Saturday, April 7, 2012

Graphic sorry

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.


Teresa Stenson said...

It does convey that, Rachel. It's very powerful. And the drawings are fab, the waves, the colours.

H U G E congratulations to you x hope you celebrated...?

Rachel Fenton said...

Thank you, Teresa x

No celebration - I think my trumpet tooting on fb sufficed!

Rachel Fox said...

Well done.

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks, Rachel x

Helen Caldwell said...

Congratulations! I can't believe this is your first ever win. I'd love to read Alchemy Hour but at the moment my internet is so poor it can't handle it! I'll read it as soon as I can.

Have a great Easter!


P.S. trying to comment with my google account. Hope it works!

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks, Helen x

Lori said...

I also liked the paintings a lot!
And it is always fascinating to find the inspiration behind a certain piece of art. It's like an introduction into how the artist's mind works, and what can be more fascinating than that?

Rachel Fenton said...

Thank you, Lori x

I'm not sure my mind has that much to offer but I'm happy to give a peek.

Andrea said...

Congrats once again on this, Rae! It's really beautiful.

Rachel Fenton said...

Thank you, Andrea x

Unknown said...

I really like this, Rachel. Many congratulations :)

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks so much, Sara x

Michelle Elvy said...

WOW, fantastic news, Rachel. Congratulations -- and what a great story. Glad you entered last minute. Will be sure to repost this news!

Michelle Elvy said...

WOW, wonderful news, Rachel! Congratulations to you!! I must re-post this!

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks, Michelle! x

Dominic Rivron said...

A worthy winner. That really touched me. I never learned to use my father's paints.

Thanks, by the way for your chastisement! I've done a bit of a rewrite, as I wrote that post quickly and I'd not meant it to come over as it obviously did! I just wanted to vent my frustration at priorities involved the media people who design these shows. There was even a thing on the radio the other day about how they even encourage lousy acts to give the public a laugh in the early rounds.

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks Dominic.

I saw your reply comment to mine and I intended swinging by your blog last night but got distracted. Sorry for that, and that you had to come over here - I didn't intend to make you feel bad.

I wasn't actually cross with you, it was more the pervading whiff of mirth that hit a nerve and I shoudln't have reacted the way I did.

It suggested in its generalisational way there were more deserving tracts of society than a girl training her dog which I thought was morally and fundamentally wrong. But that wasn't your fault, it was the reaction the stupid prize money drew.

I agree there's not enough incentive portrayed on tv to encourage more kids to take up instruments and the like beyond the media hype surrounding pop acts (and that's not a dis on pop either). The disparity between prizes is deplorable, as is that between the media's priorities.

TV is such a powerful social control you'd think it would, by now, have been put to better use. Maybe music lessons in real time on tv for starters to get to all those who'd usually vegetate at home.

I dunno. Rambling now...think you'd have to have been the poor kid others laughed at to know where I was coming from.

Thanks for addressing it though.