I haven't blogged for a good week, and although I feel like I should be visiting a virtual confession to save my cyberspace soul from getting lost in the folds on a nanochip somewhere, I have a really good excuse.
I've been in New Zealand, mate.
It's half a globe away. On the other side of the world. Way way down under, which means, really far away from my blog.
That's not to say that they don't have internet in New Zealand. Far from it. I could check my email just about anywhere. The only thing was, I, um...well, I didn't. Can you blame me? I was in New Zealand!
Now that I'm back - sigh - and chained once again to the writing desk to work all I've learned and experienced into my present work in progress, I promise to blog daily about the trip and share some of the wonder I experienced (and avoid that mountain of revisions looming over me for as long as possible).
My adventure began when Air New Zealand landed in Wellington, after a bazillion hours of flying. My luggage, much as it wanted to accompany me straight to Wellington, decided to make a detour and go to Australia for a short stint. It didn't tell me this, so I was on my own with nothing but the clothes on my back (and that handy credit card) for two days before my luggage caught up with me, looking distinctively Aussie, I have to say.
While waiting for it, I spent my first day in the stacks at the Alexander Turnbull National Library, picking up loads of really amazing information for my book, Pelorus Jack, a YA set in 19th century New Zealand and based around the true story of a dolphin that was given the same name.
That afternoon, when I could read no more, I met up with Kiwi children's author, Maureen Crisp - visit her blog at http://www.maureencrisp.blogspot.com - and her beautiful two-year-old daughter for a bit of tea and scones. Not ordinary scones, mind you, with clotted cream. No sir. Huge cheesey ones, and oooooh!, so tasty. Plus, I've been told that since I was down under, calories don't count. It's got something to do with gravity and the tilt of the earth - very scientific and all that - but basically, if I've understood correctly, calories just slide straight down to Antartica, rather than getting stuck in New Zealand. So, I had two scones, to be on the safe side. I didn't want to starve to death with no calories.
Maureen and I spent a good couple of hours comparing notes on being a children's author in New Zealand vs. U.S. Much too soon, our visit was over. Maureen had kids soon coming home from school, and I had the Te Papa that I wanted to see. That's the New Zealand National Museum. It sits directly on the harbor in Wellington. Amazing. The sand man caught up with me halfway through the exhibits, but I battled him off with a humongous piece of chocolate cake. I didn't even want to think how many calories were in that thing, even if I was in New Zealand, but this was art, no....research I had to do. So I forced myself to eat every delicious morsel.
I finished off the day with a stroll back to my hotel, past parliament that is called the beehive, and really looks like, well, a beehive. But don't believe me. Take a look.
Still sans luggage, I had a quick shower before cozying up under my thick blankets for a read and a very long sleep. Day 2 of my trip was to hold more adventure than even I could imagine.
In other news, Dragon Wishes officially launched on Tuesday of last week. Yes, my baby greeted the world on election day. Despite many last minute calls to both campaigns, I could convince neither candidate of the electoral power that my book would carry for them should they just hold it up once briefly during their campaigning that day. I tried :-) I'm being interviewed all this week on 2k8's blog. Please stop by and learn all about the making of Dragon Wishes: http://www.classof2k8.blogspot.com