Day two, which was actually my first full day in Taipei, had Dala Publishing's Lawren, Olivia and Yuching meet me, Tim Gibson and Ant Sang after breakfast of pork dumplings, fruit and warm soy milk at the Howard Hotel, to take us to The Attic, where we would be staying for our residency in the Artists Village.
After dropping off our bags, we were treated to an amazing cooked brunch of pork and ribbon noodle hot-pot and I got to sample sour milk (tastes like yoghurt drink) before moving on to Taipei's speciality bubble tea.
Just when I thought bubble tea was the happiest-making food-stuff in the world, I tried black sesame dumplings in red bean soup. Anyone who has spent any time with me around food will know that sugar gives me the giggles. Alas, Yuching had no idea why her favourite pudding made me cry with laughter, just as my taste buds had no idea what was happening to them. Welcome to Taipei, taste buds!
As night fell, the streets became alive with lights. Taipei is the city that never sleeps. It's also the city with subterranean comic shops such as Manga Sick, where a young man slept on a beanbag by the doorway as ambient music filtered out from a speaker hidden somewhere in the zine-filled shelves.
But even the mainstream book shop Eslite has 24 hour opening, and gave us a glimpse of some familiar covers before us luminaries went out for the night.
Later than scheduled, here's Taipei Diary: day one of my participation
in the NZ Book Council's Graphic Novelists Exchange Residency in
association with the Publishers Association of New Zealand and the
Taipei International Book Exhibition.
I was gifted this notebook by Wellington Cartoonist Grant Buist, to journal my Taipei exchange. I made my first entry at Auckland Airport, beginning what was to become my daily drawing ritual.
A short hop to Melbourne followed by a longer anti-travel-sickness-pill-blurred flight to Taipei in time to see the sunrise from the Howard Hotel. To see what I did next, read Taipei Diary: day two.
I have a story in the first print issue of The Lonely Crowd, along with Alison Moore, Medbh McGuckian, Stevie Davies, Anna Metcalfe, Tom
Vowler, Valerie Sirr, Jo Mazelis, Gary Raymond, Nigel Jarrett, Caitlin
Thomson, Dan Coxon, Armel Dagorn, Carole Burns, Jamie Guiney, Bethany W
Pope, Liam Cagney, Gregory Norminton, Kathy Miles, Steph Power, Rachel J
Fenton, Rosalind Hudis, Patrick Holloway, Frederick Pollack &Clodagh O’Brien. "There is also photography from Jo Mazelis & artwork from Constantinos Andronis".
My sincere thanks to EditorJohn Lavin for including "Man Who Talks to Books". The story is available to preview online for one week here and the print issue of the journal can be pre-ordered here.
A little while ago I had the pleasure of cartoonist Natalie Dupille's company - check out her wonderful cartoons of what we got up to, here, here, and here, as she stopped off during her tour of New Zealand to draw her travel memoir - after meeting some of the Three Words anthology crowd she even made it all the way to see Wellington cartoonist Grant Buist.
"Food can bring together families, communities and cultures. It is the
essence of life and yet our relationships with one another can be most
fraught at the dinner table. This perpetually fascinating subject has
inspired a unique collection of short fiction - including flash fiction,
essay and short stories and a stoku (combination of story and haiku).
It features international literary figures such as Ben Okri, Chitra
Banerjee Divakaruni, and Mukoma We Ngugi and emerging writers such as
Krys Lee, Nikesh Shukla, Pippa Goldschmidt and Elaine Chiew."
Many thanks to Editor John Lavin, Fiction Editor of Wales Arts Review, for including my fiction in the first print issue of The Lonely Crowd, available for pre-order now.
I'm delighted to be included alongside such talented fiction & poetry writers as "Alison
Moore, Medbh McGuckian, Stevie Davies, Anna Metcalfe, Tom Vowler,
Valerie Sirr, Jo Mazelis, Gary Raymond, Nigel Jarrett, Caitlin Thomson,
Dan Coxon, Armel Dagorn, Carole Burns, Jamie Guiney, Bethany W Pope,
Liam Cagney, Gregory Norminton, Kathy Miles, Steph Power, Rosalind Hudis, Patrick Holloway, Frederick Pollack & Clodagh O’Brien. There is also photography from Jo Mazelis & artwork from Constantinos Andronis."