Thursday, August 21, 2014

Whoa Nelly, it was a wild ride...

Well the days just galloped past and before I could yell, 'Whoa Nelly,' the residency came to an end. I had my last day at the office today. Tomorrow I pack my bags and move out of the writer's cottage. I take part in the Dunedin Storylines Family Day on Saturday and the Christchurch Storylines Family Day on Sunday and then I am off home. Weird.

It has been a wild ride.

I have spent time with the coolest people. Teachers, and teachers of teachers. Fellow fellows. Students: undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD. Primary, intermediate and secondary too. Librarians, booksellers, writers: for adults and children (and those strange creatures inbetween), illustrators and old friends. I have flown backwards and forwards. And then backwards again. I know that the airbus is the A320 and that D is not a window seat, except when you are on the ar72. I never put my carry-on in the overhead lockers. I have a fair idea what ice on the pavement looks like and know not to cross the road until you are sure the cars are going to be able to stop. I have admired the gentle behaviour of flakes of snow slowly drifting down. Stone buildings are cool.

I have been busy. Not all of the events I have been involved in resulted from my being the Children's Writer in Residence. Some came about because of other things. And some events were the love children of the residency and other things coming together. The word 'organic' took on a whole new meaning this year. In a different year I think the residency would have had a very different flavour. 2014's flavour was 'wild ride'.  It came chocolate dipped with crushed nuts and a flake. 

But now the adventure is over and soon normal transmission will resume. My SO said at the beginning of the residency that it would change me and I scoffed back then at the suggestion. But now I think he's right. It has. And I am different. Hopefully, on the whole, for the better. If you think you might like to do the residency, I recommend it. If you are not sure how you will manage it, find a way. The benefits are real. After all, I am now an ace suitcase packer.

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