BACK A NZ AUTHOR AND HELP TURN THIS AWARD-WINNING BOOK INTO A MOVIE!
My name is Bianca Staines and I am the author of The Tale of Prince, an award-winning book for children and young adults.
This week, starting at 6am on Thursday 12th March 2020, The Tale of Prince, will be entered into a contest called TaleFlick Discovery.
TaleFlick is a US curation company looking for the next big story success to turn into a movie or series, and the TaleFlick Discovery contest allows the public to vote on which stories they would like to see adapted to film. The winner of the competition will be pitched to producers and potentially score a movie deal!
I would like to ask your help to achieve my dream.
John Lazenby is a writer who has settled in Whangarei and has written for Scene magazine and Northland Inc.
He’s known for a career in journalism and for publishing three books about cricket, including most recently Edging Towards Darkness: The Story of the Last Timeless Test, published by Bloomsbury in 2017.
‘Cricket matches didn’t always top out at five days, regardless of a result or not – they used to be ‘timeless’, with play continuing until one team won, no matter how many days that took.
The last of these – which took place in Durban in 1939, in a series pitched against the backdrop of impending war – is now universally acknowledged as ‘the timeless Test’. Weighing in at a prodigious ten days – the match stretched from 3-14 March 1939, and allowed for two rest days, while one day’s play (the eighth) was lost entirely to rain – it is quite simply the longest Test ever played. A litany of records also perished in its wake and ‘whole pages of Wisden were ruthlessly made obsolete’. If that was not enough, one player, the fastidious South African batsman Ken Viljoen, felt the need to have his hair cut twice during the game. Only the matches between Australia and England at Melbourne in 1929, which lasted eight playing days, and West Indies and England at Sabina Park, Jamaica, a year later (seven days), come remotely close in terms of their duration.
In Edging Towards Darkness, John Lazenby tells the story of that Test for the first time. Set firmly in its historical and social setting, the story balances this game against the threat of encroaching world war in Europe – unfolding at terrifying speed – before bringing these two disparate strands together in an evocative and vibrant denouement.’
Think hours of video, tons of bonus content and deep diving into topics, worksheets, checklist and my personal favourite part – 10+ hours of interviews with successful self-published authors across all different genres about how they are rocking their writing careers.
The course normally costs $497, but I know you’ve been following me for ages and I feel like you’re part of my crew. I’m doing a special subscriber only price of $147 – get it here.
You’ve got until March 19th to sign up, but there are only 50 places and they’re already starting to fill up.
If 2020 is the year you hold your book in your hands and smash your writing goals, then I hope you’ll join us!
‘The First’ by Terry Moyle has been launched. For the first time the true story of New Zealand’s first successful aeroplane flights and the people behind them. Extensive research corrects more than a hundred years of history with a startling account of what really happened in 1911 and how Manurewa, the first aeroplane to fly, became ‘lost’. Click on through for Terry’s page and his website https://www.facebook.com/terry.moyle.39/posts/10159486303382178
Wifey wanders into the lounge, yawning, to split the curtains. The light shows a human’s on the couch. She shrieks. It’s only Stephie. She’s between places.
I tell Stephie she doesn’t have to wash her hair in the sink. Doesn’t have to scrub her sandpaper pits with moist towelettes.
Stephie curls up inside her dog, draped like a fox-fur. Snoozes through to noon. Watches TV til two.
Stephie comes from down south. Grew up with shotguns and quaddies and gummies and her arm buried in the backsides of Jersey cows. Stephie eats cigarettes and nibbled fingertips. Peels the label off her beer. Thousand yard stare.
Preceded by an eight cylinder Holden growl, some mulleted man with tank top and black tribal tats rocks up to sweep her up, cept Stephie’s got an ankle bracelet on. Curbed, curfew. She leads him to the laundry room with arms of chips and beer and locks the door.
She gushes, my wife, bout how Stephie’s the lowest cheating skank. But she’ll be gone soon, I insist. Watch her run through life with laces untied, trip and stumble.
Stephie’s in-between places. Recovering from recovery. The fidgeting, the puckered mouth, the bitterness at WINZ. She got offered this job, midnight massage, and could really use the dosh. Shirtless, let her practice her caress. Shoulders sense her breath. Fingers in ridges and valleys. Nails inside me.
Can’t say I haven’t stared like a dog, hungry, when she comes out of the bathroom steamed, her middle swathed in a towel, and winks at me.
