Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Worksheet #32

So the aftershocks have done the Christchurch Writers Festival in. It's cancelled.

Such a shame for the organisers. All that planning. They're only every two years, y'know.

But totally understandable given the circumstances. The Town Hall may still be standing but getting from one place to another looks complicated. Then there's the risk posed by the aftershocks predicted for another week or more.


I should be working on my novel but.


Work today was interesting. Lot's of stuff to do coz of the earthquake. Among other things I rang around South Island schools to see what relocatable classrooms were available to send to Chch if the need arises. I found it tiring. I don't know how call centre operators do it.


Yesterday I realised halfway home that the ceiling of the bus was a bus-ceiling-shaped replica of the Sistine Chapel. Has anyone else been on this bus? 

I wanted to take a photo but it was dark and I didn't want to unnerve fellow commuters / draw undue attention to myself with my phone's flash.

Maybe next time.


My flights down to Christchurch for the Writers Festival were booked for Thursday evening, coming back Sunday evening. Random House booked (and paid), and they gave me a call today to see what I wanted to do. M. bought her own tickets so she could come on the same flights as me. This was before her brother died in August. There's still a lot of reasons for us to go to Chch.

So we're going -- so long as the airport is open (it was closed for a bit this morning after some bigger aftershocks).

I'm waiting to hear back if the Ministry people in Chch need help on Friday. I might get to wear a hard hat, or I might just plug numbers into a spreadsheet. I'll even make more phone calls if they ask. It all helps.

Otherwise, I'm sure there are plenty of other things I can do to help out down there. Silt to clear. Bookshelves to restack. Curfews to enforce.


Note to self: Write a story about a vigilante curfew enforcer.


I would like very much to know how Chile is getting on after their big earthquake in February. It was bigger than the Christchurch one (8.8 on the Richter scale) and 521 people died.

Haiti's quake was a lot closer in terms of the Richter scale, but having been around Chile in 2009 (that is, pre-quake), I can say that Chilean infrastructure is closer to New Zealand's than Haiti's, and would make for a better comparison. A This is what you can and can't expect to achieve in six months.

I'd like to see what Chillan, Temuco, Santiago, Valparaiso look like six months after a massive quake.

Wouldn't it be better if John Campbell or Mark Sainsbury went there for a couple of days rather than giving us the same programme on two channels at 7pm?

If they don't wanna go, I'm willing to if someone will spot me the flights and some money for completos.


I'm a little bit peeved from a personal, head-up-my-own backside, perspective re: CWF. Will I get another invite to a writer's festival in the next year or two and get the chance to appear at my first festival again?  Or will I have to wait until my next book comes out?

When will my next book come out? About 12-24 months after I finish it!!


I should be working on my novel but.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

I like your idea of the TV guys going to Chile to see what it's like six months later.
Glad you're still coming. I'm not sure that there is much for you to do here, though. If you can find the right people to hook up with, there might be a job shovelling silt, but I gather the coordinators have more volunteers lined up than they need.
The university have postponed letting the staff back in to stack books etc. Every time there's a big aftershock all the timetables get changed. And there doesn't seem to be much sense in picking all the books up if they're just going to fall down again.

The best thing you could probably do is find some coffee shops etc that are still open and spend money there. Cash flow will be a big problem for small businesses for the next wee while.