Russell Kirkpatrick's Journal
This is the hardest part of being an author. Waiting for feedback.
Path of Revenge, the first book in the Husk trilogy, is now available in Australia. Well, sort of. Though not officially available until January, many if not most bookshops will have their copies already. It's up to them if they put them on the shelves, but they'd probably spring a copy if asked nicely.
So people already have it in their hands; people are reading it. I'm wondering what they think of it.
So, have you read it yet? Are you reading it? If so, please feel free to give me feedback.
Here are the rules for feedback: there are no rules. Common sense and courtesy should apply, but you're allowed to say you don't like it. I don't mind. In fact, I'd like to hear even from those who do like it what they think should be improved. You see, it goes into A format later in 2007, so I have a chance to tidy things up if there are problems. So: if there are typos (and I've found a glaring one on p397, for example), inconsistencies, plot holes or things you don't like, fire away.
What I find best is if you give it a little thought and come up with reasons for why something does or doesn't work for you. Oh yes, you can say nice things too; that's allowed. Encouraged, even. For those who may be tempted to slate the book, remember that I've tried to give value. I'm not trying to rip you off!
If you feel uncomfortable putting your thoughts out on a public forum, remember that you can email me. I'll be just as grateful.
Meantime, I'll just sit here twiddling my thumbs ...
I decided to buy two trees to fit into planter boxes either side of the front door to our house. How hard could that be?
I returned my first two choices. The first, mini conifers, looked tiny when I got them home. The second, titoki trees (native) were enormous - and they would outgrow the planter boxes far too soon for their price ($160 each).
So finally I have two magnolia yunnanensis, which have been trained to standard and will sprout nice smelly flowers.
If at this point you have divined I know nothing about plants, give yourself a pat on the back. I know only enough that the branches go on top and the roots in the ground. Nothing more. The salesman had to explain to me the difference between deciduous and evergreen trees. See how much your knowledgeable fantasy writer knows?
So if the trees in my novels have been unconvincing, you know why ...
Ow ow ow
I've had a sore right arm (no comments please) for most of this year. It's made golf a real trial. So I trundled off to physio today and the therapist said - acupuncture.
I've got a few knots in the muscles that operate my wrists. All the therapist had to do was to touch my arm in the right place and I yelped. And when the needles went in, what a weird feeling!
Twitch ow twitch ow twitch ow.
I thought acupuncture was supposed to be relatively painless.
I know, what a baby. People suffer from dreadful pain and I complain about a bit of muscle pain. But hey, it's my blog.
I see that Australia's House of Representatives standing committee on legal and constitutional affairs has run out of things to do, and so has proposed that New Zealand and Australia should become one country (The Age, Monday).
Oh yeah. The standing committee should sit down for a while, so some blood can make its way to their brains.
"Australia and New Zealand are of course two sovereign nations,", the committee says. See why they are paid so much? Union would end that. We'd have one nation, run no doubt from Canberra. What would we do with the Beehive? With the advent of the varroa bee mite, I doubt we could even get drones to settle in the building. Still, some would argue the removal of pollies from Wellington to Canberra would increase the average IQ of both cities. Although the notion of joining the Bush-Blair-Howard Australian government might not appeal to all New Zealanders, of course. Hey, I'm just thinking things through here.
So what do we call the newly united country? I doubt Aussies would even accept 'Australasia'. There is no way we'd ever agree on a name, though I quite like 'Antipodes' or 'Downunda'. Does anyone have any interesting suggestions?
In the end, I know exactly what it would be called. Australia.
But what of sport? Think of the advantages. We could add Latham, Mortlock and - er - Latham and Mortlock to the Almost All Blacks. And the Baggy Greens could benefit from Bond, Vettori and - er - what's Richard Hadlee doing these days? International netball as a contest would be eliminated entirely. Swimming? Nobody swims over here, it's too cold. Here's a thought: between us we've won the last two U.S. Open golf titles.
Union would play merry hell with the chant. Aussie-Kiwi, Aussie-Kiwi, Aussie-Kiwi, Oi, Oi, Oi! And the haka would, I suppose, be accompanied by fifteen people playing banjos.
Then there's culcha. Who could we blame Russell Crowe on? He's an Aussie when he throws phones and a Kiwi when he wins Oscars. And I'm sure Maori would be anticipating union with excitement. No more of those embarrassing apologies from white people, and the end of compensation. I've already ordered my 'Sorry' T-Shirt from Peter Garrett.
And the lungwidge! It will be rully rully dufficult to undistund the ucksint. Australians may be effluent, but in Noo Zillund sex sucks.
The main impediment to union is, however, the opossum. Over there you Aussies see the possum as a cute, furry animal. Here the possum is a road target and voracious pest. I don't see any room for compromise, do you?
What shall I do today? Here are my choices. I could:
• continue with the first draft of Dark Heart, my latest novel
• do some Christmas shopping (procrastination value: 9/10)
• Finish Jennifer Fallon's Amyrantha map
• make an entry in my blog (procrastination value: 10/10)
• continue my detailed analysis of a graduate student's dissertation, necessary because she has complained vociferously about the level of supervision she has received from me (actually, she's disappointed with her mark, but it's anyone's fault but hers)
• finish off a map of Raceme (procrastination value: 6/10)
• continue my satellite map of my proposed changes at Morrinsville Golf Course (procrastination value: 12/10)
• begin the preparation of our new driveway (procrastination value: 8/10)
• do a map of Maori land affected by the Tongariro Power Development project required by the Waitangi Tribunal before December 15th
• ring the TV man to come and fix mother in law's telly
• put in some steps by the pool (procrastination value: 4/10)
• mow the lawns (oh, that's right, I did that yesterday)
• go to the Waikato Golf Association's annual general meeting tonight to oppose a raising of the levy on junior golfers to cover a shortfall in the New Zealand Golf Open. How dare they?
• grocery shopping. Has to be this afternoon because I have to go to the Waikato Golf Association meeting tonight.
• check my emails again (procrastination value: 50/10)
• get the issues regarding the website newsletter sorted out before Fiona disembowels me
• help decorate our three-metre high Christmas tree (procrastination value: 100/10)
• give in and make the Lego model I've been saving for Christmas Day (procrastination value: 1000/10)
• begin work on another plate for the Bahrain Atlas.
• Get that extra information the accountant wants.
• Tidy up my office. It really needs it. Really. Look at that map lying on the floor ...
Blast, I've just been distracted by the satellite map.