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Archive for January, 2011

Libraries

I LOVE libraries. Really they are wonderful and the staff tend to be rather superb as well.

Last year I tried to join the Otago University Library but I got several LOUD and CLEAR “no” s because I am not ex-staff or an ex-student. Some senior academics offered to write letters of recommendation for me, as I was trying to do research at the time but I didn’t bother (I got in a snit). I must add that this was the main library. The Hocken Collections are fantastic, as are the staff there.

Because of my lack of luck above, I used the interloan service of my local library. At $5 a request, I used it sparingly, but again an excellent service. The McNab staff at the central library were also incredibly helpful.

But my aim for 2011 is to save up* for alumni membership to the Massey University library

For only $100 per year you can have the same borrowing privileges as an undergraduate distance student. Borrow books in person or have them delivered to you anywhere in New Zealand

which seems like a great deal even if you can’t access the databases :-(.

Otago University Library – BAH I say, BAH!

*Any contributions gratefully accepted



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Broadcasting from a new location

I’ve moved house and although I posted a few entries here about not needing an office, I actually have ended up with a room of my own with a view (apologies to Woolf and Forster). I haven’t set it up yet, but the unpacking has begun.

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Deep Sea Dive

Writing is a deep-sea dive. You need hours just to get into it: down, down, down. If you’re called back to the surface every couple of minutes by an email, you can’t ever get back down. I have a great friend who became a Twitterer and he says he hasn’t written anything for a year.” -Dave Eggers (from an interview with the Guardian)

Found here

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“Just thought I would let you know that the Wanaka Autumn Art School was set up in 1990 with the intention of providing local people with ready access to tutors from outside the district thus avoiding the heavy travel and accommodation costs associated with attending courses and festivals in some of the northern cities. Some 60% of participants are from Central Otago. The school was set up with Creative NZ assistance, but, for the last 20 years, has been completely self funding.
Robyn van Reenen
Co-ordinator”

Which is all EXCELLENT news really.

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Horses for courses

I am about to move house this weekend and have managed to miss a submission date because of it BUT I wanted to do a small post about something irritating me. It connects with Hamish Keith’s Listener column this week (link to come)about the arts and funding and also this recent analysis of Creative NZ funding by the Barrs.

I got an email about a Creative Writing Course that sounded pretty good – the tutor is Steve Braunias. Of course it could be pretty awful as well. I am in the locality and thought ‘maybe I could just go and find out…would be a nice writing break anyway…” but then I though about the costs. The fees are $315, which seems fairly reasonable, but add in travel plus a weeks accommodation in Wanaka and somehow arranging care for my kids for that week…pretty unlikely I could go.

This is a community arts funded thing, presumably helped out by the local council and CNZ. And who is likely to attend such a course? Who has the time and money?  Think about it.

EDIT: I do see that keen writers located in the Upper Clutha region will be well served by it.

ANOTHER EDIT – (also see comment below) “Just thought I would let you know that the Wanaka Autumn Art School was set up in 1990 with the intention of providing local people with ready access to tutors from outside the district thus avoiding the heavy travel and accommodation costs associated with attending courses and festivals in some of the northern cities. Some 60% of participants are from Central Otago. The school was set up with Creative NZ assistance, but, for the last 20 years, has been completely self funding.
Robyn van Reenen- Co-ordinator”

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