hours minutes seconds
Ockham NZ Book Awards
The stress dreams are getting quite specific – sitting in the audience in street clothes, suddenly realising that it’s the actual ceremony and I’m up next, and don’t even know what I’m reading. I start desperately scrabbling around in my bag, and for some reason I seem to have brought at least a dozen books with me, and can’t find tumble. Oh, and for some reason most of them are the size of dictionaries.
For the record: I do know what I’m going to be reading, and will make damn sure I have it memorised by the night. In case something goes wrong, I also have it on my phone and will have a copy tucked into Stewart’s pocket. But this is the way my brain works: before big events I have nightmares for many nights beforehand which war-game various things that could go wrong. Turns out I’m really good at imagining disasters. Hopefully though it means I will have dealt with the emotional response well in advance of anything happening. And in theory should also mean I have managed to do the things that need to be done in order to stop them from happening. (Fingers crossed.)
The dress looks pretty damn fine, but I’ve hit a wee problem with one seam being a bit puckered. So I’m unpicking things and will resew that bit. (It’s a little complicated by interfacing, but I’ll manage.) Then it’s just a matter of hemming it, and I’m good to go. It feels really good to wear, is an amazing colour (ZQ Merino in Ruby, from The Fabric Store) and I do have the backup dress if needed. So I’m feeling mostly good about that. Except I’ve somehow managed to mislay the pattern pieces – just the paper pieces. No idea what the heck I’ve done with them, but they appear to be gone. (On the plus side, I can always print them out again if I want to make it a second time. But I will also then have to redo all the modifications I so laboriously made … argh)
It’s just this weird time beforehand, when there’s not really anything I can do to help matters (other than practicing my poem and finishing my goddam dress) and it’s just all aiming towards a single moment. Being naturally a hermit I don’t schmooze well, and it’s going to be a bit freaky to be in a room with so many strangers. I’ve tried sitting down to write, but my workbook has developed the ability to make a sound exactly like sniggering when I leaf through the pages …
Having said that, it feels like the sort of thing that should be a good excuse for playing with a fugue – a poem which repeats and varies a number of phrases, and moves forward in a kind of back-and-forth circling motion. (A mambo spiral?) I’m just a little wary of letting myself brood at the moment – the world really has a lot of horrible shit going on right now, and I’m having to avoid my usual podcasts as a result. (Thank pod for No Such Thing as a Fish and The Infinite Monkey Cage.)