December 09, 2006

Temperature's rising

Everyone think's Australia's a hot country. But it's not. Not always. And the state I live in is actually quite cool - most of the time. But every so often we get a stinking hot summer. Looks like we've got one this year. Combined with a drought, this is not good news. We're barely a week into summer and we have massive bushfires.

Melbourne smells like eucalyptus smoke and the sky is hazy and sullen. It looks like a winter day until you step outside and realise it's 37 degrees. Tomorrow is meant to be just as hot. And windy. Fires like wind. So, if anyone knows some good raindances, do them for us. We need the water in more ways than one.

Speaking of heat. The new James Bond. Oh my. I'll admit it, I was sceptical. Daniel Craig did not fit my mental image of James. I loved Pierce and Sean. Though the last couple of movies were getting to the "I really can't suspend my disbelief quite that much" stage in terms of stunts. But the trailers looked interesting, so I figured I'd give him a go.

Good decision me : ) You've probably heard this is kind of a reinvention of the franchise, going back to the beginning of Bond. And it works. It's kind of leaner and meaner. And Craig works just fine in that context. Not sure he would've in the old style Bond, so good decision also by the producers and the director to go a different way. I mean, when the opening titles of a Bond film don't feature any women, you know something has changed.

Which got me thinking about reinvention in general. New directions and when it's a good time to follow them. Some people ride a horse until it's beyond dead. Some people have faith to switch horses when they see the current one is tiring. And some people throw caution to the wind and try and rope a zebra. Which might not work out but sometimes it does. Writing the wolf book kind of felt like that. Like saying 'what the hell' and giving in to a different side of the muse. How successful a zebra it might be is still to be seen. But it was one hell of a ride and now I have more options. More knowledge.

Every book teaches you something, which is why it's better to finish a book than just write a partial and why sometimes it's better to move onto something new than keep polishing the life out of something that hasn't quite worked. But revising is another lesson. One in honing. In letting go and trying to see the angles. In figuring out why what was in your head hasn't always translated into what the reader is seeing. Sometimes you need to change horses in a revision as well. Let go of the original idea and try a different way. Having just polished up one horse so it will look beeyootiful for race day, I'm now circling another, wondering why it seems to be cantering on three legs. Hopefully I figure it out. I'm not quite ready to send it out to pasture.

So more horses, the odd zebra, more choices. I'm trying to sit down over the next week or so and see what I want to set as goals for next year. What to write. Who to target. What to learn. Because whatever you're riding, it helps to have a game plan. And other people along for the ride. Whether they're riding with you or cheering from the sidelines, it makes the journey even more fun.

PS For those keeping track:
8 actual days to Robbie.
8 work days to holidays.
14 shopping days to Christmas.

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