Congratulations, A Secret About My Writing, and Poem 3

HI EVERYONE – Are you getting snow? The weather forecasters said we were in for a big dump but in Twizel we’ve only had sprinkles so far and now the sun is shining brightly. I love snow. I love skiing on it, I love walking through it, I love how it paints the hills white. I do feel sorry for farmers and animals when big dumps of snow come though, and for people who need to drive somewhere when roads are closed or dangerous.

Congratulations to the winners of the LIANZA Awards – that’s the books librarians like the most. So well done from me to Fleur Beale, Diana Menefy, Kyle Mewburn and Vasanti Unka, James Campton and Marianna Terezow. Writers sometimes get together to talk about books and writing. I have met Fleur two times, and she has given me wonderful advice about my writing. Fleur is a very talented and hardworking writer and a gentle, caring person whom I consider a friend.  I met Diana and Kyle in Auckland earlier this year. Diana had her book published by the wonderful team at Harper Collins, as I did; Kyle is a fellow South Island high country person (although he lives further south than me so he is probably getting snow right now) and he was a recnt Star Author on this blog! Kyle is also, well, let me say, I bit of a character!

The poem I am going to share today is from the third and last (?) book about Paddy. This story is currently called ‘Playing with the Past’ and I am probably about two-thirds of the way through writing it, but I still don’t really know how it is going to end or even if it is going to turn out to be a good story or not. I won’t know until it’s finished and I leave it for a few weeks or months and then read it again.

Here is a secret about my writing:

I’m not very good at planning out my stories yet, so they sometimes get a bit muddled or ‘lost’ and I have to go back and change them lots. I find that the problem with planning stories too much is that I find I don’t want to write the story because it is boring if I already know what is going to happen. Mostly, I like it when the character talks to me when I am writing and tells me what is going to happen next.


Playing with the Past is about exactly what the name of the story says – it’s about playing with the past in your head. Is that a good idea do you think? It does get Paddy into trouble and it means he isn’t always enjoying his own life because he is too busy finding out about and worrying about things that have happened in the past.

Here is a short poem that is in the story:

The ghost of Hooker Hut

Lives in the ladies room.

It sneaks out in the dead of night,

A shadow in the gloom.


Take care out there!

From Sandy Nelson


And from my border terrier puppy Kim, who likes:

1. Long walks

2. Food – lots of it!

3. Adventures

4. Cuddles from all of us

5. Trying to chase cats (she has to stay on a lead when we are out for walks; she is learning to not chase our cat Molly, but Molly is a tease who walks right past Kim and brushes her tail against Kim’s face in a very tantalising manner – sometimes Kim just has to give chase!)

3 Responses so far

  1. 1

    zackids said,

    I love your poems Sandy and it’s great to hear about your future stories. I really hope they get published! It looks like you have lots of fans so maybe we should sign a petition to send to your editor 🙂

    We have lots of snow here today so no school or work YAY! Hopefully you’ve got more snow too.

    Your dog Kim is incredibly cute! Does she like to run around in the snow?

  2. 2

    starauthor said,

    Hi Zac,
    Tonight Kim escaped out the cat door and ran around in the snow. It was very cold trying to find her! Sadly, we don’t have much snow yet. I want more!!!
    Thanks for saying you like my poems. I am feeling a bit silly for having told all your blog readers about my future stories. That’s because my lovely editor has just told me today that they aren’t going to publish The Lucky Ship because they have too many other great books to publish and because it needs some changes. Boo hoo. I am sad. But thanks for liking The Ghosts of Iron Bottom Sound so much …
    from Sandy

    • 3

      zackids said,

      That’s a real shame Sandy 😦 I’m sure it’s a great story. You don’t need to feel silly at all because we’ve all loved hearing about your stories, even if they don’t get published.

      Will you try sending it to other publishers? There’s always self publishing and of course we’d be honored to publish it on the blog or our library website.

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