Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The dog may never forgive me...

I have been concealing a sekrit. I could have told you all but then there would have been problems over what I would have done with all the bodies. But that is no longer an issue as the news has now been made public. I am to be the "University of Otago College of Education Creative New Zealand Children's Writer in Residence" for 2014. I will be heading down to the city of Dunedin next February and staying there for 6 months. There is a stipend, accommodation, working space on campus at the University of Otago and most importantly an ENORMOUS amount of time to do nothing but write. I must admit that last bit leaves me a little giddy.

I am leaving my family at home. This will be a challenge for me and them. We are a close knit unit and I will miss them terribly (the dog may never forgive me. The cat will just say 'meh'). When I think of who I am, as an individual and a writer, my family are an indivisible part of the whole package. But when applications first opened for the residency back at the beginning of May I mentioned it to my eldest and she encouraged me to put my hat in the ring. Thank you Elora for showing me this opportunity wasn't just good for me, it was good for you too. My family all know I have writer stamped on my DNA. And there is more to receiving this opportunity than time to write (which is HUGE), financial support ( a concrete endorsement of my being a writer), and being part of an academic environment (which I have always loved - I am a recidivist student). It's a big honour to be selected. The children's writing community in New Zealand is such a strong one. And while the benefits in 2014 will be tangible and obvious, I think this opportunity has the possibility to keep rewarding me for years afterwards. And then, ya know, YOLO. I have always been a little risk averse (let's not play the radio in the car when the engine is off), and kinda careful about a bunch of stuff. This is a big adventure for me. I think this experience is going to inform my writing in new ways. And I must say that is rather exciting.

Thank you to James, Elora, Geneva and Remek for their understanding and patience. And to the University of Otago College of Education, and Creative New Zealand. I am truly grateful.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Congratulations what a wonderful opportunity.