A Night to Remember: Part Five (by Simon Petrie)

Part One of this story can be found here. Part Two is here. Part Three is here. Part Four is here. An updated listing of all parts to date is here.

Gordon paused in his climbing, listened, willed his heart to quiet its thudding: the unaccustomed combination of exercise and adrenaline was taking its toll. And clinging to the rungs of the relentlessly-ascending escaladder, above a dozen or more storeys of clear drop to a plasticrete floor, wasn’t helping his mental state, either.

No sound of pursuit. And Haier (Gordon couldn’t persuade himself to think of his old adversary in terms of the other’s new sobriquet of Sir Tin Death) was not equipped to move silently, what with the fifteen kilograms or so of metal cladding he now sported. So, presumably, Gordon had thrown the hit-man off his trail, for now.

He was powerfully conflicted. He should be doing everything within his power to find, and to rescue, Claudia Iyzowt, whom Haier had abducted. But Gordon wouldn’t be any use to Claudia dead, and it was hard to see how he could match it against Gunther Haier. The hit-man had had years—decades, probably—of practice in the arts of brutality; the nearest Gordon had ever come to any kind of combat training was when, as a child, he’d signed up for lessons in what he’d believed to be karate. (He’d given it up after four classes, wondering when they were going to quit with all that singing and move on to the good stuff.) No, if he was going to beat Old Ironsides, he’d have to outwit him.

Yet Haier was shrewd, as Gordon knew to his cost. A man who could make a bloodless getaway look like a murder was someone whose cunning was not to be underestimated.

The only advantage Gordon held was that of home territory. He knew the layout of this type of freight module in considerable detail, enough to know that there were plenty of hiding-spots throughout the twenty storeys of the elevator-car’s frame. He presumably just needed to survive the next seventy-two hours of the elevator-car’s ascent, and to hope that Skytop’s cops could find a criminal who’d managed to elude them on at least one previous occasion.

Against this, Haier held the predator’s advantage: he could fail, on repeated occasions, to catch Gordon, but he only needed to succeed once. And seventy-two hours was a long time in a confined environment.

Think! How to survive? How to rescue Claudia?

For all that it was reassuring to think of this as a battle of wits, Gordon couldn’t deny some weaponry would assist his peace of mind. If I just had something to help me make it through the night. Like a servo-boosted jousting lance, or something.

Weaponry? Maybe, through his fear, he was thinking too literally. Maybe there was a way of using the freight-tower, itself, as his weapon. He was a Skywards employee, after all—he’d have access to all of the elevator car’s systems, in principle, through his handheld and his ident codes. He could monitor—

A shout from four storeys below him interrupted his chain of thought. Gordon glanced down. Fifteen metres below, his armour-plated foe had just chanced to look up the escaladder.

Time to switch tracks. Gordon stepped off the escaladder at the next floor, toggling the ladder from ‘ascent’ to ‘descent’ in an effort to buy himself a few more precious seconds.

The floorplan in this section of the tower was centred on the cylindrical column of the freight tower’s plastimarble cladding, which ensconsed the thick filament of the space elevator shaft itself; around the column, two moving rampways (one up, one down) spiralled concentrically; then there was an inner circular corridor ringed by storerooms and by four short passageways that radiated north, south, east and west; then an outer circle of corridor which provided, north and south, escaladder access to the floors above and below, and east and west staircases. It was a floorplan which provided plenty of blind spots, useful for evading pursuit: but it also left opportunities galore for an ambush predator like Haier.

Still, he knew where Haier had been, just seconds ago. If he snuck along the corridor here, then took the passageway here into the central section, he’d come to the rampway before Haier could heave into sight. He hoped. From which point, the logical thing to do would be to put more distance between himself and his pursuer, which meant going up.

Or did it mean going down? Quite aside from anything else, ‘lower’ sounder distinctly better than ‘higher’ in this particular situation.

Gordon didn’t like having to make decisions on the fly; but it far surpassed getting cornered. He took the rampway down, moving as quickly as he dared.

When he’d descended eight floors, he opened a storage-room door at random and let himself in, pulling the door quietly closed behind him.

Time to get out his handheld, and see what he could achieve.

*

He’d messaged Security, of course, groundside and Skytop, to inform them of Haier’s presence and Claudia Iyzowt’s apparent abduction. Or at least he’d tried to: the messages had failed to send. A comms blackout was worrying, but he had more pressing concerns.

