Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Birdsong, banned books, chocolate and feet.

I'm back, energised by Australian sun, birdsong and good company, and perched much more happily on the edge of my chair than I have been in the last few days, with a pinched nerve I'd like to put down to sedentary hours on trains and planes, rather than to encroaching decrepitude. The wisteria is budding forth, and the cherry, and it's hard to keep up with the spring vege greens.

I note that potential buyers of Rosa Mira's ebooks are acting conservatively as the Euro hovers on the brink of the Zone — but I would (naturally) urge them to act now in their own best emotional and intellectual interests. The Glass Harmonica and Slightly Peculiar Love Stories promise to transport their readers into zones eternally vivid and fertile.

In a few days — I'll remind you again then, and point you to her new blog — Dorothee Kocks's The Glass Harmonica: A sensualist's tale will be available in paperback. Details will appear on the website. It makes a handsome volume.

Talking of Banned Books Week, did you see Dorothee's riveting article? On books such as Henry sells clandestinely in her novel, he "hawking risqué literature from the back of his carriage, including what would become the most banned book in U.S. history, Fanny Hill, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure".

And I suppose you heard the two radio interviews aired while I was away, in which I spoke about Rosa Mira Books. The first with Ruth Todd (no relation) of Plains FM Women on Air, the second with Lyn Freeman on Radio NZ's Arts on Sunday.

I have a copy of the paperback version of The Glass Harmonica which I'd like to send to someone who could give their review of it wide exposure, besides what's offered here. That and a Whitaker's slab of their choice (alas, the latter an NZ-only offer).

Feet waiting for the Lapstone train.

Friday, 9 September 2011

'dangerous and beautiful'

Here's a new review of Dorothee Kocks's The Glass Harmonica, a sensualist's tale . . .  

Since spring is in the air, I'd like to offer a free copy of Slightly Peculiar Love Stories to the next two buyers of The Glass Harmonica.

And now I'm going to the beach.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Packing a few things

I talked about Rosa Mira Books last week with Ruth Todd of Women on Air. Here's the podcast.

Did I say? I'm away for a couple of weeks, but know of a handy doorstep where I can stay in touch now and then.

I plan to proofread the next Rosa Mira ebook, a rich anthropological and autobiographical journey (a road trip) through New Zealand, by Michael Jackson, NZ poet and anthropologist living in the US. (Alas, that NZ Book Council link isn't exactly up to date but you'll get the gist.) And to do some of my own work on Amigas, the collaborative novel Elena Bossi and I have been writing for the last two or three years. We have some new ideas for working it into shape.

Keep well, read eagerly, write and create joyously, play ludically, and enjoy your people. I will.

With the eye of imagination, a pen. Or a double pastry roller.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Odds and ends

What's happening this week? Well, spring is, in this neck of the woods. It's doing gorgeously.

Blogger has changed its layout so I'm groping my way through it this morning.

Rosa Mira Books is giving away a copy each of Slightly Peculiar Love Stories and Dorothee Kocks's The Glass Harmonica: A Sensualist's Tale. Head to the Facebook page, find the giveaway posting, and in the comment box, write what device you'd use to read your copy. You'll go in the draw tomorrow morning.

Writer Carolyn McCurdie has read Slightly Peculiar Love Stories and says: "This is a collection of astonishing variety, by authors from NZ and around the world. Several are translations. The heart of the reader, therefore, the mind, the hairs on the back of the neck, are guaranteed to be touched at least once, or over and over by something in here. For me, it was 'The Ache' by Elena Bossi (translated from the Spanish), and 'Four Stories' by Tania Hershman, in particular, that demanded I go back and savour."

Also today on the Facebook page we seem to have got into a game of giving someone an age, and you have to answer a few simple questions from that (far off, in my case — 12) time. So far, SPLS authors Sarge Lacuesta, Coral Atkinson, and Tim Jones have also divulged dark, writerly secrets.

On Saturday I talked with Ruth Todd on Women on Air in Christchurch, about Rosa Mira Books. As soon as the podcast is available, I'll put the link here. 

Following up on my last posting, about digital contracts, I signed mine with RHNZ, but stipulated (and they agreed) that it be for two years only. Flexibility is the thing, when so much is changing so fast.

Later this week, I'm off to the Sydney vicinity for a fortnight, but now and then I'll trundle my laptop over to the neighbour's doorstep where (they've agreed!) we can access their WiFi. 

If it's cold on the step, I'll just have to take it a few steps further, to the pub.