Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Soliciting Red Rabbit

Since my last post I have completed my undergraduate degree and written a brace of blogs. All of the blogs are on this site along with my latest short story, Baggage, which appeared in Landfall 228.
Normally I wouldn't put a story from hard copy up onto this blog quite so promptly but I am  soliciting for work, so I'm trying to keep all my digital ducks in a row. I am really  happy with  this story and thrilled it got selected for Landfall. It is a story about the perils of internet dating, though perhaps a little darker than the average dating tale. Disturbing even.
Having finished the B.A. I am not sure what will happen next. I have applied for a scholarship and am considering doing a post graduate degree. If I am accepted it will be an MA of English and a documentary theatre project.

I am also looking for work. If the right opportunity arises I will do my Masters part-time. I would love to be able to work writing but I am also drawn to community work. Who knows?
The only thing I know for sure is that finishing my degree is something I am extremely proud of. After leaving High School after sixth form, working in a range of industry (including the sex industry), marrying my best friend who just happened to be a former Hells Angel, I suspect most people consider me an unlikely scholar. It was my husband, Pat, who encouraged me to go to university.
I completed  six papers in my first year, while still working part time at his roading company. I received A grades in all of the papers. I was surprised. Pat wasn't. He always had faith in my ability and he always encouraged and supported me to try and do more. He might not have been surprised, but he was proud. He rang and told everyone my grades, even if he wasn't always sure what they were for.

That summer Pat was diagnosed with cancer. We had six months together before he died. During that time we planned what I should do. Perhaps more accurately, Pat planned, and I agreed. He wanted me to finish the degree and continue to write. I have done both. Now I have run out of directions and it is time for me to start making decisions on my own. Pat died one week before my first short story was selected for publication.
For the last two years there has not been a day that I have not cried for the loss and questioned if I could, or should,  finish. As hard as it was to continue, it would have been just as hard to stop. Studying has given me a purpose. I am lucky I have been in a financial position to be able to complete my study. I have also had some great support from the academic staff and I can not speak highly enough of Massey University, Albany.  
Overall I would have to say I am optimistic. I have purchased a Magic 8 Ball and am using it to guide all my future decisions. I have also given up internet dating.
My love and thanks to everyone who has helped me make it this far.

Kate Davis aka The Red Rabbit.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Like A Rabbit in the Headlights

Do rabbits even freeze in headlights? Actually now I think about it, I'm pretty sure they bolt.

I am not frozen exactly but I have three weeks left of lectures and four essays are due but, alas, not yet written. The sheer amount that must be produced has me in a state of high anxiety. Several lecturers have empathised and told me that the work load on students now is far greater than when they studied. This is not reassuring. It just makes me want to bite. Or kick like a kangaroo with my strong bunny back legs.

Recreational writing, like recreational reading is a pleasurable pastime. Thesis driven essays about subjects you are not passionate about threaten my will to live. I would rather chew off my own arm than complete the three thousand words about International Conflict.

Creative writing is taking a back seat until the donkey work is done and dusted, which is tricky because...
I have three short stories forming in my head. They are taking up space,  they are vying for attention and getting quite loud. They do not like to be ignored and make their presence felt when I'm trying to string together another sentence about the conflict in Afghanistan. I am not convinced this is a good reason to ask for an extension or in the case of the IR/ Politics paper, perhaps one of those mental health passes. There is no place for the middle east in my  stories and no room for imagination in my assignment. The two are obviously mutually exclusive in the eyes of the academy. Perhaps this is what's wrong with politics or at the very least, the Labour Party.

As for the guest blogs on The Daily Blog, well lets face it. I am addicted. I'm a Blog-ict. That link should take you straight to my latest post or you can find it in the list to your right. It is titled "The Post Election Post-mortem is Giving me Post Party Depression."  It got lots of comments, which to me is like P. I want more. Almost before the comments have slowed I am planning my next. It is the instant validation of knowing that someone else has read my work. How spectacular. I don't even care if they hate it or disagree. They read it.
In other news my twitter followers have increased to 27. #winning
Follow me @kateinthebay 
(I need to know how to change my twitter name without loosing the 27, mainly business, that follow me)

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Rabbiting On...