He didn’t want to dwell too deeply on the significance of the handheld’s assistance that there were only two lifesigns detectable within the freight module, one in this storage room and one in the basement. If Haier had disposed of Claudia Iyzowt, while Gordon had been running scared … it was clearly conduct unbecoming. But what could he have done, unarmed against his armoured opponent?

Conduct unbecoming … armoured

A thought occurred to Gordon. Hastily, he instructed the handheld to find the location of the freight-module’s main electrical controls. And learned, to his chagrin, that they were distributed in three places: in a cabinet on the obs deck, for the internal power supply within the top third of the tower; on floor eleven, for the freight-car’s central chunk; and for the module’s lower reaches, including the basement, the controls were … in the basement. Which was also the current location of the other detectable life-signal, presumably Haier himself. Damn.

Still, the basement was a fairly broad area, and according to his handheld the control panel was on the opposite side of the chamber to the Haier telltale. For his plan to work, he’d need to get his hands on the wiring behind the control panel, but he could dial the illumination down from here, and hope that the resultant gloom bought him enough time to put his scheme into effect. If I dim the lights on these floors now, and wait until I’m almost at the basement before I cut the illumination there, my eyes will be better dark-adapted than Haier’s. I hope.

It was now or never. And, really, ‘never’ wasn’t an option, which only left ‘now’. For all that his pounding heart insisted that ‘later’ shouldn’t be ruled out of contention entirely …

He stood up, opened the storeroom door, peeked outside. Coast clear. And Haier was still showing in the same position, in the basement, several floors down. Gordon crept to the rampway.

And walked straight into Haier, half a flight down. Before the reluctant detective could react, the armoured assassin grabbed hold of Gordon’s arms in a superhuman grip.

“Ha!” said Haier, in triumph, as Gordon flinched. “But why so spooked, Matron?”

Mamon,” replied Gordon.

“Relax, detective. I need you alive. For the next couple of hours, at least.”

This was an assurance that Gordon did not find particularly soothing. Another thing was troubling him, too.

On his handheld, the second lifesignal had been showing in the basement all this time. What did it mean that Haier was not displaying as a lifesignal?

Find out more about Simon at his blog: http://simonpetrie.wordpress.com/

Meet Darian Smith

Darian Smith

Darian Smith

Darian and I are newly acquainted as co-committee members of SpecFicNZ. It has been awesome to get to get to know him over the past few months, but this interview has been my first opportunity to learn about his experiences as a writer. Check it out!

What sort of stories do you like to write?
I like writing stories that grab me.  I particularly like writing stories with an emotional punch.  Those are they ones that feel worth telling.  It could be a fantasy (my first love) or contemporary fiction, but it has to have some impact in terms of making me (and hopefully the reader) feel something.

Sometimes an idea won’t quite work for me so I don’t write all of my ideas into stories, but I do try to capture them just in case they come in useful later.  I keep a notebook with lots of random snippets in it which I promise myself will be woven into stories at some later date.  Sometimes they even are.

Have you been published / where / how many rejections have you received?
I’ve had short stories published in places like ASIM, JAAM, WilyWriters.com, and have won prizes in several competitions with them.  I remember the first time I won something I was so excited, I drove four hours to get to the prize giving, then four hours home again.  It was thrilling!  But before that I had rejections galore.  Initially I kept a folder of my rejection slips.  I hear Stephen King had a nail on the wall that he would spike his rejections onto and, in a way, keeping them was my badge of honour, like proof that I was paying my dues.  Then my folder filled up and I didn’t bother to get another one!

Now that my recent novel manuscript has won the SpecFicNZ/Steam Press competition, I’m hoping I’ll be able to find a suitable agent and publisher and finally get my name on the cover of an actual novel.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I enjoy that rush I feel when I’m developing the story.  Feeling the sparkling, buzzing, electric kernel of the idea that I know will burst out into something wonderful and then watching as it does just that.  And I enjoy the surprising feeling when I read it back over and realise that it actually sounds pretty good.  In between, of course, there’s the phase where I’m pretty sure everything I type is rubbish, but force myself to keep typing anyway.  And even that’s kind of fun…as grimly determined self slavery goes.

What do you find most frustrating / difficult?
Well, there’s that grimly determined phase I mentioned earlier – during which I can be heard to plaintively moan “Why won’t it just write itself??” and eat copious amounts of chocolate.

