Well, I am back from a break in Sydney-town - should anyone be asking where I have been you may say I have been there, with my wife, re-energizing.
But now I have returned.
So there we go...
Given that I was born and raised on the south central coast of Australia (and that I am an indoorsy kind of fellow) I have never seen the marvel I saw on Foresters Beach on the New South Wales central coast. There had been a storm a few days before (or so we - my wife and I - were told by a stranger - a fellow walker - along the strand) and washed up on the whole length of the beach were dead, sun-dried blue bottle jellyfish. Their air-sacs were like brittle plastic, that popped loudly when trodden underfoot.
Later we found more recently washed specimens still firm and rubbery, spasming and curling in on themselves when touched. The largest would have been no bigger than an apricot, fitting neatly in the palm of hand, yet their bright blue stinger stretched out across the sand for three feet or so.
Nature-nerd that I am, I was astounded and amazed and immediately inspired as to what such things might be in the Half-Continent: small mucosa spawn, living, mindless buds released from their "parent". Storms wash them ashore where, depending on the species, some might wither and die; others dry and become dormant - waiting to be washed into the vinegar seas again some other storming night, revive and grow into terrors. Yet others might actually take up home on the shore, slowly burrowing to make treacherous toothy or sucking pits of themselves to trap crabs and gulls and the occasional careless limb (this might be too Star Warsy, hmm...)
I have visions in my head of some story of such a wash-up of these gelatinous spawn. I see the local fishers and sea-side village folk come down to the beach to squash and hack and burn the little, defenseless jellies, wishing to destroy at least some of the sea-monsters while they are vulnerable and spare later griefs. This might all get written down someday. Hmm... again.
Meanwhile, I have to pop off to spend the afternoon with my editor as we go over some of the last tweaks to MBT 2, Lamplighter. Almost there folks, almost there. As to the excellent questions posed last post, they have really got me thinking (and indeed one of them is answered in Book 2) and I shall get to them.