Spasmodic blogging

Yes, Thunder Road has been beckoning… but being drowned out amid the clamour of other goings on.

Firstly, the floods. As with the February 2009 bushfires, I’ve found it difficult to focus on other tasks with this disaster going on. The vast areas underwater in Queensland, New South Wales and now Victoria are almost impossible to comprehend. Lives and landscapes are being rewritten. The repercussions will be substantial and ongoing, long after the stories fade from front pages and current affairs bulletins.

I followed the flooding on Twitter, where citizen reporting came to the fore. As a journo, I know that covering a flood is exceedingly difficult. Once roads are closed you need air transport – and then it’s not always possible to find a safe landing site. Water takes out power supplies and telephone lines. Mobile phones have limited battery time. Making contact with witnesses (and newsrooms) becomes nigh on impossible. In this instance, Tweeting made everyone with a charged phone or web access a reporter. There were constant updates with the #qldfloods hashtag when media organisations couldn’t tell the whole story. It was compelling to watch.

I follow various authors on Twitter, several of whom are Queensland based. I watched as authors began auctioning their books, services or company for flood-charities and I’ve jumped on board the Queensland Writers’ Centre initiative, Writers on Rafts, to offer any support I can. It’s brilliant to see the writing community pitching in this way and a lesson in how things could have been done after the fires. (I know of several authors who did unpaid book tours after the fires but there was no co-ordinated charity effort like this that I know of.)

Shifting from floods, I’m on the cusp of entering a minimum six-month project at the website where I work as content manager. I’m reviewing job applications and doing other preparatory work and wondering if I’ll get to be an author at all in coming months.

That’s a bit of a bummer as the ideas have been coming thick and fast lately and I have several projects under way in one form or another. Maybe I need a renaissance-style patron to keep the wolves from the door. With a new year under way I do feel the (self-imposed) pressure to finish a new book. Realistically, that’s a long way off. And Five Parts Dead isn’t even six months old yet. Chillax, Tim.

For those of you that follow the saga of Mr Bump on these pages, the good news is that he’s still in one piece – touch wood – with one public holiday on the near horizon. Hmmmm. Better assume a crash-landing position.

Hopefully 2011 will find its rhythm and semi-regular blogging will resume soon.

Reading: The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Listening to: The Jezabels, Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town and The Promise
Watching: Mad Men series 1, Man Vs Wild re-runs, Modern Family re-runs.
Mood: Pensive.

2 thoughts on “Spasmodic blogging”

  1. I think its lovely that as a journalist yourself, you have acknowledged the sheer awesome power of ‘citizen journo’. One of the things I miss most about Twitter actually.
    Still, my family is in QLD (they are all fine) and I have been hearing a great deal of it firsthand. One of the things I always find so incredible about any kind of disaster is the capacity for empathy and compassion and most importantly, action and generosity, from the general population. Restores my faith every single time, not to mention, warms my heart.

    Sounds as though you will be busy indeed in the coming months. Hopefully you manage to find some downtime in there to breathe and write. And you are right, 5PD is only 6 months old.

    As an avid Mr Bump follower, thank you ever so for the update! VERY pleased to hear you made it through these holidays unscathed. Touch wood for Jan 26th 🙂

    Much as I would love to be able to offer patronage, I might be looking for one myself! I am sending you and your lovely family ALL my positive thoughts and best wishes for 2011 🙂

  2. Thanks Tye. I saw the photos of FB of folks coming down to John Danalis’ bike shop to shovel out mud – and similar lines of helpers elsewhere – and thought, ‘how fantastic’.

    Community at its best. T

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