Saturday, April 7, 2012
Couple of things for you before the Easter Bunny gets here:
Just enough time to get your nominations in to Story South Award - closing April 9th - for the best short story of at least 1,000 words published online (not self-published) in 2011. Thanks to Dorothee Lang for this link.
My thanks to AUT and judge Dylan Horrocks for picking my graphic story "Alchemy Hour" to win the AUT New Zealand Creative Writing Competition - my first ever win - seriously, unless we're counting that spagetti I won at the tombola in infant school (spag that turned out to be dried up in the single person sized tin - enough for one person, that is, not a tin as large as a single person - that would be silly). If you'd like to read the story, it's here.
Followers of my face book page will have noted I was particularly overwhelmed by my success, in part for the above reason, but also because I almost didn't enter the competition at all. The deadline was looming and it wasn't clear from the entry guidelines if non-students could enter. Huge thanks to Ant Sang for finding out and letting me know I could. But I was literally going against the clock and the story I did enter wasn't even my first choice.
My first choice ate up a lot of time and paper and ended up down the back of the book case. My winning story, therefore, was something of a last minute panic, and lucky for me it was because that's what gave me the inspiration for the structure - that and the fact I can't actually draw! Oh, and the other fact that I was down to two pieces of A4 cold pressed cotton paper. Just goes to show it's sometimes what you don't have that counts! That was the structure sorted.
Content wise, my daughter had just had her first surf lesson and I'd spent the whole of that day just staring at the sea, studying the way the waves peak and roll. I wanted to capture that. In my dreams I imagined the piece as a mini movie, I'm not convinced I pulled it off, but the thing I am happiest about is that I finally got to tell the story about my granddad.
My granddad taught me to paint with his watercolour paints. He kept them in a shortbread tin in the pantry cupboard in the caravan where my brother and I holidayed with him. I found him just after he'd died. I was nine.
I'm sorry I was too late, I hope my story conveys that.