There’s also the struggle to convey my new ideas to my beloved wife who also writes.  Somehow I just can’t express a story idea verbally.  The conversation usually goes something like this:

“Oh my God, I’ve just had a brilliant idea for a story. What if…xyz.”
Blank stare.  Frown.  “Um…are you sure?  That sounds kinda rubbish.”

“No no!  It’s brilliant!  Because…xyz!  Get it?  X. Y. Z!”

“Still sounds kinda rubbish, but go and write it.  They usually turn out okay.”

Grumble grumble.  “Totally brilliant, trust me.”  Grumble grumble.  “XYZ!!”  Grumble grumble.  “Don’t understand.”
Pat on the shoulder.  “There there.  You’re very clever.  Go and write it now.”

Fortunately, we’ve both figured out this pattern and don’t let it worry us.  The rest of the time we’re each other’s best cheerleader, coach and shifter of writing blocks.

Which of the stories you have written so far are you most proud of and why?
I’m very proud of the stories I’ve written this year, “Wearing the Star Cloak” and “Agents of Kalanon”.  It’s been an honour to have them win SpecFicNZ competitions.  In the more literary/contemporary side of things, I’m extremely proud of a story called “Slippery Road.”  It’s an edgy, parental-guidance-definitely-advised tale of a young man making the best of a bad situation.  It begins with maybe the best hook I’ve ever come up with, “The first time my dad died it was raining.”  And, according to New Zealand writer Sue Emms, “went on to build a story of loneliness and confusion to a powerful conclusion that still resonates with me.”  I feel like I hit the emotional punch nail on the head with that one.

Do you write more than you read, or read more than you write?
This very much depends on when you ask.  Sometimes one, sometime the other.  Deadlines are good for driving me, so if there’s a competition or submission date I want to aim for, I’ll be doing more writing than reading.  A few days after the deadline, I’ll be reading more than writing!

What advice do you have for new authors just starting out?
Remember that writing is both talent and skill.  No matter how much talent you have to work with, skill takes time and effort to develop.  So, sadly, not everything you write will be brilliant right away.  But the more you write, the more skilled you become at letting that talent shine through.

Find out more about Darian at his new website: www.darian-smith.com

Meet Fran

Fran Atkinson

Fran

Writer, awesome Critique Coordinator and more than slightly insane (her own words, I promise). She has been an integral part of making the Christchurch Writers’ Guild what it is today. We couldn’t do it without you Fran!

What do you do as a day job?
I’m a full-time mum of a toddler.

What sorts of things to you love writing about?
I like to write things that explore the human condition, and assist in my own understanding of the world.

What draws you to being a writer?
I love the chance it offers to explore alternate worlds and change around society without doing any damage to the real world.

When did you start writing & why?
I’ve read stories I wrote as a five year old, telling short simple tales such as running away from the giant that was in my house, so I think I actually have been writing stories since I could. I have a crazy imaginative mind, and it helps to channel my ideas into stories.

What is the most rewarding thing about writing?
When you get so caught up in the world you’re writing in and the words come rapidly and easily. The characters direct the story and you don’t have to force anything. That’s when your story exists as its own entity and not just as something you’ve written.

What is the most frustrating thing?
Finding the time and motivation (simultaneously!) to get lost in words.

How has reading influenced your writing?
Throughout my teenage years it had a rather negative effect, as I was convinced I could never be that good. But now my reading is more analytical which makes me think how things are phrased, and what works well versus what I don’t like.

Who do you write for?
Mostly I write for myself. I have written some poetry dedicated to others, a lot for my husband, and I’m working on a children’s story for my son, but really it’s all for me.

Would you ever consider mainstream publishing / putting your work out there for a mass audience?
I would now, but I don’t want it to be as a source of income, more as a way to share my words with others. I’m totally open to the idea of compiling some of my work into free ebooks (once I have enough that is worth sharing).

How do you deal with negative feedback?
Most of the negative feedback I’ve gotten recently has been dealt with with a *facepalm* because the mistakes are just so obvious. I work hard not to catastrophise these moments and remind myself that every writer makes dumb mistakes.

What is your advice for young authors starting out?
Read a lot. Write, with no limits. Break all the writing rules.

