Thursday, February 24, 2011

Standing on shaky ground....


Tuesday started off with excitement in the New Zealand children’s writing community and then the day turned into horror.

At 6am the finalists in the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards were announced. These awards are keenly followed by the community. There were familiar names and quite a few new names which is wonderful for showcasing the depth and quality of our children’s writers. Of course there were big surprises that established previous award winner’s latest books weren’t in the shortlist but that is the nature of awards.

The excitement and the hope that National Media might notice the Awards this year faded quickly as the news that a major earthquake aftershock hit Christchurch at 12:51pm (the middle of a busy day) came through. 

Christchurch is one of our biggest cities, situated in the South Island, it is very historic and often packed with tourists as it is the main gateway to the alps, glaciers, and our biggest scenic tourist attractions.


We are now in a National State of Emergency with over 98 confirmed dead and the toll is rising. We have over 200 people missing. As I commented in my November blog post, New Zealand is small and there are only 3 degree’s of separation here.

People are desperate for news of friends and family in Christchurch including the New Zealand Children’s Writing community. Some of our most prominent writers and illustrators are based in Christchurch including finalists in this year’s New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. In a week when the New Zealand children’s writing community should be celebrating, we are sad and anxious for our colleagues, friends and fellow kiwis.

Life in the rest of the country goes on but with a sense of the surreal...the picture postcard perfection of one of our most scenic cities in ruins.

Our most famous Christchurch landmark last week and this week.



So a shorter list of links to look at this week.

In the blogosphere the 2010 Cybills were announced.  This is an award for children’s books nominated by anyone but judged by bloggers in the Children’s Literature community.

Bob Mayer has a great post on the seven keys to unforgettable characters, this is part of his return to the basics series.

Bubblecow has a good post on finding the essence of your book. If you are looking for how to write tag lines or elevator lines this is a good resource.

The Great Jane Friedman has an interesting post on commenting on blogs...so if you have always wondered whether you should and what you could say...Jane has the answer for you.

Over on Craicerplus I have links to articles on

Offering Value For Book Buyers and Bookstores

Indie Publishing- the Problems With Book Distribution (became an ‘Aha- now I understand’ post on 
facebook this week 

How To Make A Quick Video For The Internet

Maureen

Pic Catholic Cathedral Christchurch
In the video, South Island landscape and the Canterbury plain not far from Christchurch, famous courtesy of Lord Of The Rings

4 comments:

Johanna said...

Beautiful choice of video, Maureen.

Alison Stevens said...

You have been in my thoughts this week. I hope your friends and loved ones are all safe.

Maureen said...

Hi Alison,
So far all our relatives and friends there are accounted for....houses damaged but spirits are undaunted.

I feel deeply sad for the tourists who were visiting who have no experience of earthquakes... they wouldn't know to quickly move to strong doorways or to get under desks...the tourist death toll is climbing....

Maureen said...

Johanna I was looking for a piece of appropriate NZ music but then i thought of the lyrics of this song...it reflects how I am feeling and the mood of the country I think...
I'm glad to know it was the right choice

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