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

Watching the Birdies

Our avian wildlife put on quite a show for us on Friday morning. We keep a bag of birdseed by the front door, and every morning pour handfuls of it on the fence outside our dining-room window, so we can watch the birds foraging while we eat breakfast. We always see a swarm of squabbling … Continue reading Watching the Birdies

Poems, Prompts and Plums

Tomorrow is National Poetry Day for New Zealand. For the last month, my Facebook feed has been full of information about all the different events happening around the country. If I had limitless funds, and could either clone myself or time-travel, I'd be racing around to poetry readings from in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, New Plymouth … Continue reading Poems, Prompts and Plums

Learning to Live With It

It's the middle of winter here in New Zealand, and we're already seeing signs of new life all around. It's a gorgeous, sunny day today so I've just had a traipse through my garden. It's heaving with welcome signs of spring, like the purple flowers starting to put out their spears on the hebe shrub, … Continue reading Learning to Live With It

Editing Poems with a Giraffe and an Ostrich

Where I live on the Kapiti Coast in New Zealand, towns are the filling in a very beautiful sandwich. One slice of bread is the turquoise Tasman sea, which is garnished with Kapiti Island, a bush-clad native bird sanctuary and reserve 5km off shore. The other slice is the perpetually green slopes of the Waikanae … Continue reading Editing Poems with a Giraffe and an Ostrich

Sounds of Silence: TN and Tinnitus

Silence is golden - or so it's said. I wouldn't know. I always thought silence was a utopian exaggeration. An absence of ambient sounds with plenty of space for background noise to make itself known. A fantasy state dreamed up by children-should-be-seen-and-not-heard types as an excuse to punish children who took the 'seen' part of … Continue reading Sounds of Silence: TN and Tinnitus

Creating Soundscapes: 9 Ways with Words

Last night was a crap-television night. We haven't signed up to Netflix or Lightbox, so rely on whatever offerings the free-to-air channels serve. Yesterday's menu looked more like leftover crusts of sandwiches from lunch than carefully prepared cuisine. Often I'd just tuck right in to a book instead but last night we treated ourself to … Continue reading Creating Soundscapes: 9 Ways with Words

Sanding Down and Polishing Up: redrafting short stories

Notes jotted in the margin in a different colour ink reminded me of ways of crafting early drafts of stories that I'd learned at a writing workshop by Vivienne Plumb, a New Zealand poet, playwright and author. She shared some great suggestions, and I have subsequently added more of my own ideas for writing short stories, such as character development, enriching themes and meanings in stories, and writing dialogue.

Sixteen Habits of Mind

June 1st. Here in New Zealand that means the last, colourful leaves of autumn drifting off from the trees. It means the feijoa and passionfruit crop is over for the year, and it's time to prune the trees to replenish and make room for spring growth. Time to buy that electric blanket to replace the … Continue reading Sixteen Habits of Mind