Category Archives: Awards

Award 18: Noble Pries for Littering

With the shocking dearth of awards going around on WordPress, that is, the shocking plenitude of awards NOT going around, I have decided to once again nominate myself for a worthy accolade. Congratulations to myself on receiving the Noble Pries for Littering. I am not worthy, surely.

I am indeed honoured and humbled by this award, which unfortunately carries no monetary value.

There are a number of very strict rules when accepting this award.
1. You must NOT nominate anyone else.
2. If you have recently moved house, you must post pictures of where you live for the gratification of those who have not the slightest interest in your living arrangements.
3. Feel free to blather on about nothing.

So here goes:
1. (Done!)

2. As can be seen from these photos, if I were to be reincarnated I would definitely come back as a solipsist. In fact I might even establish a Solipsist Society and invite like people to join.

Here is my view to the north:

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Here is my view to the south:

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Here is my view to the east:

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Here is my view to the west:

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Here is a photograph of my mail box:

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As you can see, tourists to the area who are looking for the nearest volcano are told to “Just keep driving once you pass Bruce Goodman’s red mail box.”

Here is a view of my house, lest you think I live in a tent:

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Whoops! Wrong one! Here is the right one. You may have deduced: I am not a town person.

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3. I have nothing to blather on about, more’s the pity. What an interesting phrase is “more’s the pity”! It’s worth a goggle gloggle giggle gliggle gloogle google. Have a lovely day!

 

AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

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I can deal (at times) with all sorts of computer languages, but I can’t see how to re-blog on WordPress! Anyway, when one is all nervous and shaky and excited, how is it possible to calmly find a re-blog button? The truth of the matter is:

MY NOVEL HAS BEEN REVIEWED!!!! HERE!!!

The review is worth a read just to savour the wondrous writing skills of the reviewer: Uma Shankar. His blog is well-worth savouring – he writes stories, poems, reviews, and translates into English poetry from Hindi. It’s a delight to read a review composed with more aplomb than that being reviewed!!

So I’m posting this connection to his blog not only by way of thanks for the review, but to give others the opportunity to experience and enjoy his considerable literary skills!

Thank you, Uma.

Award 17: The Best Award-Free Blog

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It’s quite some time since I received an award for my blog, so I was delighted to see I had awarded myself the Self-Gifted Accolade for the Best Award-Free Blog. To make things doubly pleasurable, my blog is not actually an award-free blog. I accept awards with a passion. Strictly speaking this blog is not able to receive the Self-Gifted Accolade for the Best Award-Free Blog. But I accept it humbly nonetheless, and without a murmur, in a matter similar to an American citizen receiving an honorary knighthood from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England. Congratulations to me!

There are a number of requirements that must be done in order to receive this award:

a). Wish everyone a nice day.

b). Answer a series of questions (I have omitted a good number of the questions because of their overly intimate nature).

c). Give a link to your novel if you have one and if it’s online. (If you haven’t written one then conceivably it will not be online.)

Requirement a):

Have a nice day! Everyone!

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Requirement b):

Question 1: Who invented the steam engine that operates on the principle of a pressure difference created by a vacuum on one side of the piston to push the steam piston down with the cylinder remaining hot at all times with valves permitting the steam to flow into a separate condenser and then condensate and get pumped along with any gases using the air pump?

Answer 1 (to be said aloud): What? (Get it?)

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Question 272: If you had all the money in the world, what coloured car would you drive around in?

Answer 272 (this may be said silently to save embarrassment): You couldn’t buy a car and have all the money in the world, silly. You wouldn’t have all the money in the world because the used car salesman would have some as well.

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Question 3082 (this is the final question thank goodness): Where are you going to hang this award?

Answer 3082: Hang on a minute.

