Finding Ideas

Clouds billowed in from the north today, hiding the critical sun, with its nasty habit of shining a light on my housekeeping deficiencies. They are many, and the sun is far worse than my mother ever was at pointing out cobwebs in the corners, and streaks and smears all over the ranch-sliders. On a dull…

Surprise Gifts

I have gift giving on my mind. I have bought nothing yet. No cards, no wrapping paper.  Not even a bag of chocolate money, which is one of my favourite treats of the year!  It’s not that I don’t like Christmas. It’s just that… well, my homage poem to William Carlos Williams explains it best. I…

Ten Ways to Understanding

A constant claim from many people with chronic pain conditions is that nobody can understand the pain unless they have experienced it themselves. On a superficial level this is obviously true, at least in that people who don’t have chronic pain conditions, have not felt what it is like to have chronic pain. But I…

Who Needs Matching Pairs?

Spring is flourishing here in New Zealand. The days are warm, the skies are blue, the birds have plenty to say for themselves and our feijoa trees are full with red promises of the fruit to come. Some days though, the weather likes to remind us that the season isn’t all sunshine and glamour.  This…

Moonlight on Broken Glass

Most writers know that procrastination is one of the biggest issues to stare down. Somehow, especially if you write directly on your laptop, Twitter always beckons with its enticing maze of opinions, arguments and random thoughts. Pinterest can soak up hours of time. You know if you just give it five minutes, you can beat…

Sunhats and Selfhelp: pain management

On a hot, wind-still, summer evening, the park by the river is the perfect place to be. When you are only just two, this perfection poses a few dilemmas. Climbing and running and jumping, your very favourite things to do, make your shoes and sunhat fall off, and somehow turn the hat inside out. And…

Ten Minutes in the Monkey Forest

Beside a small gravel carpark next to State Highway 1 on the Kapiti Coast in New Zealand, huddled in a small v between the shoulders of two hills, is a remnant of ancient kohekohe forest and sub-tropical bush. It is crammed with palms, vines, and ferns. Most people in the area know it as Nikau…

Channeling Chekhov: 4 tips for writing

You know that feeling when your fingers are itching to pick up a pen, or rattle across the keyboard, pouring another creation onto the page? Ideas trip over themselves in your mind and words dance. You’ve carved out a generous slice of interruption-free time. Your favourite music plays in the background. You’ve plenty of water…

Stringing a Necklace

Back in another century, when I still had all my milk teeth, the concept of the year 2000 loomed large in my imagination. And not just mine. It dominated schoolyard games and conversations. We knew we would all be so old by then… 34! We were certain bikes and cars would be relegated to the…

Pretty Lights

Public buildings, hotels, office buildings etc. in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, England, Estonia, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, Scotland, Taiwan, and the USA are lighting up for October 7th. To most people, the date means nothing. Yet it’s a significant day to thousands of people around the globe. International Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day.