Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Last Few Weeks

In the last few weeks I have met the extraordinary writer, Rachel Cohn. (Her books are some of my all-time favourites – all her characters are still running around inside my head.) We had coffee at Bathers Pavilion in Balmoral. She taught Charlie how to make an elegant popping sound with his lips. She taught me how to wind down the windows in my new car.

Also, in the last few weeks, I’ve read Rachel Cohn’s latest books, Cupcake, and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (which she wrote with David Levithan, another favourite writer). Both books kept me awake most of the night and both made me laugh and laugh and cry.

Also, in the last few weeks I’ve been to a coupla parties. One was out at Bronte, a moonlit garden party. It seemed to me that gentle laughter and seamless chatter drifted from group to group. Also, it seemed to me that there were several famous children’s authors there and that everyone was beautiful and lantern-lit. There was a baby asleep on the couch, just through the sliding glass doors, with cushions on the floor in case she woke and slipped. Charlie was in my arms. I was especially glad to meet the authors Justine Larbalestier (who wrote the Madness or Magic trilogy) and Randa Abdel-Fattah (who wrote Does My Head Look Big in This?) and David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy and Realm of Possibility). Justine pulled faces at Charlie and made him smile in amazement.

There was another moonlit party too; this was by the harbour at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. Someone mentioned Charlie in a speech. He was referred to, in this speech, as a baby. I don’t think he minded. Also at this party, Charlie reached out from his pram and tugged on the edge of a white linen table cloth. A heavy glass candle slid sideways, and almost toppled down onto his head.

This wasn’t his fault. He didn’t know the candle was there. The angle of his vision was wrong.

Once, in the last few weeks, I saw the neighbour emerge from his house. This was around midday. He pulled his hood up over his head and disappeared into the rain.


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