I heard on Friday that War Stories is finally going to play on Radio New Zealand. It is airing on Labour Day (how apt!) 28th October, 7-9pm with an episode at the top of each hour. I am amazed – more so when I think about the long hard slog it’s taken to get there. First it was the scholarship which was amazing and then it was months of writing which, for a writer, was also pretty amazing. Then, the hunt for young male voices and somewhere to record and finally, I had 3 sets of jagged peaked lines that were the result of all my hard work and some air time on Plains FM. Everyone said they were good. Everyone said they should go on National Radio – ‘They’d love them” they said, and I thought so too so I phoned them up. Apparently the pod cast people were too busy making their own stuff to listen to someone elses and after a few phone calls I stopped trying. But sometimes things happen that you can’t plan. Someone decided this past Easter to play an old story of mine on the radio and someone who is even more persistent than I am, wrote to me asking if I had written any more. I was on Grandparent duty (you know, me and 3 kids and appliances I couldn’t work), and in a moment of sheer pissed-offedness, wrote to Radio New Zealand giving them a blast about playing my old stuff and ignoring my new. And to my amazement, someone with a beating heart replied. This man promised to listen to them – and did, and best of all , he wanted to put them on air. I knew the focus had left WW1 and was moving onto a more recent and accessible war so I was really delighted. But then came months and months of silence. Last week in a mood that I can only describe as overly efficient, I managed to delete most of my emails. I was retrieving them one by one from the trash and noticed one from Radio New Zealand. I was already deeply irritated so it wasn’t even a blip in the radar to write them another email reminding them they still had the podcasts and I hadn’t heard when they were going to air them. Would you believe it but our email paths crossed and while I was writing to him he was writing to me to tell me he had a date. Am I grateful? Oh yeah. Will I be rich? Oh no, they’re not paying but the story is the thing. I know writers all over the place will be throwing their hands up in horror but I’ve already been paid. I had the trip to England where I met some great people and learned a lot about WW1 through letters and diaries and walking amongst the graves of the dead. And these are our stories and as many people as possible should hear them. The listening numbers won’t be huge but they will certainly be greater than the number of clicks on an obscure website with 11 followers. Thank you Radio New Zealand.