Stephie’s off up north this month. Leaves bills and blister packs of pills in the cracks of the couch. She’s left her mutt. I take it for a trot. It eyes me up, pleading, needing chow.
It wasn’t really a thing, she tells me in texted powwow. You seemed sad that day. All I did’s caress some serotonin from your brain. Two adults, a couch, a touch.
Northland writer Michael Botur spends 10 days in our most remote community.
The wind began even before I left Auckland.
Air Chathams flight 519 is a sixty year old Convair 580 with four chunky propeller blades on each engine which gave me the noisiest flight I’ve ever experienced. Everything about the Chatham Islands is extreme, actually: remote, isolated, and under-visited.
Pushed to the edge of most people’s minds, the Chathams are as far east as Tonga and as far south as Patagonia. They catch the wind, so expect bent-over trees, huge waves and windbreaker jackets on everyone.
45 minutes ahead on the clock, the Chathams resemble a country farm town plopped in the middle of the Pacific. They’re separated not only by 800km of ocean, but also by culture. Don’t expect paved roads, a high school, cellphone reception or a supermarket. Do expect small town charm, though – with just 600 residents, you’ll be treated with interest.
Hit up the locals in the pub at Waitangi for a conversation and you can expect the following: they refer to the mainland as “New Zealand,” they’ll laugh if you ask about swimming in the freezing, shark-infested ocean, and they’ll look hard into your face to see if you’re recognisable. Ask how to get down to the beach and you may be told you have to phone 5555 (the first three digits are a given – every number on the Chathams begins with 305.)
The centre of the community, geographically and socially, is the Hotel Chathams, containing your only reliable restaurant. Recently renovated, your hotel comes with heat pumps, double glazed windows, deep carpet and excellent water pressure while outside it’s gale force winds and pounding waves.
Floyd, Kaai, Francesca and the friendly faces running the place bring big city hospitality standards. Each person has a different story about going away and ending up back on the islands where life is straightforward.
The charming Toni Croon – whose sister is the mayor – manages the Hotel, has a side-business in honey and works with her whanau to guide tourists through the Admiral Gardens. Everyone on the islands jumps in to help with work where needed, so don’t be surprised if you see Toni doubling as your tour bus driver, motel cleaner, receptionist, and mucking in to help move a stuck 4WD out of a paddock near Cape Pattisson.
Every local you’ll meet comes with colour – fishermen swapping crayfish for cement; All Blacks fans dancing in the pub after every try. One man I met was sitting in his lounge in a wetsuit, miles from the ocean. Most of these people will drop everything to let you experience something new on their land, boat or patch of coast, and they’ll always give you a lift – this intimate community is a hitchhiker’s paradise.
Expect mud, wind and memories
Helen Bint, who resides in an unpowered Category 1 heritage-listed Stone Cottage with no neighbours for ten kays, will let you climb the towering stone mountain overlooking her home for fantastic northern coastal views.
At Blind Jim’s Point on the edge of the endless Te Whanga Lagoon, bus driver Matilda finds fossilised prehistoric shark teeth for every tourist.
Lois Croon, who can give you access to private walking tracks through the dunes and forests on her property, will tell you casually that her son has been attacked by great white sharks “once or twice” – but it’s okay. He knows now to punch them on the nose.
While gorse-covered farms prevail, wetland boardwalks around the lagoon have been built near Kaingaroa in the northeast, and there are forests of nikau palms and kopi (karaka) trees. Some of the bush walks are so wild you won’t see a single soul.
Tucked into the cliffs southwest of Waitangi, the Awatotara Track follows tannin-blackened waterfalls down a steep valley and arrives at a wild cove covered in washed-up buoys and crayfish pots. Another track, towards the towering southern cliffs of the Rangaika/Thomas Tuuta Scenic Reserve, takes you through what looks like desert (it’s native tarahinau peat bush) before entering a gnarly forest straight out of Hansel and Gretel. Expect pigs, black swans, horned sheep, feral goats, wild horses, weka, deep mud and a hot shower after every excursion. You’ll encounter dolphin bones, steer skulls and paua shells amongst the unmissable blue-flowered Chatham Islands forget-me-nots.
It’s southern Pitt Island that drops jaws, though. A Cessna flies the 50km over the water and arrives at Pitt’s Flowerpot Lodge after 25 breathtaking minutes. The Flowerpot is value-added accommodation, so expect your bill to cover skylights, plush décor, comfy armchairs, continental breakfasts and a guided tour of beaches with the bones of Moriori, sharks and whales.
Visit the hexagonal basalt rock crystals by Port Hutt and you can pluck paua and kina out of the rock pools
A seafood buffet BBQ at the Admiral Gardens will include locally caught crayfish and cod
The seals at Point Munning on Chatham Island’s northeast corner live on spears of Star Trek-ish sparkling white schist
The Moriori community in southeast Owenga have a gorgeous marae named Kōpinga. Any visitor can expect fascinating oral history, panoramic views, a sobering memorial and a sealskin rug
Artists Celestine, Celine and Eva-Cherie showcase handmade art in their home galleries, with café service.
Don’t forget to ring ahead and get permission to get anywhere off the beaten track, be it by bus, 4WD ute, or – as in my case – a quad bike on the tray of a ute, which I sat upon while the driver broke every driving law in the book (totally worth it).
A week in the Chathams – still a pipe dream on many people’s bucket list – is guaranteed to turn the conversation your way at your next dinner party.
Fancy? Nope. Memorable? One hundred percent.
Air Chathams flies from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch most days of the week.
Hotel Chathams room rates range between $100-$250, with luxury options.
Accommodation options include Te Henga Lodge, Traveller’s Rest and the brand-new Admiral Garden Cottage.
Its a little Mad Max here Order has gone, while my washing is being tugged roughly by the wind – all sparkly bras and pink nightgowns Pomegranate seeds and juices are sprayed around my feet, fallen to the bone dry ground, painting the dust like blood splatter from my efforts to tear it open The wine? Its not cold anymore – hell; theres a mirage across these cracked lands from this heat Lana del Ray croons; she sure suits this halcyon evening There’s a satellite behind me, but it ain’t real It’s the underside silver of beach umbrella – you know the candy striped ones? It’s caught and blows, lazily swaying at first as if testing it’s own willingness for escape Shuddering in a gloriously felt breeze, I watch without moving as it’s finally grabbed with one hard gust – to spin and land in trees near by And I say, “ yes! Fly fucker fly!” I was telling a friend earlier, about the times – more asking perhaps Where they went Remember I said – the beat poets, the jazz clubs? Remember when colour existed? When hedonism was almost a virtue, or at least it was well dressed. Remember when character was presence of body, mind and soul – not hiding behind shit screens and fake personas. Remember when your lips were stained red and I liked it I tasted them slowly, like nectar. I bit you Do you remember yet?
Cool journalism in Metro magazine from Dargaville writer and blogger Ayla Miller
Getting paid to play your favourite role-playing game sounds like a fantasy – but could it become a reality? Metro intern (and journalist) Ayla Miller goes underground into the world of New Zealand’s professional Dungeons and Dragons players.
Pavlova Press will shortly be calling for submissions of poetry, short prose (fiction or non-fiction) and images for an anthology focussing on our nation’s relationship with pavlova. We will be giving you all summer to work your magic and submissions will close on 31 March 2020. We will provide more details as they come to hand – in the meantime start thinking up various pavlova scenarios.
Pavlova Press Writing Workshop with Jac Jenkins
Shifting Gears: Transforming your Stories from Good to Great. Saturday 16 November 1.30pm-3.30pm Three Mountains Brew Shop and Gallery 1137a State Highway 14 Maungatapere, Whangarei $25pp (includes a copy of Scoria: Short Prose from the Cinder Cone)
Join Pavlova Press for an afternoon of story shaping to celebrate the production of their first volume, Scoria: Short Prose from the Cinder Cone. They will demonstrate various techniques they found useful during their final round of story revision. Writers of all levels (beginner or more experienced) who have stories in any form from raw draft to ready to submit will find value in the workshop. They will have examples for you to work on, but also feel free to bring some of your own work to experiment with. Registration is recommended since numbers are limited. For more details see pavlovapress.co.nz .
Roaming Rhymester at Whangarei Central Library November 12
Keith Levy aka “The Roaming Rhymester” will be telling stories set to music in Whangarei Central Library on Tuesday 12 November at 10.30am. It’s for adults and it’s free so come along and enjoy!
New book from Ian King of Whangarei
The new book from novelist and voiceover impresario Ian King is due out mid-November: Blueprints to Building Your Own Voice–Over Studio: For under $500!