Monday, March 7, 2011

Living in the past: an update on my Sydney post

Reading Madame Bovary
1. It seems the most interesting thing about my last post was the fact I didn't write 'the barge story'. Today I received two separate emails explaining and apologising for the mix-up in the press release. (I was right, Amanda Lohrey wrote 'the barge story'.) Hey, I thought it was funny, and so long as Ms Lohrey is okay with her story's temporary migration (I almost said infidelity, but that's a tricky word to use in relation to stories), then no harm, no foul.

2. The prize money: you don't get novelty cheques these days (a shame when it comes times for photos; a bonus when it comes time to catch the flight home) -- the money just gets wired to you via the internet. Not that anything's arrived in my account yet, but that hasn't stopped me spending a wodge of it -- as I alluded to on Saturday -- on a Canon 550D camera. Hello Full HD movies and image stabilised twin lens kit. Look out   bird I've seen perching on my TV antennae twice now that may or may not be a shining cuckoo. It's time to meet the passerine paparazzi!

3. I now have photographic proof I was at the awards on Sunday.  So do you:

Kim Scott (That Deadman Dance), Dr Paul Sharrad (judge extraordinaire), Craig Cliff (A Man Melting)
There's also proof I gave a speech, but this also proves I can look like a slender-spined porcupine fish, some I'm not sharing.

4. Today I internet stalked researched the other regional winners of the first book awards. I'm pleased to see another short story collection made it through to the final: Bird Eat Bird by Katrina Best. So it's two novels vs two short story collections for the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games of Literature (welterweight category; Donaghue, Mitchell, Forma and Scott being the heavyweights). Question: Boxing, weightlifting, wrestling, judo, or taekwondo - which of these weight-graded sports is the best analog for a writing prize?

5. In non-CWP news (phew, they say), I bought a copy of Wulf by Hamish Clayton for Buy a NZ Book Day (Saturday). Looking forward to reading it, though my TBR pile is set to topple.  I wonder if readers of e-books have that gut-punch of guilt when they think about all the books they want to / have to read without the actual physical peril of the books in their lives?

6. Answers to questions in 4 and 5: Probably weightlifting (you're not competing against anyone but yourself, etc; it's made for epic failures) and probably yes.

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