Monday, 24 September 2012

Bits and bobs

I found out that my planning spreadsheet with the number of pages I needed to write didn't really add up somehow. It looked like I had so much work to do in the two coming weeks, but I'd already reached page 320-something, so how was that possible? Age (my hero) had a look at it, and it appeared that I'd forgotten to include the 50 pages that I'd already written in the beginning. So I had been planning for 400 pages, instead of 350. Aaaaaahhhhhhh. Which means that I can take it easy now, just let the story take over and finish at a natural moment, instead of dragging the story out.

Spring has really started here now. The last couple of weeks we've seen all sorts of blossoms, and bright yellow flowers on eucalypt trees, but the temperatures stayed a lit behind. Last Saturday we had our first 27 degrees, followed on Sunday by a 17 degree day. Then today (Monday), a 16 degrees, tomorrow 21, and Wednesday another 26 in the making. That was the same last year: temperatures fluctuate about 10 degrees in one and the same week. And then later in the year they'll stabilise in the high twenties.

Age has been away last week, to Sydney and Canberra, and I think he'll be in Adelaide for a while now, but that can change anytime. I am working from home this week, as our office gets refurbished. We've moved, from a pleasant environment to a big room with 'one desk for all', something that's fixed onto the wall, lining the space, so we're all sitting next to each other, facing the wall. That desk has been there since its hospital days, the room may have been a lab of some sort, but in the fifties the people were obviously a lot smaller, because this desk is terribly low. You're completely stuck under it, and our chairs can't go any lower. Another interesting thing is that the desk has an enormous amount of legs, so there's hardly any space to put a chair. One of the legs at my spot is actually hidden half a metre under the desk, perfect for bumping your knee against it, which has happened a couple of times, and is rather painful. After we had a guy in to inspect our workplace, he decided to get the legs padded with rubber padding. I've never had a desk with rubber padded legs :-)

Anyway, I jumped up and down about our workplace, and it helped, so everything is being ripped out as we speak, and we'll get our pleasant environment, with individual desks. And storage. As that was something we didn't have either. There's no place for storage cabinets, if a 'one desk fits all' takes up all the walls. So our room looked like a bomb had gone off. That'll be history too.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Nearly there

You are not going to believe this, but I've reached page 303 of my book. Writing, that is, not reading. I've only got time to write 47 more pages, as my self-imposed deadline is the first week of October. So now the whole story needs to come together.

My planning is very strict, I've been writing relentlessly the last three weeks, as there's no time for excuses anymore, so I've noticed myself dreaming about my story and the next parts I need to write. Not good for your rest at all, allbeit energising and invigorating.

My deadline isn't completely self-imposed, for those who wonder why on earth I've set a deadline. Early July I submitted the first 50 pages to Hachette, a publishing house, as part of a competition. The results will be in somewhere in the first or second week of October. About 300 wanna-be writers have submitted a manuscript, and 10 of these will be invited for a retreat in Brisbane, in November. If you are successful, you need to submit your finished manuscript, with a minimum of 55000 words (about 200 pages), within 72 hours. The retreat will be used to finetune the manuscript. It would be huge, but the chances are very slim.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Kangaroo encounter on scooter

Well, I went to work this morning, on my scooter. Was only two streets from home, when suddenly this kangaroo came out of a side road. I couldn't believe my eyes. It wasn't a car, no, it was a roo. Not a very big one, but still.

He'd hopped onto a refuge island in the middle of the road, and I stopped to give him the chance to regroup. The roo stopped too, so we were sort of looking at each other, working out who was going to move first.

Then a car came up behind me, probably wondering what that mad woman was doing there in the middle of the road, started to overtake me, and suddenly saw the roo. He slowly passed the animal, but the poor thing got scared and took off. Onto the roundabout I was going to as well, and then left, exactly where I was going to too. And the rest of Adelaide commuters living in the hills.

He choose the footpath - a wise choice - but I think the pedestrian who suddenly was overtaken from behind by this speedy kangaroo probably got the shock of his life. It was the funniest thing to watch, I couldn't stop laughing for a while.

So we had this kangaroo on the right, hopping like mad. Then on the road, this string of cars, driving slowly to not get the roo under the car when it suddenly decided to cross the road.

Anyway, eventually it crossed the road - not watching left or right before doing this- , onto a sportsfield, heading in the right direction again. I hope it's found its way back!