Archive for September, 2018

Aftermath

So, the dust has settled on my latest incident of outright stupidity.
Am I wiser?
Stronger?
Permanently cocooned in bubble-wrap?

No – not yet, at least! I certainly feel like a bit of a plonker, though 😉 Here’s what they did to me:

Jaw Xray

Note the metal plates, which fixed the split down the middle of my jaw. This has caused some loss of sensation in that area, presumably due to nerves they had to cut, so a few of my more exaggerated facial expressions are now off the cards.

The two matching fractures on either side of my jaw, just below the hinges, they decided to let heal themselves – wiring my jaw shut just to be on the safe side! This led to my kitchen looking a bit like the bodybuilding aisle at the supermarket, as it’s incredibly hard to get a sensible amount of calories and nutrients when everything you eat has to come in through a straw.

Protein Shelf

It did mean that my daily dish-washing chores were dramatically reduced though…

Sink of dishes

And on the upside, although my jaw is still a bit swollen – and my chest needs a shave – if any of my Romance writer friends need some gratuitous abs for their next book cover, I’m available nice and cheap 😉

Tonys Skinny Abs

A total weight loss of almost 6kg or 13lb (from a starting weight of 75kg or 165lb) has left me in dire need of a new wardrobe. Luckily, Roo has set herself the task of fattening me up again – presumably to slaughter in time for Christmas…

My first eating experience after getting my jaws unwired was a bit of an anti-climax. It probably serves me right for having it at McDonalds.

But I’d been craving a Big Mac ever since Roo went away – not surprisingly, junk food featured high on my list of survival foods while she was off camping for a week. And because I broke myself less than 12 hours after she left, I didn’t get to eat ANY OF IT!

First Big mac

So, I settled into my plastic chair and eyed the fresh burger hungrily. It had been four full weeks since I’d eaten anything solid.

And… It was weird.

Turns out, if you don’t use your jaw for a while, it gets weak. Now Big Macs aren’t known for their hardness, so I figured it would be an ideal re-introduction to the world of solid food. Unfortunately, like the star of my favourite Kiwi cartoon ‘Beached Az’ (check it out HERE) – I can’t chew bro! In fact, every mouthful was such a mission – and the act of eating itself felt so unpleasant, so different with all the missing and broken teeth, not to mention painful – that I pretty much resigned myself to a liquid diet again.

Cider through a straw

A liquid diet has its compensations…

Luckily, it did get better – most notably after my first appointment with my incredible dentist Dr. Laura Hall. She had to use quite a lot of filling materiel – roughly a wheelbarrow’s worth – and she strapped the remains of one of my molars together with a metal band in a last-ditch attempt to save it. My pain level is already way down, and I’m starting to get used to the new alignment of my jaw and what’s left of my teeth.

All that remains is to keep on eating… Roo is super happy to accommodate this, and is on the hunt for softer options in the surrounding restaurants. I might even get to try this place, which I’ve been eyeing up ever since I spotted their hilarious sign:

Mexican Food With Wall

However, the newly-opened authentic Chinese restaurant near us hasn’t quite got me tempted. I dunno, there’s almost something TOO authentic about that menu…

Pork Bung Menu

I will give you a fiver if you try the Pork Bung. Seriously.

So, I’m firmly on the road to recovery and starting to regain my strength. I hadn’t really appreciated how weak a full month of sub-1000-calorie days had left me, until I tried to walk up a few hills in Araluen botanical gardens. I managed though, and it was nice to be out in the sun. Roo took plenty of photos of the tulips – I think she actually managed to run out of storage space on her phone, which hasn’t happened since Dubrovnik! It was gorgeous though:

Tony n Roo at Araluen

 

Tulips at Araluen

It’s tulip season!

Throughout this whole ordeal, I can honestly say that two things have really made the difference, keeping me going when I started to get despondent. One is coffee – my daily walk to the local petrol station to get my fresh cup o’ Joe got me out and moving, and I calculate that coffee alone contributed over a third of all the calories I consumed last month.

I even dug deep in the back of our kitchen cupboards to find some tasty treats I’d been saving… but for some reason, they didn’t taste as good as I expected.

Out of Date Coffee

Turns out it was a tad past its use-by date…

And the other thing that’s kept me going? Well, that’s a no-brainer. It’s my gorgeous, wonderful, and infinitely supportive wife, Roo. Although I probably shouldn’t have introduced her with the words ‘thing’ and ‘no-brainer…’ Oops! Sorry love!

This week, along with celebrating my return to a solid-food diet, Roo and I also celebrated our anniversary. Not of the wedding, which I purposefully arranged to coincide with my birthday so I wouldn’t forget it… (I still forget it every year – along with my birthday…). No! This was the anniversary of that magical moment, twelve years ago, when we first got together.

In the shower.

Bless her, Roo hasn’t stopped blushing about it since. Of course, she’s thrilled that so many people have now read about it…

Just another fringe benefit of being married to a professional idiot!

I LOVE YOU FOREVER ROO!!! 

Me n Roo in Hammock

Back To The Future

Guess what? It’s OUT! I’m now officially a sci-fi author!

