Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

Archive for the ‘fiction’ Category

Shooting steampunks again

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Well, I’ve been shooting a lot of things to be honest – film premieres, streetscapes, my super-giant baby cat and… yes, more steampunks… the love affair continues. What can I say? I think I’ve reached some new ground though – it’s not the same-old, same-old… Here are a few of my favourites. They were taken At the Auckland AetherCon – some are vendors, others are friends I dragged out to the hallway for a little different lighting and less jangly backgrounds…

AetherCon-24

Poor Garnet – Getting dumped on her coffee break…AetherCon-23The Inquisitor, there can be only one

AetherCon-16

Lovely and lost

AetherCon-20Tinkerbelle and Digitalis Ellulose travelled from the Other Side via a Coromandel Gold Mine – steam-powered, illuminated by Firefly light!AetherCon-22   Desperate street urchins, hawking their wares…AetherCon-10Truly the most fabulous of all!

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

01/08/2014 at 2:07 am

The lazy day adventure of Little Bo Peep

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Had another steampunk adventure this past weekend with north island steampunks, having a picnic at beautiful Shakespear Regional Park on the Whangaparoa Peninsula. It was a perfect day in a perfect location. Perfect for all sorts of mischief, and more than a wee bit of mayhem…

18JanPicnic-1 Little Bo Peep seems a bit under the weather, but the doc seems to have the cure for what ails her in his bag of tricks. 18JanPicnic-20Our Miss Peep is feeling so much better and enjoying herself as she takes in the invigorating sea air.

18JanPicnic-31I wonder what will happen next?

String of Pearls

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This is the very first story I ever had published, back in the mid 90’s. I often ask folks what they think it is ‘really’ about…

pearls2It is in the square, in the middle of our town; with the white clapboard church our mothers dress up for on Sunday, donning long white gloves with tiny pearl buttons that close tightly around their wrists; with the church we spent Sundays gazing through narrow windows at the crisp wild day beyond; with the church we no longer belong in standing, towering behind us broad and tall and white, that I see it. The spot. Like a splotch of chocolate ice cream or a small splash of mud on my lover’s cheek. I reach forward, extending my thumb to rub it away. He recoils as though my finger were a white hot poker sent to burn him.

“Does it hurt?” I ask. “No. No, it doesn’t hurt.” He turns so I can’t see his face and runs across the green. I run after him, blades of grass catching between my toes as my feet race along, air slipping past my teeth, into my lungs, chasing until I hold him in my arms. We laugh and fall on the soft green blanket, kissing with wet tongues and curious fingers, whispering words only we understand. My lips find the spot, hard against their gentle pressure, unyielding as they tenderly probe the foreign texture, a foreign taste, strong and bitter, so my mouth becomes cold and numb. I say nothing.

In the night we sleep beneath the silver moon, its brightness illuminating his face with cold cold light. It has grown. The spot has spread across his cheek, small dark crystals reflecting the moonlight into my eyes. “It is bigger,” I whisper. “Does it hurt?”

“No,” he says turning away so his face is hidden. “No.” I sleep alone. He sleeps with the spot.

No more kisses. No more laughing. No more running in the grass. My mother says, “Daughter, come into the church,” as she buttons her gloves and powders her face. “Come.” But I run outside to dance in the sun, to feel its warmth on my back as I lean over the bridge and watch the ducks paddling beneath me, wishing he was here.

He is hiding. He is hiding, but sometimes he comes out to play with me for a little while. It has grown, cold and brown and hard, so I can’t see his face, only the spot I don’t want to see. I say, “It must hurt now.” He answers, “No,” and hides again. I find him in the dark, standing with his face toward the window, his silhouette cut like glass by the light of the moon, I see the shadow of his hands, his fingers gently stroking his cheeks, his lips, his eyelids, seeking a place the spot is not. “No, it doesn’t hurt,” he says without my asking. I know it does.

I stand alone in the square, facing the church, its whiteness, its tallness, its wideness, and look to see if there is a spot on it, or perhaps on the faces of the white gloved women, our mothers, as they climb the marble steps to enter the darkness they call light. Their faces are shielded by soft powders, shaded by white silk hats, so I can’t see, but I know. They have no spots.gloves4white

Only he has the spot that is no longer a spot, but a face, a new face I can’t see. “Lover, give me a spot,” I say, speaking low so my mother won’t hear.

“No,” he says. “No. It hurts.”

“I love you. I want a spot, too.”

He stands in the light and turns to me. I see his new face, hard, crusted. I am blinded by the light, which cannot penetrate that surface, which hates the sun and shoots it back into my eyes like arrows. He carefully unbuttons his old brown shirt and lets it fall on the grass, then his trousers. He stands naked in the light, dark against the white of the church, darker than its opened doorway. He has become the spot. It is all of him, a hard brown crystal surface with small holes so he can breathe and feed it. Small red rimmed holes.

I run across the square, up the steps of the church and enter the dark light. Opening my mother’s handbag, I take out her gloves, slip them over my fingers, drawing them up to my elbows. One by one I button the pearls securely into place.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

31/03/2010 at 7:38 am

Writing for pleasure

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A long time ago I wrote a novel. Actually, I kind of wrote a few, but I really only finished one in the sense that it’s done and I wouldn’t change it. Not that it’s a great novel – but it’s pretty good. I like it. I’m proud of it. I’d let my kids read it – one of them has, and she seemed rather pleased.