Requirement c):

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My novel is called A Passing Shower. It is free to read. Two or three people have read it and said they liked it. (No doubt there are others who have read it and didn’t like it but they’re not saying). Ten years ago I sent it to a prestigious New York publisher who phoned me three times about it and said he had kept it on his desk for 8 weeks and constantly reread it, unsure what to do because he thought it “extraordinary” and that it should be published. In the end it was not published, but he said I wouldn’t have any trouble finding a willing publisher. I was so excited that I never sent it to anyone else.  I did try here in New Zealand to find a publisher to send it to, but they all asked the same question: who is your agent? When I tried to get an agent they all asked the same question: who is your publisher? One New Zealand agent did answer in an enthusiastic manner: “I suspect your novel would annoy the shit out of me”. Bewildered, I posted the novel online. It might be worth digging into to see if it “annoys the shit” out of you!

It’s rather frustrating because had the novel been published I would have written another! And another! And I would probably have the Nobel Prize for Literature by now, instead of this crumby Self-Gifted Accolade for the Best Award-Free Blog! A pox on this award which I accept from myself with a great deal of reluctance. The novel can be found HERE!

Award 16: LIEing BaSTERd AWARD

Award 16: LIEing BaSTERd AWARD

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Alex Raphael has nominated me for the LIEBSTER AWARD. Thank you, Alex. I am always delighted to be awarded an award. Alex’s blog is an entertainment, travel and lifestyle blog. Do visit!

And now for the answers to the eleven questions:

1. Which landmark do you wish was near you?

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I’ve always wanted to live in a Thomas Kinkade painting; perhaps one with a babbling brook and not too many mountains. And with ducks or geese splashing about, and flowers in the garden. Of course, the house would have to be warm, and I wouldn’t want too many bugs living in the thatched roof.

2. What was the last song you listened to, and which album have you listened to most in your lifetime?

This question is really two questions!

a. The last song I listened to was the Spanglish version of The Ketchup Song; the 2002 hit from the Spanish pop group Las Ketchup. This song is bright, breezy, and cheerful. And even though I distain ketchup as a sauce in real life, I enjoyed this song for its happy blob of life. (Incidentally, if you want something saucy, try my homemade Watermelon Rind Pickle).

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b. The album I would have listened to most in my lifetime would be the 1984 Talking Heads’ album, Stop Making Sense – especially Burning Down the House (hopefully not my thatched house in the Kinkade painting above).

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3. Which artist/band which is no longer possible to see live would you most want to have seen?

The artist whose concert I would most like to see would be Jacques Brel. For those who don’t know him, he was French, lived his later years in the Pacific’s Marquesas Islands, and is now dead. If you click on no other link in your lifetime, you must click on the Jacques Brel link above!

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4. Sentimentally speaking, which is your most prized possession

My favourite possession is a glass bowl. I use it for fruit salad and stuff like that.

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In 1937, my father was engaged to my mother. He thought he’d better introduce his fiancée to Great-Aunt Maggie Molloy. Great-Aunt Maggie took down this bowl from a shelf, wiped it on her apron, and said, here’s your engagement present.

She was married to Patrick Molloy. In 1869 Patrick was a trooper in the colonial forces. This was during the New Zealand Wars. Yes! New Zealand had civil war between 1845 and 1872.

Mickey Rogan was ordered to deliver a message a hundred miles away. His horse was lame, so they sent Patrick Molloy instead. When he returned, Patrick’s entire cavalry detachment had been slaughtered.

I always think of Mickey Rogan’s lame horse whenever I chop up stuff for a fruit salad.

5. What’s one surprising thing about yourself most people don’t know?

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If I had my life again, I would like to set up an insect zoo. It would be open to the public and be educational.

6. If you could only choose one food/drink and make it healthy, what would it be?

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Pork sausages. I love pork sausages. They are mostly (I suspect) made from bits of pork and fat that fell off the butcher’s chopping block and gets swept off the floor at the end of the day and stuffed into a sausage skin. But I still love them, and wish (how I wish!) they were healthy enough to have every day. I would eat them cold like a banana. Or hot with runny fried eggs and fatty bacon for lunch! And fried with mashed potato and peas for dinner. And as a snack mid-morning or afternoon and before bed. Yum!

7. If you could choose your own nickname, what would you want it to be?

At boarding school, all my brothers were known as Rangi. It was short for orangutan, because they were hairy! Upon my arrival, the nickname fell into abeyance for reasons of non-hirsuticalness. It’s not that I desired to be shaggy – after all I was like a marble statue of a Greek god – but I always felt that having a nickname was a mark of affection. I was simply known by everyone, as was the manner in those days, as Goodman.

