10 things I learnt from writing stories

1. Good reading is damn hard writing but it is worth it

2. Editing your draft if like killing your draft and then bringing it back to life. The “bringing it back to life” thing is worth the feeling of killing all your hard work.

3. Feed back hurts like a bitch especially good feed back

4. If you actually listen to the feedback, you might learn something and actually improve your story and your craft.

5. But be prepared when you ask for feed back or for help

6. Writing when you don’t want to write is worth it in the end

7. Nanowrimo is hard work but it’s written it in the end because the outcome is a novel

8. You can edit a bad page, you can’t edit a blank page. Even if it hurts to write so badly, do it anyway because it’s worth it

9. No glory without pain.

10. That every rejection letter, every criticism, every doubt and fear you’ve ever had, has helped you to be the writer you are today and it is therefore all worth it. Every word.

So just do it and do your best effort. Give it all you’ve got. Don’t give up. Sit at the type writer and bleed. And through the pain, produce something magical and wonderful. 

Reading slowly

I think I may be getting old. I used to be able to read Sperry fast. If I had a sorry poet, it was reading fast. But now a days, I’m reading slow.

I’m also enjoying the stories I read more than before and I savor the enjoyment of being transported into a different world, another life.

I encourage everyone to read slowly and enjoy your story. If you come to a punt in the book where you don’t remember how you got there, go back and read what you’ve missed. 

Take your time to read and enjoy that piece of treasure in your hands.
Have a good weekend.

Matariki

Finally, an easy post!

This is a short story that I wrote in 2015 around the time of the Maori new year or Matariki. My Library was doing a writing competition. This is the story tat won and amazed librarians.

 

The children laughed and played in the back yard of a tiny house, where the gathering was to be held in. The men were chatting over bottles of beer, cooking the meat on the barbeque. Inside the kitchen, the women made salads, bite sized things and coffee.

When the sun came to their area, and most of the people were there, the women called the children to come inside.

“Children! Let me fill your tummies,”

The children wanted to keep playing but they were also very hungry. They raced each other into the house. Marco, a skinny boy who always wore singlets, and was one of the bigger boys, won the race. Their aunties and uncles were already gathered.

Marco’s father, the man of the house, began the Mihi.

“Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa,” he said “Welcome and thank you everyone for coming to our humble house to have fellowship and enjoy the Maori New Year.”

There was a ripple of cheers and shouts from the crowd. Marco looked around to see if there was a celebrity who had come in the house.

“Let’s pray to Our God,” said Marco’s father

Everyone bowed down their heads, young and old, small and big.

“Lord, bless over the food that we are about to eat. Bless the ones who made it and humble the ones who didn’t such as our lovely kids. In Jesus name,”

All the people said; “Amen” in response.

Marco’s father nodded like he approved.

“Good, now let’s eat!”

All the children cheered and whooped. One child screamed for some reason.

The children all rushed outside and helped themselves to the potato salad, the kumara, the taro. But the most anticipated thing of all, was the meat; chicken, beef, pork, lamb, roast duck, all there for the taking in big as pieces.

“I want the chicken, I want the beef, I want lamb,” said the children.

The children gathered at the very back of the back yard, near the fence. It was a nice shaded grassy area. They ate heartily and talked freely to each other. Some of the Marco’s cousins, he hadn’t seen in years, others, he just never talked to.

Marco’s cousin, the one he never talked to, touched his knee. Her name was Melissa.

“I’ve never talked to you before,” she said, smiling, showing her teeth and gums. She wore an ankle bracelet on her wrist. “How are you, whanaunga?

“I’m good, thank you. And you?”

“I’m good too,” said Mellissa. “I’m having a good year,”

She took her hand away from his knee to pick up her drumstick, and Marco could breathe again.

“The year just started today,” said a much younger kid, called Cameron, who was 3 years old, and their nephew.

“Don’t be an egg,” said Marco

But Melissa just shrugged, still with that same smile.

“I guess you’re right, Cam,”

Marco shook his head. They were both an egg.

After dinner, the younger children were tired but they tried so hard to keep awake to watch Maori television, “Wake Warriors”, they soon fell asleep, curled up in their mother’s lap like a kitten. The older children were able to stay up, sipping lemon lime and bitters, L&P or just water. Some even tried coffee which they didn’t like. But eventually, they also fell asleep. It was going to be a long day after all.

Marco swore he only closed his eyes for 5 minutes, when his Aunty Jojo, gently shook him awake.

“Aki, wake up. It’s time,”

Marco rubbed his eyes and sat up and yawned. He stretched his arms despite his sleep head protesting. He got up and stretched his legs and almost fell asleep while standing. The children were fussy. They didn’t want to wake up. The worst ones were the younger kids even though they had way more sleep than the rest. The adults didn’t sleep, they ran on coffee and apples and beer and kumara.

“I don’t want to!” A little kid began shouting and getting really loud. This was their way of being “persuasive”.

“Cameron,” said a man “be quiet”

The man was Grandpa Mathews. He was the elder, the chief and a man with a lot of years ahead and mana in his bones. Mana meant that people respected him and generally did what he said. Cameron was quiet as a mouse after Grandpa Mathews told him off.

Quietly, slowly, the family went outside where it was cold, windy but beautiful.

They laid their mats on the grass and laid down on it. Marco’s mum made him wear a warm woolly jumper and then they laid together on a matt. Marco could never find the stars and it was his mum who always knew where it was every year.

“I see it now,” said his mum already.

“Where?” Marco, as usual, was getting frustrated and flustered that he couldn’t see anything. He saw stars but not matariki, a cluster of stars which translated to “Eyes of god” and signified the new year in the Maori calendar.

“There,” said Marco’s mum “It’s there on the left. Squint your eyes,”

Marco squinted his eyes and looked slightly up a bit more. There, up in the sky, finally, Marco could see Matariki.

“I see it now,” said Marco, smiling.

Then, he settled down, and slept on his mum’s lap, just like when he was a little kid. His mum kissed his head and rubbed his hair.

“Happy Maori new year, my love,”

What motivates me

I was at a job interview recently, adopting for a retail job in South Auckland. One if the questions asked was, what motivates you when you have to do something you don’t like doing. His example was mopping the floors.

I told him that I’m a Christian and that one of the verses I learnt in Sunday school was, whatever your hands find to do, so with all your might.

While this is true, it doesn’t always motivates me or get me up in the morning. I’m not perfect. I still argue with my sister’s and even my mum when they tell me what to do, from simple things like making tea, to big things like trying to tell me how to live my life.

So, what (else) motivates me to keep on keeping on? 

I’ve been studying in NZMA, doing a retail course so I can get a job or already be qualified. But it’s the beginning of the this week of a 20 week course. I was motivated, young at the start but I’m beginning to feel tired, possibly a little bit bored. 

To my left and right, there are people who don’t turn up to class, powwow who suddenly show up, people who have drawn out faces. And there’s a saying or quote that says to surround toward with positive people in order to vs positive. Surround yourself with successful people in order to be successful. But be surrounded by people who resent work and skip class here and there, and you’ll want to do the same thing.

It scared me to think that one day, maybe even tomorrow, I could sleep in late, miss the bus, have no energy to get up, much less dressed and going to school. I could be in a position where I need to catch up and if that happens, then it’ll be like high school all over again. Even though I finished high school, I still sometimes feel like I’ve never really caught up with my peers. What if I feel the same with this course?

So, I ask again, what motivates me?

The core of my Oroville is fear-fear of failing, fear of succeeding, fear of being better than others, fear of making nesters, of missing a step of not being better than others, I’d having everyone around to improve while your either stay the same or you get worse. 