You can find out more about Fran at her blog: http://redfox4239.wordpress.com/

Meet Lee Murray

Lee Murray

Lee Murray

I was fortunate enough to meet Lee Murray earlier this year at UnCONventional – a Sci Fi / Fantasy convention in Auckland, and to be a part of her ‘Great New Zealand Book Race‘. It is an honor to get to interview her here on my blog!

Please tell me a little about yourself.
I’m 47 (eek!) next week, so I’m a latecomer to writing. I’m married to David, with two teenage children. To date I’ve run 21 marathons, heaps of half-marathons and an ultra. I’m one half Chinese, and all New Zealander. I can speak French, but I’m a hopeless cook, worse cleaner, and only an annual ironer.

When did you know you wanted to be an author? What changed?
I’ve always scribbled, and I had it in the back of my mind that some day I’d write a book, but it was about five years ago, after my son started school, that I decided that some day had arrived.

What do you love most about writing?
You mean, apart from being able to wear my dressing gown to work? I love that when you call yourself a writer, even at my age, it’s okay to have imaginary friends. I love waking up wondering how my characters are going to surprise me today. I love meeting other writers and being inspired by their stories. I love seeing my books on shelves at the library or the bookstore. But mostly, I love the response I get from readers, like this note I received from Bradley (aged 8) after he read Battle of the Birds:

“It was awesome. When you read it you’re, like, what happens next? It really does make you think about how it would feel for you if it happened to you.  For me it would feel very, very awesome. It’s super-entertaining.  Unputdownable.”

I think you’ll agree, it’s hard to beat a response like that.

What do you find most frustrating?
That it’s almost impossible for emerging New Zealand writers – many with wonderful evocative New Zealand stories – to get published. What does this mean for the future of New Zealand literature? My friend, writer Tommy Kapai Wilson, says ‘if you want to grow free range kids, you need to feed them backyard stories,’ and I think he has a point.

What have you published so far and how did you go about getting published?
I’ve published numerous magazine and journal articles, short fiction, and a couple of novels: Battle of the Birds (Taramea) www.battleofthebirds.info (junior) and A Dash of Reality (Oceanbooks) www.adashoftreality.info (women). I’m currently writing a collection of short fiction, as well as a science fiction thriller. I’m also thrilled to be editing a small collection of writing by New Zealand secondary school students.

Battle of the Birds and A Dash of Reality

Battle of the Birds and A Dash of Reality

Getting published is a hard because the industry is changing rapidly and many larger mainstream publishers have closed the doors to untried authors. Steps I took to get my book in front of a publisher two years ago, probably wouldn’t work now. My suggestion is to look for opportunities to improve your writing (enter competitions, write books reviews, attend workshops and conferences, join a writing collective) and to network whenever you can with others in the industry. You might just stumble across the contact or titbit which could help to launch your career.

Are there any pitfalls to avoid or advice you’d give to others wanting to go down this path?
Pitfalls – Millionaire writers  like TV’s Richard Castle are rare; it pays to keep this in mind.

Advice  – Hmm. Since the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomena, I’ve noticed writers trying to jump on that bandwagon. This seems to be true for whatever the next-best-thing is perceived to be: witches, vampires zombies and so on. But my advice is to write what resonates for you, the story you feel most compelled to tell, even if that story might not be particularly commercial.

Some years ago a dear friend of mine, Florence, popped out and was never seen again. No one knows what happened to her, including her husband and three children. Sadly, unexplained disappearances like this aren’t as unusual as you might think. Florence’s disappearance inspired me to write a novel (Misplaced) which explored how those left behind – in this case a seventeen-year-old boy – might cope under those circumstances. While Misplaced doesn’t include a single vampire, it was important to me to write it – perhaps as a legacy to Florence. Whether Misplaced resonates for a publisher remains to be seen, but it’s a story I feel  proud to have written.

What kind of things do you read?
I started out studying science and management, so I used to read a lot of nonfiction; scientific articles and reports for work. I still read non-fiction when researching my stories, but my passion is fiction. Any good fiction. I like YA, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, crime, novels, short fiction, even the occasional graphic novel. Right now, on my bedside table I have Michael Hick’s omnibus In her Name, Lyn McConchie’s Questing Road and some copies of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine to dip into. Print or ebook… I just can’t be without something to read. It’d be like not brushing my teeth.

