Tag Archives: Koalas

Less than 4 hours!

In less than 4 hours it will be spring! I didn’t want to subject you to ‘spring has sprung’ or ‘spring into spring’ catch-phrases, so instead I will share my haiku;

Spring

About bloody time
Was going out of my mind
Winter wasn’t kind

Time for spring phlog, provided by a walk around the beautiful Mount Lofty Botanical Gardens last weekend;

Open Magnolia
White magnolia tree
Close-up of koala
Koala in a pine tree, getting ready to drop onto unsuspecting tourists
The truth about trees
Ever feel like you are being watched when you walk through the forest?
As with the last photo-blog, one of these photos has been a little… tweaked.
Happy Spring (to those in the Southern hemisphere)!

The sun came out, as did the koalas

I am sorry to say this for all of you who were working, but we had some beautiful autumn days this week. Until Saturday arrived, and since then it has been raining. It just doesn’t seem fair. Perhaps we should move the weekend to days which are more commonly sunny? Tuesday and Wednesday are often fine. It might make Monday a bit more liveable too?

Anyway, on one of those gorgeous days I managed to get so close to a koala that I had to do a photo post this week. So I hope you enjoy, and see if you can get your weekend moved to mid-week!

Fluffy Koala

Glowing KoalaVery close koala

Forty vs six

This weekend I had a fortieth birthday party followed by a sixth birthday party. What surprised me most was not the difference, but the similarity between the two. Both were equally noisy, messy and jovial. Everyone seemed to have a good time and relished the chance to let their hair down.

Which makes me wonder how much we really grow up when it comes to spoiling ourselves? Or more to the point, how much should we grow up?

Perhaps instead of splurging on that beauty treatment, new pair of shoes or gourmet meal to lift our spirits, we should actually just go outside and play in the mud –not giving a hoot about how grubby we get! Better yet, invite your friends over so you have someone to fling clots of dirt at while dodging their earthy missiles.

Now that sounds like fun!

Nat

PS I thought I was overdue for some koala photos, so here they are;

koala in a tree

koala claws

Turning from the dark side

evil lorikeet

When my sister and I were very young we used to sneak out on a Friday night, long after mum and dad had gone to bed, and we’d watch the late night horror film. So began my early love affair with speculative fiction.

Now, back in the exact same surrounds, I find myself turning away from spec and I keep getting hit with non-spec fiction ideas. Perhaps it is the zoo that surrounds me each day that exposes me to the wonders of nature? Perhaps it is the replacement of horror movies with erotica on late night Friday TV (so I’m told, of course I don’t watch it), or perhaps I’m just finding enough dark and mysterious things in the known world as I get older?

I won’t lie, this non-spec writing thing scares me. For one thing, I don’t possibly know where I’ll sell it, for another; will all my friends assume the characters are them? It was easy with a serial killing alien to not offend anyone, but make a non-spec character blonde, and all my blonde friends will think it is them! Probably my brunette friends will as well; ‘she just changed the hair colour to cover it up.’

This could get messy.

So I’m trying to turn my back on this wave of normality and I will stare at those finches, and koalas, and lorikeets until somewhere in my brain a good horror story takes hold. Only then will I know I am cured.

In the meantime; does anyone know where to sell some non-spec, non-literary, non-chick-lit, non-genre short fiction? Yeah, me neither…

Nat

Just a little OCD

We all suffer from a little OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). My personal demon is pegs. I have come a long way from my original affliction, where I had to match peg colours to the colour of the clothes that they were holding up. Now I just need to match pegs to the colour of their mate on the one piece of clothing. I love socks; only one peg. Sometimes I manage to use different colours, but I’m yet to be able to put a plastic peg with a wooden one. One step at a time!

Now while you might be scratching your head thinking perhaps I did all that psych training to cure myself (and I have come a long way) the truth is we **all** have our little OCDs or superstitions. I lump them together because often the OCD reveals itself as a superstition. The journey of an OCD starts as something logical; if the peg colour stains, it is best to have it the same colour as the clothing it is holding onto. It then grows into something almost pathological (see paragraph 1) and the final step is to go into the realm of lore or superstition.

For me this hasn’t happened yet with pegs, but in just three months it has happened with koalas. We have 2-7 koalas on our street at any one time (well, not on the street, usually in the trees that line it, but sometimes you do see them strolling along). My OCD started as just looking out for them as I went on my daily walk. Now it is a full blown superstition, where I’m convinced it will be an unlucky day if I do not see a koala.

Why am I confessing this? Well, besides the fact that I think that if you are going to have a mental problem, this is probably a cute one to have, the truth is it is these nuances that make us the 3-dimensional characters that we are. So if you are writing perfect characters with no faults and no quirks, then you are writing a fairytale.

So don’t necessarily make your character obsessed with koalas or pegs, but do make them irrationally scared of chickens, or when they go over a bridge they lift their legs, or when they pass a cemetery they have to block their nose!

I won’t tell you which of those I used to suffer from…

Nat

PS Share my koala affliction, can you see the koalas in this photo?

Koalas hidden in trees

Koalas revealed

Words and pictures

When we are first introduced to books they are normally of the many pictures few words variety. As we get older the number of pictures decrease directly in proportion to the increase in number of words, until we find ourselves as adults reading books which, for the most part, only have a picture on the cover.

Where did the idea of picture-free reading come from? Why the stigma of having the odd graphic or puzzle to break up the slabs of words? I think adults like pictures. When I read a fantasy novel I always study the map and refer back to it often. I know there are probably equal numbers of people who skip past it and never return to it after thumbing through the front pages, but there must be a good reason why so many fantasy novels do carry the map.

I’m not suggesting that everything should come out in a graphic novel format, but I have to say that one of the more enjoyable aspects of the ‘fancy’ editions of The Da Vinci Code was the inclusion of the paintings and puzzles discussed in the book. I know printing costs are higher and blah, blah, but surely with the advent of e-books all this just got a little bit cheaper.

I know not everyone is a great artist like me (see my Australia Day and Dead Birds posts for examples of my fine art), but even a well placed Sudoku could find a home in a book if related to the text. Now that is a more interactive story without the hyperlink risk of your reader leaving the story.

Perhaps I’ll set that as my next challenge; to write a story where a graphic is vital to the storyline. I know I’ll probably be limiting my market, and I’ll have to come up with a clever description for the visually impaired, but it is a challenge I think I am up to. I think it is time to give the picture another go in the world of adult fiction!

And just to illustrate my point (pun intended) here are a couple of koala pictures. I can guarantee you my hit rate for this blog post (because of the pictures) will be twice my normal non-picture post.

Nat

Mummy Koala

Koala in a tree