I have just added another story Tour of Duty and my latest guest blog for The Daily Blog,  Cultivating Tragedy: The Culture of WINZ to the list of pages on the right.
I have also received the spectacular news that I have had a short story accepted for the next edition of  Landfall. The story is called Baggage and it is from my second collection of short stories.
My first collection of short stories is called The Whore Next Door. The stories Georgie, Aimee, Lola and Eve are all from this collection. It consists of twenty-four stories about women working in the sex industry. While each story is independent they are all loosely threaded. This tenuous  connection replicates the  threads that bind the woman who work in different aspects of the sex industry. While they encounter the  same obstacles and discrimination they may never meet or their paths cross. Their stories are not woven together but instead are threaded like cultivated pearls from an estate sale. A beautiful but damaged choker that could disintegrate at any point.
Baggage is from my second collection. It is still in development. I will not post the story on this blog until it has appeared in the journal. I still treasure hard copy and pay homage to anyone willing to publish me in that form. I am trying to encourage people to engage in a medium you can rest a cup on, sniff and fall asleep with.  If we don't use it, we will loose it. Point and Shoot and The Tale Wagging the Dog are part of the same body of stories. The working title of this collection is The Fourth Wave. I chose the title and started working on the stories after I read an article on Facebook about the new 'fourth wave of feminism.'

 I am sceptical of the new wave the article referred to. The movement seems to be a social media movement. It certainly is not reflected in what  I  encounter in my daily life as a mature student on a university campus. What I encounter at Massey's Albany campus among the younger students is women who don't identify as feminists and a curriculum that no longer has women's studies.  Ironically the fourth wave post was  followed by another post form the Tumbler site Women Against Feminism. It showed a young woman holding a sign stating why she didn't need feminism.

It got me thinking about the state of feminism. Where is feminism now and how is it present in the social media / snap chat world? Where is feminism in my life, a widowed woman of forty five, and the daily lives of my friend's? Where is this 'fourth wave' and how can I catch it? If I look at my own claim to feminism in the mirror, what is really looking back? 


Monday, 25 August 2014

What is the Red Rabbit

Having mulled it over during the last few weeks I have defined and refined the purpose of this blog. The Red Rabbit Writes is the home of my published fiction. It is where anyone interested can access my work in one handy location. Most importantly it is the end of all excuses offered by friends or family as to why they haven't read my work.

Like any excited new parent I announced the birth of my happy, healthy, bouncing new blog on my Facebook status. ( Hooray! Its a Red Rabbit! Both mother and Bunny are doing fine.)  It was then that Martyn Bradbury sent me a message suggesting that said if I was interested in blogging perhaps I would write something for The Daily Blog. Martyn, assuming like most who know me, that my blogging would be  political. The Daily Blog for those outside the loop of New Zealand politics is the home of a collective of left wing writers, activist's, politicians and pundits. I fit into at least one of those categories. Wahooo! Write. Will I ? You bet! As it happened I did have something on my mind...

I blog on The Daily Blog under my name. Kate Davis. That is where you will find my opinion and my politics. This site is for my fiction. I would like to say that my fiction is without politics but that would be disingenuous. Of course it can be apolitical. It is after all up to you, the reader, how you interpret it.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Introducing The Red Rabbit Writes

The Red Rabbit Writes was started at the suggestion of a lecturer. He encourages  the use of a blog as a handy and free place to share and store your portfolio of writing for prospective employers.  As I am now in the final semester of my BA the idea of finding a job is hovering in  the no scholarship periphery. In other words, if I get a scholarship I will continue with a Masters. If I get offered a great job I will take it. Either way, by the end of the year I will be looking for income.
I am studying English and Politics. When friends heard I was starting a blog they assumed it was just another place for me to rant. They assumed that I would be blogging my discontent for the rest of the winter, into the spring and it would no doubt focus on the upcoming election.
My friends on Facebook and my Facebook friends probably breathed a collective sigh of relief when I updated my status with the news that I was starting a blog. Perhaps they would finally get some respite from my politics and I would get back to posting Grumpy Cat and GOT memes. My ranting would be confined to the blogosphere where it would join the million other silent voices creating a cacophony of one sided conversations. If a Blogger falls in the forest?
 'Watch out,' a friend cautioned 'blogging is addictive.' Ha! I scoffed. I am far too busy for that!
The endless cycle of Eat.Sleep. Rave. Repeat. Does Fat Boy Slim blog?
Nope. No way. I have assignments due, short stories that need to be told, social media to be updated. Oh right...that job that must be found.
There is no time for blogging.
That is not my intent...but.....
Often when I'm writing I start with  a title. It can be annoying. If I come up with a title or a heading I like I feel obligated to put it to bed with a body.
If I did blog they would surely have to be the opinions of the Bolshie Bunny.
Now there's a great name...