Writing Big Year: A plot?

Wanna write a murder mystery? Can’t come up with a plot? Look around! A guy who married badly for just one year kills himself. Will his widow get the loot? Turns out he composed a text message on his phone, leaving his belongings to his brother, not the widow, but never sent the message. Is it a valid will? The parties battle in court. The widow loses. Imagine Detective Bosch: hey, was it a suicide after all?

Dispatches from the Land of Steady: November 10

Last day at the heavenly Lucky Bat Cafe, some 10 kilometers north of Darwin’s centre. Workday number 6 of 8 Darwin days, the other 2 brilliantly spent birding. I haven’t had long workdays here but after a slow start last week, they’ve developed into wonderful, intense, don’t-look-up drafting stints. Steady, steady, steady.

Last bow from George Smiley: Inspiration for every writer

Reading John le Carre invites one to write twisted, dark romps of spy thrillers. Plots worthy of any thriller hack but limned with virtuoso wordsmithing! I dashed through A Legacy of Spies, a final (I believe) le Carre trot through his world of Smiley. This may just end up as a sidelight to the author’s classics, but a complete pleasure nonetheless. By the way, George Smiley isn’t given a star role here but what we get is pitch-perfect. My recommendation? Grab, devour, and commence writing . . . you too have a Smiley within you.

Fitness Big Year: Jogging in a crowd turns out to be fun

A solo jogger from way back, yesterday I tried company. 71 runners in the Palmerston Parkrun in Darwin. Only 5 kms but the heat, even early, was unfamiliar, and the photos show me huffing. Daughter Donna was far more relaxed.

A 5-km lonesome run would cost me just over half an hour. Parkrun plus coffee . . . some three hours. That’s a big disadvantage in my book. But here’s the thing: I enjoyed myself and had a sense that group running would eventually stimulate a faster me.

More Parkruns?

Fartlek: a pointer to next year?

A grey Melbourne day ideal for running, a week ago. I don’t feel especially fleet of foot but decide on impulse to do my 10 kms in “Fartlek” style. I’m no expert and didn’t consult any reference, but my knowledge of this form of training is to alternate fast stretches with recovery slow ones. So I alternate slow kilometers with significantly faster ones. I’m sure I don’t do the method justice – psychologically I can’t force myself to run fast enough – but the effect is exhilarating. Fast means a 6:00 mins/km pace or thereabouts, slow means 6:30. The end result? 6:20, sore hamstrings, and a feeling of exultation.

Perhaps this “year of fitness” is making me fitter? Perhaps next year I can aspire to some ambition, a faster Andres, someone who tries competitions?