I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

The Big Mix

This really is turning out to be the year for collecting air miles. No, strike that; it would be if I did in fact have an air miles card. Drats! Think of how many wonderful weekend breaks I'm not claiming. Could I still apply and do a retrospective thing?

I have just completed an unexpected 37-hour trip home to New Zealand, Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud. I was planning on returning next year, but an 'incident' in the family has made it more important to be here now. Telephones just don't do the trick.

All this time away from work - after trips to Dublin, Portugal and New Zealand, I'll be in London, Paris and then New York in October - is giving me lots of space to think about my writing. (It's better than thinking about how I'm going to balance the books with the woman who organises the work schedules!)

Arriving back here in Auckland makes me realise, for example, that I am less inclined to want to write about things here. There is the odd poem, and the main character in the novel I am trying to sell is a Kiwi. Something is being washed from my system though, and I feel more driven now to write within a European context. This was going to happen. I left NZ in 1994. European life has well and truly seeped into all of my veins.

I suppose, however, that the fabric of my writing will always have traces of Aotearoa in it, no matter what I write and where the stories are based. I wouldn't want to lose that; I believe our past experiences define the fuel and motor in our creative processes. I imagine that traces of my life in France - since 1997 - can be found there in the big mix. My three years in England will also be in there somewhere. Wouldn't it be fun to go through and identify all the different influences!

I don't think I will produce another book set in NZ, unless it's my memoir - and wow, that would be one hell of a read! And that reminds me! I'm still waiting to hear back from the NZ publisher who's had the first three chapters of my novel for a few months now. Are they travelling, like me? No time to think about what their next big hit will be?

It's time for action again. I think I'm going to send the manuscript off to a few more publishers on this side of the pond, while continuing with efforts to spark interest in the UK. Of course, that's when I get home, at the end of September!


Debi said...

Hope the 'incident' isn't too negative/traumatic.

Some people have asked me why my writing doesn't reflect some of my more specific experiences eg living through a war.

My response is that we are all the sum of our experiences and everything I do is informed by them - even if it's not immediately obvious.

You can take the boy out of Aotearoa but you can't ... etc

S. Kearney said...

Thanks Debi,
Things have calmed down a bit here now (it was a health problem for someone close) and it's good to just spend some time with that person without a sense of gloom. Things should be OK now after a successful operation. Re the writing and past experiences, I have often wondered about that line that says that a good writer will have almost certainly had an unhappy childhood. And a happy childhood? And a bad writer? And what about the unhappy or happy adulthood?

Debi said...

Glad you found something positive in the experience, Shamey.

Though why you have to punish me by utterly confusing me, I'm unsure ... Too much good/bad/happy/unhappy have doneth this lady's head in ...