How much influence do you feel your reading has on your writing?
I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of writers now, and I’ve discovered that all the successful writers are also readers, so reading must be important for finding your genre, your style, and the kind of stories you like to write. But quantifying exactly how much influence my reading has on my writing is difficult. Most of my stories need a measure of inspiration, a good dollop of hard work, and a sprinkle of good luck.

What advice would you give young writers just starting out?

  • Read, read, read, and if you have any time left over, read some more.
  • Write something every day.
  • Join a writers’ group where you can give and receive constructive critique.
  • Grow a thick skin.

Thank you to Lee for her generosity in giving up her time to answer these questions! I look forward to reading more of her work in the future (and can highly recommend Battle of the Birds – was a great read).

Remember to comment to be in the draw to win a paperback copy of ‘The Silver Hawk’!

Meet Georgie Hensley

Georgie Hensley

Georgie Hensley

Kick-starting my author interviews for the week is Georgie Hensley, the youngest member of my Christchurch Writers’ Guild and a fantastic, active contributor to our Facebook discussions.

How old are you Georgie?
I am 12yrs 9months.

What school are you at?
I go to St Annes Catholic (in Christchurch). I’m year eight.

When did you start writing?
Woah, haha. I’m not to sure! I’ve been writing since I was I think a year three (about eight years old).

What made you decide to write your own stories?
I decided to write my own stories when I realised that everywhere you look there is an idea, and writing is amazing. Everytime I write I get to explore places I can’t go in reality.

What sort of things to you love to write about?
Dystopian/utopian worlds.

What sort of things do you like to read?
I like to read about dystopian worlds/made up places. Aha, I’ve just started the Percy Jackson series – and I’m in love with them!

Do you read more than you write or the other way around?
I think I write more than I read.

What’s the best thing about writing?
Oh , uh. Everything? Haha. I like that when I write I just completely zone out, and become somebody else.

What’s the most frustrating thing?
Thinking of an idea , and being like ‘oh man! That idea has already been used!’

Do you see writing more as a hobby or a future career?
Career, I definitly want to be a published writer.

What advice would you give to other young people wanting to write but not knowing where to start?
If you have an idea, be confident about it! Any idea is a good idea. Remember to keep yourself inspired, if I’m inspired by a quote for example – I base a story around that quote. Don’t forget to ask for peoples opinion, it may be scary but it helps a lot!

You can find out more about Georgie on her website http://little-blue-owl.blogspot.co.nz/

SpecFicNZ Blogging Week

SpecFicNZ Blogging Week 2012

SpecFicNZ Blogging Week begins tomorrow and I’m going to post a new author interview every day along with some other exciting surprises. Make sure to visit and comment and you’ll be in the draw to win a paperback copy of my book – The Silver Hawk.

A book that changed my world view

My friend Fran recently lent me a book called ‘The Raging Quiet‘ by Sherryl Jordan. I have read a few Sherryl Jordan books before and while they have always been great, this one was different – more profound somehow.

The story is about a young woman in a medieval(ish) setting who, after being married for two days, suddenly becomes a widow and then finds support and friendship in two of the most unlikely people – the priest and the village ‘mad’ boy.

I have read many fantasy novels and so I thought I knew what to expect, but this book just kept surprising me. The priest was awesome – not creepy or secretly evil – just an all round good guy. The mad boy (Raven) wasn’t mad at all, but as the young woman discovers – deaf!

It was clear from reading the Raging Quiet that the Deaf community is close to Sherryl Jordan’s heart. Her rendition of Raven is compassionate, honest and at times, heart breaking. He is quite possibly the most beautiful fictional character I’ve ever read.

After finishing the Raging Quiet my renewed enthusiasm for learning NZ Sign Language led me to Victoria University’s amazing Online Dictionary – complete with video to learn from – and to meeting up with old friends from my NZSL night class.

There is something deeply fulfilling about being able to communicate and understand others whose experiences differ so greatly from our own. Anything that challenges our worldview – that makes us stop and think – gives us an opportunity to grow. I hope to offer those sorts of moments in my own writing and I love discovering them in my reading.

What about you? What are some books that have changed you?

Writing again

It comes and goes, this writing habit. Sometimes weeks can pass without creating scenes or progressing my story in the slightest. In those times, I tell myself I’m still working, I’m creating world and backstory, characters that might turn up one day, if I’m feeling generous. Then something changes and suddenly all I want to do is write. Words tumble from my pen to the page, unjudged, perfect in their infancy and it doesn’t matter how long they’ll stay… it’s the feelings they inspire, the glimpse of a direction in this mad undertaking.

