Monday, April 20, 2009

So many words, so little page space

Before I left on vacation I pitched the story of "New Zealand by Campervan" to the SFChron's travel section, and was gratified when they agreed to take a look at it on spec. (They never commit to a freelancer's piece until it's in hand, which isn't unusual. Think good publishing thoughts for me.)

So with my head still full of Fluffys and Jandals last week, I banged out the start of a really good piece on the ins and outs of campervanning. The problem is, I had just started on the good stuff when I ran smack into the 1500 word count to which I was strictly limited (and that had to include all the "If You Go" info like air fares and website addresses.)

What to drop? Well, by the time I was finished, pretty much everything that didn't support the theme of the piece, which was that driving a ginormous left hand driver manual transmission camper van was hairy, but only for the first few days and completely worthwhile afterwards. I'm happy with how it turned out but oh! what was left on the cutting room floor:
  • Kiwisms like Fluffy and Jandal
  • The Strange Fascination Kiwis have with Australians
  • Conservation, Kiwi-Style
  • Really? Another Red Light on Federal Highway 1?
  • If I'm Speaking German, We Must Be in New Zealand
Not to mention the saga of the Unremovable Toilet Cartridge. And if there's one thing I am, it's a communicator. So with your forbearance I'll be sprinkling a few of those stories here and there in the blog posts to come. In the meantime, I'll leave you with my photo of a perfect Fluffy: a steamed milk served with chocolate on the top and marshmallows on the side, and you can ponder what noise 8 and 11 year old girls make when they are too sugared up and bouncing off the walls of a campervan.

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