The engineer and I sat in a small bay surrounded by a comfortable silence. Apart from the seabirds, and the gentle sound of water on the boat’s hull, we were alone with our thoughts. The harsh New Zealand sun beat down on our backs, and kayaks sat like fat slugs on the white sand of a crescent shaped bay. I watched the nylon sitting neglected on the mirrored surface of the water, and I wondered how long a lamb chop would take to defrost. I looked at the vines silhouetted against a cloudless blue sky, and the bush clad hills that formed folds like a fat ladies belly before they kissed the granite coloured cliffs.
“I think I will write a book.”
“Uh ha” sighed the engineer. That sound by definition means, “oh no here we go again!”
“About what?” He sighed and slumped, already resigned to the news.
“A romance”. The engineer struggled to stifle a groan. I tried to regain his interest.
“Waiheke Island and the New Zealand high country. Relationships and their dynamics. A real story, perhaps including my Joanne.”
A frown played across his face. “Uh ha.” He shook his head and his glazed focus returned to the unmoving nylon of his fishing line.
So begun two years of stolen moments on the keyboard, travelling the path of Twin Pines Station, Marinella Vineyard and the Clarke Family. I explored through my characters the heartbreak of loss, and the healing power of love, the dynamics of family and the constraints imposed by our upbringing.
Don’t get me wrong, my motivation for writing a novel cannot be completely attributed to a sunny day, when the fishing was hard, and the lamb chops were frozen. It was also born through a need to immerse myself in a new project.
Years of driving an archaic truck and watching my daughter compete in various countries, on various horses, of picking up endless piles of poo, from endless species of animals had left me a busy, but just functioning zombie. It was time to think, to be selfish, to do what no mother can do until their children reach that special age, the age when parents are seen as little more than a hindrance. I did something for myself. I began the story of The Quilt, Unravelled and with it came a new life. One of cold meals, paddocks piled high with smelly heaps of poo and a mind that wandered off with a complicated family that had a story to tell.
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