practical jokes on innocent victims involving poo?

This is something I've been pondering lately. No, not poo, but how serious my writing is and how serious I want it to be.

After starting off a short story that will most likely become a new novel, my writing has taken a more serious tone. At first it was something I resisted, but more and more I have felt the pull away from humour.

It was the last story I wrote that really set me off in this new direction. I'm sure it will take forever to get out there into the publishing world, so I won't talk about it in too much detail, but suffice it to say that it's a story about meditation in prison. The nature of the subject matter called for it to be a serious story, and any humour in there is to lighten the somewhat heavy load.

The surprising thing about this story is that it has given me more satisfaction than anything else I have ever written.

On only a moment's reflection, it's easy to see why: the story actually meant something. There is a purpose to it other than pure entertainment. Usually, that would be enough for me, and in fact most of the time I prefer pure entertainment. I want to escape from the real world into one that doesn't necessarily teach me something about life, but simply shows me a good time.

So the next novel I'm working on is going to follow a similar path. It will definitely take a more serious direction, and I'm hoping that along the way I can find something deeper in it.

After that, it's back to making fart jokes.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hardcover vs. Paperback

I don't like hardcover books.

I don't like the feel of them in my hands, can't be bothered carting them around, and I'm not a fan of the smell that builds up on them over the years. Yes, I know I'm contradicting something I've said before, but so be it. The mark of being human is the ability to have contradictory thoughts without exploding.

My attitude to hardcovers is the result of the publishing industry in Australia and my childhood.

I'll tackle the publishing side first.

In this fine sunburnt country, hardcover books aren't that common in bookstores. At least not in terms of current fiction releases. Our market is simply not big enough to warrant the printing of large quantities of hardcovers, except in the more high profile novels like the Harry Potter series and anything by Matthew O'Reilly. And even these are often sold at very narrow margins by the bigger retailers.

Newspapers in Australia are also quite happy to review books in paperbook form, although this is usually in the larger C-format or trade paperback size. So there's nothing stopping Australian authors getting the same kind of promotion for paperbacks that authors overseas get for hardcovers.

As a result of this, most of the books I'm exposed to are paperbacks, so I've learned to relate the smell of them to the purchase of a shiny new story, filled with the promise of many nights of curled-up-in-bed reading bliss. And that's why I love the smell of a new paperback, reeking of binding glue and whatever the hell makes the cover smell so sharp.

My name is Daniel and I am a paperback addict.

Which wins for you, hardcover or paperback?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A New Novel Begins

Danny Hawaii's non-epic, non-saga of lack of love and betrayal has been sidelined for a couple of months now. I've filled that novel-writing void with the final polishing of a short story I have high hopes for, which probably won't see the light of day for about half a year.

But it hasn't been enough.

I don't plan to completely kill Danny off, especially since (any day now) he'll be making his official entry into the world of crime fiction (ANY DAY NOW). But having spent two years working on my first novel while learning to write--and perfecting my abilities at procrastination--I feel a need to stretch my writing muscles in a different direction.

Those couple of months of Danny Hawaii-sidelining have opened my mind up to be filled with new creative obsessions, inspired in equal parts by my trip to the City Of Shadows exhibition last year, and my recent reading of a true crime book about the underworld wars in Melbourne called LEADBELLY. Add to the mix a tasty sampling of Sara Gran's COME CLOSER and various excellent short stories over at Spinetingler Magazine, and the melting pot has started to boil.

So what are we looking at here? What's Daniel Hatadi's latest idea for a novel?

Without giving too much of the game away, it's looking like a cross between Donnie Brasco and Donnie Darko, Australian-style. It won't be about time-travel or bunny rabbits, it'll be more along the lines of crime bosses, drug-coated nightclubs and disturbing voices in the head.

I'm going to spend the next month trialling my ideas in the form of a short story and, if all goes according to plan, this will be the beginning of the novel. The first five hundred words are already humming away in my laptop, eagerly awaiting the return of my fingers.

Today marks this new beginning and so does this post. A step backward, a step forward, it's all part of the dance that is writing.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

PALE IMMORTAL by Anne Frasier

I am seriously psyched to read this, so that's why I'm part of the PIMP SQUAD for Anne Frasier's new vampire extravaganza of a novel, PALE IMMORTAL, which comes out today.

Read the first two chapters and learn more at the book's chilling blog:

Here's a detailed synopsis to whet your appetite:

Welcome to Tuonela, a sleepy Wisconsin town haunted by events of 100 years ago, when a man who may have been a vampire slaughtered the town's citizens and drank their blood. Now, another murderer is killing the most vulnerable...and draining their bodies of blood.

Evan Stroud lives in darkness. The pale prisoner of a strange disease that prevents him from ever seeing the light of day, he lives in tragic solitude, taunted for being a "vampire." When troubled teenager Graham Stroud appears on Evan's doorstep, claiming to be his long-lost son, Evan's uneasy solitude is shattered. Having escaped Tuonela's mysterious pull for several years, Rachel Burton is now back in town, filling in as coroner. Even as she seeks to identify the killer, and uncover the source of the evil that seems to pervade the town, she is drawn to Evan by a power she's helpless to understand or resist....

As Graham is pulled deeper and deeper into Tuonela's depraved, vampire-obsessed underworld, Rachel and Evan team up to save him. But the force they are fighting is both powerful and elusive...and willing to take them to the very mouth of hell.

And a music video:

I'm going to find a way to get hold of this book, even if it means flying half way across the globe. Or at the very least, getting someone else to fly for me. Like, you know, the U.S. Postal service. Yeah, they'll do.

Lastly, this will probably ruin my future writing career, but here's my pimp name:

Your Pimp Name Is...

Prince Mystery