Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What's happening?

Hi all,

Sad to hear that Arthur C Clarke has died. He and Asimov were probably the greatest contributers to the popularity of science-fiction. We have him to thank for the idea of the satellite too. I’ve read a few of his novels - Cradle and Rendezvous With Rama being two of the more memorable - and many of his short stories, using the Nine Billions Names of God for an essay during my masters. Clarke was always more of an ideas writer than one who had a great flare for language or characters. 2001: A Space Odyssey is still one of the greatest films ever made, and its sequel, 2010, is one of my favourite films.

An interesting discussion about his death has been going on involving allegations that he was a paedophile. I had heard these allegations before, but it seems the Daily Mirror, which printed the original allegations, ended up printing a retraction. The authorities in Sri Lanka found Clarke had no case to answer after the three boys who made the original allegations retracted it. But mud sticks.

I have sort of kept my two new year’s resolutions. One was to write 500 words a day. A modest total, which I am not quite achieving yet, especially on days when I concentrate on editing, but at least I am writing every day. My second resolution was to get fitter, notice I say fitter, because I feel I already have a pretty decent fitness regime which I have been following for years. It includes: swimming three kilometres three times a week; weight training three times a week; a set of exercises four times a week; and walking ten kilometres in a day three to four times a week (this is why I have minimal time for writing).

I have cut my average time for 120 laps of a 25 metre pool by 4 minutes this year. This morning, I again equaled my best time for this year which is only 2 minutes slower than my best ever time. My right shoulder seems to have finally settled down, so I might start to increase the weights for each of the sets I am doing.

Water restrictions have been all but lifted in Wangaratta. We must be one of the few places in Australia not currently under a strict water regime. The only restrictions are that sprinklers and automatic watering systems can’t be used between 10 am and 5 pm and a trigger nozzle must be used when cleaning a car. Both of Wangaratta’s small water supplies are currently 95% full. See, this is what happens when you go out and buy a water tank, which has been full since last April.

I am still hopeful that some of the many tomatoes on our heat stressed plants will grow to a reasonable size. I was reading in the Age that 3 or 4 days of over 35 heat will affect soft vegie crops: so much for our climate change affected agriculture production in future years. I just read an article by Tim Flannery where he says that after 2010-13 Australians will begin to be noticeably affected by climate change.

I read in Matt Browne’s blog that he reckons a wannabe writer should read 30-40 novels a year. On average I read about 15. I also read a number of short story collections and speculative fiction magazines each year. But I must read more.


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