Thursday, September 22, 2005

Have just finished reading all my emails from "home" - after giving a public lecture tonight on writing and place. At first we had technology problems (don't we always?) but eventually the laptop talked to the projector and we had action.
I didn't want to just give a lecture-type thing where I did analysis and theory stuff. It was at 7pm so I figured everyone wanted at least to stay awake! So I had lots of photos in a Powerpoint thing, and I interspersed the lecture with poems. The audience totalled about 30, I think. Quite a few people came up to talk afterwards, including a young man from Sydney who has been living in the US for 5 years. You just never know who will turn up. I wasn't sure if I had insulted him somehow? He commented on how his perspective of Australia was different. I would have like to talk to him further. I guess I was in some ways saying that New Zealand is greener and has better beaches than Australia, plus other stuff. That is something for me to ponder on now - how would that lecture be received in Australia? Maybe I should present it when I go back and then ask people to say what they thought!
Today I visited a children's writers' group in Tucson - all published writers. Their topic was self promotion - very interesting and I picked up a couple of extra good ideas. They were all really nice and welcoming. The problem for writers is always that once the initial hoo-ha over a new book is over, the marketing dept moves on to the next book. So then it really is up to the author to continue the promotion and marketing. A lot of people find this difficult, but it is the reality.
I also went shopping. Tried out Barnes & Noble, mainly for writing books but only found one new interesting one. They didn't have the one I wanted by Robert Olen Butler. I also found a new Billy Collins poetry book, and some literary magazines like Glimmer Train, which was very useful.
All the shops here have winter clothes now! For a suffering heat blob like me, this is not a good thing. So I went to the local Goodwill and picked up two more pairs of shorts. 39 degrees is not jeans weather!
Now to tackle Bookman's which is all second-hand books and CDs.
Tomorrow I am off on a tour of Tucson. Maybe this is the opportunity I have been hanging out for - to pick up and hold a snake!

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