As the Wordstock festival in Portland, Oregon is my first international literary festival (let me rephrase: my first overseas international literary festival) I think it's only fair that I am feeling ridiculously excited about the whole thing. According to the schedule, I will be giving a presentation along with another debut historical novel author, David Boling, at 3pm on Saturday November 8th, and I will also be appearing on a panel about first time novels at 3pm on Sunday the 9th. It's an auspicious time: I fly in on the preceding Wednesday (the 5th), the day after the US general elections, so Portland will either be rejoicing or commiserating; I guess by the time I stand up on Saturday I will know whether or not Helen Clark is still Prime Minister; and on the Sunday my son will turn two without me. I am fairly certain at this point he doesn't even know what a birthday is, but I plan to burn up the credit card to make up for my absence and yay, he gets to have two birthdays. Such are the sacrifices we make.
I was reminded by the election situation that I was in the States last time a Bush left the White House. I found myself in New York on the day that Clinton was elected in 1992, at an Act Up (Aids activist group) party, and when the results were in the whole place was jumpin' with the sound of 'ding dong the wicked witch is dead!'. It was exhilirating; as I stood there I realised I was experiencing a very important part of history first-hand and would remember it forever (although I have to admit that in my old age the details are somewhat hazy).
How strange then, on my fourth visit to the States, to potentially witness my second Republican/Democrat changeover. I will report back with glee.
The Next Word: Contemporary New Zealand Poetry
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