arvestbird’s writing talent has been recognised with the inclusion of one of her essays in Tell You What: Great New Zealand Nonfiction 2015, which had its Christchurch launch last night. She invited me along to the launch, where she and a few of the other included writers read teasingly short excerpts from their essays. It wasn’t a huge event, just a couple of dozen people, but I still managed to feel completely overwhelmed being surrounded by all those super-clever literary types (you’d think having worked in the English department for so many years I’d be used to it by now, but I still sometimes get intimidated – at heart I feel much more like I belong on the sciencey side of the campus). Probably didn’t help too that I was feeling tired after not having slept well the night before, so the whole “make vaguely intelligent small-talk with people I only vaguely know” thing was feeling a lot more challenging than usual. Still, despite not being a glittering success socially, I did enjoy the readings, and of course bought myself a copy of the book.
Oh, and I discovered that I know the editor! I thought she looked vaguely familiar when she was introducing the writers, and later she came over and asked me if we’d met. It turned out she and her partner had flatted with Ornot, and I recognised her the minute she’d said it – I spent so much time hanging around that flat that year (it was the year I was at Teacher’s College, and I was terribly bored) that they might as well have put me on the lease. Her partner was at the launch too – so strange to see them again after so many years.
I still want to play round with the programme a bit to add a function to zoom in on an area (which is part of the fascination of fractals, that being able to zoom in infinitely closely and see the new patterns that emerge), but in the meantime here’s a pretty screenshot: