David Hill – Author Blog 3

I took a day off during the week. Yes, authors are allowed to take time off, especially when they’re as lazy as I am. My wife Beth and I (I write about my dear wife a lot in my short stories for adults; I also write about my kids and grandkids in my children’s stories – but I always change details so they don’t recognise themselves and beat me up.)

I’ve lost track of where that paragraph was going……Yes, my wife and I rode a golf-cart along a railway line for 120 km. You know those funny little motorised carts that you sometimes see golfers trundling around golf courses in? A tourism business in Taranaki where I live has converted some so they run – very slowly – on railway lines, clattering along past farms and through tunnels. We rode in one from Stratford to Whangamomona and back. Isn’t “Whangamomona” a brilliant name? It’s right in the middle of inland Taranaki; it has no shops; one hotel, a population of about 20 people, 200 dogs and 2000 sheep. I may write a travel article about it.

I’ve also been trying to write a story about when I was learning to ride a bike for the first time, years and years (and more years) ago.

I’m a great fan of writing about your embarrassments and disasters and mistakes. Other people always enjoy reading about them, and you always feel much better after you’ve turned them into a story or poem or play. So I’m writing about how I could never stay upright on the bike; how I’d manage to pedal for a few metres only, then I’d start wobbling or leaning over to one side till I fell off. I just couldn’t seem to learn how to keep moving and stay on the seat. To make it worse, there was a guy who lived along the road from us, who was really good at sports and anything that involved being fit and confident. He could ride a bike and do no-hands tricks on it, and stuff like that. Every time he saw me trying to ride, he’d sneer and yell sarcastic comments.

Then one day I could ride. Just like that. My Dad had taken me down to a rugby field where nobody was playing, and he’d walked along beside me, holding the bike while I tried to pedal. Suddenly his voice sounded distant, and I realised he WASN’T holding the bike any longer. I was riding by myself.

I still fell off a few times, but I’d learned the trick. And a couple of days later I was riding (very carefully) along our street and met that other guy. I’ll never forget the amazed look he gave me. So that’s what I’m trying to write a short story about, and I think that in the story, I’ll make him so amazed that he falls off his bike into a hedge. That’s another thing I sometimes enjoy writing about: getting revenge on people…..

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