Sunday, April 22, 2012

Frankfurt Book Fair: adventure 2012

I wondered why I wasn't trying harder to find a small adventure for 2012 and now I know.

My book Scarlet Heels has been chosen for the Frankfurt Book Fair! New Zealand is Guest of Honour at the fair, with a special national pavilion and various interesting events. The New Zealand Society of Authors will have a stand, and that's where my book will be on display.

So, that was the great adventure of 2012 waiting to fall into my lap: 
There is no reason why I need to travel to Frankfurt, because the NZSA will promote all the books on their stand. But I would like to attend, just for the hell of it. I will do my best to find a foreign publisher or two for Scarlet Heels, and yet I am taking the project light-heartedly. That's one of the advantages of advanced age. 

Booking a hotel any minute now... Old Lady Laughing is going to the fair...

For the rest of the year I'm going to have a parallel persona running all year in the background—my literary persona, slightly neglected over these last few years. I feel energized and cheerful about this change, as you do.

More about Scarlet Heels

Monday, April 2, 2012

When will I die?

Autumn tomatoes.

Bother. I've just taken two online tests that calculate how old I'll be when I die.

The Deathclock said I'll die at 99, but I didn't believe that, because the calculator is ghoulish and ridiculously simplistic.

Dr Thomas Perls, on the other hand, has credentials, and his Living to 100 Life Expectancy calculator is much more detailed. So what's his verdict? According to Dr Perls, I am doomed to live to the age of 98.

Now this dubious prophecy is not entirely welcome. I'm not particularly keen to live that long. In fact, I recently revised my desired date of death upwards to 92, for the very good reason that I became a grandmother again.

'Is it OK if I die at 92?' I asked my daughter. 'That means I can give your son 20 years of grannying. Will that suffice?'

Kind girl thought about it seriously and then nodded. And now it seems her poor lad may have to put up with my interfering grand-matriarchal ways until he is 26. We'll see about that.

See that scruffy old tomato plant aging on my deck? Last summer's weather was so vile that I never expected the tomatoes to ripen. Indeed, I had been studying recipes for green tomato chutney, because those tomatoes have been sitting on the vine, glowing green, for nearly three months.

And now look at them! The fruit grow redder and sweeter every day, even as the plant withers and fades and flops. Where is this metaphor leading me... Maybe it's reminding me that many writers produce their best work in, ahem, maturity. Bring it on.