‘So Long and Goodbye?’

Well, this is so long and goodbye as I bow out of the Māori Literature Trust and Pikihuia Competition.

It is not without regret that I have been advised that my manuscripts have failed to attract attention amidst the crazy competitive world of publishing.

I have ascended the mountain, sustained some minor injuries, celebrated as we reached the top, admired the views but failed to find somewhere to place my flag.

Am I disheartened? Probably, but I am not the fiery young individual I once was – ready to fight the world at any given chance.

No – time mellowed that fire a long time ago.

But the experience has had its moments – such as reading praise for one of my manuscripts from Patricia Grace herself. I remained enthusiastic during my mentorship under Huia Publishers, doing my best to remain creative and professional, but definitely struggled towards the end. I wryly expressed to my mentor that if I was fortunate enough to be published with this particular title I would probably cry because I was so tired.

Prophetic words indeed as I am now spared the heartache of one kind only to face another less appealing prospect.

Where do I go from here?

I really honestly don’t know. I’m a lost sheep in the wilderness.

I had leaned on HUIA so much to guide me to the bitter end … and now that the final decision has been made, I only hope that the powers-that-be release me with the same enthusiasm with which they received this unknown Māori boy from Glen Innes – and not some text saying so long and goodbye.

But for now – so long and goodbye.

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