I noticed that Dana has me linked in her sidebar under "Bloggers Who Write Poems". And Kay has me linked under "NZ Writer Blogs" (along with some very much more well-known literary names). I feel a little guilty, since I haven't been writing much of anything lately.
I thought I might try to post every day in September, so that I'm at least writing something. (I noticed that yesterday's post, which I didn't actually manage to get posted until today due to blogger issues, actually bears the date stamp that matches when I first saved the draft - not the date I actually posted it).
I've been thinking of attempting NaNoWriMo this year. I've never dared to think I could possibly manage a whole novel until now. That's why I write poems, they're short. But then I actually had an idea. The trouble is that I keep thinking of bits of plot, and I'm worried that I'll be bored with the whole idea of it by November. We'll see.
In the meantime I have been reading. I was poking around in the library and by chance picked up a book called "On Trying to Keep Still" by Jenny Diski. I read it at the weekend while lying on my bed in the sunshine, in between trying to sleep off a nasty sinus headache, brought on, I think, by a sudden attack of warm weather. The warmth is wonderful, but it is the northwest wind that brings it, and it always takes me a day or two to adjust.
About the book, though - I was enchanted. It's a strange sort of mixture of memoir and travel book - or more accurately, "anti-travel" book. I went back to the library today for more of her work - she has written three memoir/travel mixes, and a number of novels.
After I'd spent just a little time in the country, it seemed less surprising that the people of New Zealand should have embraced rather than resented their reassignment to Middle Earth, because there can't be a population in the world who so consciously feel themselves to be peripheral. My guess is that they would welcome being in Middle Anywhere. Everyone explained, almost by way of saying hello, how far away they are.
'We're so far away,' they kept telling me apologetically.
'Far away from what?' I'd ask, surprised, because they and I were both here, so far as it was ever possible to tell.
Jenny was in New Zealand for the International Writers' Festival (in Wellington).
Our Christchurch version isn't quite so grand, but I'm definitely looking forward to it. When I volunteered to usher (in order to gain free admittance), I thought that there would be such a queue of similar-minded volunteers that I would be assigned to one or two sessions at most. Instead I was asked to usher for four sessions. Then I bought tickets for half a dozen others - my limit given the high prices. By this time, the keynote session with Robert Fisk had sold out. So I was delighted to come home to an e-mail telling me that they had scheduled an extra session with Robert Fisk, and could I usher at that? And would I also like a free ticket to a sort of "theatrical lecture" ( a comedy) - "On the Conditions and Possibilites of Helen Clark Taking Me As Her Young Lover"?
So, starting tomorrow evening, three and a half days of literary goodness.
For those not in the know, Helen Clark is our prime minister, soon to seek re-election for (I think) a fifth term.
And for New Zealanders abroad, do you intend to vote? This website, Every Vote Counts, has been set up to encourage you to do so.