Marion Day


Posted on 19th Nov, 2017

Serious Writing

It was one of those fresh, stimulating mornings that compelled me to write. I wanted to begin working on a poignant section for my Young Adult novel where my main characters, Pipi and Mum, were fronting the man who’d shot Dad in a tragic deer-hunting accident.

To write the scene, I had to become deeply part of it, so became the distraught hunter as he explained the sequence of events leading up to the accident. I also needed to work out how to describe the sounds of a gutted, sobbing person – the ragged breathing of pain, the cracking voice of grief – and what better way than to make the sounds? Which also taught me where to take the necessary breaks in the dialogue.

So that was what I was busily doing when my partner, Steve, came in the back door for coffee.

I was unaware of his presence so he heard all the snorting, snivelling, snotting and changes of breath as I leant over my keyboard, absorbed in a world that I would never wish to enter in real life.

“Erhem,” I heard behind me.

Shedding my skin, I swung around, my face burning with embarrassment.

“Do I need a straitjacket?” Steve asked.

I tried to think of a reasonable explanation, but all I could blurt out was, “Can’t I have a little bit of space while I’m writing?”

He began to laugh. “So what was that all about?”

I explained, but knew I was now completely out of my story and not likely to get back into it straightaway, so I threw on my gummies to pick some elderflowers and a few small roses to make elderflower cordial – a recipe from my new Dish magazine – instead.


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Marion Day
801 Manaroa Road, Clova Bay
Picton 7282
P: (64) 03 579 8448

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Marion won the Rural Women's New Zealand National Short Story Competition - Present category. Her story will appear in the 2025 RWZZ Centennial Book, available in bookshops when published. Wellington City Libraries has chosen Pakupaku Pīwakawaka to have its pages transformed into billboards for a nature trail in one of Wellington's central parks. WCL works with the city's Parks, Sports, and Recreation staff on a project called Te Ara Pukapuka (Book Pathways). The billboards will be placed throughout nature trails and reserve pathways in Wellington for tamariki and their whānau to discover while exploring the region.

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Marion is a member of:

  • New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA)
  • Storylines
  • Rural Women New Zealand
  • NZSA Top of the South
  • Writers of Marlborough
  • Writers in Schools Programme