Finding Your Way through Writer’s Block

Feijoa season is finished for the year in my garden. I've pruned the trees now the fruit are finished, snipping off the branches growing too close together, making sure there was space for birds to fly through. The sun was hot for late May, more like a spring day in the northern hemisphere than an … Continue reading Finding Your Way through Writer’s Block

Shoelaces – a short story

My shoelaces are missing again. My running shoes lie strewn on the floor, pointing in opposite directions. A ladder of darker grooves imprints the white leather tongues. The first time, we have this conversation. - Have you seen my shoelaces? - What do you want laces for? - I want to go for a run. … Continue reading Shoelaces – a short story

Stop asking me ‘what about men?’ 

Interesting analysis of ‘whataboutery’ –

Everyone who follows my blog knows that my best work is written in rage, or port. But Christmas has gone now so no more port.
Well, at least I still have rage. So back to that.

Recently I have been getting increasingly frustrated with ‘whataboutery’ every single time I write or speak about women or girls.
For those of you who don’t know what that word means, ‘whataboutery’ is when someone responds to a difficult issue or question with a counter issue or question that completely derails the conversation.

Example:
Mai: My research focussed on the murder of women in Yemen
Randomer: uh, this is a bit sexist. What about the murder of men in Yemen? Don’t you care about men?


Example 2:
Pam: I’m really upset with you for stealing from my purse
Mel: What about that time you stole from the local shop? You’re not innocent…

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All the Little Extras: Quirks of Trigeminal Neuralgia

When I'm busy on a writing project, particularly if it's poetry or fiction, one of my favourite things to do is go to a local cafe and spend a couple of hours with a couple of cappucinos and my tablet. Most of my writing time is spent at home, in a quiet room overlooking the … Continue reading All the Little Extras: Quirks of Trigeminal Neuralgia

Rundown on a Rare Disease

Today was a lucky day. I found a four-leafed clover. Our garden was a farm paddock before they put a road and houses here, and if we don't keep the lawn under control it swiftly reverts to type and the clover runs rampant. It's the first time I found a four-leafed clover - despite hunting … Continue reading Rundown on a Rare Disease

Writing from Memory and Life

Memory and experience are fertile places for writers. I always think the stories and poems we react most strongly to are the ones that strike a chord of empathy or understanding, because we have experienced similar things or thoughts ourselves. One of my favourite poems is Originally, by Carol Ann Duffy and One Art, by … Continue reading Writing from Memory and Life

At Midnight

The clock has struck midnight and all is quiet in our neck of the woods. But there was a time, a few years back, a certain small girl (she knows who she is) thought midnight was not a time for sleeping, but singing. It's actually more like a quarter of a century back, and now … Continue reading At Midnight

Self Care, Cat Style

On a day out to Palmerston North recently, we took an unexpected detour. Most detours are tedious interruptions involving traffic cones and tortoise-paced driving. Not this one. This one was a spontaneous decision triggered by the sight of the SPCA sign at the side of the road. Shall we go in? we said. The previous … Continue reading Self Care, Cat Style

Walking Sticks & Freedom

This morning was one of those grey-white, mizzly days. Warm, and not quite raining, but the sun seemed to have decided to stay in bed, wrapped up in the snuggly folds of duvet-clouds. I, on the other hand, was fizzing with energy (rare, and not-to-be-wasted), even after a shower. So after breakfast, we decided to … Continue reading Walking Sticks & Freedom

Getting Mail

An envelope fluttered into my mailbox yesterday. When I was a kid, getting post was one of the most exciting things ever. That sense of wonder and anticipation fizzing when you saw your own name on the front of the envelope. Inside was always something worth the fizz - if it wasn't birthday or Christmas … Continue reading Getting Mail