Earthwarden Cover

But DON’T PANIC! As the legendary Douglas Adams would have said. If you’re not a fan of science fiction, you don’t have to buy it. In fact, I’d rather you didn’t! Here’s why:

Amazon is pretty much SkyNet. It knows what you’ve bought, and when – and it uses this to predict what you’ll want next. Then it throws that stuff in your face as often as possible, like the worst kind of enabler.

What happens when a huge bunch of memoir readers buys a sci-fi book is, Amazon starts recommending that book to other memoir readers. And when those people don’t buy it – because why on Earth would they? – Amazon deems the book a failure, and stops recommending it to anyone.

But for anyone who does have at least a passing interest in exploding spaceships and the like, the book is here:

Earth Warden on Amazon

And it’s currently available for just 99c/99p!

Now, I’m not gonna lie – there’s a lot to like about this being-a-fiction-author-malarky. For starters – and I can’t overstate how much easier this makes life – you get to MAKE SH*T UP!!!

Book getting boring? Roll out a car chase! Need more explosions? Why, there’s a hidden stash of C4 just around the corner…

Instead of having to live through a whole bunch of incredibly harrowing life experiences, survive them, and then spend a year re-living them whilst desperately trying to scour my failing memory for every detail… oh, and at least TRYING to make them funny! Also, much as I hate to admit it – making sh*t up is a hell of a lot cheaper 😉

Don’t worry though – I haven’t quit writing travel memoirs for good, I promise! I’m just taking a break. A break which rather sneakily aligns with a potential shift in my personal circumstances… Yes, that’s right – I’m becoming a woman.

Drag Hiking Bluff Knoll

WHAT? But… (sigh!) No, you’re right. My nose really IS too big for that. Here’s what’s really going on:

Despite looking (and acting) like a twelve year old girl, in fact Roo is rapidly approaching that age where, if she were a horse, I’d be paying someone for a jam-jar of stallion sperm and a two-foot-long syringe.

This may be the only time in her life when she’s glad she’s not a horse.

But she’s started dropping random, casual hints, like, “I think family is very important,” and, “My biological clock is ticking,” and, “I’ve decided we’re having children next year.”

Roo ice cream dress

It was either this, or a pic of her dressed head to toe in My Little Pony gear…

So… My new career as a fiction writer ties in quite well with this development, as it doesn’t require vast amounts of extended travel. If all goes according to (Roo’s) plan, we’ll be able to travel quite a bit once we do have babies (twins, she’s already decided). At which point, I feel another crazy memoir is kind of inevitable…

But until then, there’ll be a bit of a gap on that front. And I do feel bad about it. I know there’s a whole bunch of you eagerly awaiting a new travel book, so I’ve been thinking about how to fill that gap.

As you know, the America trip didn’t result in a book, for a whole bunch of reasons. Basically, I just didn’t feel that there was enough material for a book, and I didn’t fancy spending a year stretching and padding it out, struggling to make it funny, only to release a steaming pile of drivel that readers gave up on after five chapters.

BUT – the trip DID produce SOME materiel, and whilst it’s not enough for a book, it IS enough for a whole bunch of blog posts!

Tony Licking Gum

Oh yes… this happened!

So, my plan over the coming months is to get a whole lot more active with this blog.

Relax! I’m not gonna be posting every day or anything! I reckon I should be able to squeeze something out roughly once every two weeks (still talking about blog posts here). There’s the USA trip, and a load of random things going on here in Perth that I wanted to write about…

And then there’s a threat I’ve been making for years now – ever since ‘That Bear Ate My Pants!’ was released in 2011. You see, in order to make that book saleable to the agents and publishers I was courting at the time, I had to cut about a third of the chapters I’d written out of the book.  The traditional book publishers just won’t touch long-winded rambling nonsense like I write. For some reason.

So, knocking around on various hard drives are those missing chapters – the ‘cut scenes’, if you will – for not only that book, but for all of them! Because for some reason, I seem incapable of writing a first draft under 150,000 words…

Missing Files

A few to be going on with…

So, my plan is to tweak those chapters one at a time to make them readable, and publish them on the blog as I go. Between them, the USA trip and other random stuff, I reckon we’ve got enough to keep us occupied for a bit. And who knows? If it turns out there’s more material than expected, perhaps another book will emerge from the melee?

And if not… Well. Just imagine what’s going to happen when Roo and I have kids. It’ll be absolute carnage. And I’ll definitelyget a book out of that!

Meanwhile, I’d like to take this chance to thank you all, so very much, and from the bottom of my heart. Without readers like you, I couldn’t do what I do. Hell, without you kind folks, I couldn’t eat! Not without getting some kind of ‘real job’ anyway, and you’ve seen what happens to me just standing around in a garden, so… Yeah. Probably best I don’t find myself working in a factory. Heavy machinery and me do not mix well.

So thank-you, once again, for everything! For your emails and Facebook messages, for blog comments and book reviews, and most of all, thank-you so much for reading my books. When I started with ‘That Bear,’ I had high hopes – but even so, I never dared dream of how well it’s gone. To have books I’ve written, in the hands of people as far apart as India, Japan and Brazil…

Granted, I’ve only sold one book in each of those countries, but that counts, right?

And that officially makes me an International Author. I reckon. And you did that! You lovely, lovely people.

Thanks again!

Tony in Leaves

This… also happened. Unfortunately… 😉