Book Diaspora

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Today nine people wanted copies of books from me. Its fun to see your book suddenly taking wing and being sent to London, the Middle East, Africa, and other such places. Along with that joy, and the joy of people wanting to read my book baby altogether, I saw Deputy Dan into another shop today. Its a special one: the Christchurch Cathedral Gift Shop. The Cathedral people are really lovely to deal with. Nice folks. Every time that I see the book in a shop I pinch myself. Its all new and exciting.

To add to this day of book related progress, somebody pointed me to this. Which was a total surprise. I took the interview some time ago and had no idea it was up yet.

Last night I went to Oliver, as performed by Van Asch Deaf Education Centre’s Dramatic ensemble, with Daryl Low a local theatre director. It was lovely to be guested there, to see the kids putting their all into the play, and succeeding. MarkBerry was brilliant as Fagin and the voice team did really well: they spoke the words the kids signed. The pack of orphans and pickpockets were great. Watching the kids manage so many roles so well was fun in itself. I noticed Dwayne in particular seemed to surface in a lot of places in different guises! Many kids were deaf kids who attend mainstream schools and had learned New Zealand Sign Language for the first time so as to perform in their roles. They all did really good jobs.

I also saw the art of Da Won Choi displayed in the foyer of the hall. Da Won has been both blind and deaf since birth yet he had drawn amazing portraits of the cast in their costumes with great accuracy. I was especially stunned that he accurately captured the colours of Fagin in a mask that was displayed right down to getting Mark’s skin tone correct. There is a really special genius there.

When we arrived at the cottage I had been telling Daryl about a study that rated the sex appeal of cars. Daryl’s BMW, I ruefully informed him, was very sexy according to this study and my VW sedan is really not. To prove my point, as soon as we pulled up Haku came running into the car and straight into Daryls arms, to his vast surprise. Having said hi to Daryl, Haku plastered himself to me with his paws around my neck, in a way that said the only place he wanted me to be going was for another drive in the pretty car but this time with him.

The Writers Festival has been pretty special for me. I was able to meet and spend time with Margaret Mahy and some other lovely Christchurch authors. I’ve had a long time of never being in the right place at the right time, or of not having sufficient well being, so as to see Margaret. Meeting her now I felt like a giant puppy dog with over sized clumsy paws and an inconveniently waggy tail but she was very warm and welcoming. Thanks to her for her kindness.

Tree House Dreaming

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Today I saw a Doctor’s shingle hung for Dr Janus Bonkowski. Awesome. It both makes me thrilled and sad when something real world is more interesting than fiction could get away with being and I see it all the time. It means life is more interesting than we acknowledge that it can be…  wish I could call a character Janus Bonkowski. Its just too cool.

I saw an article today on live tree architecture. Having a tree house is one of my dreams. Another is having a library in which the library is created to look like a wood and the shelves are branches. I plan to call this the Wyrdwood. It seems more possible when you see this sort of thing. Imagine how it would transform your relationship to your home if you lived inside something alive. I would love that. I think the bench shown in the article is lovely.

I’ve finished the first book of the Spiderwick Chronicles and Ottoline and the Yellow Cat. They’re great. So much fun compressed between the covers of each. I love finding good books.

A Bookish Day

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Today I went to the library. Its been a long time… but I have had to face the fact that my taste for books outstrips my book budget. Joel has been citing authors and artists in recent times and getting a look that mingles patience and frustration on the occasions when I don’t know who they are. Clearly, I am at risk of allowing my budget to cause me to fall behind the times in my reading, and my brain to atrophy. So, once more, I have become a library fanatic user. This afternoon’s adventure added these titles to my book pile for devouring:

  • Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell
  • Spiderwick Chronicles Book 1: the Field Guide by DiTerlizzi and Black
  • I am Legend by Richard Matheson
  • Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff (as recommended by Binky von Binkenstein)
  • Charles Vess’s Book of Ballads… I suspect this is one I will seriously want to own
  • Catwoman: When in Rome by Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb *
  • Sorcery Rising by Jude Fisher

While I was there I spotted the ticket sales table for the Christchurch Press Writers Festival. It was a lucky break. I’d been meaning to look into it and had no idea how scarce tickets are. I got the last ticket for one event and second to last for another. I am going to

The Human Cost

The Age of the Warrior

Is the Ditch too Deep

The Brain that Changes Itself

I’m really fascinated to hear what Robert Fisk has to say about his journey – particularly as it relates to the Arab world. Insights into the human brain and just how hard it is or isn’t for a kiwi author to sell their writing in Australia also promise to be fascinating.

Finally, I heard from the Van Asch School for the Deaf with an invitation to go to their performance of Oliver. I’m really looking forward to seeing the kids in action and am considerably excited about it. I will have to remember to wear my butterfly brooch.

Now, I hear, a storm is approaching which promises lots of rain and high winds. Its been a gorgeous day but suddenly it is starting to cool off. So… what to do but rug up with all those books and start feeding my imagination again.

*I enjoy quality graphic novels and catwoman is a favourite character. The art looks beautiful.