Sunday 14 July 2019

Blatantly, and - ideally - chillingly, entitled

I like to think that my stories are pretty easy reading, and I feel particularly comfortable about being able to write an opening that sucks the reader in, but - titles? Mine just suck, full stop. I find it really hard to write something apt and catchy, frequently succumbing to the nudge, nudge, wink, wink of alliteration, and they rarely make it past the subbing process. Usually the editor, much more practised at such things than I am, comes up with something heaps catchier. But not today, for my Viking Sun story in the Sunday Star-Times.

Sun - eclipse: yes, I see that of course.  But even though It's obvious and pedestrian and absolutely the sort of thing that I might eventually have come up with myself, all inspiration sapped by producing the story itself (my only possible excuse), I would never have written it - because it's just not true. One full day on a mid-level ship sailing between Auckland and Wellington? Yes, it was nice, and they did everything properly, and I didn't write anything I wouldn't stand by, but... "hard to eclipse"? Yeah, nah.

Sorry, Viking, but I've sailed with Silversea, to Alaska, to Montreal, to North Cape,  to Antarctica! All those destinations are what I call properly hard to eclipse - so hard, in the case of Antarctica, that it has actually kind of sapped my enthusiasm for any subsequent cruising. You can keep your Mediterranean, your Pacific Islands, even your Caribbean. The only thing that would really er, float my boat these days is deep Arctic - Svalbard, Iceland, Greenland, northern Canada. And I would want to do it on a smaller ship even than Viking Sun's 980 passengers. Half that is the maximum, thanks, preferably even less. Not fussed about fancy restaurants, big shows, pillow menus, all that - just a bit higher standard of living than I have at home will do nicely, plus cold and spectacular scenery, please. 

And *cough* for free, natch. Because I've just sold my SEVENTH Silversea Antarctica story to a fifth publication/website, bringing the total readership/coverage up to around 2.5 million. I think that's a decent return, don't you, Silversea/Seabourn/Windstar/National Geographic?

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