Flower growing is the perfect occupation for a writer. Out there in the paddock bent over the lines of neatly mulched plants picking out any weed that dares to try to join the selected team. Hoeing the unmulched lines; decapitating those unwanted little specimens appearing on the soil fringe. Cutting foliage for market. Cutting flowers for sale. Standing at the kitchen bench stripping stems of foliage and making fragrant bunches and all the while the words, the patterns of words, the stories and their pictures and people appear and come together.
It’s the same with poems. They just appear wanting to be written down. Wanting to be spoken. Wanting to be spoken in front of the mirror. Wanting you to appreciate them because they have shared themselves with you.
Writing down a story is like a race. Once it starts it does not want to stop. It wants you to continue to the end to that last full stop. It’s not interested if it was not on your list of things to do if it wants to be put down on the page. It will harass you and bother you and nip at your heels like a Jack Russell until you take that wedge of plain white paper out of the box, find a pen and start. You can almost hear it breathing a sigh of relief.
Last year at one his family’s beautiful Scandinavian referenced Christmas Eve dinners, reviewer and author Marcus Hobson, reads me part of one of his recent stories and we talk about where the stories come from.
Somewhere in my head is a file and it stores all sorts of words, pictures, phrases, events, people, experiences. It’s the Fragment File because that’s all they are, little fragments. Little pieces which mean nothing on their own. One piece of coloured wool which is just that until it is woven into the tapestry or the rug. My stories are like Fair Isle jumpers, collage or taniko.
I take pieces out of my fragment file, although in my case the fragments seem to find each other and know who to approach, who to join with, to create for me that magical pattern of Fair Isle stars and snowflakes. My stories are “not true”, my people are “not real”, my events “didn’t happen” – my stories are fiction. But there is a story.
“Friday Night” wasn’t first in the story queue in my head. One longer story had been buzzing and fizzing and talking with me and showing me its patterns, stars and snowflakes when I had the temerity to reminisce. “Friday Night” jostled and pushed and bullied until I came inside and wrote it down.
“Friday Night” is dedicated to the person who told me how much they enjoyed my writing – probably the articles I’ve written on ARTbop – but I grabbed that precious stone of praise and hid it in my heart.
If you want to write – just do it. Let the words force their way out of your head. You don’t have to show anyone. You don’t have to share your words with anyone unless you want to.
On ARTbop we have PUHA – words from the land. This is category within WORDS and is for original local writing. We’ve featured the recently concluded episodic crime novel of Tauranga local Nick Scott – check out the archives for the earlier episodes.
If you would like to contribute your original writing to ARTbop you can submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org We do not undertake to publish all work that is submitted and we reserve the right to edit what is submitted.
Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current Managing Editor of ARTbop. She purchases her power from Trustpower and is a beneficiary of the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
Tauranga Arts Festival 2021
Troy Kingi with Delaney Davidson
23rd Oct 7:00pm
Put The Gun Down, Jethro! (and other happy memories from recent family gatherings)
21st Oct 8:30pm
23rd – 23rd Oct 12:00pm & 7:00pm
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