I’ve let a few friends read it over the years and one of them loved it so much she had a vanity pressing done for my birthday a few years ago. It’s one of the nicest presents I’ve ever received. It means my book, which made it to a publisher’s ‘committee’ but didn’t come out the other side, gets to sit on my bookshelf. Every so often I pull it out and read it. Reading it as a book is infinitely far more pleasurable than reading it as a computer printout or on a monitor. I can take it to bed with me or read it on the bus.

Over the holidays I gave it to a friend to read – it’s a funny rite of passage in my friendships – I have to like you a lot to give you my book to read. I only have one copy, so I can’t entrust it to someone who might lose it.

She read it and liked it well enough – though she wasn’t blown away. That’s okay – being enraptured is not part of the rite of passage. When she returned it, I slipped it into my bag to bring home. And there it was when I went through the bag looking for something to occupy me on the long bus-ride out to my neck of the woods.

Yip, it’s pretty good, I like it. Soon, I was swept into another world. Not into the plot and the characters, though they are part of it, but into another me, the person I was when I wrote it, when I edited it, when I sent it off to agents. I remember the hush of my heart when it was tentatively accepted and it couldn’t be sent to another publisher. I remember the horror of maybe having to appear on talk shows to promote it. And the dreams of what I might do with all the lovely dollars I would get when it became a bestseller – and then I could sell the movie rights! Mostly I find myself lost in the times of my life so many of the vignettes took place. Though it is far from autobiographical – there is the wretched date with the boy who picked dead rabbits off the road and threw them behind my seat in his truck; my awe at being in CBGBs for the first time, certain that chap in the far corner was William Burroughs; trying to make sense of sexual politics in an era with no rules; living in New York in the scary 70’s and the discovery and loss of ‘true love.’

I think I’m ready to write another one. No matter if it gets through committee… a book you’ve written is a beloved part of yourself you will have forever. One is good. Two or three or four are even better.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

24/03/2010 at 7:30 am

Posted in dreams, fiction, Writing

Tagged with , ,

String of Pearls

with 4 comments

This is the very first story I ever had published, back in the mid 90’s. I often ask folks what they think it is ‘really’ about…

pearls2It is in the square, in the middle of our town; with the white clapboard church our mothers dress up for on Sunday, donning long white gloves with tiny pearl buttons that close tightly around their wrists; with the church we spent Sundays gazing through narrow windows at the crisp wild day beyond; with the church we no longer belong in standing, towering behind us broad and tall and white, that I see it. The spot. Like a splotch of chocolate ice cream or a small splash of mud on my lover’s cheek. I reach forward, extending my thumb to rub it away. He recoils as though my finger were a white hot poker sent to burn him.

“Does it hurt?” I ask. “No. No, it doesn’t hurt.” He turns so I can’t see his face and runs across the green. I run after him, blades of grass catching between my toes as my feet race along, air slipping past my teeth, into my lungs, chasing until I hold him in my arms. We laugh and fall on the soft green blanket, kissing with wet tongues and curious fingers, whispering words only we understand. My lips find the spot, hard against their gentle pressure, unyielding as they tenderly probe the foreign texture, a foreign taste, strong and bitter, so my mouth becomes cold and numb. I say nothing.

In the night we sleep beneath the silver moon, its brightness illuminating his face with cold cold light. It has grown. The spot has spread across his cheek, small dark crystals reflecting the moonlight into my eyes. “It is bigger,” I whisper. “Does it hurt?”

“No,” he says turning away so his face is hidden. “No.” I sleep alone. He sleeps with the spot.

No more kisses. No more laughing. No more running in the grass. My mother says, “Daughter, come into the church,” as she buttons her gloves and powders her face. “Come.” But I run outside to dance in the sun, to feel its warmth on my back as I lean over the bridge and watch the ducks paddling beneath me, wishing he was here.

He is hiding. He is hiding, but sometimes he comes out to play with me for a little while. It has grown, cold and brown and hard, so I can’t see his face, only the spot I don’t want to see. I say, “It must hurt now.” He answers, “No,” and hides again. I find him in the dark, standing with his face toward the window, his silhouette cut like glass by the light of the moon, I see the shadow of his hands, his fingers gently stroking his cheeks, his lips, his eyelids, seeking a place the spot is not. “No, it doesn’t hurt,” he says without my asking. I know it does.

I stand alone in the square, facing the church, its whiteness, its tallness, its wideness, and look to see if there is a spot on it, or perhaps on the faces of the white gloved women, our mothers, as they climb the marble steps to enter the darkness they call light. Their faces are shielded by soft powders, shaded by white silk hats, so I can’t see, but I know. They have no spots.gloves4white

Only he has the spot that is no longer a spot, but a face, a new face I can’t see. “Lover, give me a spot,” I say, speaking low so my mother won’t hear.

“No,” he says. “No. It hurts.”

“I love you. I want a spot, too.”

He stands in the light and turns to me. I see his new face, hard, crusted. I am blinded by the light, which cannot penetrate that surface, which hates the sun and shoots it back into my eyes like arrows. He carefully unbuttons his old brown shirt and lets it fall on the grass, then his trousers. He stands naked in the light, dark against the white of the church, darker than its opened doorway. He has become the spot. It is all of him, a hard brown crystal surface with small holes so he can breathe and feed it. Small red rimmed holes.

I run across the square, up the steps of the church and enter the dark light. Opening my mother’s handbag, I take out her gloves, slip them over my fingers, drawing them up to my elbows. One by one I button the pearls securely into place.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

17/02/2009 at 8:45 pm

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