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8. Is there a quote that has special significance for you?

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Flannery O’Connor is one of my literary heroes. I think she has the irony of a Jane Austen and the style of … of… a Flannery O’Connor. And she always has something worth saying. Quite my favourite American author. So I give three quotations which, at least for today, are my favourite quotations.

a. When in Rome, do as you done in Milledgeville.

b. Everywhere I go, I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.

c. When a book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry is to take over God’s business.

9. If you own any painting in the world, which one would it be?

I’m going to opt for a painting by an American artist called Dale Nichols, and it’s this one:

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It’s called The Last Load. It’s elemental, rustic, tempestuous, dramatic, distant, the sky! the space! the apparent simplicity of labour… The complexity of my response could keep tumbling out all day. Yes, I’ll accept it as a gift from whoever owns it! I shall hang it in my dining room!

10. Which Olympic event would you most want to be good at?

I think curling would suit me. It’s icy and involves a broomstick. And I like the pants.

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11. Which TV character would you most want to hang out with in real life?

To my shame, I think I’d like to hang out with the Cartwright family in Bonaza. If you’re not old enough, here is a who’s who:

Bonanza chronicled the weekly adventures of the Cartwright family, headed by the thrice-widowed patriarch Ben Cartwright. He had three sons, each by a different wife: the eldest was the urbane architect Adam Cartwright who built the ranch house; the second was the warm and lovable giant Eric “Hoss” Cartwright; and the youngest was the hotheaded and impetuous Joseph or “Little Joe”.

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Yee haw!

Further Nominations

As many of you know (and this is a little unfair perhaps) I don’t do nominations. But I like to recommend to others, other bloggers. It fulfils the intention of the Awards System anyway; sharing the insights of others with others… Here then are the six most recent bloggers who have begun to follow my blog. If they wish to accept this as a nominations and respond with the same questions, they are more than welcome! Thank you again Alex Raphael for the nomination.

Pinkiebag
A dairy/lactose free person who loves to eat and drink tea

Rob Powell Writes
Let’s see where this goes, starting with some short stories and flash fiction.

Rustic Recluse
A history buff, unrepentant foodie and a wandering traveller in search of great culture and freedom.

Polomi
Tales-Food-Life

The Lightning and the Fire
Let it come to life

Kelly Elizabeth Hatley
Having fun with my boys and sneezing out other snippets

Award 15: Like a dog

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I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award. I have had the joy of receiving this award before but, like a dog, return to lick the bowl. Thank you to Snapshot Vignettes for the nomination. Nonnaci, the blogger of Snapshot Vignettes, enjoys “coming up with new perspectives and weaving them into scenarios that would otherwise never see the light of day”. It is an honor – always – to be nominated.

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1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Add 7 facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 10 – 15 bloggers for the award…

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I thought I would share seven of some of the best places in the world where I have been to:

1. Wakarara

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This is where I lived as a kid. I knew every nook and cranny of the river. It is called the Makaroro River. The river would frequently flood, and the cliff face would crash into the river with a BOOM! My widowed Irish great grandmother bought a farm here, farmed it herself, and brought up her two daughters and four sons. They were a lot more adventuresome in them olden days!

2. Peka Peka

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This is where I lived as a teenager. We milked cows. It was near the sea. The land was sand hills and peat swamps. The house, sheds, and farm have given way to a new huge motorway system. Even if I wanted to revisit the place, it has been bulldozed away.

3. Tongatapu

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Years ago I had to go to Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga, situated on the main island of Tongatapu. One of the days was the King’s Birthday. The whole country went on a picnic! I thought the place was paradise. If you were thirsty someone would scale a coconut palm, grab a coconut, machete off the top, and pass the milk to drink. The food for the picnic was placed on the ground upon spread-out banana tree leaves. Everyone sat on the ground to eat – no plates, no knives and forks! A picnic! And then you could swim in the warm coral waters.

