It’s been a long stretch of doing very little work on the collection but I’m finally ready to get back to it. I’ve come to realise that I need to let it go otherwise I’ll never move on to something new. Coming up with a title has been more difficult than I thought it would be but I’ve finally settled on ‘Transit’. I’ve always liked the simplicity of single word titles and it just seems to fit the stories. Over the next few weeks I’ll be working on ideas for the cover.
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My story ‘River’ will be appearing in Hue and Cry, issue 6, which will be launched this Friday in Wellington. I’m looking forward to going along and can’t wait to see what the new issue looks like. Hue and Cry is always beautifully designed. Thanks Hue and Cry.
The New Zealand Society of Authors recently announced the Short List candidates for the 2011 Asian Short Story Competition. I’m pleased to say that my story ‘Open Home’ has been shortlisted. Its great to see a platform for NZ Asian fiction writing. Here is the short list and comments from the NZ Book Council newsletter:
Asians with Perms- Angelique Kasmara
Shoot the Breeze- Angelique Kasmara
Wonderboy- Kyowon Lee
The Red Cardigan- Lee Murray
Six Secrets- Lee Murray
Paper Butterflies- Roswella Tan
Open Home- Latika Vasil
A prize giving will be held and the winners announced in Auckland on 18 November.
The judges commented that it was “very uplifting to see not only the good writing out there but also the range and breadth of subject and character. It is an area of New Zealand literature which will rise very fast”.
The selection panel consisted of Stevan Eldred-Grigg, Renee Liang and Sue Gee.
Slightly Peculiar Love Stories has been launched and includes my story “It’s a Chemistry Thing’. It’s a delight to be included in this collection of intriguing stories. Thanks to the wonderful Penelope Todd for coming up with the concept and making it all happen. You can buy a copy of Slightly Peculiar Love Stories in your preferred e-book format from Rosa Mira Books.
Here is a description of the book from the Rosa Mira website:
Whimsical, intense, pensive or amorous — we bring you a love story for every mood, each a little unorthodox, mysterious, or slightly peculiar.
Slightly Peculiar Love Stories paint a grand mandala of experience and circumstance: love appears and disappears; it aches and it dares; amuses and amazes; hurts, heals and begins again.
Love preoccupies writers from New Zealand, Israel, Hong Kong, Argentina and Athens, the UK and the US. Their 26 stories have been selected and edited by Penelope Todd.
Just received my contributor’s copy of Takahe 72 in the mail today. The issue includes my short story A Long Trip Home and two poems by my partner Harvey Molloy. I still get a little buzz seeing my work in print/hard copy. Digital just doesn’t do it in the same way although it probably reaches a much larger readership. Takahe has had a makeover and now includes author photos, quotes and profiles along side the work. I was a little sceptical about the photos – do we really need to see what the author looks like and slot them into various demographics along with all the associated preconceptions? – but they look okay (I do need to get a more photogenic one of myself for future use!)
Rosa Mira Books will shortly be publishing an ebook called Slightly Peculiar Love Stories, edited by Penelope Todd and featuring New Zealand and international writers. You can find out more about the writers and the anthology at Rosa Mira’s blog. Here is a little intro to my slightly peculiar love story posted on the blog this week:
The girl walking down the street wore a short but voluminous pink gingham and lace skirt, a fluffy white hat in the shape of teddy bear ears, white stockings and enormous platform shoes. Tokyo street fashion is a style I have always admired for its originality and playfulness – but no, she was not Japanese. I pointed her out to my teenage son. I thought she looked cool. He shrugged: ‘Ah, another Wapanese girl.’ I had never heard the term. I googled and found it describes a person of non-Japanese descent (usually white, hence the contraction) who is obsessed with Japanese things.
While I am definitely not ‘Wapanese’, I do have a fascination with Japan and admit I indulge in their love of the cute and kitsch – even possessing some Hello Kitty merchandise and little Kimmi dolls. The story I’ve written that’s appearing in Slightly Peculiar Love Stories has many Japanese references. Part of the appeal of writing fiction for me is the joy of transporting oneself into different characters and worlds, all while sitting at one’s desk. In writing this story I briefly immersed myself in a fantasy visit. Several years ago I did visit Japan and it was fabulous but the trip was with my family, not with a shadowy mysterious stranger.
Check out the NZ issue of Interlitq.
There is a story by me that was published in print a few years ago in Landfall and poems by my partner Harvey. Heaps of great reading and more to come next month. The issue will eventually showcase poetry and prose by 100 NZ writers. Yay!
Here is a review in the NZ Herald of the recent Landfall which included my story ‘The Sand Mandala’. It is always great when a reviewer likes your work although reading fiction is so subjective and it can so easily go the other way…