My apologies for not posting, responding to comments, or answering much mail for the last week or so.
I’ve been finishing the rewrites on Specials, which included writing a totally new ending—a much better one, I hope. I have to turn the book in tomorrow night, so that it can be released on schedule. (Maybe early! I’ll let you know.)
In the meantime, Sydney weather has been weird. On New Years’ Day, temperatures reached their historical record for this time of year . . . at 11AM! By 2PM it was the second hottest day on record in the city ever. The temperature? 45 Centigrade. But what’s that in Farenheit? Ah well, allow me to give you Americans a little lesson in metric.
As readers of Uglies know, I’m a fairly metric guy, and I think we’ll all be metric-users at some point in the future. But temperatures are much harder to convert than most measurements, because the zero-point is different. Metric uses the freezing point of water; US measurements use the freezing point of salt water. (Which I find slightly random.)
So when I came to Australia I learned this handy Centigrade poem:
10’s a jacket.
Pretty easy, huh? Except you will note that 45 isn’t in there!
Well, to assist your imagination, we have this handy photograph:
That’s from today’s Sydney Morning Herald. It’s happening not terribly far from us.
This is the arid continent, after all. When it gets up to 45, things start to burn. At present there are 27 bushfires out there blazing on the edges of Sydney. I live in the middle of town, so you don’t have to worry about me. But do give a thought to the fireys (as they say here) who are out saving people’s homes.
And just so you know, 45C is 113 Farenheit. A hundred and thirteen!
Here’s the weirdest thing: After the southerly breezes finally arrived last night, the termperature dropped freakishly fast, down to 20C (68F). The discrepancy was so great that this morning when Justine and I made breakfast, the air that spilled from the kitchen cupboards was still noticeably hot—like opening an oven.
How weird is that?
Specials will be finished tomorrow, and I’ll start blogging more and answering fan mail again. Thanks for all your patience.
WARNING: The comment thread of this post contains massive spoilers if you haven’t read Pretties.