There are 400,000 or so earthquake stories. Add to that friends and family in other parts of the country and world, it's not unreasonable to suspect that the Christchurch earthquake has had a significant impact on a million or more people. I have four family members in Hamilton who are at the very least mildly concerned how I am. They're watching the TV; they're texting most days; they worry whenever there is another report of an aftershock; my mother knows someone who had died.
Christchurch is a relatively small town. We are probably all only one or two degrees of separation from someone who is now dead as a direct cause of the February 22 earthquake. I am one degree away from three people who have died. That's just me.
I was talking to a writer friend the other day. We wondered who will be first to publish a novel set in the Christchurch earthquake. I already have a tag line for a romance novel in my mind. A few years ago I looked into writing for Harlequin; perhaps it's time to revisit that idea.
Somehow, the stories need to be told, and I'm sure they will be. Already the poems are being read on the radio (I hate to be cynical but some are pretty crappy); and Radio NZ was reading people's writing pieces about the earthquake. Some is a bit sentimental for my liking, but I'm sure it appeals to some.
Do we have a poet laureate? If we do they're very quiet. I can't remember hearing anything from them after September 4... surely now is the time for a decent bard to speak up?
I'm gonna write my own earthquake poem, in addition to the Mills & Boon novel. Geez...I'd better get writing. Like I don't have enough to do already.
There will be collections of earthquake stories. Won't there?