We’re only a quarter of the way into 2017, and I already feel like I’ve had enough of an emotional roller-coaster to satisfy me for the rest of the year. That of course is not how these things work, but it’s certainly been a wild ride and all indications are it’ll only get even more chaotic as we edge closer to Mars One’s final selection phase later this year.
March kicked off with a mountain of amazing events at the WOMADelaide festival though! From meeting science heroes and world-renowned explorers, to speaking to thousands of kids about space exploration alongside a former commander of NASA’s Hi-SEAS mission, and a bundle of incredible public events; the WOMADelaide festival was wonderfully coordinated chaos from start to finish … and you can read all about it right here!
Above: Speaking at the University of South Austrlalia’s sold-out “Life On Mars” event alongside Hi-SEAS IV Commander Carmel Johnston and hosted by Angela Catterns.
Far and away the absolute highlight of WOMADelaide though was being able to present Buzz Aldrin’s signature to Robert Jefferies – a 9-year old who’d written to the Australian Academy of Science in late 2016 when Buzz was touring Australia, hoping to get Buzz’s signature for his Dad for Christmas.
You can read the full story about Robert’s letter in the academy’s article, but it was really wonderful to be able to give something which means so much to someone… even if it was just a little piece of paper to me 🙂
After WOMADelaide the rest of March was a complete flurry of interviews, travel and school visits – speaking to 4,000 primary school students at the Halogen Foundation’s Melbourne event, another 1,000 during six separate school visits, speaking to Gillian O’Shaughnessy on ABC720, Belle Taylor from The Sunday Times, and joining The Daily Edition to talk about Mars One too!
I’ve also been asked to host several new science TV shows that are in the works too, so after filming pilot episodes in March I’m hoping I’ll be able to share more about invading your TV screens soon.
And somewhere in among all this chaos I’ve managed to share all sorts of interesting things with my supporters on Patreon!
For those of you supporting me on Patreon you’ve had several weeks early access to all the public posts, as well as;
- Reading, Watching & Listening – April 2017 With all the chaos this month, this is a particularly in-depth look (considerably more than most months) at what I’m reading, watching & listening to and how it’s influencing my writing right now
- Post Visit Mars One Q&A – After a school visit I invite teachers to email any further questions from their students that might have been missed. Recently a school sent me a whole list of fantastic questions, so I’ve shared my answers so you can see the sort of things usually kids ask!
- Space – Getting To Mars [Part 2: Orbital Mechanics] or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Gravity – The first of the “Getting To Mars” series where I make orbital mechanics great again by avoiding equations, boredom or an existential crisis.
- [Journal] Exciting & Unpredictable – 25 November 2014 – A journal entry from late 2014 recognising the “tension and release” of touring and recovery, with an obvious parallel to the quiet few months I had in January/February compared to the chaos now as well as a strong sense of something really big is just over the horizon.
To celebrate the amazing support I’ve had from fans through Patreon since we launched in December, I also ran my first Patreon Giveaway!
Congratulations to the folks who won hats, t-shirts, and even a remote control BB-8 unit… just for being supporters on Patreon! I’ll be putting most of the prizes in the mail this afternoon (and hand-delivering the rest later this month) so keep an eye on your mailboxes.
If you missed out this time don’t despair – sign up to become a Patreon supporter from just $5 a month, and besides early and exclusive access to my articles you’ll automatically be in the running for the next giveaway!
- Early access to my “Becoming Martian” book drafts,
- A personal acknowledgement in the final book,
- A digital copy AND a signed paperback copy when it’s published,
- AND all the private journal entries and other private content I share.
March was absolutely out-of-control, so I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks house-sitting while working on my book – drafts are on the way for $25/month supporters! At the end of April I’ll be back in Melbourne to take part in the Ginger Pride Rally on April 29th, before heading on to speak at more schools and events in Sydney and Canberra.
It’s never dull, so I’m looking forward to sharing the next set of adventures with you all! Keep an eye on the website for regular posts, Patreon for the latest news, as well as Facebook & Twitter – can’t wait to see what April brings!