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international librarian of mystery

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Big in Australia

Well, after getting my hopes up, I didn't get the job.

The Director rang me the next day as promised, and was ever so nice, but had to tell me they'd found a candidate who was so suited to the job he had overshadowed all the other 'highly qualified' candidates. Best of luck for the future and all that. Since I had him on the phone, I enquired as to the prospects of getting one of his department's business grants - one of the schemes I had come up with as a way to get some cash together so I could get to the Bloggies Awards Ceremony in March...

"Oh, yes," he said, "if you've got a start-up on the go, and a robust business plan that outlines all the necessary details, I'm sure you'd have a good chance at getting a grant. Have you got a business plan?"
"Um, I'm working on it," I lied. I'm sure I could whip one up though - this is just the sort of thing the interweb is useful for. "How long would it take to get some money after sending in the paperwork?"
"Oh, maybe a month or two. Not very long."

Too long for me though. I need cash now. I thanked the Director for his help, and rang around the other government departments that offered the same sort of start-up grants, and they all had similar answers: do a business plan, fill in the forms, then wait. I considered getting a dodgy instant loan from one of the cash merchants in town, but I've already got an overwhelming student loan, and another mound of debt accruing at an insane interest rate is the last thing I need.

(If there are any wealthy altruists out there that want to help me out, now is the time to email me).

In the meantime, the international media were telling my story to the wider world again. Australia's Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age had run stories on a) me specifically, and b) the Australasian Bloggies Finalists in general. Combined with the people still coming in via the Bloggies site, traffic was through the roof. All very gratifying for the ego, but no good when it comes to the bank balance.

Or so I thought.

A few hours after the Sydney Morning Herald ran their first story, I got an email from one of the bewildering number of Australian woman's mags. They were wondering if I might be interested in doing an interview. For a fee, of course. Well, for a fee, of course I would!

The cash isn't going to be anywhere near enough to cover the cost of a trip to the USA, but it's a start, and fulfills a long-held desire to be the subject of a story in one of those magazines. One, preferably, that didn't involve some tragic rare disease. The moment had finally come. The thought of someone picking up the mag in some doctor's waiting room in a small town in Australia and reading about my online exploits fills me a sort of mirth that causes me to burst out into spontaneous laughter, which was exactly what happened on the bus on the way home from town that day.

My good mood was aided by a phone call I got from Artemis later that night.

"Natalie, hello. It's Artemis. I hope you don't mind me calling?"
"Artemis! Not at all - that's why I gave you my number. How are you?"
"Very well thank you. I just thought I'd ring to let you know that the Drama Group has had a couple of rehearsals of the Bizgirl play. It's shaping up quite well, and I was wondering if you might like to come along tomorrow night and sit in on a session. We've reworked it a bit from the original script I gave to you, and I thought you might like to see how it's evolved. Maybe give us a few hints? An outside perspective can be very useful at times, I find."
"That would be great! Where?"

Artemis gave me the address of his swanky school, and directions to the hall within.

How exciting! This leaves the woman's mag interview in the dust in terms of achievement: a play based on my blog! What a crack-up! Still, I've got a few doubts. Is the play going to be any good? Who has Artemis got to play the part of me? Is she pretty? Prettier than me? We shall see...