Billy laughed at his mum when she said that. He kept on pulling faces.
“Mum, look at that funny rock. It looks just like a face.” Kaleb scrunched his own face up, imitating the stone.
“Careful. Your face will get stuck that way.”
Tickets have just gone on sale for Wham Bam Author Jam on 24 November in Christchurch. Lots of authors, and lots of books–what more can you want? It’s a great chance to meet NZ authors (and a few from farther afield), buy their books, and support the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand at the same time.
Be sure to stop by my table and say hello!
I sit down at my desk and breathe a sigh of relief. It’s quiet here, in my office. Not like the noisy library where I worked yesterday.
But, no, that’s not true. I hear the roar of the surf in the distance. The trickle of the artificial stream in the garden overlays the sound of the ocean. When I step to the office door, a goat greets me with a maa. Starlings mutter in the treetops, magpies warble on the fenceposts, and a fantail chitters in the shed. A plover’s percussive call is underlain by the chirping of a thousand crickets.
The neighbour rumbles past in his tractor, carrying a bale of silage. I can hear his son in the paddock shouting and whistling at his five barking sheep dogs.
It is far from quiet.
And yet …
Somehow, the sounds here caress my thoughts, rather than intruding upon them like the horrible Muzak from the library cafe, or the screams of tired children, or the drone of the automatic returns machine—please place the item on the trolly.
The fantail flits in and out of the story I’m writing without knocking over my coffee. The goats and sheep graze beside me without barging across the keyboard. The crickets keep to the grass. The tractor rumbles along without leaving tire tracks on my manuscript. The ocean doesn’t even wet my toes.
But somehow, I’m certain these sounds end up in my stories, caught up in the weave of plot and characters. The fantail is there, in the flick of a character’s fingers. The ocean is the relentless sound of the plot line. The tractor is the rumble of disaster bearing down on my protagonist. The goats’ deep maa is the voice of wisdom, and the crickets’ chirping lightens the mood.
It’s not that I didn’t write. My daughter and I, out for two days of hiking, stopped a couple of times on our way to sit and write. Sometimes I gave us a challenge, sometimes we just wrote.
I can’t say that anything I penned in the past two days is great literature, but I did smile as I wrote this Ode to a Fern, which was our first challenge. True to our writing styles, my daughter’s poem was deep and insightful, mine silly doggerel. Here it is, to lighten your day …
O filmy fern
All wet with dew
With fronds so thin
They are see-through.
You could adorn
A lady’s hat
A leafy veil
Fine to look at.
Or perhaps a curtain
You could be
Your gauzy fronds
O filmy fern
These aren’t for you
To your wild self
You must be true.
Inhabit damp footpaths
The forest floor
Is where you fit.
Nathan, Ella and Oliver have saved Nathan’s dad. Now they need to save the dragons. Can they convince dragons and humans to work together? Not everyone is happy with their plans, and some are willing to kill to prevent them from succeeding.
Te Kōrero Ahi Kā: to speak of the home fires burning is newly released. This anthology of speculative short stories showcases some fabulous New Zealand writers … and me, too! Thirty-two great stories inside one awesome cover.
There’s never a dull moment when you’re dealing with dragons.
Tui, Nathan, Ella and Oliver have saved Nathan’s dad. Now they need to save the dragons. Can they convince dragons and humans to work together? Not everyone is happy with their plans, and some are willing to kill to prevent them from succeeding.
Coming in April!
A Writer in Progress sharing her heroic journey
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Oh! Take a shit, read a story. - My Mother on flash fiction
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