Saturday, April 6, 2013

The most paltry of chicken...

I have an assignment due, a ship load of reading to do for it and a book to finish writing so I have been to see a movie this morning with my daughter (Oz the Great and Powerful) and I am now updating my blog. Hell is reserving a place for me as I write this :)

Yesterday I went to the Storylines Margaret Mahy Day. On this day every year Storylines hold their AGM, present their annual awards and there is the lecture by the most recent recipient of the Margaret Mahy Medal. This year it was Bill Nagelkerke - life changing librarian, author, sometime prestidigitator and several time Hans Christian Andersen Medal Judge, and very smart, erudite and lovely man - amongst other things. I have been going to the Margaret Mahy Day off and on (but more on) for the past ... um ... (excuse me trying out some ellipses use here - we were discussing this along with em and en dashes at lunch after the meeting yesterday) thirteen years. Yup, thirteen - my first MM Day was in 2001 with Sherryl Jordan the MM Medal winner. Joining Storylines was one of the first things I did when I decided to take this writing ambition thing a bit more seriously. After all it helped to be a member if you wanted to submit a story for one of their awards. And I did.

I didn't know anyone. I went on my own, generally awe struck and sponge like, wishing I had the guts to speak to Joy Cowley and Margaret Mahy, Tessa Duder, Sherryl Jordan, and Vince Ford. I didn't of course, I am the most paltry of chicken. But I was there, soaking it up, trying to learn as much as I could about what it takes to be a published writer and getting acquainted with the local children's literary community. There were folk like David Hill, and Maurice Gee, Robyn Belton and Pamela Allen, Brian Falkner and Tania Roxborogh. I loved the lectures and tried to get as close as possible to my idols without looking like a stalker. It was easier in those days because less people knew what a stalker was.

But I digress. Lets jump forward thirteen years - yesterday Tessa Duder and Brian Falkner greeted me with a hug. I chatted with Bill Nagelkerke after his speech. He's read and reviewed my latest book. I hung out with the most fabulous writery and library and book people. You don't know how happy this makes me. I am still awestruck, I am still keen to learn. But now these are my people. Folks, you can do this on your own, but why would you when this is the crowd you get to hang out with.

And as I am in a good mood (despite the deadlines) here are some interesting things for you to check out - Justine Larbalestier's most recent post, some great art, thanks to super illustrator Fifi Colston, and this one about The Writer and Money, thanks to Johanna Knox


1 comment:

5inabus said...

I had to chuckle about the stalker comment... I once met Andrea Levy (she came on the Good Morning Show to promote her latest book - The Long Song), I think spooked her with all my gushing praise. But how often do you meet an Orange Prize Winner!? I was stoked.