4. Walden Pond

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When I studied in Boston I would often drive to Walden Pond for a walk around the lake. The place reeked of literary giants! What a delightful place for reflection. And lots of water fowl and snakes curled up in the vegetation! So different for this little country boy from the backblocks of New Zealand!

5. Sonora Desert

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Was there ever a place so different? Heat, rocks, saguaro, cacti of all shapes, snakes, scorpions, lizards, road runners, coyotes… I loved, loved, loved the whole darn place!

6. Weston

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This is a little village and area in Vermont. Stone walls, chipmunks, apple trees, many a path diverging in a yellow wood… A friend owned a holiday home in the mountains, and I could go there and read Robert Frost whenever I wished. Always with the same condition: when in residence I must fly the American flag – which I gladly did!

7. Fürstenzell

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This is a little village and area in Bavaria. It has an ancient monastery and school. How different from anything I had seen before. The school library (pictured) was unbelievable. The buildings, inside and out, were optical illusions! I thought the colonnades of marble statues were real, until someone pointed out they were paintings on a flat wall! Cherubs literally tumbled from every church ceiling. Here was the milieu that produced Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven… I was totally out of my league as the “ignorant farmers” turned up at Christmas midnight and “performed” a Mozart Mass.

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As many of you know (and this is a little unfair perhaps) I don’t do nominations. But I like to recommend to others, other bloggers. It fulfils the intention of the Awards System anyway; sharing the insights of others with others… Here then are the ten most recent bloggers who have begun to follow my blog. If they wish to accept this as a nominations and respond, they are more than welcome! Thank you again Snapshot Vignettes for the nomination.

TanGental
Pratyushbat
BYLUIS7
Theycallmeaish
The Breakaway
Siddhidiksha
Althaea Rose
JGoodWithSports
Something Like a Storybook
Firewing Photography

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Award 14: Where the sun doth shine

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I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you P. J. Lazos of Central Pennsylvania who blogs at Green Life Blue Water.

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I am delighted to accept. At first I wasn’t sure what country P. J. Lazos came from, and then I spied the use of the word “gotten” and I thought s/he’s either Shakespeare or from the United States! Thank you!

The few rules are: 1. Say thanks. 2. Answer the 11 questions posed. 3. Choose 11 more bloggers and pose 11 questions.

Here are the 11 questions and answers. I ask the same questions of others who may wish to partake:

1. Why do you blog?

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In The Arabian Nights Scheherazade tells 1001 stories – one a night – else she would get her head hacked off. I sort of began this blog with the aim of writing a story a day for 1001 days. There are 148 story days to go. One stumble, one omission, one falter, and I lose my head; cut off, psychologically-speaking, by the Scimitar of Fate.

2. When did you start blogging?

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I started blogging on 9th May 2013. I stopped on 30th June 2014 because I reached story number 555, which was the number of keyboard sonatas written by Dominico Scarlatti. (At that stage Scheherazade’s 1001 Nights seemed too far off). Then towards the end of 2014, filled with regret and ennui, I began to post the stories again, but backdating them from 11th October 2013. Why that date? I have no idea.

3. Do you see yourself blogging in 10 years?

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On 7th July 2016, when 1001 stories are reached, I might continue for another hundred or so, because some of the stories should be scrapped. After that I might change the blog altogether. I thought of going for a walk each day with the camera and posting that. Some bloggers do so, and I find it often immensely interesting. As for ten years? Do the dead blog?

4. What’s the hardest thing about blogging?

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Blogging is a “community event”. Anyone can read, participate, rejoice, and sneer. I try to answer each comment positively, but sometimes things really REALLY get me down. I have a personality that sometimes lashes out before it has time to think! Once I’ve posted a response that might be taken as mildly offensive, you can’t withdraw it. For example, if I wrote: “You whiskey-fermented, love-sotted, spongeful of belfry bat milk. You amorphous hunk of incontinent stag plaque. Why don’t you get a life?” Suddenly I discover I’ve lost a follower. I find it overly stressful at times.

