17 September 2021
Last week I typed three chapters, this week one. I've been processing 'writers block'. My inner voice or imposter syndrome voice has been questioning whether I've written the right version of the scientist's life. I tried out a more expository style but it just felt like I was talking at the reader, so I've gone back to the third person point of view, creative nonfiction style.
I'm struggling with what to leave-out and what to include. The scientist was a student for a long time and I can only say he sat exams and then waited for his results back home, so many times. I'm not going to edit what I've written so far, I'll tackle this problem when I'm doing a structural edit. But each sentence seems to deposit on the page in very slow fashion.
But I haven't just been writing this week... I also visited two schools in the Akaroa region. I traveled down on the Monday, having a late lunch at the Little River cafe. I had the best salmon frittata I've ever eaten. The buttery scalloped potatoes on top made it stand out from the rest.
I then checked into Akaroa Waterfront apartments and when they say five metres from the water, they're not joking. Sometimes accommodation is not as good as the photographs online, but they were for this place.
In dusk light, I strolled to the Akaroa lighthouse. The temperature had dropped to 5° Celsius and therefore was a brisk walk. Not many people were on the streets. Akaroa is such a pretty town with its boxed windowsill flowers, colourful houses, and a picturesque bay. I was so enamored with the place, I persuaded two writer friends to spend a weekend early October just so I could come back again.
Around the corner from where I was staying, I had dinner at a
restaurant 10 metres from the waters' edge. As soon as I saw blue cod on
the menu, I was sold. Fish is a specialty in this area.
The next day I taught three classes at Akaroa Area School. A talk about writing animal stories for young students and an author talk for the older students. They were a great audience. Then I drove over the windy, hilly road to Little River school. I delivered two more talks to extremely well-behaved students there. The young ones loved the puppets and enjoyed the animal stories. The older students were interested in my 'Ice Breaker!' story about Akaroa born Captain Frank Worsley, and other Cantabrian famous people such as Captain Charles Upham and Kate Sheppard.
Unfortunately, I had to leave that beautiful area that afternoon, but I'm looking forward to returning in two week's time with friends.
The rest of the week went in a blur; lunch with my writer
friend Lorraine Orman, dinner with my cousin Mark, and a radio
interview with Kapiti Beach FM. Interviewer Catherine Scullin had worked
with the SPCA in Australia and had met Little Miss Sunshine, the
chicken in my 'Remarkable Animal Stories from New Zealand and Australia'
book. I hope her enthusiasm for the book will encourage people to buy
it. I happen to know that Scorpio Books has a large collection of signed books to sell.
Tonight I'm going to paint the town pink by stepping down one flight of stairs to the cinema. How lucky are we to have a picture theatre so close! They tend to specialise in smaller films, film festivals and movies with subtitles. I'm going to watch the French film 'Eiffel'; a true dramatization of how the Eiffel tower was built. I'm always interested in how writers/playwriters treat true stories.
So, not many words written this week but my brain is processing the story. I'm also tweaking the front sections every time I sit down. And I do sit my butt down to write from 9.00 - 6.00 pm every day. Though, this weekend I plan to visit an illustrator friend, see more of the Canterbury countryside, and get ready for another school visit on Monday.
Fingers crossed that Auckland goes into Alert Level Three on Monday. Friends and Family in Auckland are bursting to get out of Level Four. I'm also hoping that the 90 percent target for vaccinated New Zealanders works, so that we can have a more normal 2022. I get my second vaccine on the 30th.