September 22nd, 2016

(no subject)

I gave a lunchtime talk for the Jewish community just now. It was lovely. I lost my notes and tangled my books and cited Maimonides far too often, but people asked a zillion questions and we had a really interesting discussion about what Jewish magic is and how it works in my fiction and how this relates to rabbinical views of magic.

My favourite bit, though, was when someone I knew came up and said "Do you know whose children they were?" (for there were 2 primary school kids in the audience) They were the offspring of someone I had known (and apparently taught origami to!) when I was their age. And they understood everything and told their grandmother the stories they were going to write from the ideas they had because of my talk. I prepared the wrong reading for an audience with children, so I read only a very short bit, but otherwise ... lovely group and it's particularly cool when children keep up with a talk for intelligent adults and take away a bunch of useful ideas and are inspired to write. The other thing is that one of the very bright sparks I taught earlier in the year turned out to be the granddaughter of someone else in the audience. Being able to tell someone's grandmother with total truth how amazing their granddaughter is will never, ever get old. The other, other thing is that it's possible that someone else's ancestor was the rabbi to several of my ancestors a long time ago.

All this is an unexpected good side effect of writing a novel (or two) about people like me (ie Jewish Australians). It's an odd but wonderful argument for diversity in fiction. Everyone should have one perfect and happy audience every now and again. If I'd not written my Jewish novel, I'd not have given this talk and look at what I would have missed out on!