Saturday, October 19, 2013

Off to do a little sprunting...

well, that was fun! As far as I am concerned, words are an endless source of goodness and entertainment. Thank you to everyone who entered for providing me with some delicious, odd and infrequently used words that I will treasure forever. But there can be only one, and (drum roll please) the winner of a copy of my new book While You Are Sleeping is Stephanie Thatcher who wooed me with nomophobia ( the fear of being out of mobile phone contact) and then clinched the deal with this link to ten outstanding-in-the-field words of dusty and obscure origin, limited meaning and fantastic roll around in your mouth fun-to-sayness. 'Uhtceare' especially seems to have been made for me. And I am now desperate to find a way to use sprunt and groke in a story although I should have no trouble with ultracrepidarianism, as this happens so often I'm surprised it isn't in current use. Congratulations Stephanie - email me with your address and whether you want a softback or hardback.

And special congratulations to New Zealander Eleanor Catton; fabulous, smart and youthful winner of this year's Man Booker Prize for her novel The Luminaries. That has to look pretty bloody amazing on the old writing CV. And it makes a nice change to have a writer getting this much press in the NZ media. It almost makes up for the lack of a book page yet again in the Sunday Herald. I am always surprised at how little is known (and how little interest is shown by the wider community) about books and authors outside my writery circles. At times I think, well it's a fringe topic that most people don't give attention to, and then I realise how much I know about a wide range of fringe topics or even just the interests of other people that aren't my own interests, and then I think dammit, books aren't a fringe topic, they are the gateway to a healthy, educated, empathetic and caring society. And then I get grumpy. I think Neil Gaiman was feeling a little grumpy too when he spoke so elegantly and eloquently on the topic of why our futures depend on libraries and reading. We shouldn't have to work so hard to encourage folk to pick up a book or two or discuss them in an everyday fashion. Books matter people.

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