How do I tackle fear? I am obliged to once again involve my religion. I pray to God, I tell him about my fears and worries. And I ask him for help, I pray to him for his guidance, his wisdom, his strength all that when I am tired, I can find rest in him. I can not stress enough to him and myself that I can’t do anything without God who sustains me and who gives me strength.

This doesn’t mean I never get tired, it doesn’t mean I’m never tired or afraid. 

Everyone faces difficulties in their lives and hardships but it is how we deal with them and overcome that is important. 

Yes, I have fear, fear for the future, fear odd what time I’ll wake up tomorrow and will I one day decide that it’s not worth it. 

But fear doesn’t have to consume me and you. Fear can be used for us and turned around. I will not let fear run my life. Instead, I will be even more motivated to succeed, to try my best and be consistent. I will have a positive attitude towards my learning everyday for (at least 17 more weeks). 

What motivates you? What gets you up in the morning? What do you do when it’s not enough?

My life so far

I am writing this post about me because keys face it, my life is interesting. If it wasn’t before, it certainly is this year and this year onwards.

This year, I took a 6 month break. During this time, I volunteered at stardome and spca op shop. But the main reason for this blog post is to talk about recent things. NZMA.

I have been enjoying immensely going back to school. I have a c.f. That despite the grammar mistakes and the wrong phone number, I’d actually looking pry God, neat, tidy and actually kinda impressive. 

I have never been so motivated to learn and excel, never been so keen to get up in the morning, never been to a stage where I didn’t need to catch up with the others. 

I’ve only been in NZMA for 2 weeks but during this time, I’ve never arrived late and I’ve never called in sick. I have a little fit my life and I truly beeline that this course is in God’s Will and in his plans for me. 

Something else coming up: 

Stories, free to read and enjoy. 

Laidlaw college

NZWC short story comp

NZWC courses

Selwyn community college courses

Learning things 20 year olds need to learn.

That’s all from me. Just something shirt and sweet trekked directly from my life. Happy winter everyone.

Three rules to writing

“There are the rules to writing, unfortunately nobody know what they are.”

Good morning fellow bloggers and readers. Today is a post for the writers out there. For those writers, the above quote is something you may be familiar with. If you know who famously said it, please let me know in the comments.

The quote goes that there are only three rules but nominee knows what they are. I think since the beginning of time, humans have made simple things very and unnecessary complicated. I think I know what the three rules to writing is and this is for all writers. 

Toss out the other rules that you know of and listen to this:

1. Write a lot

“If you only write a little, you’re doomed” -Ray Bradbury

2. Read a lot

“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time it the tools to write”

3. Daydream often

Adults have to learn to hold their tongue and smile even when they feel angry inside. It’s called self control and being an adult. That’s why children have better stronger imagination. Because they imagine what happenss to their maths teacher; something no adult could ever imagine. 

Being a writer calls for imagination. You know that Bully in high school? Yeah, you know the one. Put her in a vast if done sticky hokey pokey mixture. You know that Vonnegut or boss who is a bit of a drag, make him get laid or get a life. 

“Be yourself. No-one else can be you but you”-Oscar Wilde

“Be you. No-one is you-er than you.”       -Dr Seuss

I’m back…again

I have a confession to make. I’ve been naughty and lazy. I’ve been swimming star fish style in self pity, because no one reads my blog and no one knows it even exists. But that time is over. 

Although it’s more than half way in the year and even though I may have done this in my last blog post, I’m going to declare today my resolution. And by golly, I will persist with the stubbornness of a younger sister and the determination of a writer. I will survive.

This is my mid year resolution:

Write more blog posts more frequently and never again, abandon it to the wastelands of the cyber space black hole.

It’s going to be challenging and at times, I’ll want to do anything else but write a blog post but I’ll persist and have the courage to take that extra step forward. And then another step after that.

What about you?

Turning it over to the reader/fellow bloggers. And please don’t ignore me. Tell me if you’ve ever experienced what I’ve been through, where you don’t want to write your blog post, feeling like there was not one person in the world who cared. 

Have a good week end.