Thursday, September 11, 2014

Home on the strange...

Did you miss me? I missed you. No, don't shake your head - it's true!

Well, the family survived without me (phew) and are still even talking to me. Yay!! And luckily they didn't save all their dishes and laundry for me either. I am truly lucky with how supportive they have been of my adventure down south. I loves them. I think maybe they loves me too.

My final hurrah was a fantastic opportunity - the WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival. I got to take part in the Schools programme (which you can see here and here and here), several read aloud sessions and a panel discussion. The venues were buzzing, and the crowds big and enthusiastic. I'd learnt my lesson at the Auckland Festival and took every opportunity to attend sessions once mine were done. Major personal highlights included the Great Crime Debate, the Margaret Mahy lecture by Elizabeth Knox, and the discussion on Margaret Mahy's novel The Changeover. And of course being in Christchurch itself. It is heartbreaking to see so much destruction still in evidence but heartening to see the wonderful things being done to bring the city back to life.

Best of all for me though was the chance to talk with writers and illustrators, both local and international, children's and adult. I had an amazing time. I feel like I am still processing everything I heard and saw and learned. I am grateful for the chance to be a part of this terrific event and my congratulations to the organising team, especially Literary Director Rachael King and Executive Director Marianne Hargreaves, for making magic. Wow! Check out the very cool blog of award winning slam poet Anis Mojgani who was one of the featured speakers, here. Scroll down for his poignant impressions of Christchurch.

And now I'm home I am realising I left it all out there. If you ask me what I'm writing right now I would have to say nothing. Te brain is fried. Not just crispy round the edges but deep fried on a high heat. I guess it's a little like cyclist Sarah Ulmer's inability to draw breath and respond to the reporter after her winning ride at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. She gave that ride everything. Anything less would have been a disappointment. I sucked the marrow out of the last six months folks. It may take me a little while to get my breath back :)

1 comment:

Jane Bloomfield said...

You have definitely earned some down time to recharge your creative batteries Melinda. Enjoy the Auckland spring!