Tag Archives: Adelaide

Merry Christmas

Just in case Santa didn’t bring you a copy of Paragon, you can still pick up your own copy at Smashwords! And if you feel like something a bit more ‘adult’ the Terminal Earth Anthology can also be picked up at Amazon.

But enough on the sales pitch. I hope your Christmas was wonderful and didn’t stretch your stomach (or your wallet) too much. We had to avoid ‘showers’ from the four koalas in the trees in the backyard as we played bocce, the kookaburras laughed at several of our games and the magpies spent the afternoon begging us for food. So it was a very Aussie Christmas.

Now, after two days of food, wine, gifts, food, great company, food and food I think it is time for me to have an early night. I hope you all were lucky enough to be surrounded by those you love, and you reconnected with those you do not see as often as you wish. That is the most wonderful thing about this time of year, so make the most of it and enjoy every moment of the Christmas break. Just look out for those brief showers under the gum trees.

Merry Christmas!

Nat

Flying high, then low, then high again

There was a storm last night, a BIG storm. I consider myself somewhat of an expert on last night’s storm because I was flying through it. When we took off from Sydney airport the sky was blue with a scattering of fluffy white clouds. It was peaceful for a while… about as long as it took to taxi out to the runway.

I’m sure you have all experienced turbulence, so I won’t bother to describe the stomach turning roll, yaw and bump of it all. What was unique about this experience were the angry lightning storms that accompanied us for the last half of the trip, forcing the pilot to run hundreds of miles off track. I watched out the window as jagged bolts reached out, trying to spear our wings and zap the electrics. Fortunately we were kept just out of range.

Nearly 40 minutes later than expected we landed safely when a gap between storms passed over Adelaide airport. So surviving the flight home capped off a wonderful visit to the Blue Mountains.

But now we get to the storm fallout. Aside from the cramps resulting from the stress my body went through from *willing* the plane to stay in the air for nearly two hours straight, I now have some promises to fulfil. You know the ones; if we land safely I promise I’ll <fill in good deed or overdue task here>. So deed one is to finish the edit of Paragon by NEXT WEEK. So if you have any young adults to buy Christmas gifts for, consider a download of my novel. At the princely sum of around $3 you might still have to get them something else as well.

Deed two is to start being more grateful; so to the staff of DJ436, thank you for not looking terrified as you walked down the aisle holding onto the headrests and overhead lockers to stop yourselves from hitting the roof. If you looked scared I think I would have burst into tears instead of just digging my nails into the armrests. It does beg the question of why do we have to fly through storms to resolve to make ourselves better people?

Happy flying,

Nat

PS Another nature shot, a bit closer this time…
Mother and Baby Koala

A terrific afternoon

Terrific is one of those words which can mean almost opposite things; very good or very frightening. I had a terrific moment by the Torrens River on Thursday, in both senses of the word.

The sun was setting, casting long shadows down the riverside footpath. A bunch of seagulls were huddling together on the grass, preparing for the night, and a young couple walked toward me, their energetic little dog bounding around their feet. A fish jumped from the river, landing with a splash that carried across the still water. It doesn’t sound like the moments preceding a potentially horrific experience does it? It actually sounds quite pleasant, and it was, but the terrible chain of events was already set in motion, and we were all helpless to avoid it.

Wondering what fish could possibly be living in the murky black depths of the Torrens, a river which gives up numerous bodies each time it gets drained (oh, I mean car bodies by the way), I decided to walk over and see if I could spot the piscean acrobat. At that same moment the little dog noticed the gathering of seagulls, and the temptation proved too much as he ran headlong into the gathering. The squadron of at least 60 birds took to the air, their flight path directly over the place where I was standing, trying to spot the fish.

Bird droppings rained down around me, inches in front of my face, my shoulders, my legs. I heard the thick *splats* as they hit the ground, the black and white goo spreading thick and smelly across the path. I couldn’t look up, I daren’t move, I just froze and preyed as the droppings kept coming.

And then they stopped.

I ran my fingers through my hair; nothing. Inspecting my legs, my jacket, my shoes -all were poo free! I couldn’t believe my luck, not a single dropping had made contact! So there you have it, a moment of terror, followed by a terrific feeling of relief.

And for those following my word count, I’ve edited 7 chapters since Wednesday, which is about 11,000 words! Not a bad effort in four days. I’ve also included (below) another nature shot of a mother and baby koala, taken just outside the house. It really is a zoo up here!
Mother and Baby Koala
Nat

What’s that on my arm?

Adelaide Hills Wildlife

In Cambodia, when you feel something crawling down your arm it’s usually sweat. In Melbourne, when you feel something crawling down your arm it’s usually dust. In Adelaide, when you feel something crawling down your arm, it’s usually a spider.

