Title: Starling

Author: Elizabeth Knox

In: Sport 28: Autumn 2002

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, March 2002, Wellington

Part of: Sport

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Sport 28: Autumn 2002

May 1982

May 1982

I am at my typewriter again today, and writing the scene before the lunch-hour shopping/she runs into K scene. I don't quite know why I'm writing this, the story I think I have to tell. (But I do know why am writing this note. I'm writing to the old lady, who might feel tender about her young self.) I keep thinking about Pauatahanui's bare hills and Paremata's blue harbour; the roots of fallen trees in the town belt after the Wahine storm, and my memories of Dad's stories of his Pamir—his snapshot from Wellington's west coast, of a long grey battleship and tall sailing ship side by side. And I'm thinking of the weird lights from the squid boats behind Farewell Spit. I don't know much, but with these few things I could outline the bounty of my world. I think I could. Am I saving them up? Or saving myself for them? Or is it that I saw them like someone who sees something about page 127 which they have to take the witness stand and testify. Really I was going about my other business—looking at Avergild, not Paremata, Cryheron not Tata Beach. Or as well as. My dilemma is my story. My real story. It keeps coming back in this journal, more like malaria than a recurring theme. But Chris Cole-Catley said of One Too Many Lives that the fantastic world was just too fantastic for her. But it was a true story. So now I am writing Novel #2 and it is a real true story, but, you know—‘Your Honour, could I be excused …?’

(I'd begun my second novel, Novel #2, a realist fiction, about a young woman in love, about working in offices and wanting to do something better, and about the Springbok Tour.)