Friday, April 20, 2012

Bakers And Buffalo

One of my favourite stories amongst those I have written for the monthly competitions is one about the demise of the buffalo on the American prairies. Colossal numbers - many millions - of this magnificent beast were wiped out, mainly for sport, and reduced to a few thousand.

We have never seen a live buffalo, or bison, in the USA, but there are a few places where they have been saved - they are being farmed for their meat - and where you can go to see them. We intend to do so on one of our visits there. We did not expect that our first sighting of live buffalo would be in a small touwn, Oxford, in New Zealand. But here they are, two of them, in a field with two cows. Not sure what the objective is. Is the intention to breed them together? To cross them with cattle? No idea, but they are very handsome animals.

The story I have to write this month is on the theme of food. So it was very amusing to see this bakery van in Akaroa a couple of days ago. Look at the registration plate as well as the sign in the window. I think our baker friend Lorenzo (who, coincidentally)  has a bronze statue of a buffalo family near his home) would like to have this van.

Tomorrow we leave New Zeland and should be home in just over a week. This means that the hard grind will begin, objectives being at least one short story per months, "Vic's Big Walk" into paperback, and three more books published in e-format and also possibly in paperback.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Foot In The Door

Well, despite distractions such as this outside the window, I managed to get that story finished on Sunday afternoon and whizzed off to Writers' News.

I am not happy with it, but at least I am sticking to my resolution of getting an entry in every month. This one will not fulfil my other resolution of actually winning one of the competitions this year, but it will keep my foot in the door. There is a slightly broader spec for next month's competition - instead of giving a last line which you have to lead up to, the story has to be about food.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stuck In A Hole

Maybe I shouldn't have said that - about the story flowing out through my fingers when I sit down at the keyboard.

I have written scores of stories, but for the first time ever, I have sat down with a basic, very sketchy idea of a story in my head, written a few paragraphs, then backed off, having decided I need to think more about what I am doing.

I seem to have a bit of a paranormal tale on my hands, with a very sick woman seeking shelter in a cave from a storm.. I know roughly what will happen, but am a bit stuck with how exactly to deal with it.

I have another 10 days before the story has to be whizzed into the ether, but it will be a busy ten days for us as Gay's sister is arriving from Australia tomorrow and we shall be doing a lot more driving and sightseeing than we normally do on our own, as we try to give her a taste of New Zealand.