I detest the schmaltz of V Day, even though I’m a diehard romantic, because it seems so unoriginal and besides, who needs a special day to give a girl a bunch of flowers? Of course, a trail of broken hearts doesn’t make me very well disposed towards it either. However, yesterday was simply lovely.
In the morning, a good friend from work came with me to Kenmore Library, where I spoke about my novels for Library Lovers Day. I had an audience of 7 attentive ladies who were very interested in how I coped as a deaf woman and the implications this had for my writing. They had loads of excellent suggestions for doing advocacy and public speaking in schools, which I’ll now look into. I had never been to Kenmore before either, and the library was well-lit and spacious, and the library lady put out some very nice cupcakes and strawberries. I also sold a few copies of Entitlement, which means I’m that much closer to buying the green Leona Edmiston frock that I’ve been eyeing off. Joy!
In the evening, I went to Garden City library, where two friends from school came to be my groupies. The librarian there was also lovely and interested in my work, and it’s always such a delight to come across people who are passionate about books and reading.
Libraries are a godsave for a broke writer with a frock addiction. I can’t afford to buy many books, and as I read constantly for pleasure and for my craft, without Brisbane’s libraries I’d be stuffed. The Public Lending Right and Educational Lending Right system, which compensate authors for the free use of their books, is also marvellous. At the end of the financial year, money appears like magic from my readers (via the government) for borrowing my books. Making any sort of money from writing is brilliant, because I’m getting paid for what I love, as opposed to being paid to keep myself alive. So I was also very happy to be able to support Brisbane’s libraries on Library Lovers Day.
I literally hadn’t read A Curious Intimacy in about four years, and it was a strange experience to read it as a more seasoned human being and writer. I have latterly dismissed it as being far too domestic, but I realised that its domesticity is quite charming. It needed to be tighter, and Ingrid is an annoying pedant sometimes and Ellyn is really quite pathetic, and I can see why reviewers criticised it for being a little camp, but I’m still proud of the writing. A sequel is also bubbling in my head. Its canvas will be larger, and more passionate, and the characters more mature, as I hope I am. A Curious Intimacy is also, of course, an unabashed romance, and therefore very apt for V-Day. I realised, too, as I put together my notes for the talks, that everything I’ve ever written has been about love, or the lack thereof. So of course I couldn’t not wear my silk Sacha Drake Pop Art love dress and, seeing as I didn’t have anyone to send flowers too (yes, boys can get them too!), I made a donation to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and another to 1000 Hearts in South Africa. So, yeah, I guess that means I secretly think V Day isn’t so bad after all.
I’ll also be giving another talk at Hamilton Library at 10.30am on Thursday 21st February, and hopefully another one at my local, Stones Corner Library, later down the track. In the meantime, I have banned myself from borrowing any more books until I get through the two piles on my desk. Reviews of some of them will be following shortly.