Thursday, September 20, 2012

Yes, Still Alive...

Two months. A new record, I suspect.

Though in my defense, I've been busy. Very, very busy. And doing some writing, too! In fact, just a few minutes ago, I (finally) shot off draft #5 of 'The Hunter' to my agent Cheryl, and now I've got my fingers (and toes, and...anything else that'll help) very tightly crossed hoping that she likes it.

This last rewrite was a particularly big one, added another 10,000 words in, including two new chapters, plus a *whole lot* of character reworking for the protagonist to try and make him a little more appealing to a broader readership. And I've had to lever that in between the semester-from-hell (only in terms of workload, not students, just to be clear). I'm also frantically reading the entries for the ACT Chief Minister's Literary Award (I'm chairing the judging panel this year), have marked 2 PhD thesis for another uni, and signed a contract to put together an academic-y type book for Cambridge Scholars Press in the UK (which will feature all sorts of cool people and will draw from the ACLAR conference we ran here in Canberra back in June).

Oh, yeah, and we bought a kayak.

I've wanted to get a kayak pretty much since we moved to Canberra. A nice big 2 seater that we could take out on the lakes (of which Canberra has a multitude) or down to the coast for a little sea kayaking. Something we could pack up with a picnic and head out on the water for the day. Something I could just get out in on my own occasionally and paddle, and make bookish plans.

Unfortunately, the fact that our car is a Peugot 307 hatchback, with no roof racks or towbar made the reality of owining a 15 foot boat a little problematic.

Or at least, it did. Until Imogen pointed THESE out to me...

Now, I'll admit, I was a little sceptical at first. I mean, an inflatable kayak couldn't possibly be any good, could it? It'd be just like a big blow up toy that you play with in the swimming pool, surely.

Really not. After a bit of homework (a lot) of homework, we got online and ordered our AE convertible from the US. Then, a week later, three big boxes arrived on the doorstep and, after a couple of practice setups, Toby and I (poor Min, couldn't come. She's got this little PhD due any day now...) went for our first hit out on Lake Gininderra. And it was great! We paddled 7 kilometres, saw all sorts of cool and interesting things, and both decided that we LIKE our boat. It doesn't paddle or feel like a blowup toy at all - once it's inflated, it's rigid and stable, and cuts through the water just like a regular hardshell kayak. It's also received a fair bit of attention and interest from some of the local kayaking fraternity.

Since that first trip, we've been out every weekend. Last Sunday the three of us loaded up and paddled down to the Governor General's place in Yarralumla. She has her own jetty, which I argued was basically an invitation to morning tea, but I was outvoted. Still, it was a lovely couple of hours.

I'm now hatching plans, when I get a bit more paddle-fit, to try to paddle the length of lake Burley-Griffin, and do a kind of 'Canberra from the Water' blog post. Might take a while, though.

So that's what I've been up to. Just the usual, really.

1 comment:

  1. That thing looks AWESOME. I want one. I once found a canoe on hard garbage and to my eternal regret never got to use it because could never shift it...Would very much like to read your canberra by water blog post!



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