Never say never … Auckland Writers and Readers Festival

I’m the Roberta who is going to the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival in May.

Now there’s a sentence I never thought I would see in print – and it feels good! In fact, with that one sentence a whole bunch of “nevers” bite the dust: I’d never before put in an Expression of  Interest for anything – ever. I’ve never been to a literary festival in New Zealand, never been a delegate at one anywhere in the world for that matter and, cherry on the top – I’ve never been to Auckland either.

Of course I’m euphoric. I’m the library assistant with the spring in her step and a great big smile on her mug. That said, I am also the library assistant waking up at 2am with sweaty palms and the words “podcast” and “blog” beating a merciless tattoo behind her terrified eyes.

After umpteen e-mails and phone calls to Richard on the subject of the festival, he has no idea how calmed I have been by his soothing tones and philosophical take on matters technological when he said: “Here’s the thing Roberta, it either works or it doesn’t work.”

All round the network colleagues have shared in my delight at this terrific opportunity. OK, so some of them have initially been unable to hide an unflattering degree of surprise but when they rally, their questions are spot on: “What!” followed by “Where? When? Which hotel” and my personal all-time favourite which really gets to the heart of the matter: “What will you wear?”
So far no-one has asked who the festival guests will be, but I bet that’s because they know I am going to tell them anyway.

What this means is that I have been given the chance to rediscover the joy of focused reading. Of course I read for pleasure all the time, but to resurrect the thrill of reading with a purpose is a special privilege.
Next to my comfy chair, on my round table with a specially angled reading lamp, there now stands a gently leaning stack of books I must read and be able to comment on with some degree of insight by the 12th May  –  and I am in my element. The pile includes Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed, Lionel Shriver’s  So Much For That and William Dalrymple’s Nine Lives.

And yes, I have bought new stationery for those of you who must know. Really, it doesn’t get better than this!

10 thoughts on “Never say never … Auckland Writers and Readers Festival

  1. mj April 28, 2010 / 4:51 am

    Congratulations Roberta – you’ll have a ball 😉 I’m impressed that you’ve bought new stationery – this is just to ticket! Can’t wait to read all about it.

  2. Roberta Smith April 28, 2010 / 9:51 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement Megan! Who’d have thought!

  3. helen May 3, 2010 / 2:44 am

    You go girl!!! I’m very proud of you, keep us posted and enjoy every moment.

  4. Susan May 4, 2010 / 12:21 am

    Well done Roberta, you fully deserve this opportunity. I hope you will enjoy it! xxx Susan

  5. Margaret May 5, 2010 / 12:38 am

    You are just brilliant, Roberta. Keep on blogging and am looking forward to reading more

  6. richard May 5, 2010 / 4:29 am

    Let me say that Roberta’s enthusiasm is great to see. She’s taking this on fearlessly!

  7. Roberta Smith May 5, 2010 / 8:32 am

    Greetings Richard – so far the most scary thing has been the photograph, thanks to the shenanigans of Marion and Bronwyn!

  8. Allison Broster May 10, 2010 / 8:05 am

    Reading your blog is almost as good as sitting down with cappuccino and cup cakes. In fact better: the intellectual challenge without the calories! More power to your mouse!

  9. Jane May 14, 2010 / 1:30 am

    You are a natural Roberta. Loving your posts from the festival.

    • margaret May 14, 2010 / 1:41 am

      Keep up the good work Roberta. I am thinking of you this week

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