Last Friday I made a map. Rochelle helped. A whole sequence of little cards now sits proudly in almost-straight lines on my pinboard, telling me where this story is going and how it’s supposed to end.

Direction. That’s all I needed.

I’ve heard before that a goal is a bit like a night time road trip. You know where you’re supposed to end up and you know where you are, but when you look ahead, all you can see is the next corner. The rest of the route exists on a map, which can fail to point out unforeseen blocks you’ll have to detour around.

I’ve marked out my route, and now I feel completely at liberty to ignore the GPS and make my own way, secure in the knowledge I can always consult the map if I get lost.

Meeting Derek Landy

Image

Ask a child under the age of about fifteen about “Skullduggary Pleasant” and just wait for the grin… followed by a breathless inundation of praise for a series of books that has just hit number seven! How could I have not heard of this before?

I was fortunate enough to be informed about the awesomeness of Skullduggary Pleasant by a young lady in my homeschool writers’ class and was sold enough to pick up a copy of the first book at the Uni Bookshop. Opening it to the inside cover, I read “Before writing his children’s story about a sharply dressed skeleton detective, DEREK LANDY wrote the screenplays for a zombie movie and a murderous thriller in which everybody dies.”

I laughed. Then read on…

“As a black belt in Kenpo Karate he has taught countless children how to defend themselves, in the hopes of building his own private munchkin army. He firmly believes that they await his call to strike against his enemies (he doesn’t actually have any enemies, but he’s assuming they’ll show up sooner or later).

“Derek lives on the outskirts of Dublin, and the reason he writes his own biography blurb is so that he can finally refer to himself in the third person without sounding pompous or insane.”

Wow… being that hilarious in his biography, I couldn’t wait to read the story itself, and so I turned to the first page…

“Gordon Edgley’s sudden death came as a shock to everyone – not least himself.”

FANTASTIC!

Needless to say, the rest of the book is equally awesome. A young girl discovers a world of magic and danger with the guidance of an irreverant skeleton detective (who I am sure is a fictional incarnation of Derek Landy himself).

I loved the first book and fully intended to get myself the next one when my mother told me this author I’d been raving about was coming to town. Well, I went right out and bought the entire series and told my whole Writers’ Guild they should come along. It was awesome fun to wait in line with such passionate young fans to get my copies signed. Derek had the same humor in person that I loved in his books – teasing, warm and hilarious. He took the time to talk with every fan and take pictures, staying well after the official end time so that he could see everyone (it was a really long line!)

If (or perhaps when) I am a ‘famous author’, I want to be just like him!

Cool stuff

In the interests of counteracting the somewhat depressing topic of my previous post… here is a whole heap of awesome and dare I say… inspiring… stuff I have found on the interwebs.

Team Maddy

Rick van Beek, father of thirteen year old Madison (who has cerebral palsy), has completed more than seventy events including half-marathons and triathalons while carrying his daughter (so she could complete the events with him).

“She functions like a three-month-old, and one of the very few things that we know she enjoys is being outside, being in the water, feeling the breeze in her hair and in her face.” van Beek told the Midland Daily News.

Check out the rest of the story here.

Talk about dedication

Jadav “Molai” Payeng was only sixteen when he began single-handedly planting a forest on a barren sandbar near his birthplace in Assam, India. That year (1979), there had been a big flood and a huge number of snakes had washed up on the sandbar and died in the heat without any tree cover. This had made the young “Molai” so sad he begged the authorities to help, but they said nothing would grow there – suggesting he could try planting bamboo.

With no one to help him, he retreated to a life of near isolation, beginning to plant and nurture what would one day become a 1360 acre forest – home to thousands of varieties of trees and animals, including elephants and tigers.

He is now 47 and lives in Molai Woods with his wife and children. Read the rest of the story at the Huffington Post.

More do-it-yourself attitude

51 year-old Sun Jifa from Guanmashan in northern China lost his hands in a fishing accident and didn’t have the money to buy those fancy prosthetics the hospital wanted him to have. Instead, he made his own!

It took him eight years of tinkering, but now he has bionic hands he can control by movements in his elbows. How fantastic is that? Read the rest at Huffington Post.