Adelaide was fan-bloody-tastic. Hot, hot, hot—and I'm not just talking about us writers. Our audiences were pretty steamy too. Hawr, hawr. Anyway, people laughed at my jokes during the panel, which was very polite of them; and they ignored my nervousness during the Meet the Author session, or at least, most of them didn't get up and walk away. And people kept popping up from all my different worlds: Steven's aunty (and cousin-in-law and second cousin) and a mum from my sons' school, and the editor of Red Spikes
, who just happened to be in town, and a Clarion South student of mine (hi, Jason!), and an old friend who'd been hoping to catch up with us at the festival called up after we'd gone and made contact (hi, Virginia!), and on and on.
And then there were new friends and acquaintances, which was lovely too, and there were parties and dinners and champagne and wall-to-wall books and booktalk, marquees, hotel living, hairdressers' conventions, and inflowing Womaddy types towards the end of the week, and interesting
-tasting Adelaide tap-water, and the view from the 13th floor straight down Grote Street and over the airport to the coast.
And the Central Markets, with Lucia's wonderful mocha and baked custard with fruit for breakfast. Go there. Just jump on a plane, wherever you are in the world. It's worth it.
I had a great time. I wrote no steampunk (but I've done 15 pages this week); I planned no NZ talk (but that's happening now); I read (Matt Rubinstein's A Little Rain on Thursday
, Paul Auster's The Brooklyn Follies
and John Hughes's Someone Else: Fictional Essays
. I saw no newspapers and very little TV; however, I did share a lift with Germaine Greer (and a party, and a hotel!).
Now I'm back in Sydney and working at the bank again. I've had a grog-free day this week and two days' worth of bike commuting (about 60 km in total) so I am paying, and so much!, for my week's indulgence.
And next Monday I'll be keynote speaking in Christchurch at the South Island Children's Librarians' Conference
. I've never been to New Zealand before. I fly in on Sunday afternoon, give my talk on Monday morning, and fly out again Monday afternoon. I think it'll be very strange. The talk will be good, though; I'm thinking 15 minutes reading, 15 minutes talking writing career, 15 minutes talking process, and 15 minutes ranting about writing for children and young adults. That should keep everyone awake.