Thursday, March 13, 2003

Two more e-mail requests today - one for information on the history of Retinitis Pigmentosa and the other on how to find a publisher and an agent for your writing. Search me... or rather, ask me, and I'll spend hours looking for stuff on the net that I don't really need to know. :-)

Okay, so I was genuinely curious about who first discovered RP. I learnt that a Dutch physiologist called Franciscus (or Franz) Cornelius Donders gave RP its name in 1855 (some sources said 1857). Retinitis Pigmentosa is actually a misnomer because '-itis' refers to an inflammation and there is no inflammation of the retina in RP. Scientists may have initially thought that the dark pigment seen at the back of the eye in people with RP indicated an inflammation. The name stuck and I kind of like it - my retina might not be inflamed but it's not exactly happy about the situation either. :-) And it's kinda got a cool rhythm to it too... I'll have to think up a rhyme (I checked at Rhymezone to see if they could spit one out for me but (not surprisingly, although I'm still a bit disappointed) they couldn't come up with anything - pigmentosa wasn't even in their dictionary. 'Retinitis Pigmentosa/She came from Tulsa, Oklahoma.' Lol, how's that?

Anyway, that brings us to why I have no idea how someone might get themselves a literary agent. Lucky I'm curious. The Book Doctor, a Perth-based business, has a huge list of resources that includes links to Australian agents. The Australian Writer's Market Place, a companion site to the handy dandy book, also had some useful information. I'm sure local writers centres could also help and a lot of those are listed on my own site (writing).

While I was looking for all this, I discovered Banned Books On Line, presented by the On Line Books Page. Wow. Mentioned a book called 'E for Ecstasy' as being banned in Australia and then went on to link to the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification's Classification Database. Using the database, you can look up any title and find its classification. If you want to search for material that might be classified R or considered adult, you'll need to do an advanced search and check a box to let you include those publications/games/films. The books listed at Banned Books On Line, as the named suggests, are available on line. Don't get too excited - much of the banned material is stuff you may have already read (or avoided reading) in high school - including Hamlet and Macbeth.

I've often imagined people on the Classification Board lying on velvet lounges watching films in quiet theatrettes, or trying to hurriedly squish in a read between their other obligations (or maybe they'd have a plush couch to do that on too). Reading their FAQ (no, it doesn't describe their surroundings) I realise they also have to play computer games.. "All material submitted for classification is viewed, read or played by members of the Classification Board." Wow, what if they're no good and they don't make it through to the next violent level? Does one board member play while the others offer suggestions, drink cans of cool drink or eat chips? All too exhausting for a becoming-blind chick to contemplate. But maybe if I win Lotto I'll fit my swish home out with a deep red, soft sounding theatrette.

Did I do anything at all today? I wrote two overdue e-mails to good friends who are hopefully patient. And I had a yummy dinner of garlic prawns down at Colour Patch with Mum. Watched bits of a movie called The Hunter, starring Steve McQueen About a bounty hunter - good film to watch interrupted. And Doonbanks' on site accommodation is all booked and people are continually ringing up about Easter, so I've been chatting to tourists and answering the phone!

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