Thursday, September 16, 2010

That was fun - twitter and architecture

So, can twitter and book club work?

We found out on Wednesday when the NSW Writers' Centre Book Club kicked off on twitter. It was hectic but a lot of fun. I was a bit worried no one would turn up, but we ended up with enough people to have me head down at the keyboard typing responses and trying to keep up.

There were some thoughtful questions and it was challenging to come up with answers that were cogent and short. It really makes you think about the heart and soul of an answer without any of the caveats, waffle or padding.

If you want to have a read then the twitterstream can be found here. You don't have to have a twitter account to look - it opens up just like an ordinary web page. Click on the bottom link to older tweets to get the full discussion.

An interesting morning before the bookclub - I sat in on a session with some very, very, very smart architects presenting papers on their forensic architecture case studies in Beirut as part of an intensive workshop they were doing with Eyal Weizman Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University, London. Weizman was also giving a series of lectures titled Political Plastic at UTS.

Why was an ex-cop, crime writing, part time librarian in that room?

Well, the idea was to listen to the papers and offer feedback from the perspective of a cop, on evidence gathering, compiling a brief, considering material evidence. It was fascinating, however I suspect I got more out of it than the students got out of me. It was one of those situations where I spent the rest of the day (between tweeting) thinking "Oh, I shoulda said that" .....

Quite a week, working with High School English students and MCing a Get Reading event on Monday at GleeBooks, discovering a whole new and exciting area of research and a new way to talk about books on Wednesday.

Meanwhile back at the ranch ...... an academic book chapter to wrestle through its third (and please final edit) then I can get stuck into the final section of Book 2 draft 1.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tweeting, talking and teaching.

Spring is finally making an appearance - the pittosporum is popping, starting to scent the days and nights with a lemony sweet promise that summer isn't far away.

Meanwhile - things are hopping.

Tomorrow - Wednesday 15th September - I'm having a go at a Twitter Book Club run by the NSW Writers' Centre. We'll be meeting at the hash tag #NSWWCBookClub and having a tweet about The Old School at 1pm - so you can tweet and eat lunch.

Hoping to "see" some familiar faces in the twitterverse -

Walter Mason, author of Destination Saigon, making an astute book purchase at Dymocks, Liverpool.

A few events are also rapidly approaching -

Friday 15 October is shaping up to be a great night with Sisters in Crime in Melbourne. I'll be chatting with Angela Savage and Sulari Gentill while Robin Bowles wrangles us into order. So if you're in Melbourne come along to Bells Hotel at 8pm and join in as we talk about crime, in Sydney and Thailand, in the past and today.

Hopefully I'll get to put some faces to names during the trip to Melbourne, both in the house of the Penguins and also out and about with some of the hardy handselling indie booksellers I've met in only in twitterland.

Back home, if you're in Sydney, then there's another event in late October. Come along to Kings Cross Library on Tuesday 26 October and we can talk about all things criminal. Booking details will be available in early October from the library.

And if you have a crime short story (or book review) inside you, then now is the time to get it out. I've been asked to judge this year's Queen of Crime competition for Partners in Crime so break out your plot machine and get writing. The closing date is 29 October, 2010 and their are plenty of good prizes to look forward to.

And lastly - best wishes to the Year 12 gals of Extension 1 English at Hornsby Girls High School as the countdown to HSC approaches. We spent one crowded hour mashing some ideas about crime and genre and writing together. Good luck with those exam response questions.