I had to write a great American novel…

Two things: online scammers are smart cats. If you find yourself looking for work, and stumble across a site claiming hundreds of jobs want you! All gee. If, that escalates to a page demanding mulah – for ‘CV consultants’ to check your professional jewels, beware, the consultants will always have something to say, until you have no money to speak of. NB: this is an urban (true)legend and I myself have been lucky and Kiwi and cynical enough not to find myself in this gravel pit, but many others have – here’s a moment of silence for them. Hush.

Survival tip number two: we are all writing our own great American novels. Here is the Oxford definition:

Any novel that is regarded as having successfully represented an important time in US history or one that tells a story that is typical of America. Many US writers have tried to write such a book and The Great American Novel is the title of novels by William Carlos Williams (1923) and Philip Roth (1973). Books that are considered to deserve to be called ‘the great American novel’ include Huckleberry FinnGone with the Wind and The Grapes of Wrath.

While in Amelia Italy, the locals swore the name ‘America’ belonged to them. I won’t get caught in a linguist fly trap claiming to have an inch, let alone a pinky’s depth, in the great rivers of history that focus on the naming of America, the romantic evasions of truth, what a discovery is and what it means to name something, anything, to begin with.

Instead, let’s balm and lull in the promise of a new land. Artists are luckier, smarter cats than online scammers – but it is this luck and talent, that pools such grief inside the mind of one ‘creative.’ I sometimes reflect on my journey to London as a physical projection of years traveling my thoughts. I know which was more painful.

So, why the focus on a great American novel segued by a warning of internet scams? Away from the origins of my art, my poetry, new proofs of light have burrowed into my temples and I have re-begun my novel. My great tale will be I hope, a light proof rectangle whose ode to our generation – unapologetic – might document the great moments of our new land. The sun baked children of Aotearoa.







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