Tuesday, 26 February 2013

An Indian Summer Down Under

Hi all. Time gallops along when one is having fun or simply vegeing out on the vine. Down here in New Zealand, we have been and still are, enjoying the best summer in recorded time. It has been months of perfect hot dry weather. Great for the beach and boaties but unfortunately, not for the farmers or vegetable growers. And unfortunately too, the water bill has shot through the roof as we all struggle to keep our plants alive. I have given up home growing my few sorry vegetables. They never seem to have enough water and bolt, going to seed before their time. So next year, it will be niente!
On my writing front, I have still to edit The Ming Admiral while I try Chapter 6 for the sequel to my first novel, Memories in the Bone. Daughter Melanie thinks she will do a better job at editing than all the other editors I paid good money for. Of course she will do it for the same amount of cash but she said at least she'll give me hard comments and proper work for the money. When one wants an honest opinion, one doesn't ask one's family! Not my one, for sure. There's nothing like a scathing remark form one's child or ex- to quash one's high (justly so) opinion of oneself. I hope yours are kinder, no matter what the topic is. Then Daughter Melanie taught me a new name from the US -- 'Jerk Circle'!
Heard of that? It means a circle of people jerking each other off! That's what she calls my writers' group. We call ourselves Sunday Scribes, and we meet monthly to critique each other's work and give help and support. The insolence of the young. Talking about which brings me to this poem I wrote and which I used in prose in MEMORIES IN THE BONE.

A father's lament
 Two sons have deserted
This womb their mother created outside her own
That her children be safe.

Can I answer her in the after life
If you, her last born, die in a cause not ours?
What comfort is there in my old age
Without the sound of little feet following mine?

What voice would bear me
As I enter a world of silence
Hearing nothing, seeing nothing?

Oh Cruelty of Youth, you forget
Once we were young and brave too.
Despise not this plea, my son
I need you safe to tell your mother
I saved at least one.

I hope you like it. 

See the trailer on Youtube. Memories in the Bone Meemee Phipps 30 sec.
That brings it up.
Also first free chapter on Kindle.

 Till the next time, next week, Adios, Amigos.

Monday, 4 February 2013

4th. Feb 2013 from New Zealand.

G'day folks!
Well, actually it's 2am on the 5th Feb and I am not sleeping. I'm sure everyone's got this problem --you doze off after a bit of a read, then for some unfathomable reason, you rise from the shallow depths of slumber and bam! you're wide awake- thinking of all sorts of stuff you shouldn't be thinking of! Hot milk is past helping. Perhaps a tote of brandy? Late TV?

I'm through the second time editing The Ming Admiral which I hope to publish some time this year. It's difficult to shorten a novel when it is a Masterpiece!! So must farm it out to somebody who does not share that opinion and who will take a knife to it.
Meantime, do I dare to check how MEMORIES IN THE BONE is going on Amazon and all the other e-book sites? Will you good people check for me? Better still buy a copy, it's only $3.99 and then give it a good rating.

One piece of great news from Aotearoa (Maori for NZ) is that Elska Peridot Phipps entered this world last Wednesday. All 3.6 kg of quivering humanity, looking like a Tibetan. But with all the hallmarks of a great beauty. So watch out, world. As you can read, I am immensely proud.

Another piece of good news is that it has been raining for around 24 hours. Not the hard hitting squally rain, but a gentle rain that falls from heaven, like the quality of mercy. The farmers are joyful, the gardens are grateful and the water tanks for those rural folks are getting filled. I used to be on a water tank before the council connected city water to us and then proceeded to double our rates (taxes) every three years. Rain water is lovely but trouble is, things get into the water tank that is not quite so --- like dead pigeons. And the tank has to be cleaned out quite regularly or there can be risk of guardia. And mosquitoes just love breeding in them by the trillions. So I guess I am of ambivalent mind about water tanks. What about you? The water tastes good, if you don't think too hard about the wildlife that is gurgling down your little red hatch.

Till next week, it's haere ra from Aotearoa/ New Zealand. Put your friends onto this blog. They might enjoy it.

Adios, Amigos. Via con Dios.