5. If you could be any literary character, who would you be?

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For today I would like to be Gilbert Blythe; a handsome, smart, witty and chivalrous classmate of Anne of Green Gables who has a crush on Anne the moment he sees her. Unaware of Anne’s near-pathological sensitivity about her red hair, he tries to get Anne’s attention by holding her braid and calling her “Carrots!” Anne’s explosively hostile reaction only causes Gilbert to be more smitten. He makes several attempts to apologize, the failure of all of which do not seem to mar his admiration. He attempts apology one last time when he saves Anne from drowning; Anne crassly rebuffs this attempt, only to regret it almost immediately. Years later, he gives up his job offer of teaching at Avonlea School so that Anne may live at Green Gables, upon which the two reconcile and become good friends. And then beyond the book they get married, and presumably have wild sex and lots of kids.

6. Favorite literary genre, and if possible, favorite book?

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My favorite literary genre is the Short Story. Possibly my two favorite Short Story writers are Guy de Maupassant and Katherine Mansfield. Maupassant’s The Diary of a Madman is a delight:

I saw, under a willow, a fisherman asleep. It was noon. A spade, as if expressly put there for me, was standing in a potato-field nearby. I took it. I returned; I raised it like a club, and with one blow cleft the fisherman’s head. Oh! he bled, this one – rose-colored blood. It flowed into the water quite gently…

Katherine Mansfield’s dying man in The Daughters of the Late Colonel is equally memorable:

He lay there, purple, a dark, angry purple in the face, and never even looked at them when they came in. Then, as they were standing there, wondering what to do, he had suddenly opened one eye. Oh, what a difference it would have made, what a difference to their memory of him, how much easier to tell people about it, if he had only opened both! But no – one eye only. It glared at them a moment and then… went out.

7. Do you belong to a writing group? If so, how often do you meet? Are there any rules?

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I have a fairly substantial inferiority complex, and have never called myself a writer, and think I am not worthy of joining a writers’ group. You have to be good at it! One day I was happily weeding my garden and Margaret Mahy suddenly appeared – she is now dead but world-famous for writing and selling millions of children’s books. The Writer’s Group was having a meeting. Could I come and chair the meeting? as all the writers felt “chairing a meeting” was beyond them! Besides, some of the authors were chatterboxes and they needed a chairperson who wouldn’t mind telling them to sit down and shut the heck up! So I did chair the meeting – even though I was not a member of the group. There were about a dozen famous authors there and me! You had to be a published author to belong to the group. I was invited to join the group but I said “Oh but I’m not published”. They said (see my answer to Number 9) “You’ve had more plays performed than anyone else.” But I never attended another meeting as shortly after I left the area.

8. What’s a typical day look like?

I rise at 5am and feed the cat and dog and turn on the coffee machine. I check the news online and download the emails (usually around 150 or so from the blog) while I get my coffee. I attend to the emails and read the blogs of others. At 7am I take my first pill. By 7.30am I have finished taking my pills, and then I have breakfast. (I’m not joking about the pills – my specialist says that people these days underestimate the value of modern medicine! I trust him! I’ve no option anyway!)

Around 8am I write a story or stories for my blog and attend to comments.

If it’s not raining I mow the lawn, or weed the garden, or just mess around. If it’s raining I mess around. Usually I practice the piano for an hour or so daily. This year I’m concentrating on Joseph Haydn’s keyboard works – it’s only February; the guy’s a genius but I’m tired of him already.

About 10 o’clock I start working, which is formatting in MSWord, Chemistry Safety Procedures that have to be translated into other languages. There can be up to 82 languages that a document might need translating into, and if the formatting is not exactly correct, when the translation is made there’s not a chance in hell of getting the formatting right. Try formatting a document in Malayalam if you can’t read Malay!

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I take the dog (and usually the cat comes too) for a walk around 3 o’clock.

I start drinking preparing the evening meal around 5/5.30pm and eating at 6/7pm. After that I mess around and go to bed about 9pm.

9. Have you ever been published and if so, indie or traditional and why?

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This is a hornets nest! The New Zealand National Library (that’s a Government Department – pictured) says that if a work “is available to others” then it is classified as “published”. Twenty years ago – or something – a New Zealand playwrights’ association advertised in their newsletter that if you wanted to perform any unpublished New Zealand play, here is a list of titles, playwrights, and how to contact them. The National Library jumped up and down and said there is no such thing as “an available unpublished work”. (You see, they have to get a free copy of everything published). So I guess I have got everything published, because all my writings are available for free. No, I am not Indie. No, I am not traditional. I am “Available”. And not a single copy resides in the National Library.