Yes, the Adelaide hills are home to all creatures, great and small. Especially small. I can find at least three spiders in any room I enter. Most of whom are harmless, and I ran out of names for them once I got to Barry. Now I’m only naming the deadly ones. No, seriously, most of the deadly spiders actually live in the eastern states, so I’ve left them behind. Except for those who hitched a ride back with me in the car.

But on the up side, we have a family of crows, a family of magpies, a family of lorikeets and countless cockatoos visiting us each morning. The lazy koalas watch us from impossibly high perches that are almost too distressingly precarious to look at. They slowly munch on gum leaves during the day, when they are not sleeping, and grunt like broken machinery at night… late at night. Sometimes really early in the morning too.

So with less than 5 days of WriMoFoFo left, can I hit the 15,000 target? That’s just another 10,000 words by Sunday. As a little red engine once said I think I can –or was that a politician? Anyway, I’m sure I’ve got the quote wrong enough to avoid breach of copyright. But I think I can do it. In such a paradise as the Adelaide Hills is turning out to be, I’m sure the ideas will flow.

I’ll check in on Sunday and let you know how the word count goes. Wish me luck!

Nat

Jim Pieces

I had to laugh, one of the removalists made the above spelling error when describing the contents of the box he just packed, and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was inspired by the destination. Just in case anyone in Adelaide doesn’t realise it, the rest of Australia thinks that every second person that lives here (yes, here –I got in to Adelaide this morning) is a serial killer. Let me just put that falsity to rest, I’ve encountered at least nine people today, and I’m pretty sure none of them were serial killers. In fact one complete stranger smiled at me. Or is that what serial killers do?

Anyway, the Adelaide hills are looking particularly beautiful at the moment, and the weather is sensational. As I bit into my fresh-picked strawberry flavoured strawberry (as compared to the styrofoam flavoured strawberries I normally encounter) and I cradled the bag of crispy new apples, bought from a stall on the side of the road, I could see that there were going to be some real benefits to this move. Not to mention all the catching up I’m going to be doing with long-neglected Adelaide friends.  

So, now I can get back to editing the novel that I promise will be out in eBook format before Christmas. And as for Jim, well I don’t know any Jim, not anymore. At least not any whole Jims. Pieces of Jim, now that’s another story…

Nat

Jim Pieces Label

Last post from Melbourne…

…for a while.

I’d like to say everything is packed, but it’s not. I’d like to say the house is clean, but it’s not. At least the garden is just one sweep away from being finished, but it’s still not finished. Yet as horribly badly as I’m running behind on all my lists, I’m sure I’ll get there in time for the removalists to pick it up and for us to be on our way come Saturday morning. I guess this is what they call faith?

So what wisdom has my move imparted?

  1. Do not save your fancy coffee, drink it when you want, for one day you will find yourself having only a week to finish the lot because it will not survive two days in a hot car.
  2. As much mess as what you think you have, double it. And then when you wrap it up in butcher’s paper, double it again!
  3. Possums are not cats, nor do they like being treated as such.

And what about WriMoFoFo? Well, that might be in need of a little faith too. I think I’m still going to hit the target of 15,000 words in 4 weeks, but let’s just say that well over half of those will need to be written while in Adelaide for me to make it. I’m sure when I am not drowning in boxes, paper and cleaning products that I’ll be able to move my focus back where it belongs; FreeCell. Followed by some of that writing thing.

But from my swirling mess of stress and packing and unreturned phone calls a wonderful little buoy of sanity and comfort has been right here. The blog has meant that even in my craziest of moving moments I have always written at least some words. So thank you for reading, and thank you for your encouraging words of support!

So, until next post (from Adelaide), happy writing!

Nat

The last Grand Prix

There is an upside to leaving Melbourne (besides all the benefits of going to Adelaide) and that is catching up with so many people in Melbourne who I haven’t seen for ages. Now that my time here is limited, people are grabbing spots in my calendar and making me feel very loved indeed!

This got me thinking… It is kind of like when the last Grand Prix was on in Adelaide and nearly everyone in the city attended. At the time it was the biggest Grand Prix in Big Prix history –all because it was everyone’s last chance to see it before we lost it (or had it stolen some might correct, but let’s not go there, I think the wound is finally healing and I don’t want to rip the scab off so soon before my return).  

So why do we hold off doing stuff until we nearly can’t? And more importantly, can I get this strange human tendency to work for me? This week I’m going to see if I can fool myself into thinking that I can only edit my novel until the end of November and not beyond that. I might even try to commit myself to something for December to make it true.

Sometimes we need a threat to our Grand Prix before we actually do anything about it, but that is a dangerous way to live. If you don’t do something until you almost can’t, you might just find out that you are really good at it, or that you love it, just before you can’t do it anymore. Don’t wait for anything if you don’t have to; catch up with your friends before they move, write your novel before you retire and don’t worry about who got the damn Grand Prix, it’s just a noisy car race anyway!

Happy writing,

Nat