23 May, 2011

So, May...

...came and now is all but gone. The rest of Auckland Festival (nice ambitious blog post below—what about Days 2 and 3 and the rest, Margo?) was fantastic. The school session went really well, and on the weekend I talked on stage with Meg Rosoff and Paula Morris, and then Paula wrangled me again, along with Elizabeth Knox (whose The Vintner's Luck and Dreamhunter I ate up while I was away, whose Dreamquake I'm currently buried in and whose Personal Essays await, yay! Then I have to track down everything else she's ever written.) and Garth Nix, and Cassandra Clare, on the Fantasy panel. There was a liberal sprinkling of parties, each separated from the other by a spot of socialising or some taking in of Auckland sights and culture.

Then off we went into the countryside, up north via Whangarei to the Bay of Islands, then around the top, via Kerikeri and Mangonui, for the famous fish and chips, to Kaitaia and Omapere. Down the west coast through the kauri forests to Wellsford, then we zoomed southeast back through Auckland to Hamilton, Cambridge and Rotorua, where we spent 2 nights wandering the steamy streets, soaking in the Polynesian Spa, exploring the museum and trying to make up our minds which restaurant to patronise next. It's a hard life.

In the lobby on Sunday morning, I learned that 'A Thousand Flowers', my unicorn story for Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier's anthology Zombies vs Unicorns, had the previous night taken out the Aurealis Award for best Young Adult Short Story. Fellow ROR-workshoppers Tansy Rayner Roberts, Richard Harland and Marianne de Pierres also won, and Dirk Flinthart and Trent Jamieson came close; we are a force to be reckoned with, to be sure.

Flew home last night, up and to work this morning, not on that selkie novel, which still requires some tweaks and is late, eep!, but on the dayjob. New Zealand immediately retreated into dreamland behind a cloud of HTML, usernames and passwords. Still, more dreaming coming up with the Clarion West trip. No need to panic and whine.

12 May, 2011

Auckland Writers and Readers Festival, Margo's Day 1

First session in Auckland today: "Margo talks about the exhilarating ride that is short story writing, and how it's different from the long but glorious [well...] slog involved in completing a novel. She invites you into some of the weird, wonderful and sometimes slightly icky worlds she's created, and lets you in on a few secrets of writing, and of living the writer's life." For Years 10–13 (ages 14–17).

Then the big Marae Visit/Powhiri this afternoon, the gala storytelling evening, and the Festival Opening Party. Exhausting, darlings! :D

02 May, 2011

Final assault in progress

Please, God, let it be final.