I used to tell teachers that if they had a copy of a children’s play they were welcome to photocopy it as many times as they wished. And they did! It meant in the long term that I have become “the most performed playwright in the history of the country” – and probably the poorest. And not a thing “published”!

10. What inspires your writing? Does your family support it?

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I don’t have any family – well, I have 5 siblings and not a single one is on Facebook – but I have a friend. I don’t think he has ever read my blog. He read my novel and rather disliked it I think. Then again, he might be fussy, as he’s read Wuthering Heights in 9 languages! He has translated for me to read lots of Victor Hugo and a pile of unpublished-in-English Jules Verne.

Nothing in particular inspires my writing. I usually get an idea while having breakfast, or in the shower. The period between sleep and wake is great for ideas, but almost impossible to remember. There’s a certain curve in the road here in Levin where I live. 90% of the time, when coming back home after getting the groceries, I get an idea with a jolt at that curve in the road. Funny, eh?

11. Tell me something unique about yourself.

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I can water divine. Not with a twitch of willow, but with a twisted wire that bends and warps towards water.

In my younger, and at times unscrupulous, days I divined the city water supply pipe running under the school property. We tapped it and had free water for several years, watering the cricket wickets (think baseball diamonds) during the long dry summers. They were beautifully green.

Nominees:

As you may know, I never nominate. But here are 11 blogs that I enjoy – amid dozens; you might like to look at all or some. They can take the award if they wish. I would take the nomination if so “nominated” – but then again, I’m an egotistical so-and-so!

I recommend these 11 for your possible enjoyment (please don’t be offended if not mentioned!) I’m just doing my best guys… bloomin’ heck!… I haven’t all the time in the world… And these are some I read almost daily…

The Kitchen Garden
Vultureşti
Mrs. Walker’s Art and Illustrations
The Wayward Warrior
Snips & Snaps
Pickin’ Petals Farm and Mud Room
Traveling Rockhopper
Almost Iowa
One Grain Amongst the Storm
A Narcissist Writes Letters, to Himself
Topshit Photography

Award 13: A pat on the back

(On an irrelevant note: For those interested – yeah, right, that’ll be a lot – all my past poems now have an audio. So if you go back and click on the poems, it’s possible to hear them poorly read! And now to the business at hand…)

 

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Once again, Oscar (I won’t call him my friend in this public forum because then this award might look like nepotism) of In So Many Words has conferred upon me an award which possibly must rank as one of the loveliest of all. It’s the

RESPECT AWARD!

The Respect Award can be given to fellow bloggers who consistently reach out to other bloggers, offer support, are kind, struggle to understand differences in people, and who treat themselves and other people with kindness and respect.

What a lovely thing to get!

The award picture itself is the work of photographer and artist Robert Goldstein who set the award up.

Thank you, Oscar.

You don’t have to do anything for this award. You can choose to copy the Award Picture and give the award to the people who have earned your respect or you can do nothing but glory in its bestowal.

I’m going to pass it on just to the one person. Sylvie posts twice – once in French (her native tongue) and once in English:

French – Poesie visuelle
English – Visual poetry

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My own French has a few limitations. When I lived in Quebec (and smoked) I could go into a shop and say “Marlboro” and the French-speaking shop attendant would hand me a packet of cigarettes. Does that count as being bi-lingual or what? And then, when the French-speaking landlord would visit he would say “Any spare navets?” and I’d give him a cabbage out of the garden. Pretty cool, eh?

Anyway, Sylvie deserves such a Respect Award. Apart from presenting her poems and writings and being a bridge from one language to another, she always supports the blogs of others whole-heartedly.

It’s a strange phrase, and I’m not sure how universal it is, but Sylvie is what we call “a hole in the wall” – it’s someone who enables others to pass freely from one cultural garden to another.

Merci, Sylvie.