Outback Writer

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My Elephant

Among the Christmas presents I received was a renewal of my sponsorship for an orphaned elephant called Morani. Born in 2001 he was found wandering alone in the bush. He had been injured and nearby was the dead body of his mother who had been shot by poachers. Two bullets had passed straight through his body just below the spine and the other was lodged in his leg. He is now in the Care for the Wild sanctuary in Kenya. This is the third elephant I've had sponsored for me. The other two have been successfully released back into the wild and one is pregnant. As well as looking after orphaned animals they do vital anti-poaching work. If anyone is interested in the work of this organization their web address is: wwwcareforthewild.com

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Animal Testing

My post about being the dictator of the world caused a few protests.
The comment which caused the most upset was that animal testing should be banned. But in its place would be tests on serial killers, such as Ian Brady, Peter Sutcliffe, Rosemary West and Beverly Allitt. They have taken so much from society it would be a way of giving something positive back. If they do not give their consent their human rights are being violated, but, in my opinion, they gave up their human rights when they committed the crimes they did. They violated the human rights of their victims who did not give their consent to be murdered, raped and tortured. Another reason against animal testing is that they can be unreliable. Tholidomide was one such disaster. Recent tests on ordinary people who had given their consent has been tragic. Innocent volunteers have had their health destroyed. Many valuable medical discoveries have been made through animals testing, but how many more diseases would be eradicated if we had tests on humans? Some conditions, like diabetes, can be controlled, but still leave the sufferer with related illnesses.

One person added to the list of things to instigate, by suggesting ink pens rather than biros. It was something that had not occurred to me, but which makes a lot of sense. Biros are wasteful. Fountain pens last for years.

I look forward to your opinions.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Eumeralla latest

Eumeralla finally went off to the printers this week. What a relief. Unfortunately it won't be ready for the Christmas market, but will hopefully cheer up January. If mainstream publishers gave new authors a chance by actually reading what they send in I wouldn't have to go through all this nonsense. Reading is my addiction. I read many good books but, frustratingly, too many bad ones where the plot is weak, characterization is poor, the text is full of cliches and there are grave errors that have not been picked up by the publisher. I gave up reading one novel because with all the character's Christian names beginning with M it was confusing. A male character called Michael and a female character called Michelle were both referred to, in dialogue, as Micky. Carelessness and lack of editing by publishers is unforgivable. Another problem is forcing established writers to keep on when it is clear they have run out of ideas, instead of allowing them to retire gracefully and keeping their best novels in print. The reading public deserves better. Thanks to JK Rowling there is more demand for books than ever before and the publishers should be actively encouraging new writers.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.