Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What a day!

My day got off to a (cue the twilight zone theme music) life imitating art moment when I opened up my Otago Daily Times newspaper and saw on the front page a great big photo of an elephant attached this article: Pub helps solve Jumbo problem.

There are too many similarities to The Ringmaster for my comfort, especially as Sam avoids looking at a front cover picture of an elephant in the novel after certain events. I am not going to be able to relax until that flaming circus leaves town!

Today was also a media day, with Write On, my radio show at noon, and then Dunedin Diary television book reviews this evening, so it was busy, busy, busy.

On Write On I interviewed poet and short story writer Sue Wootton. We talked about her experiences as Burns Fellow and how it benefited her, and also about teaching poetry to children - Sue did a workshop at a local school and the children did such a fabulous job of their poems we recorded some for the show. They were a treat.

I also interviewed writer Philip Temple and we chatted about his recent memoir Chance is a Fine Thing, and his being in New Zealand for fifty years. It was fascinating to talk about what forms identity, with Philip's life defined by his being a New Zealander, rather than an immigrant from England. The time passed far to quickly and we could have happily chatted for a full hour.

This evening I reviewed two books on Dunedin Diary. The first was a beautifully practical book - The Star Garden Book, by Gillian Vine, which is a week by week guide to gardening in Dunedin and Southern climate conditions - very handy considering today we have had hail and sleet and the temperature is four degrees!

I also reviewed O. E. Middleton's collection of short stories Beyond the Breakwater, from fifty years of his work. I have to say I've really enjoyed dipping into his stories, and his wonderful descriptions which are made more remarkable by the knowledge he is blind.

So it's been a busy old day, and tomorrow I might actually get some work done!

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