Winding Down

In just a few hours 2020 will tick over into 2021. It’s been an interesting year. The bushfire scars are still visible, even though the dusty gold of summer is everywhere now. I’m lucky enough to live in an area where we haven’t had much direct contact with the pandemic, but we’ve lived with the consequences of border closures, and lockdowns. I’ve learnt more about what I’m capable of, and more about the strengths of those around me. I’ve begun writing a new story that is lots of fun to write. I’ve written new music for the first time in a long time. I’ve been scared for people I love, and annoyed by my own ill health. Today I lost a friend whom I can’t imagine a world without them in it somewhere. Cancer sucks. Ok, it sucks every year, but as a parting gift form this year, it really sucks.

I wish you all a safe, happy, healthy and much kinder 2021.

It’s Almost Summer

‘It’s almost summer’ as the late, great Billy Thorpe once sang. For the last month we’ve officially been back in fire season, and this weekend we’ve had the first fires close to us. One was a tad too close, and headed towards a fertiliser farm. We had three trucks straight out to it, and they got it out very very quickly. I wondered if I could use that in a story, but thought it might be a bit of sh*tty act 🙂

Spring Scenery

Just a few weeks ago, thanks to the la Nina weather system, everything around here was green and lush. But things have been heating up, and though there s still a reasonable amount of green, we are seeing more of the gold as the hay dries out and is baled up and the grass verges along the road dry. I feel like I’m driving through Australia’s sporting colours every time I go to town right now. The wattle trees have finally lost all their blooms, but now the air around me is heavily scented with jasmine, rose – I have purple roses, sage, rosemary, and orange blossom. The lavender needs some work, but it is starting to come into bloom again too, so soon I’ll have that scent at my front door.

Research

My current WIP opens with my main character working on a silk painting commission. I haven’t done anything like that since high school, so I had to research the method and techniques, which I did via this website, and lots of youtube tutorials.

Of course, reading and watching all this has made me want to have a go at doing some myself. I really should, shouldn’t I, for research 🙂

Spamology

I’m still clearing out the mountain of spam that accumulated in here. The names often amuse me, today’s favourites include Lem Unfun (maybe a change of career, Lem, being a spammer can’t be much fun at all) and Karen Rat (I wonder what the rate of pay for spammer rats are? Is there a rat union?)

Oztober

The radio station I listen to is running Oztober, where they feature Aussie music from the last few decades, and listing some of the greatest Aussie bands of all time, as voted by their listeners. Yesterday’s band was the Hoodoo Gurus. A band known for their upbeat and ever so slightly irreverent songs that poked fun at social mores – but my personal all time favourite of their work is the more serious tune 1000 Miles Away. A song that in a gentle soft melody, cuts away the glamour of fly in fly out work, and shows the emotional, personal harm it can wreak on relationships.

What was that you were trying to say?
I guess I was a thousand miles away.’

Songwriter Dave Faulkner.

An apology

I haven’t been around here very often. That’s about to change. I faced some major health issues, and had a friendly parting of the ways with my publisher, but am finally starting to get on my feet again. Over the last year I’ve been working on a new stand alone novel. A rural take on the urban fantasy genre. Some of the research has involved learning about eco-terrorist groups, and has been utterly fascinating.

That time I cried over a robot …

At least I know I’m not the only one who found themselves teary-eyed when NASA announced that Opportunity had died. People created art, memes and even a Song for Opportunity

Youtubers, astrophysicists, ordinary people who barely even knew Opportunity existed, and students from all sorts of places grieved. Especially with that last message – My battery is low and it’s getting dark. But what really did me in was the last message from NASA to Opportunity. Billie Holiday’s I’ll be seeing you:


I’ll find you in the morning sun
and when the night is new
I’ll be looking at the moon
but I’ll be seeing you.

information …

I have a fairly accurate weather station gadget (official temp gauge is 50 kms away in one direction, and 70 kms the other) Yesterday was hot enough that I didn’t look at my station display until evening, and it was still 45.6 C (114.08 F) but I have no idea how hot it was at the hottest part of the day. This story is proof that you can have access to the latest, most up to date information – but it’s only of value if you choose to actually look at it.

Today is supposed to be hotter. I’m probably not going to want to know today’s temperature either.