TANIKA SMITH WHEATLEY
When I was a child, I would wake up in the night because of nightmares. As time went on, I realized that I was looking forward to my dreams. Now, I write them, among other stories as well.....
South West of the Setting Sun
South West of the Setting Sun Author and artist: Tanika Smith Wheatley This is a story about a Polynesian man known as Maui the Half God who travelled the Pacific in search of his father and in doing so, found several other islands, including Aoteroa, now known as New Zealand, for his people to live on. Some Maori believe that he was Hawaiian. The first great Polynesian migration to New Zealand was believed to have been made from either Hawaii, or Tahiti. And, the first great (I say great because this migration had a fleet of seven boats plus a smaller one that belonged to the half God) Polynesian migration landed in the Bay of Plenty at a place that they decided to call Hawai which is supposed to be after the old land.
For my seventh birthday my parents gave me the Lewis Carroll books and I have been a Lewis Carroll fan ever since and in turn, I have been giving these books to other children of the family to enjoy, when they are on the brink of learning to read. The stories opened my mind to a myriad of possibilities, and I knew that they would do the same for them...
The Dead Planet
I was at school and only seven years old when I wrote this story, my first ‘essay’ at school, after having just learned the alphabet and how to read and write. I even did my own artwork cover. It was a red planet in a starry night sky. At that age, I don’t even know how I was aware of space and other planets. Perhaps a teacher spoke of our constellation, I know we had lessons in later classes, but I don’t remember lessons on space at or before seven years of age. Perhaps I’d seen comic books, maybe I heard other people speak of the planets. The teacher was impressed and put my book on show in the main foyer. It went missing while on display, and I don’t remember every word that I wrote at the time, but I remember the story, so I am now attempting to write about The Dead Planet once more…
Cinder Ella It was good to get out of the house – I started hanging around the staff when father died because my step-mother and step-sisters no longer even attempted to be civil to me anymore – but my step-mother was spending everything my father and his ancestors had worked so hard for so it wasn’t long before she was firing the staff and it was just as well that I’d spent so much time with them, because it became my duty in life to cook, clean and serve her and her daughters…
Readers, it is best to first read my story: ‘From Out of the Darkness’ “Stay away from me, Tanemahuta!” Mahuika hated what her brother had done, “I will never forgive you for making us play that horrid, stupid game which separated our parents, changing our lovely existence with our loving parents…”
I have heard others speak of ‘their purpose in life’ – up until this dream, I had never known mine… READY A chill went down my spine. I opened my eyes and peered in the darkness. He was there. Still the same, he had not aged, not too tall, but muscular. Still medium sized, but powerful looking. Still strikingly handsome, but as always, unsmiling - his usual unhappy demeanor - almost scowling. Always making me wonder what I have done, or am not doing more likely, to displease him so.